Australia

5 days

#246 John Kennedy – Transcript

Share this:

Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

clients, advisor, meeting, business, hired, people, love, portfolio, feel, matt, company, talk, conversation, financial, partnership, personal finance, business partner, approach, great, market

SPEAKERS

Emily Blanch, Capital Group, Fraser Jack, John Kennedy

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome to the x y advisor podcast, a global community of financial advisors sharing and learning with one another to drive the positive evolution of financial advice. To get involved, go to x y advisor.com. Or simply download the x y advisor.

 

Capital Group 

How can I deliver consistent long term results? It begins with the distinctive approach to managing money that for over 85 years has focused on keeping confidence up when markets are down an approach where portfolio managers work well independently, and even better together, who don’t just invest but a personally invested, can I find a proven approach designed to deliver the results I need with Capital Group? I can.

 

Fraser Jack 

Welcome back to the Expert Advisor podcast. I’m Fraser Jack and today I’m joined by a gentleman all the way from Well, it’s the other side of the world. john kennedy. Welcome.

 

John Kennedy 

Thank you, man for having me. I’m

 

Fraser Jack 

really excited to be here. Fantastic. Now, obviously you not from Australia. Let’s get that out of the way straightaway. Where are you coming to us from?

 

John Kennedy 

So Orlando, Florida. So east side of the United States right around Mickey Mouse land. So disney world?

 

Fraser Jack 

coming to us live from Disney World. I love it. Fantastic. So. So john, obviously, let’s get started. I’m gonna start with a really cheesy conversation. Let’s go into the fact that your name is john kennedy, please tell me your middle name such.

 

John Kennedy 

Yes, I love I love starting with a cheesy talk. So it is it is F but it’s Francis, not Fitzgerald. Right. So technically, I am john F. Kennedy. And I don’t know if I’ve shared this with you yet. I probably might have a before but my wife’s name is Jackie. And that’s that’s not a joke. We are Johnny Jackie Kennedy. What do you mean this bizarre, isn’t it?

 

Fraser Jack 

Is it? I think maybe it was destiny. Maybe it was meant to be?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah. Well, that’s what that’s what I like to say, you know, you meet a Jackie we met in college we met many years ago. And you know, it was it was meant to be but we did avoid the whole john john Caroline, like our kids have different names. So we thought that’d be too weird. It was argued, you know, hard enough that we’re john and Jackie Kennedy,

 

Fraser Jack 

you broke the chain. At least at least, this podcast episode should go crazy on the Google Analytics, then if that’s the case,

 

John Kennedy 

there we go. I you still can’t find me via Google unless you search with my company name. So we’re gonna change that, you know, we’re gonna, it’s hard. I’m buried deep in the Google searches.

 

Fraser Jack 

That is a very, very good point. How do you actually, you know, have a bit of personal branding in this situation,

 

John Kennedy 

I think, you know, really leverages the whole CFP thing. Yeah. So I’m a certified financial planner. So you got to have something connected to the name to differentiate, I guess. I don’t know.

 

Fraser Jack 

Okay, fair enough. So we’ve done that. Now. I’ll get in the way. I just had to, I just had to go the I’m sorry. That’s just my personality. Welcome. Welcome to the podcast. Now, obviously. You know, the podcast, you’ve actually listened to it. Oh, you listened to it in the US?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah. So my business partner and I started our company in 2018. And we’ve we’ve been avid listeners, I mean, I think for from my point of view, and probably a lot of people that listen, like you there’s there’s not an almost there’s not enough information to consume out there. Like it, you just want to continue to get your hands on more and more. Now, we’re very entrepreneurial, spirited. We love learning about different, just different ways and perspectives to apply to our industry in what we do. And I mean, that’s the beauty. I mean, this is a global, this is a global shell. And that’s the beauty of it, that we’re I’m here in Florida recording this with you. And you’re in Australia, I think it’s the coolest thing.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, absolutely. And you’re absolutely right. Generally speaking, when it comes to, you know, setting up a business looking after and creating a relationship based business with other human beings. We’re all humans, it doesn’t really matter what part of the world we’re in.

 

John Kennedy 

It doesn’t and I think that it would be easy to and we’ll get into the into my partnership with Matt mark, who my business partner in a moment, but it would be easy to really feel like you’re kind of on an island with this industry. You know, if you if you if you set out to do this on your own, and you’re you’re an independent advisor, that is just you already feel kind of isolated. So we’re, you know, we’re reaching out and trying to be, you know, parts of different communities, and that just doesn’t need to be based in Florida anymore. It

 

Fraser Jack 

can be anywhere in the world. Yeah. 100%. Now, obviously, we’ll get into the fact that you’ve started your own business, and we’ll talk through that. I’m loved to hear that journey. But before we get into that, let’s go back. Let Tell us about your journey. Tell us how you got into being a financial planner in the first place.

 

John Kennedy 

Well, I actually started in college, I was very interested in marketing and branding. And I took one personal finance course which I don’t know You know the differences and how it might be in Australia, but here in the States, like it’s you don’t learn economics, you don’t learn any type of personal finance or how to do your tax return. I mean, you don’t you don’t willingly learn that stuff. Not until college. And that’s only if you opt into it. And so I took a personal finance course. And I was sold, I immediate I just I loved every aspect of finances, and I thought, this stuff is really complex. And there’s got to be an outlet to be able to help other people do this. And, you know, that’s kind of I just I, you know, never never looked back since.

