[00:00:00] Pierre Daillie: Welcome to Insight is Capital. I’m Pierre Daillie, Managing Editor at advisoranalyst.com.
[00:00:05] There are several significant challenges facing advisors today vis-à-vis millennial clientele. Whether you’re a well established advisor or not, you’re either facing the problem of what happens after wealth is transferred to the next generation or you’re growing your business to compete for that generation’s business. The average age of well-heeled clients in wealth management is around 70, and millennials don’t want to deal with mom and dad’s advisor. They want to buck tradition.
[00:00:35] As an advisor, you definitely have to change gears and integrate strategies in alignment with nontraditional objectives. There’s also the trend and challenge presented by Fintech. Fintech makes it possible for this entire generation to quietly do it themselves bypassing intermediaries like you, all from their smartphones. Look at the rise of Bitcoin and Robinhood and other trading platforms and apps. In this case, you might want to integrate FinTech into the relationship for this cadre of clients. There’s lots to consider. Friction versus non-friction.
[00:01:09] Joining me to talk about this is Justin Castelli, Investment Advisor and Founder at RLS Wealth. Justin has spent his entire career in the financial services industry, and decided to start his own firm, RLS Wealth in 2015. Since launching RLS Wealth, he’s been included in Financial Advisor Magazine’s Advisors to Watch 2019, Investopedia’s Top 100 Advisor in 2019 and 2020, and Investment News 40 Under 40, 2020 class.
[00:01:41] Speaker 2: This is the Insight is Capital podcast.
[00:01:46] Speaker 3: The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the individual guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of advisoranalyst.com or of our guests. This broadcast is meant to be for informational purposes only. Nothing discussed in this broadcast is intended to be considered as advice.
[00:02:01] Pierre Daillie: Justin, welcome back. It’s great to see you again. Looking forward to our conversation.
[00:02:06] Justin Castelli: Pierre, thanks for having me back. And good to see you as well.
[00:02:09] Pierre Daillie: Justin, it’s it’s great to catch up with you. What’s new with you and what are you busy working on these days?
[00:02:16] Justin Castelli: Yeah so it’s kinda a little bit of the same old, but just evolution of an individual and as an advisor. Still running RLS Wealth capping the growth in that area and have recently launched a new relationship that I’ll be actually taking on a handful new clients. Soon, it’s gonna…. I think it will go into this conversation very well. Still with the co-, Co-Founder of the AGC, so Community for Financial Advisors.
[00:02:44] Collaboration there. Amongst advisors, we have a book coming out in March, which is pretty exciting, called More Than Money, so that’s been a lot of fun. And then being true to what I try to help my clients do and pursuing my passions and living my authentic life, I created a little side brand called Pursuit….
[00:03:00] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:03:00] Justin Castelli: …. which is designed to help connect spirit, mind, body, and money on a more scalable environment. Right now, it’s just a series of podcasts and writing and me exploring my creativity to kinda help more people realize there might be more to their life that…. than what they realize. And that they should pursue those passions and see where that takes them. But it’s cool, because what hasn’t been the case for me in my whole career, or at least in starting my own firm is, yeah, I’ve been disconnected in the things that I’ve done and explored to do, but now, these all interconnect.
[00:03:31] Pursuit is designed to help people at a scalable way that they maybe they never become a client, the message resonates with them. And then it feeds into RLS Wealth in the new relationship that if somebody really wants that hands-on and designing the life that they want and incorporating finance with it RLS Wealth is able to do that. For now, my efforts all align and connect, which is pretty exciting.
[00:03:52] Pierre Daillie: Yeah. I really enjoyed by the way the barbershop interview.
[00:03:57] Justin Castelli: Oh, thank you.
[00:03:57] Pierre Daillie: I thought was really cool. [laughs]
[00:03:59] Justin Castelli: Yeah, that, that kind of came out of nowhere.
[00:04:01] Justin Castelli: For those who don’t know I actually was having a conversation with my barber. I go every Friday to get a haircut. It was one of the things….