 

Fraser Jack 

Well, it’s a you’re exactly right. There is not a lot taught in schools. There’s a little bit, but tell me about this personal finance course. I think this is really interesting. So you took this as part of your college

 

John Kennedy 

degree? Yes, yeah. And it was an elective. It wasn’t something that was by any means a requirement. And I can’t remember the gentleman’s name, who was the professor of the of the class, but he was a former CFO of a company. And he was, you know, semi retired, just like, you know, talking about finance. And this was, this was definitely the course for him. He had high energy about it. So I think that helped, because it wasn’t like, this is boring math and stuff that sucks. Like it was it was exciting, because it was real life, very practical things. And it just, it really sucked me in. And at the moment, I took that course, I switched from marketing to finance. And then, you know, just did internship after internship. And I don’t know, that was that wasn’t that first class was in 2005. And it’s 2021. Now, so I haven’t looked back.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, yeah, that’s a really interesting, and you’re absolutely right. It is your personal money. It’s your money. So if you’re, you know, what else could you be interested in your own life and how it’s going to turn out. So I think that was a great course, and probably something that, you know, maybe should be available here that we could look at. so fantastic. That’s a really cool story. And then so you, so you, then you got qualified. And then you were Where did you go from there?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, so I started interning at a company that now my business partner was the one who hired me at the time. So rewind to 2008. That was, you know, the great recession of Oh, eight, nobody was hiring for anything back then. So you had to kind of do free, unpaid work to even get looked at. And my now business partner hired me and he was he was my mentor. And so it’s just, it is kind of funny, because we go back and forth about that he likes to joke He’s like, you know, I am the one who hired you, like this was wouldn’t have happened. But it it’s just, it’s kind of crazy to look back and see that. But I do think that I was that interested in this field that I was willing to work for free. And that was that was perhaps unique. I don’t think you see that as much now at least in the States, you know, most internships are paid. Most co Ops, anything that has to do with like a college credit course, you know, they’re typically paid, but I just I wanted to get in. And that was during a time where nobody was hiring, and nobody was paying.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Yeah. You know, I think the number one quality when it comes to getting a job is it that you know, showing up and being motivated and wanting to be there. So you know, well done. Now, you said you met Matthew, obviously hired you? Yeah. But tell me about the fact that you’re probably both different human beings at the time.

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, I mean, different. He’s, he was about a decade older, is a decade older than I am, had been in the industry for much longer than me. And I had a lot to learn from him. But what’s funny is over the years, and I think it’s because we work together all the time, we talk 15 plus times a day, we’re in meetings together, we do so much together, we were good friends outside of outside of work as well, our families get together, and you fast forward to now and we all we kind of sound alike. So sometimes clients will call. And we do have this very team based approach. So whether it’s mad, or whether it’s me, you know, sometimes kinds of call and pay telling the difference, which is kind of funny. But I will say our styles are different, we have our own strengths. And they’re not the same. And I really think as a, in having a business partner. There’s a lot of challenges to that, just because I mean, everybody hears all the horror stories about having a business partner and the bad things that can happen. I’m I’m here to advocate for business partnerships, which I know we’ll get into in a moment. But I think one of the key elements to that is we really trust each other. And we do have complementing strengths we don’t necessarily know and do all the same things together.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, yep. Fantastic. Now, let’s go to that moment. Obviously, you’re working together. And then how did you decide that you wanted to start your own business?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, well, it was, it was probably it’s not as exciting as it as it seemed, then, as I look back, but we definitely wanted to make sure and this isn’t a knock on the previous firm by any means. But we wanted to make sure we always had like the autonomy and the control, to make sure we could do planning the way we wanted to, like I never ever wanted to be influenced by someone else who wasn’t in a client meeting with me. Didn’t intimately know that that that client, that husband, wife, whatever, and say, Well, this is this is the type of product that you should be selling or this or this is how their financial plan should be run, because I just genuinely felt like, I’m the one in these meetings, I know that and I’m skilled at this, I’m credentialed, I’m a certified financial planner. And he felt the same way. And again, it wasn’t necessarily a knock on the previous firm, but we really liked being able to have our own footprint on how we felt like we should be collaborating and doing financial planning. So I think the two key components is, you know, we formed this thing, that’s, that’s called an ensemble approach, which I’ll talk about. And, and again, I think, for us, it was really about, we wanted to be able to do something significant enough to make a difference in our clients lives, like in the community of people that we know. And that know like, and trust us and look up to us for financial advice, and good stewardship and financial practice, we really wanted to be able to make a difference and starting counterpath was was our way of doing that. Fantastic. Now,

 

Fraser Jack 

I’m gonna dig a little deeper into this point your hosts. When and this happens all the time all around the world with with with people that work are advisors that work for a business, as you were you’re employed, and their business has a way, this is the way we do things around here. And the individual then think, well, I that doesn’t quite sit well with what I want to do the thing. The other thing that’s slightly different, how important is it then when you’re now the business and you’re hiring other, you know, planners, that you know, because there’s two sides of this story, right? Because the business wants to make sure that we have consistency in the way we do things. And then the individual might have a different flavor or stuff, how important is to work that stuff out really quickly before you get too far down the track.

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, that’s so that’s really critical. And I think this past year, we’ve we’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what are like, because we because Matt and I had to come together even though there are a lot of similarities, we we did things differently. And something as simple as how we took notes, or how we communicated, you know, post action, you know, post meeting action items. And so we had to bring all of that together in a very uniform way where we felt like it was agreeable. And we’re we’re on the beginning stages of facing that next challenge that you mentioned, where we’re quite close to hiring, what will be a paraplanner. And the beauty of listening to your show is that I’ve recognized that there are a lot like a lot of the terminology and language is is the same. So I’ve heard you guys talk a lot about paraplanners. So I imagine that’s the same thing in the States. And that person, he or she will, eventually most likely, at least in this one instance of who were who were interviewing will want to be an advisor someday as well will want to graduate from that position in that role. And so we’re working that out. So I think that’s that’s part of it is I want to make sure that that person he or she feels that same level of autonomy and control in those conversations that I wanted to feel that Matt wanted to feel. So really important. I think honestly, part of it, though, is just open communication. Like we’re, we’re we’re all figuring this out. And we’re learning along the way too. But yeah, great challenge. And hopefully I have a better answer next time.

 

Fraser Jack 

No, I think I think that’s a really good answer. You know, like, communicate open communication, that conversation that if you are feeling something, and the business policy is we do it this way around here that you should be able to communicate that I think this might be a better way and then for the business to have that flexibility to go Actually, you know what we could we could bring these two together and meet in the middle and then prove both the business and in the working relationship. So yeah, I think that’s really good answer now, that tells you so you’ve gone You know, three and a half odd years ago decided to open this business together, you obviously knew each other you knew, or you know, all the good parts and bad parts about each other and open and honest conversation. Tell us about setting up the business finding a name for the business where the name come from.

 

John Kennedy 

So we had a moment where we all sat around and I say we all it was Matt myself and his wife and my wife and probably I don’t know a glass of wine too many but we were all just kind of shooting around like just firing off names like round robin quick gogogo and we liked the word candor. Just because what that represents, you know, open honest transparent and so we were just trying to come up with the connective word to that because we’re like all candor financial. And doesn’t that’s just sounds maybe like to institutional or something. I don’t know. And so we wanted a connective word with that. Interestingly, we hired a we hired a company to help us come up with what that second so it’s so simple because it’s candor path, yet we couldn’t see it and we had to we had to hire a consultant to kind of help us come up with that name anyway. And I’m glad we did that because it gave us I think validity and feel like we knew by the end of that process, this is definitely the name you know, so can path, financial guidance, your journey. And it’s just meant to represent that that honest and transparent conversations we have with clients on their path to financial freedom. And I think more interestingly, when we were when we were trying to come up with like, how should How should the company be structured? You know, what are the different pros and cons of all these different types of structures out there, we landed on a partnership. And we that that really that came early on from a book, which I’m not sure if you’ve heard of it, it’s called the ensemble approach by Philip palo Aviv. He’s here in the States, I believe out in Seattle or California. And we read that book cover to cover probably six times. And I mean, if you look at if you look at my copy, I mean, the pages are torn out that there’s highlights and notes taken all over the whole books, highlight is like, you can’t even you can’t even understand what I was doing when I was reading it the first six times, but we just kept coming back to we if we’re going to serve clients this way, in this in this team based approach, this is a team based company, it’s a partnership, and it needs to be treated that way. So that was truth be told, that was the easiest decision that I think we had to make was that it was a 5050 partnership. What was interesting, and I was talking to Matt about this today, actually, in preparation for this for this call or for this talk. I said, Did you consult people like did you talk to other people about working with me and having a partnership? He’s like, nope, gut instinct knew it. And I was like, wow, that’s wild. Can I tell you that? I talked to like a bunch of people. And and I said, I felt the same way, like gut instinct, for sure. But I just, you know, I consulted other people that I knew that, you know, we’re under industry aren’t in our industry, what have you. And, and everybody told me not to not to go into a partnership, not they didn’t know him. They knew me. But they said Don’t go Don’t go into a partnership. And I thought, now looking back, I understand why that advice was given, but just not I don’t feel like that sage advice. I’m sure they were trying to protect me and they care about me. But that to me is such a Ah, I don’t know, this scarcity way of looking at it, I suppose. I mean, there’s there’s so much more fun and collaboration and goodness that can come from working together as a team.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, you’re exactly right. And it is very difficult to give somebody advice in that situation, because all he can do is think about, you know, you know, I want to protect you. And I want to let you know that there’s there’s all sorts of things that can go wrong. But you’re absolutely right, there’s a hell of a lot of things that can go right as well. And right and, and coming at it from that collaborative, you know, that obviously, you’d both read the, the ensemble approach, and you wanted that to be, you know, a cornerstone of the business. So that was, you know, I think it’s great. You then you then style this business up, you obviously put some money, you obviously paid some people like you said to you know, to come up with a name, but also come up with some, you know, marketing and lines and things that you wanted to stand for, and of course, created a website. Tell us about that process?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, I mean, it was for me, that was a lot of fun, which if Matt was here, he talked to you about this is one of those elements of like, playing on each other’s strengths. So the marketing and the branding side, that’s not necessarily what he loves doing. He loves being in client meetings, he loves sitting face to face, in difficult conversations, working with clients as they’re facing really challenging times, or great times, or what have you. And not that I don’t like that either. But there’s a component of me that loves marketing branding, if you remember, at the beginning of this I told you I saw in, in college, that’s actually what I started studying before I found personal finance. And so he really let me kind of go into it. And and run with it. And obviously, there’s been there was a lot of input by both of us, but I think creating the website, creating the brand. What’s interesting is all that stuff seems so challenging. And it definitely is don’t get me wrong, but there’s so many resources out there today, that just even like 10 years ago, didn’t exist, whether it’s companies like Fiverr, or, you know, some of those, some of those, what’s the word I’m looking for, like crowdsourcing companies? Are they, you know, yeah, they go and get an independent contractor to do some work for you.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, the gig economy type, you know, people that want a contract. Yeah.

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, yeah. And so we will certainly leverage that whether it was you know, we call it Sonic branding, but like some of our audio branding that we created, we had a good friend creator logo, and so we, you know, we we leveraged our network of people and then we we hired out what we just knew we couldn’t do. So it was a really it was a really fun process. And it’s evolved because you know, when you start you’re afraid, like your one was cheap, our clients, like Don’t, don’t lose a client don’t mess up, don’t lose a client. And so you definitely have this like scarcity perspective, I think at first or at least we did anyway. And so we were afraid to hire we were afraid to spend anything because we you know, and that’s I feel like that’s a normal evolution of a business especially in year one. Like, you are Very, you know, tight guarded with with the finances.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah. Now I’m going to talk about year one. But I’m going to come back to Sonic branding because I want to, I really want to get down to the bottom of what you do and how you do that with Alexa. Let’s talk about year one, starting from scratch, no clients. What did you do? Obviously, you know, you mentioned that the fact that we had to be careful with what you spend, cuz you want to earn, how did you go about? You know, just finding your first few clients and then getting the momentum? Yeah, well, I

 

John Kennedy 

will say the biggest blessing was our clients came with us. So we gave them the option to. And a lot of companies do have some some legal situations that might prohibit them from doing that we did not our clients came with us. And, frankly, I mean, that the statistics aren’t good, they don’t support that. Usually, when you go out and you start your own thing, either you have a non compete, and no one comes with you. Or if clients do come with you, the rate of attrition is pretty high. And we were financially prepared to lose 40 to 50% of our revenue in year one, as a result of this, thank god and this is not a, I’m not saying this to be overly confident. But what I am saying this is is to prove that having conversate honest conversations with clients in their living room in coffee shops via zoom, I mean, we told every single client, here’s what we’re doing, we’re passionate about what we’re doing, we love what we do, and we want to do it with you. And you’ve got there’s like your choice, whatever you end up doing, we’re okay with, you’re never going to upset us. But all of our clients came. And what was fascinating about that, was we started getting more client referrals almost immediately, like within the first six months, and we’re thinking clients are probably concerned about what’s the viability of this. So the these guys gonna be here in a few years. But it was on the contrary, what happened is, and I never realized this, but clients were, were they they felt more connected, because they felt invited into this into this business in this brand with us. And they felt compelled to want to refer and I even had a client once Tell me Well, you know, I didn’t really know what your structure was at your previous company. I thought like you just like they just gave you clients and you were on a salary. And you didn’t really, you know, you weren’t trying to proactively acquire clients. And I was like, No, that wasn’t that wasn’t the case. But now they you know, clients feel more connected to it. And that was a really interesting transition. The man I were just talking about the other day, cuz we’re like, Nah, dude, like that was? I don’t think we would have we could have predicted that at all