[00:04:07] …. that when business got to a certain level, I wanted to go. And I was telling them a story about my oldest, Roman, being scared. And I’d never heard this acronym before for fear, but he just said FEAR is False Evidence Appearing, appearing Real.
[00:04:19] And I went back and I recorded him cutting my middle child’s hair and then we had a conversation that I put it together for a little video about what fear really is and how we manifested ourselves. And that we should kinda gotta stay away from letting those fears keep us from pursuing the life that we want, so it was pretty cool.
[00:04:36] Pierre Daillie: Yeah, no, I really enjoyed it. It was it’s really well done. Nicely filmed. We’re- [laughs]
[00:04:41] Justin Castelli: Thank you.
[00:04:42] Pierre Daillie: Really, we…. No, but you captured that’s that you know that barbershop banter, which was….
[00:04:47] …. which was nice. Although it wasn’t banter, it was your barber actually talking but it was-
[00:04:51] Pierre Daillie: It was great. He did a great job. I thought he was, just really natural. And so what’s your new venture? What do you expanding into?
[00:05:06] Justin Castelli: Yeah the relationship that I’ve added to RLS Wealth, I’m calling Life Design Plus, and it is an evolution of kind of me and what I think is most important when it comes to planning, which ties into kind of what I think millennials are gonna be looking for their advisor. And it all started years ago, when I came across George Kinder. And I have to just, to give a shout out to my friend, Scott Frank, ’cause he’s the one who put George Kinder Life Planning on my radar. And when I began to read and learn about it, it was how I was doing financial planning already, I just didn’t know it. The concept of life planning, helping people create lives that they really want. Listening to the client, and then building a plan to that, rather than just going straight to retirement and college and the traditional things, that was just natural to me.
[00:05:52] And then when I realized there’s a designation for it in the whole practice, it really piqued my interest. I continue to read Kinder, and go down that path and continue to evolve as an advisor. But the Life Design Plus is really, I think a bit more of, I hate the terminology of life coach.
[00:06:08] But I think of it more of a relationship where those clients who want to work with me in the Life Design Plus are gonna be looking for somebody, who’s there to help them figure out what their authentic life is. What’s the life that they’re wanting and supposed to live, and then building the plan to that, so it is very intense. It’s a monthly meeting. There are requirements of journaling, and you have to have a mindfulness practice. You have to have a wellness practice. You have to have a spiritual practice. It’s like I wanna create this relationship that 99.5% of the people who come across it will say, "No." it’s too expensive, it’s too intense.
[00:06:43] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:06:43] Justin Castelli: But those who really want to do it, it’s going to lead to an impactful relationship. Because ultimately, the goal is to help them figure out, what is it about the life they’re living today that does not excite them, does not feel right, does not feel authentic, and what’s the life they supposed to be living. And that could take six months on its own. And then once we figure that out, then we bring in the financial component of it, of how do we make that work within your finances. So that’s what really excites me.
[00:07:09] I’ve been doing traditional financial planning for 18 years. And I still enjoy doing that, but when I think about the next 18 years of my life, I don’t think that I wanna do that type of planning. There’s a lot of advisors that can do a good job of doing traditional financial planning. I still wanna work with the clients that I have that have been with me from Day 1. I don’t wanna do anything with different with them, but as I think about new clients that I want to take on, I wanna do something that really excites me, that I think….
[00:07:35] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:07:36] Justin Castelli: …. I have a unique skill set that all- that allows me to help people in this way. I want to see if I can make that relationship work, then see if anybody actually wants that. They may not want it. In my mind, I think it’s a great relationship. I know people are looking for more guidance on creating a life versus, "What do I need to do with my money?"
[00:07:54] And then once you figure out where you wanna go and what you’re supposed to be doing, it’s funny how numbers fall in line and just work themselves out. I think sometimes we put too much emphasis on the numbers, and not enough on….
[00:08:05] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:08:05] Justin Castelli: …. the qualities of the life that we want to live. And when you figure out those things, and you have alignment between your spirit, mind, body and money, everything falls in line and takes care of itself.
[00:08:14] Pierre Daillie: Kudos to you. I think that’s a that’s terrific. And the only way to…. the proof of the pudding is in the eating, right?