 

Fraser Jack 

yet. Exactly. I said, there’s two sides to this. One is they invited in as a foundation client helping this business, you know, they sort of feel the sense of gratitude, whether whether they’re a foundation kind of help this business grow, and they feel like they’re a part of the business. On the other hand, I could say, you’re now offering the same client, a different service or a different product, let’s say because you’re you know, as in your business, there’s, there’s a little bit of retraining, somebody might be used to enlike a certain thing, and then you have to sort of retrain the client, because I think there’s a lot of that all around the world, especially here in Australia, where people are thinking, Well, how do I introduce a values based advice process? to an old? How do I train retrain my, my existing clients?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, I think we faced a little bit of an uphill battle in certain scenarios. I would even say that, at first, it was, you know, Matt, and I were doing everything, right. I mean, we were doing, we were doing the paperwork, we were conducting the meetings, we’re doing all of the action items, all the prep work for it. And as we added some staff, which I know, we’ll get into later, you know, clients were there were a handful of clients that kind of, you know, would call me directly. And, and I think, what was what that was an opportunity, and that could have gone really bad or really good. You know, if I just if the conversation track was no, I’m, I’m not doing that anymore, I’m too busy to do paperwork, that probably doesn’t come out very well to the client that doesn’t feel great, especially for which I love the term you use the foundational client, foundation client, that’s not going to go out come out well, but if you approach it with the language of, hey, listen, you know, in the long run, it’s probably not the best thing that you want, you probably don’t want your advisor wearing every single hat of this company. And so we’ve really tried to make sure there’s certain tasks, repeatable tasks, that I often would mess up, and now we have someone that ensures those things do not get messed up. And so this is now the appropriate channel if we’re going to make a beneficiary change or something. I think that part was was perhaps the most difficult. But otherwise, clients were just very open about the whole thing. And they were excited for us. They were excited for us. And it just it it it moved beyond just this this business relationship where they hired us and pay us for service and we’re the service professional and it really moved beyond that for us and it was so eye opening. I mean Obviously, I don’t want to be too optimistic and encourage people to go out leave their companies and do this. But at the same time, this was transformative for my life anyway. And I think the funny thing is, I’m sorry, if I’m going off on a tangent about this, but I’m outside looking in my daily life didn’t change. Like I was advised, I was an advisor, I was a CFP, I met with clients, I gave them, you know, good financial practices, good, good exercise, good advice, and so on. But I loved what I was doing all of a sudden, like I was doing it for, for our own brand and our own mission. And I was, I don’t know, it was just, it was much more exciting. And I wake up with a fire in my belly now that I didn’t have four years ago. So it’s cool. Oh, fantastic. Fantastic. Now I

 

Fraser Jack 

want to get into I want to get into this, the team and the ensemble approach. But before I do that, I think it’s probably best that we go back a step and talk about the type of advice you’re providing, because it’s very much around the values based understanding the client, you know, setting goals, all these types of things before you get to the products. Last, obviously, tell me about the the actual style of device you’re proposing.

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, and I think that’s a good point. Because most of the time, when I first talk with somebody, they just assume, I think your average person just comes up with a narrative of what a financial advisor is. And part of that is just re educating somebody on like, Well, here’s how we do it. And so it’s a very holistic approach. So we look at, obviously, the, you know, what I say to what I say to prospects, or uncoming clients is, you’re not a good advisor, if you don’t know and can’t do the portfolio and analysis component. But you’re also not a good advisor, if that’s the only thing you do. Because we’re sitting in these meetings and a client, the client comes to me and says, Hey, we’re looking to buy a new home, or we’re going to buy a rental property, and how’s that going to impact our tax return. And, I mean, they’re the scope of conversations. I’ve always said, if it affects your financial life, we’re talking about it with you. And they’re almost almost every decision in your life has a financial implication big or small. So whether that is, you know, estate and legal planning for generations to come are making sure the money flows the way they want to, whether that is having the proper types of insurance in place. We don’t, we don’t necessarily, like sell those policies, but we will at least advise and coach them on what you know which ones they should have and what they should be looking at the retirement plan in the projections, you know, there’s nothing worse than thinking you’re on track for retirement and then finding out you were set to retire early and oops, that that, you know, you know, one bad stress test your one bad stress test away from this thing not working. So it really is a holistic approach. And it’s, I think, what we’ve what we’ve grown comfortable in and are confident in, is when someone comes to us, and they say, hey, I want you to rebalance my 401k. And then I say, you know, I’m excited about what we do. And I’m telling them everything and like, Yeah, it sounds I just want to rebalance my 401k that just ends up not being a good relationship, because they’re looking for one specific thing. And that’s, that’s not what we offer.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. So no, no, it’s not really transactional, that you don’t want to be in the transactional business, you want to be in the relationship business. So very, very much holistic, you do go deep into, you know, those that original conversation, that discovery, let’s just quickly go through your process. If a new client comes in sort of how many meetings is that? What’s the what is the meeting structures look like?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, great question. So we, we typically start with an intro call, or it’s, it’s usually a zoom nowadays. And that’s the beauty of, I mean, obviously, there’s a lot of not great things that have happened in the last year with the pandemic. But what has been normalized is virtual meetings. And everyone seems to know how to log into zoom now, which is kind of great. So you’re not spending the first 10 minutes trying to troubleshoot with someone how to get their video going, it just kind of all works. And so will will usually start with a 15 to 25 minute zoom, and it’s just getting to know each other. And if that meeting feels agreeable. And and that client says or that prospect says, Hey, I think we’re, we want to at least go into the next conversation. The next meeting is what we call a financial life mind mapping session. So it is very detail or goal oriented is the word I would use, you know, we’re focusing on, you know, what are all the different elements of their financial life trying to put that together, you know, just trying to get a better lay of the land and a picture of their situation and what their goals are, and maybe get them to state it in a way that they didn’t necessarily think of it before. And so we try to use some proactive, you know, questions and conversation for that. And then at that point,

 

Fraser Jack 

how long was that meeting? That

 

John Kennedy 

usually 60 to 90 minutes? Yep,

 

Fraser Jack 

yep.