[00:08:20] It’s actually doing it and seeing where it takes you.
[00:08:23] Justin Castelli: And you know that, getting to that point of shifting more towards, the design or the planning side of things is just, you mentioned it earlier, that advisors are, competing with technology more than we’re competing with each other. And….
[00:08:39] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:08:40] Justin Castelli: …. there’s plenty of studies and evidence that shows that the least amount of value that I bring to my clients is the investment side of things. Now, my clients don’t wanna handle their investments, they wanna know it’s taken care of and there is importance to it, but that’s the least amount of impact that I can bring I feel.
[00:08:57] Now, I’m not, I’m not a stock picker. There are some investment professionals out there that maybe they can really generate some alpha because of their skill set. And then maybe their greatest value is the outperformance. But for me, that’s not the best thing. The best thing I can do in the skill set that I have is help people really slow down and figure out….
[00:09:15] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:09:15] Justin Castelli: …. what do they want out of life. And I would make the argument that if I can do a good job and I’ve been doing this on a smaller scale with existing clients, but this new relationship, I’m not forcing that on them, because that’s not why they came to me. The new relationship is somebody who really wants this and they want this intense relationship.
[00:09:32] But I think if I can help somebody figure out what’s making…. What’s lacking in their life, what is it that they wanna change, help them figure that out. Help them make changes in their life, and then reorganize their finances to support that. And in 15, 20 years, they look back and they say that the best decision in my life was not which funds I was put in….
[00:09:54] …. or what…. how much money to save, it was leaving that job that made me unhappy to go do whatever It might be. And with Pursuit, I have this kind of cohort that I run three times a year, called The Collective, and in it, my very first Collective, I had an individual, he was already on this path. But he walked away from a six-figure job to stay at home with his two twin boys, while they’re young, while his wife was working….
[00:10:17] …. And work on his writing career that he wants to start. And I know for a fact, he’s not gonna miss the money that he gave up for these next few years, and he’s gonna value the time that he had with his kids. That’s not traditional planning. Like most financial advisors are gonna say, "That’s not a textbook answer. You don’t wanna give that money up, like you can hire, help out." But at the end of the day, those three years of being home with his boys are gonna be priceless. No amount of investment, no amount of savings will be able to, match the value….
[00:10:46] …. of that time with his kids. And that, I think is more impactful than picking the portfolio or telling somebody how much to save. And all those things still make their way into this plan, but it’s about creating a life of minimal regret. When you are on your deathbed, and you look back over your life, what do you wish you would have done different? And can we get to you to a point where when you look back, you say, "You know what through my course of my life, I changed paths. I experimented. I evaluate different things. I don’t have any regrets ’cause everything I wanted to do, I did, and I lived the life that I really wanted," versus, "Man, I wish I would have done X, Y and Z, but I stayed in that job because of, the money was good…."
[00:11:22] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:11:23] Justin Castelli: "…. or the benefits." and I really do think, I don’t know if it was the time of everybody being locked up but I do think that coming out of COVID and getting back to normal life, people are focusing more on the life that they want. And they’re breaking out of these boxes that they’ve been placed in. And to me….
[00:11:40] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:11:40] Justin Castelli: …. that’s really exciting.
[00:11:41] Pierre Daillie: It is. I can see, like I mentioned friction versus nonfiction. You can see where well, a millennial, for example, is…. feels like they’re forced to go and see, their mom and dad’s advisor….
[00:12:02] …. On their own. Not necessarily together, but on their own, let’s say. And then you know that traditional advisor is, telling them, "Oh, here’s how much you have to save for retirement. Here’s how much you have to save if you’re gonna have kids, and they’re gonna go to college. And you gotta save this much."
[00:12:20] And you can see where, that younger person is gonna just tune out. Just, that’s too much friction "Why are you talking to me about things that are 40 years away? I’m not interested." I think you’re right. I think that, that does go right into what we’re gonna talk about today.
[00:12:38] Justin, let’s talk about millennial clients. As you undoubtedly work with millennials, what are you doing to engage and retain this millennial generation of clients?
[00:12:52] Justin Castelli: Yeah, so I, I had to be fully transparent, I have both millennial and I have typical retiree boomer clients. I have both. And when I started my firm….
[00:13:00] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:13:01] Justin Castelli: …. I was always working with both. But I would say I-
[00:13:03] Pierre Daillie: Yeah, and I wasn’t implying that you don’t.
[00:13:04] Justin Castelli: No.
[00:13:04] Pierre Daillie: I just….
[00:13:05] Justin Castelli: Yeah, no, yeah.
[00:13:05] Pierre Daillie: …. that you only work with mill-
[00:13:06] Justin Castelli: Yeah.
[00:13:06] Pierre Daillie: I don’t want to say, you’re only working with millennials, but you do work with millennials.
[00:13:10] Justin Castelli: No, exactly, yeah. And I didn’t want it to come across as somebody….
[00:13:14] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:13:14] Justin Castelli: …. who on only works with millennials, I work with both. But on the millennial side of the business, one, I had an early mover advantage. And that when I launched my firm back in 2015, I launched Day 1 with a subscription model. The first thing I did was created a way for them to actually work with a financial advisor. And I still think there’s tons of opportunity that there are a lot of young professionals that want to find help….
[00:13:36] …. that don’t know where to go, because the advisors that they’re surrounded by or they have access to, don’t have a way for them to work with them. They’re…. It’s all AUM, or they have minimums that exceed what they might have.
[00:13:47] The first advantage was having a model that welcomed anybody, regardless of where they were. And if they valued financial planning, having a reasonable fee for them. But once they’ve come on board or how I’ve continued to grow it’s talking about the things that matter to them today. And….
[00:14:04] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:14:04] Justin Castelli: …. millennials do care about retirement. No one wants to work forever. We know we wanna we wanna have a position, but more millennials are looking to, "Where can I get to a point to where I don’t have to work as hard." And I think that, whether they know it or not, or they’re speaking about it, I think the career path of a, of millennial and younger is gonna look different. I think they realize they’re gonna work longer, because we’re living longer, and….
[00:14:28] …. they’re gonna do things in the middle of their careers that may force them to work longer, but they’re gonna be okay with that. I take myself for example. I mentioned I’m not actively trying to grow my firm and continue to grow at a quick rate. Part of the reason for that is I have three boys.
[00:14:42] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:14:42] Justin Castelli: And I would rather plateau my career for the next six or seven years to have more time with them, rather than build and miss out on these, fun years that are coming up. If that means I have to work till I’m 70, that’s fine. I just happen to have a career where I could do that and I love it. But I would much rather work longer, so I can have this time. And I think younger professionals are more in tuned to wanna, wanna do that.
[00:15:06] A, talking about how you can plan for that, and how that is a game plan. You don’t have to work a 30-year traditional career, you can, build in a different way. Talking about things such as estate planning, tax planning, in addition to the traditional things, because a lot of people and the young millennial age are starting to have families.
[00:15:24] And they wanna make sure their families are taking care of, life insurance, how much insurance, what’s the type right type of insurance? And while it’s great there’s a lot of information available out on social media, there’s a lot of cringe-worthy information out there, and millennials aren’t dumb. They know the stuff that is scam-y-sounding.
[00:15:41] But they just don’t know how much of it’s true and how much is fake being able to answer those questions of things that they see on social media, even going so far standpoint of debunking that on your own social media is a way that I’m seeing other advisors kind of combat that.
[00:15:56] But I think the whole key is just meeting them to where they’re at, and meeting them with what they care about. Don’t try to tell a young professional that they should be focusing solely on retirement and sacrificing today, for a date that might not even happen because we know life is not fair.
[00:16:11] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:16:11] Justin Castelli: It’s about finding that balance of preparing for the long run, and setting yourself on a good track, but also, living today and creating a life that you’re really gonna enjoy, creating experiences. I think more young professionals are more interested in experiences over things that is a trend that I’m seeing. Just talking about that and then building plans, so that they’re actually experiencing that.
[00:16:33] You can’t tell young professionals that you believe in these things, and when they come in to actually do the plan, plan only for retirement. So you’ve got to match what you’re talking about and bringing them in with what you actually do with them in the practice.