 

John Kennedy 

So we put it we listed for 60. We use calendly. For for scheduling, we listed for 60. I find that that goes over but I also find that listing it for 60 make sure it’s not like a three hour meeting. And I talk a lot so sometimes I have to keep myself in restrictions too. And then assuming that meeting goes well, then we move to usually recommendations and implementation is kind of the next step. And so that that’s the second meeting is really, I think we’re 90% of people decide, yea or nay. And if I’m being quite honest, you know, we do do a lot of social media. And, you know, let’s face it, we don’t, it’s not like, if you look to our, if you went to our Facebook page, you wouldn’t be wowed by 1000s of likes or followers. But what does end up happening is, you know, someone you know, like, and trust refers you to your friend it to the financial planner they work with, they watched some videos, they get a feel for our conversation style, who we are and what we’re about. And I what we’re finding is, by the time we have those meetings, they’ve already sort of made the decision as to whether or not you know, they think they might want to work with us. So it would probably eliminate a lot of people to like, they might not never call because they see a video of me on Facebook, and I call this guy, but I think that that helps us because that, you know, that brings us who we ultimately do want to be talking to.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, exactly. And I want to get into that in a second because we still got to cover the the marketing piece. Sure. Um, but but I want to know, in general, talk about the ensemble approaches. So during that process that you’ve been through, we’ve talked about the you know, the the holistic planning, the zoom chats, the the mind map, the financial life, mind mapping, and then your recommendations. Talk to me about how this ensemble approach now fits in.

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, some of it depends on on the phase of life that the clients in, so let’s pretend they’re perhaps close to retirement, and they’re making decisions on things like here in the states that, you know, it’s Medicare, it’s social security. And so Matt, for example, goes really deep on the topic of social security. And I happen to know how our health insurance and Medicare works, which is really like I would say, fairly unusual for our field. But clients like that, because again, by the time they feel like, Okay, I know I can trust this person, I want to be able to, this person can now have a conversation with me about something that’s feels like it’s out of scope. But again, to us, it’s like, well, it affects your finances, we should be talking about it. So if it’s if it’s tax planning is another really good example, where every client, every engaged client that we work with which we have 163 clients, that we define as engaged ongoing relationships, we do their tax return for almost all of them. And Matt is an enrolled agent here in the United States with the IRS, and he does every single one of their tax returns. And it’s such a great opportunity, because that is not something I really enjoy. That is not something I know. And it’s constantly evolving and changing. And so once a year now, Matt is in a meeting with with these clients talking about their taxes and making sure that everything is in sync from their portfolio to their withholding. And all of that is very much in sync with one another. So there might be a situation where if I’m the lead it lead advisor in that relationship, I might do the majority of the touch points, or maybe have the portfolio and analysis meeting or a 401k checkup, meeting, company retirement plan meeting, but he’s then talking about very specific things. And or if it’s if it’s a client, where he’s the lead advisor, and they’re approaching this Medicare health insurance decision, I come in and have roughly a 30 to 60 minute meeting with them and talk to them about that. We were very interchangeable in that way. And because we know, everything that’s going on with the clients, because we’re very detailed about note taking, Matt was on vacation for two weeks. And it was the first time I think in his career where he was able to truly trust that he could unplug, um, you know, just and that was like our goal was just please don’t don’t check your emails try to unplug. And I could insert myself in those conversations when a client called asking about a situation. So it’s, it’s difficult, because there is a lot of coming together with that. But man, is it worth it just because of the speed at which we feel like we can move like we just genuinely feel like we can service a client better, because we’ve carved out these niches of what we’re good at within financial planning.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, well, that’s incredible. And so you so you obviously both, and you would sit in the meeting or listen to the other person speak and go Yeah, I can I can I now I get the basics of a bad day got there, like really sharp on or this particular person is really sharp on that particular topic. So,

 

John Kennedy 

yeah, and clients, and this goes back to what you said like the foundational clients that took a little bit of work to get them comfortable with someone else coming in. But anybody knew that on boards, like that’s the expectation now, and they they almost prefer it. So it’s, it did take a little bit of time to assimilate clients to that philosophy. Yep. Do you guys see that? Do you see that a lot in Australia? I mean, do you see partnerships, or is it mostly solo advisors? Or how does it how do you see the industry trending?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, the siddalee the certainly of successful partnerships within within the profession here, there is a lot of, obviously solo as well, but certainly with regards to a lot of the size of the businesses in the legislation, the way that sort of businesses have been either need to be small and nimble or larger in more partnerships. So I certainly do the the, the, the ensemble approach or the team advice approach, I haven’t seen too much, actually, to be fair, but I like the the concept. People love tending to bring we you know, we have, you know, what we call centerlink here, which is the Social Security, people tend to bring experts in that may not necessarily be in their employ in their in their business, but bring people in, in those situations. So there’s a lot of referrals to bring lawyers in to do the estate planning, we bring accountants in to have those conversations. So there was a lot of team approaches, but not necessarily within the same business. I, you know, I love what you’ve done. Yeah. Now, I want to get into the concept of professional cost fees, how much you know, how not how much you charge, but you know, you you’ve decided to take a stance and how you charge your fees?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, yeah, so for the most part, it’s, it’s either a direct advisory fee, you know, like a, like a flat annual bill, or it’s an advisory fee as a percentage of the portfolio. So for us, it’s it’s a 1%, a un fee. And that’s, I would say that that seems to be pretty industry standard, here in the States, I don’t, I’ve seen advisors charge more than that. We don’t feel necessarily compelled to do that. Because we feel like there’s enough margin to do good work, if, you know, if you’re managing a, you know, a million dollar portfolio, and that’s, you know, the math of that is pretty easy. $10,000 a year, we can we feel confident that we can do the work that we do, and still, you know, pay our overhead and make money for our families. So like I said, we’ve seen advisors go higher. I’ve yet to see advisors go below that in the States, but you know, you know, fee compression is a real thing. So that that may that may happen eventually.