[00:16:45] Pierre Daillie: There’s definitely like you thought it out fairly well, in the beginning. There’s a tactical element to, starting something, the way you did it. Starting a practice the way you did it, and there’s also a strategic element, right? The tactical element is, as you said, it’s the communications. Bringing, the communications and the marketing and attracting attracting that client to come and see you in the first place and making it as unambiguous and nonthreatening as you possibly can. And then, there’s a strategic framework for the long term, as well, right?
[00:17:29] What…. I think you’ve talked about some of the, the tactical ideas, like setting up, setting it up as a subscription. And in terms of the conversations, like how are you having the conversations on the strategic side? What are some of the big problems that you can help them tackle?
[00:17:54] Justin Castelli: Yep. For me, I think the biggest thing is it all lends to…. It’s finding and creating your authentic life. And with that brings all the normal problems, everybody has. It…. Taxes come in there, estate comes in there, investments come in there, savings, all that ties into it. But I think what more people are interested in is living the life that they want.
[00:18:18] And when they realize that there’s something else that they would rather pursue, and that today, we have more opportunity pur- to pursue these passions in our life, how can I do that? How can I introduce it into my life? I really think the biggest conversation piece for me that, and then what excites me the most, and I get the most excitement out of clients is, what are you not doing that you wish you were doing? And why not?
[00:18:42] And then just diving deeper, and then realizing that all of the excuses for not doing this thing, are all addressable. A lot of them are ahead, and we’re making up reasons to not do them for, things that aren’t really real. And then some of them are financial, and then we address that.
[00:18:58] And I think that is where a lot of the conversation is heading is that, "I don’t enjoy what I’m doing. I don’t feel like I have purpose. I’m not fulfilled. And I don’t wanna feel that way. And if I was doing this, whatever it might be, that like I would feel more fulfilled. I would have more time at home." Whatever it might be, and then you build the plan to that. So for me that’s what I’m experiencing.
[00:19:19] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:19:20] Justin Castelli: No one’s coming in…. oh, I wanna say, I should say, no. A few people are coming in saying, "How can I save more on taxes? How much more life insurance do I need?" more people are coming in "These are the things I wanna do with my life. These are…. this is the direction I wanna go, but I don’t know, I don’t know how to do it. How can I make all this work?" And to me, that’s the biggest strategic thing for me going forward.
[00:19:42] And then the nice thing about that is that lends the ability, as an advisor, to start to leverage creating content. You take these conversations that you’re having, the concerns people have and then write about it, talk about it, whatever it might be. Obviously, anonymously. Don’t talk about the client situation but the topic, the theme.
[00:20:00] And then now, you can create this content that you can distribute to your other clients. It’s scalable and you can even put it out there if you want to for marketing purposes….
[00:20:07] …. that will then begin to attract people who want that as well. There really is a nice flywheel that kind of, can be created through all of this, that just generates off of the clients you’re already working with or that are coming to you. I do think that whether it is a tactical or strategic part, I do think creating content of some sort is becoming table stakes. Whether it is just to communicate with your clients regularly and staying front of them, or to use it to drive business, it is one piece of the growth method. So whether it is a newsletter, a blog, a podcast, a video series it’s almost becoming expected, because there’s so many advisors doing it.
[00:20:46] And if you look at any other brand in any other profession, everybody is creating content. It’s how people are consuming, and it’s a great way to get yourself out there. Let people find you, who might wanna work with you. Make a decision if they like your personality before they even call you, so that from a growth standpoint, if that’s what you’re looking to do with your firm, when someone reaches out to you after they’ve been reading your blog for a year, they already know they wanna work with you. And they already know what to expect.
[00:21:09] They’re calling because they want you. They’re not calling to interview you and find out if it’s the right fit. They already know it’s the right fit for them. And then it just becomes easier for you to decide, are they the right fit for you?
[00:21:19] Pierre Daillie: Yeah. Exactly. I can’t tell you how many, any…. because we’ve gone…. When we’ve done podcasts, for example we spend so much time editing these things….
[00:21:34] …. That even when I wasn’t in the podcast, but was overseeing the editing of it….
[00:21:45] …. I felt like I got to know the people in the podcast….
[00:21:50] …. even though I didn’t speak to them, it’s very powerful. It’s a very powerful medium. Video, obviously, is a very powerful medium. But when people have an opportunity to get to know you….
[00:22:04] …. without, without meeting you, yeah, you’re right. That runway could be a few months, it could be a few years. But eventually, if they like you enough, from what they’ve heard and read and seen, they are gonna contact you to.
[00:22:21] Tell us about some of your successes, or satisfying, the most satisfying experiences that you’ve picked up on are that as you’ve grown and learned since you got started.
[00:22:31] Justin Castelli: Yeah there’s a couple that like jumped to mind. One of them is and it’s actually, not a millennial. It’s one of my clients that basically long story short, she’s a teacher. And Phase 1 of working with her was helping her leave the public school system and go into a private school and that risk and that she took and it worked out perfectly and great. And she took a big risk. Went to a contract that wasn’t guaranteed beyond the six months, made less money. And we ran the numbers and it just felt right. And sometimes with life and your financial plan, you have to trust your gut and go with that intuition and have a little faith that things are gonna work out. Knowing that a fallback plan is always there.
[00:23:10] And then I realized, maybe five years into the new place that she just wasn’t feeling as excited about the work she was doing and crunching numbers on her plan. And some things have fallen in to her direction. And one day said, "Hey, if you don’t wanna go back next year, you don’t have to." And the sense of relief that came over her was really cool. And from that conversation on, she ended up putting her house up for sale, moving out West to Arizona to a community she always wanted to live in, and is living her best life right now.
[00:23:40] And it’s really cool to see that she had done all of the work to put herself in that position. But by, by being able to, one, see that my client was unhappy and know that the work that she was doing was no longer fulfilling, and impacting her health and happiness, being able to tell her, "Hey, you’re in shape to be able to leave that and go pursue the life that you really want." And….
[00:24:05] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:24:05] Justin Castelli: …. she did it and she’s happier. And the cool thing is, she has two friends that have since followed her lead, if you will.
[00:24:13] And have retired to go on to do other things and they’re living happy. But they would have never even asked their…. they’re not my clients. They would have never asked their advisor if they could have done it, because they thought they had to go to 65 because that’s what somebody once told them.
[00:24:26] Pierre Daillie: Yeah. [laughs]
[00:24:26] Justin Castelli: It’s really cool to see her happy, but then also our work together impact her friends and their happiness. And then the other one is you’re having a younger client who is very forward thinking, high up in his profession, realize that he wants to create multiple income streams for himself. And he’s in a position to where he could do some public speaking. He could do some consulting in his profession, and sitting down with him and building out a plan to basically build upon his personal brand. Building out a content strategy, helping him get the position to where he can consult with some technology companies, which is not part of a traditional financial plan.
[00:25:03] But it’s extremely impactful to his life plan, and will spill back into his financial plan. And he’s already got a couple of speaking engagements. He’s already getting ready to launch, a blog for his area of expertise. And to me, that was, it was really cool to be able to bring this passion that I have for content and the passion I have for branding. But then bring it to a client and help him out with his as a part of his overall financial plan.
[00:25:29] And that just fuels me as an advisor to continue to be creative about how can a financial advisor help their clients. I’m probably not gonna, continue to build my business as being an advisor who helps his clients build a personal brand, but if I can do it with one of my clients, then I can go tell other advisors in the AGC or advisors that come across with, "Hey."
[00:25:50] "Here’s a unique way for you to differentiate yourself." If you’re good at branding, and you have clients that come to you that they have an opportunity to do that, help them with it and create a new relationship that is hybrid financial planning. Part financial planning, part brand building, and then that comes back into the financial plan.
[00:26:07] Those are two things that, when I say, when I speak of traditional financial planning, those wouldn’t be something that I would think of in a traditional plan. And so for me, it’s fun it’s exciting, and it invigorates me to know, there’s other opportunities to impact my clients, beyond just the spreadsheets that I’ve always done. And that’s what keeps me excited about the profession, so those are a couple of things.