 

Fraser Jack 

And how do you decide whether you go with 1% of assets under management or the flight free for your post? What do we actually ology?

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah, thanks for asking that. Sometimes we leave it up to the client, especially if they’re, if they’re in these in their accumulation phase of life. So let’s say they’re a business owner, all of their and by the way, it does seem to tend to be more entrepreneurial minded, or business owner type clients, if they’re not retired, it’s either like retirees, or business owners who are in that growth phase of their life, and they’re adding to their business, they’re growing their business. And usually, with a business owner, like their investments is it’s their business, they don’t think about anything else, they don’t think about adding to retirement accounts or saving for the future, because they view their business as that as that asset, an income stream. And, you know, we’ve we know, and we’ve all learned in this industry that doesn’t always last. So you got to be diversified and saving in other areas. But in those situations, we’ll typically charge a flat advisory fee, predominantly, because there’s not necessarily an asset that we can tie our fee to, if it’s all based on the valuation of their company, but we’re helping them do some really intricate tax planning work, we’re helping them set up retirement accounts for their employees, for the company and so on. That’s normally what we would do. But also for retirees, we’ll give them the option, you know, we’ll say, hey, it’s it’s 1% of the portfolio, or that’s about $10,000 a year, if you want to direct pay that that’s totally okay. Most people don’t want to, I think it’s an out of sight, out of mind thing, to be honest, but most people don’t don’t choose that option. If they can pay it via their portfolio.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, yep. Fantastic. Yeah. Now, part of your investing philosophy is around this concept of evidence based investing. Talk to me about that.

 

John Kennedy 

Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, early on in my career. I don’t I don’t know, I don’t know if you’ve seen this at all. But there’s, there’s obviously this ever growing conversation about active versus passive Investment Management. And early on my career, I, you know, I feel like I got hooked into, like, look at what this active manager did and look at what this you know, active, you know, mutual fund did or investment strategy did. And, you know, I don’t mean to make this a divisive conversation, but I fall in the camp of passive investments at this stage of my, my career, because I learned early on, you know, the active thing is only good when it’s good and then eventually it ends up not working or something happens or they’re back testing was was wrong or what insert whatever happened, you know, volatility occurs, and then all of a sudden, active managers having a hard time because they trade out of the market. And then by the time they get back in the market, you know, came back up and they got whipsawed out of trades or what have you. So, we’re very passive in in how we view portfolio To construction, and we we lean towards exchange traded funds. So we put together a massively transparent portfolio where the expense ratios are almost next to nothing. And the client can see and trust that their portfolio is moving up and down based on this, you know, diversified approach that we have. And for us that that’s, that’s an overall explanation of what we feel like evidence based investing means, but we’re investing in things that that have that have proof of a long term track record. And if you believe like I do, that the markets over time go up, not down. And especially here in the States, you know, there’s not really there’s not been a 10 year period of time where the markets have been negative. Even if we have this, you know, we call it the last decade where, you know, 2001 was like the.com crash, and then, you know, at the end of the decade was the 2008 recession. Even in that time, the market was basically flat, but not negative. And so we believe in the markets long term. And that’s, that’s how we’d like to diversify portfolios is with a passive strategy. Yep. Yep. What’s, what’s the sentiment or feeling there? And in Australia?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, I think it depends, depends on the on the on the on the advisor, but there certainly is that scenario around the conversation that says, I’m here as a, and this is what I’m getting from you. I’m here as a planner, or an advisor, my job is to help you control the controllables the things that we can control, controlling, you know, what you do, how you spend your planning with rent, as you just said, with tax planning, or or, or habits or, or strategies for around the things that you get the sense and reps that you can control? And some of the things that we can’t control, obviously markets or, or who’s gonna tweet what in global politics, but, you know, we can’t we can’t help those sorts of things, we can’t help if you know, V long gets involved, or, you know, whatever might happen. So, yeah, no, like you think it very much depends. Some people put themselves as investment specialist, and that’s what they love to do. But you’ve clearly put yourself in the camp of as a holistic values based planner, and your job is to help with the, to help with the client, get through all of the little decisions that they have to make on a day to day basis, and then control the things that they can control.

 

John Kennedy 

Well, I love the way that you phrase that, you know, controlling the things you can, you can control and basically not worrying about the things you can’t control, you know, so we I talk to clients all the time about creating rules around their investment strategy. And that those rules were put to a test in March of last year, when we saw the markets drop more in a three week time span than ever had been before. And I think that I wish Matt was here, because I think he’d have a great a great response to this. But I think in that timeframe, that is, we have a passion for this. But that’s really where we earn our keep as advisors. I mean, we can’t I can’t tell you how many clients we had, we talked to every single client during that three week stretch, and it was about either proactively trading into the portfolio, you know, maybe some portfolios were actually positioned conservatively in preparation for something we didn’t know what it would be. And then we could proactively, you know, make a move to get to their long term allocation that it should have been, or, you know, holding on and trusting that the historical evidence of the market would prove that this is a backslide that will just like all the others will come back. And boy, was that a hard time to believe that I mean, I you know, if you’re if you’re sitting there hearing that you sure better trust that person, because that’s a hard time to test that theory. And yet, here we are now and market levels are at all time highs compared to that, you know, I I certainly didn’t think that that would prove out that quick that the markets would recover that quick, but you know, well said control, you got to focus on what you can control not what you can’t.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep, yep, exactly. Right. Brilliant. Now, we’ve as we move on, I want to go back to the conversation we started earlier. You mentioned the word, your Sonic branding or your audio branding. Yeah, let’s let’s get into this because you’re doing some amazing stuff in this space.