[00:26:30] Pierre Daillie: Awesome. I I love your your willingness to take the risk to do that.
[00:26:37] And because it’s time, right? It’s all time. Everything boils down to, "How much time have you got?"
[00:26:42] And I think, like just to give some takeaway for our audience, for advisors, maybe it’s willing…. it’s that willingness to take the risk of your time to give your time away.
[00:26:58] As opposed to always quantifying it, I don’t have time for that. Time is money. I don’t…" I think that, that is potentially a huge mistake that anybody, can make. It’s not be willing to be generous with their time….
[00:27:13] …. For their clients’ children, for a client who comes in, that isn’t economically viable from a, from an investment planning standpoint, but you wanna just help them.
[00:27:25] It’s the willingness to take the risk to put the time in to, to tell somebody, and not just somebody’s friend, or somebody’s, some- a friend’s son or daughter coming to see you.
[00:27:37] Someone who calls in and says, I’m looking for some help with something. I wanna talk to somebody." and having, instead of having the door shut in their face….
[00:27:47] …. to say "We only take this kind of client." you say, "Sure, come on in."
[00:27:52] And then you know, you have this pro bono attitude where, you don’t have…. you’re not setting an expectation of getting something more than what you’re giving.
[00:28:05] Justin Castelli: And here’s a place for pro bono, but yeah, there’s another, the benefit of creating content is you get somebody who calls in, who has some general questions, or just need some help. And maybe it doesn’t make sense for you to take your time to do that, because of the other things you’re doing. But you can say, "Hey, here is five blog posts I wrote, or five videos or five podcasts that I created."
[00:28:26] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:28:27] Justin Castelli: "That address the things that you’re interested in. Check these out. And you’ll give them a read, give them a listen, and if you have some follow up questions, shoot me an email and I can help you out." And then that way, you didn’t pass them off.
[00:28:37] Justin Castelli: You gave them information to educate them and empower them. And maybe, you solved the question or this is where like a subscription model or the hourly models that come into play, you have a relationship that is a scaled down version of your expensive high-end. That you know maybe it’s a little bit less detailed of a plan. Maybe it’s not as much of your time, but chances are, they don’t need the same depth of planning. They don’t need the same amount of time, so that you can be compensated for the time that you’re spending with them.
[00:29:05] It’s affordable to them, and it gives them an entryway into the profession. I think we’re gonna see the membership model that I know a few advisors out there are creating come into…
[00:29:15] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:29:15] Justin Castelli: Come into place, where it’s, it’s $25 a month, $50 a month and you get access to a software like the Elements Planning Software that gives you a benchmark of how you’re doing and gives you some feedback and then there’s office hours every month. With the forward thinking advisor is gonna leverage this great technology to create scalable ways to help more people. That doesn’t take a lot of the advisors time, so that first and foremost, we help more people, which I think we should be focusing on at first. But it-
[00:29:44] The byproduct of it is becomes a business opportunity. Whether it’s the membership revenue, which I don’t think will ever be enough to really move the needle. But more importantly, this is a feeder into your firm. If you have this membership and then you have a subscription and then you have wealth management, now, you can help people all along their journey. You can do it in ways that are scalable, that is respectful of your time as the advisor, and you’re compensated for it, but it helps people, and it feeds the future generation of your business.
[00:30:11] And one of the things I always felt good about with the subscription model was, I created the subscription model first and foremost to help people my age. I wanted to help them. But I also realized the long game of it was they’re going to inherit this, whatever, it’s $40 trillion….
[00:30:29] Pierre Daillie: Yeah.
[00:30:29] Justin Castelli: …. or whatever might be these days of inheritance that’s coming. And if I do a good job, and I worked with them, because I wanted to help them genuinely from Day 1, before they had anything, when they get this inheritance, I don’t think they’re gonna leave me. And maybe that’s arrogance. But I, A, worked with them before they had anything. I put them on a plan to build them to where they are today, which is better than they were beforehand, and there’s that trust there. I’m always, I’m a big believer in you have to do things for genuine reasons and for the right reason first.