 

John Kennedy 

Thank you. Um, yeah, we’d like it. So we we do like I said, we do a lot of marketing. We’re on social media quite a bit we have an Alexa skill. So for me for you know, other people I know, though, in the morning, you know, it’s Be careful to say too loud because I think it’ll turn on in the background. But you’ll say play my flash briefing or you know, play the Daily News, whatever. And you get to define what those presets are, you know, so depending on what news stations you want to listen to the local news, the weather, sports news, and then you can add candor path 365 which is ours. And so it’s, it’s meant to be like timely market updates financial news, but it’s also meant to be you know, we pepper in like financial discipline and financial like money motivation stuff, too. And it’s a 30 60/92 snippet of Matt or myself talking about could be legislation could be global market news, like I said, could be money motivation tips, sometimes we have our kids on, you know, so we do like we call it fortune cookie Friday, where we have our kids on. And because we’re family business, and we work with families, they, they love that they want to hear from like that personal side to us. And I got to tell you, I remember 10 years ago, not even, we’d go to these, like practice management seminars. And we’d hear, you know, very, like world renowned speakers about marketing come to these financial services seminars and you know, 10 years ago, they’d say something like, wouldn’t it be amazing, if you could, you know, touch your clients with communication twice a month, in between meetings. And I remember that very, very specifically, because I remember that had all to do with email marketing campaigns, you know, about 10 years ago. And I really think as we’ve evolved, now, we’re sitting here in 2021. My thought is, wouldn’t that be amazing if you could literally touch your client every day, and communicate with the client every day, if they opted into it, because if you tried to, like, reach out to your client every day, by day three, they they’d be like, Okay, stop calling me This is annoying. But if they opt into an Alexa skill, where it’s 30 6090 seconds, maybe your family’s involved, maybe you’re talking about important stuff that they care about, suddenly that that matters, or if they’re scrolling through Instagram, or they’re scrolling, scrolling through Twitter, or Facebook, or whatever, and whatever social media medium they like to use. And they passively see a short video of me talking about the election, or me talking about the markets or whatever it It might be enough to captivate their attention might not. But regardless, they’re still hearing from us in a passive way that they opted into because they chose to follow us or subscribe to us in those ways. So I’m really passionate about that. Because I think that most people view marketing as a means of getting a new client or making a new sale. And we don’t view it that way. We view it as like, that’s the ancillary. That’s the secondary benefit of that tertiary benefit of that, really, the primary is to stay connected to our clients, because it’s far more expensive to acquire a new client than it is to keep your existing client. And so we want to stay connected wherever they are, we want to be not into the not an annoying way. But I think that that’s really changed how we did last few years. We’ve had a lot of clients give us that feedback. Like man, you’re everywhere, guys are everywhere. Like I see. He’s like, whatever you’re doing, I had one client, so whatever you’re doing, keep it up. Because I just I feel like I log into like, one thing, I see you there, then I checked my email, I get an email from the guy. He said, You’re everywhere. And, and that’s not by accident, we want to be we want that because we want clients to constantly feel like, connected to us.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. And as the algorithms kick in that the more they consume, the more they get. Now let’s I’m gonna slow this down a little bit. So cuz I’m a big fan of the covers that the idea around I think advisors should be doing something in the space. The newsletter is, is a bit older now. What’s next? After the newsletter, we’re talking I thinking, I love the idea of podcasts. I think, with some planners here in the in the do great podcast, they do them for their clients, and they win other clients because of them. You’re doing this thing we want to slow it down. It’s called the Alexa skill. That’s correct. Yep. So it’s a skill. It’s that’s what I like to call it. It’s known as you know, you know, Alexa, give me the Give me the skill. It is 3060 or 90 seconds snippet of you just a video or sorry, an audio recording. And it’s just you being helpful about something is that correct?

 

John Kennedy 

That’s correct. And the way that I would the way that I’d like to think of it is it’s a it’s almost like a mini podcast. It’s a it’s a mini podcast. It’s a it’s a really short and micro form content that you can share to your audience that listens, and if they subscribe to it, and they live they happen to listen to it through their Alexa. We haven’t yet gotten on other devices like Google I think has Chromecast or maybe it’s like Chromecast, but they have a different one. But we’re only on Alexa right now home. I

 

Fraser Jack 

think you

 

John Kennedy 

google home. Yeah, sorry. And so it’s only on Alexa at the moment. But the other thing is we obviously repurpose our content. So you know that that snippet then turns into like a Facebook story, or an Instagram story or we share that in a different way maybe we maybe I do film it as a video. You only hear the audio when you’re listening to Alexa but you see the video if you were on our LinkedIn page or a Facebook page or what have you. So we do try to change it up quite a bit. We have a podcast as well. But and again, that’s more it’s really not financial driven. It’s it’s truly lifestyle driven. Because I feel like it’s a good way for people to get to know you like you said but the the Alexa snippets pretty cool and I can tell you it’s easy to do. Like it feels intimidating. At first it feels like a lot of work and it is but it’s like anything else you know, once you Start building the muscle. It’s it’s there and it’s easy to do.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. And if anybody uses Alexa, they can jump on Ken the path. ca n d o r, pa th 365. Yep. Yeah,

 

John Kennedy 

yeah, that’s it, if you just search DAX and, and our handles that candor path on most most social media platforms, so they can find us there, too. Excellent. And

 

Fraser Jack 

how do you work with the topics? How do you work out what to say?

 

John Kennedy 

Um, yeah, it kind of just varies. So a great example will be eventually, this podcast will air and we’ll take snippets of this conversation. And, you know, we’ll highlight that because I think that’s really, that’s cool for clients to see that, you know, we’re on dip, we’re on different podcasts and different publications. And so we’ll actually create micro content out of this even and share that to our community, as long as you’re okay with that, of course. And then other times, it’s, it’s, you know, usually market volatility presents, like a whole slew of opportunities of things to talk about, because then all of a sudden, people are paying attention to the market news. So we’ll, we’ll go down that path, or it’ll just be like I said, we’ll have we’ll do a couple months ago as Financial Literacy Month. So the whole month was, and it was a slow month, I don’t remember what month it was, but like it was a slow market news month. So it was it was just all about financial literacy and different topics, like, you know, building your credit score and paying down debt and stuff like that.

 

Fraser Jack 

Yep. Fantastic. I love I love that. I love this micro content concept. I think it’s something that a lot of planners around the world can pick up on. And should be, should they? Yeah,

 

John Kennedy 

I think in our world, there’s, there’s, it’s like, the information is endless. The stuff that we could talk about could go on and on. So it’s fun. Yep.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. Now, what other forms of technology Do you use within the business?