[00:31:01] Pierre Daillie: Absolutely.
[00:31:01] Justin Castelli: But there’s always a cherry on the top for the advisor later on that if you have this to help people who need it, one day, when they inherit, or one day when they have their moment where they jump up tax brackets, you…. they’re gonna remember who was there to help them get there, and that business is gonna stay with you. Whether it is-
[00:31:18] Pierre Daillie: Absolutely.
[00:31:18] Justin Castelli: Whether you’re a legacy advisor, looking to retain the assets you have on book, you’ll create a model that is built towards the younger generation. Have a younger advisor running that, so when that client comes in, they see their peer, they had, they know they had the expertise that the advisor has been in the business a long time in the background, but they’re working with somebody who understands where they’re at.
[00:31:39] And then now, you have this way to keep the family money with the firm or if you’re playing the long game, start the business model working with young advisors, or young clients and young professionals, knowing that in the next five to 10 years, you’re gonna see your business boom, because of the transition of wealth.
[00:31:57] Pierre Daillie: Justin, that was great. That’s, [laughs] there’s so many things, there’s so many things that advisors can do. And I can see where, where a lot of advisors because of the way they were trained or the way that their business was set up, I can see where, some of the open mindedness and creativity might have got squashed along the way because of their firm’s grid, or….
[00:32:29] …. Commission or compensation or the expenses of the business. Sometimes all of the day-to-day rigor can rob you of you know that creativity and that drive to do something more. I can see it’s, I think it’s part of, I think it’s part of what drove you as well, which was wanting to get away from the rigor of the business and do more things that you enjoy doing. And you’re willing to be available and accessible and approachable and provide, sound ingenious advice, productive advice that takes that client that, that person, to a better place. They will be eternally grateful for everything you’ve done.
[00:33:18] Justin, thank you so much for your incredibly valuable time. It’s been great talking to you again and catching up with you.
[00:33:24] Justin Castelli: I appreciate the opportunity to come in and share my thoughts. And it’s always good to chat with your peers, so that and thank you.
Listen on The Move
Advisors are currently facing some significant challenges when it comes to working with millennial clients. The challenge lies in the fact that most high-net-worth clients are around 70 years old, while millennials are looking for advisors who can offer innovative, non-traditional approaches.
The idea that millennials don't want professional advice is an under-informed perspective. As a practitioner, it's not about whether millennials want advice or not; the question that begs an answer is, "What kind of advice do millennials want?" and "How do they want to get it?"
To stay relevant and attract millennial clients, advisors must adapt their strategies and align them with the clients' objectives. This means that advisors need to change their approach to incorporate new technologies and methods that are in line with the way millennials prefer to manage their finances.
Fintech is a challenge that advisors must consider. With the proliferation of apps available today, millennials can manage their finances without intermediaries, all from their smartphones. Advisors should integrate Fintech into their approach to ensure that they remain relevant and useful to their clients.
Justin Castelli, Investment Advisor and Founder at RLS Wealth, joined us to share some the ways he's navigated these challenges. One of the reasons he's uniquely qualified to explore this topic is because he realized and envisioned much of the ideas we discuss at the point of breaking away from a larger financial institution after many years, and becoming an independent advisor.
Fortunately, most of what we discuss here can be, with some tools (including fintech), thought, and effort, painlessly integrated into your existing practice, so as to grow your book into the millenial market, as well as reduce your practice's potentially high succession risk.
Where to find Justin Castelli:
Justin Castelli on Linkedin
Justin Castelli at RLS Wealth
Justin Castelli at All About Your Benjamins
Justin mentions George Kinder in our conversation – here's a taste of kinds of thought provoking questions Kinder prompts, that you can use to deepen your conversations with clients.
For a Canadian WealthTech resource/solution, one example to check out is AdvisorFlow that allows you to easily and efficiently onboard new clients of all types. (This is not an endorsement. Canadian advisors use AdvisorFlow as a wealthtech solution).
Also, take a look at Equisoft/ Analyze as an additional wealthtech option.
AA is looking for a subscription platform that can support advisors looking for a solution for flat rate services for smaller clients seeking professional advice.
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