 

John Kennedy 

So we’re very tech heavy, actually. I mean, we use we use zoom for most meetings, we use calendly. For scheduling. We use we’re g suites. I think it’s called Google workspace now, but we it’s Google everything. As far as our as far as how we run our company, our employees, it’s it’s optional to work from the office, or remotely, it’s totally to their discretion. We do have team team meetings, you know, we call it you know, that’s a great call to action just for getting people in the office and and working together and seeing each other. But for the most part, it’s a lot of Google Hangouts. And, you know, we use loom for internal stuff. Have you heard of loom? Yes, yep. Yeah. So I mean, that’s great to be able to share a car, if I’m talking to Matt about something, and I want him to visually see the concept that I’m talking about, I can share that and shoot a video and send it off to him, and he can watch it, when he’s ready to dive into that topic, you know, he might be doing three different things, not ready for me to stop his you know, his flow of whatever he’s working on. And then we use a CRM that this was like, this is we got a lot of weird looks here in the States about this change, but the CRM that everybody seems to use as a company called red tail. And we switched to a company called copper, which is a copper is have you heard of it?

 

Fraser Jack 

No, I haven’t had a cup of tea. Oh, yeah.

 

John Kennedy 

So copper is a, it’s not a financial driven CRM. But I mean, it’s to factor the level of encryptions deeper, and it’s Google integrated. So for us that mattered, that almost mattered more, to make sure that the flow of information could could, you know, flow properly. And we’ve got a very uniform process about how we do certain things. So we do an investment policy statement one, once a year that we update, we we take our client meeting notes in the same exact format every time and we use Google Forms for that. So we’ll fill out, you know, one advisor will fill out a Google Forms to answer all of the meeting notes, what’s their portfolio allocate? Like there’s a set of preset questions. And then there’s, you know, you know, a textbox, for more extensive answers. And then that goes straight into the clients folder in their CRM in our CRM, go straight to them. And it gets emailed to everybody if there’s an action item for that person. So if there’s an action item for, like Sherry on our team, or Megan, on our team, it’ll get emailed directly to them. So we actually rely pretty heavily on on technology. And that was, that was definitely exposed in, you know, with with COVID, when everybody went went home, we really got to put it to the test. So it was it was a fun exercise to see how can we get better at it, and it’s a constant evolution to get better at it. But do you find that is there a limitation? Because there is here in the States? Is there a limitation for different types of technologies and compliance and how you implement certain things?

 

Fraser Jack 

Yeah, there’s, there’s, it’s a very busy space, obviously, with regards to you know, financial services technology. But you know, I think of when I think of a CRM, you know, I think of two aspects of it, you know, one being, you know, a client relationship communication machine, you know, like, as in You know, there’s some great CRMs out there that do just that just communication numbers, just communications is based on, you know, a human relationship. And then we have other, you know, the concept of having a financial CRM that can then calculate and do metrics and those sorts of things. And I think what’s happened here is we often assume they have to be the same CRM or, you know, to work together in one piece. But I think, I think over time, it’ll, you know, maybe end up being too, I don’t know, we’ll see how it goes.

 

John Kennedy 

I think the beauty of a lot of this is there’s, there’s open, there’s becoming a little more open access for like one tech platform to communicate to another, which, at least for us, is making that easier, because we have similar things, you know, we have a financial planning software that we use, platform that we use, as well as some other things. But yeah, I mean, there’s just never a one size fits all solution. Unfortunately,

 

Fraser Jack 

I don’t think it’s necessarily been been, you know, being completely sold yesterday, maybe one day, Now, obviously, three and a half years, and you’ve grown your team substantially talk to us about the growth of your team and where to from here.

 

John Kennedy 

Well, we joke that for the first like, couple years, it was just two knuckleheads, you know, figuring this out and stumbling along. But if I had to try it, if I tried to identify each year with like, a specific thing we were facing, I think you’re one 2018 was keep our clients 2019 was grow the business. And, and like I shared with you earlier, you know, we’re client referrals became a little more abundant and a little easier. 2020 was recognizing, obviously, it was, you know, the market crash and the pandemic there, all those things. But it was also recognizing that we were potentially on the road of what we call experiencing unhealthy growth. Like there’s there’s healthy growth and unhealthy growth. And so we’re also very, we’re family men, we each, my business partner has two boys, I have a son and daughter, and we have the propensity to work a lot. And because we love what we do, we could really lean into that. And you know, I’m recording this with you at 8pm. And I would be so happy to work until midnight, I mean that, but that’s also not healthy. And, and so we had to accept and realize, like, at some point, if it’s just going to be you and I, we’re going to be we’re gonna be capped at in terms of capacity. There’s there’s just only so many hours in a day. And so we really started building the internal, like, we kept saying to ourselves, like our, I guess our mantra was, you know, build internally now for external growth later. And 2020 was the year for that we we read a book by Gino wickman, called traction. And I don’t know if you’ve heard of that. But it’s a it’s just a framework for how you run your company. And you know what, from like, from accountability charts, to weekly check in meetings to the goals that you want to have aligned with everybody in the company. So it’s just a framework for how to run the company, basically. And we really leaned into that. And we you know, now fast forward to today we do level 10 meetings every Monday, they’re called level 10 meetings, but they’re like weekly check ins, we do quarterly rocks meetings to make sure we’re on track for what our goals are, you know, for one, three, and five years and all that type of stuff. What we were what we were really setting ourselves up for was being prepared to hire because again, like in 2018, and 19, you’re skating, it’s your scarcity, it’s like, you know, is are we gonna lose clients is the market gonna drop, it’s a are we gonna be able to hire, and we met our first hire, in October of 2020, our first full time hire, and that was Megan, which the funny story about her is that she was she’s actually her husband, our clients, like I’ve known them for over a decade. And she’s the best hire we ever could have made. I mean, she is the most dependable, trustworthy person we know. And she’s our Director of client relations, but her role is fastly switching to a more of like an operational role as we’re growing. So that’s kind of ever changing and evolving. And then we also hired Sherry, who is also a certified financial planner, but at a phase in her career where she, she really wants she doesn’t want to be in the client facing meetings like Matt and I are, but she likes doing a lot of like the some of the back channel support, whether it’s paperwork, you know, client updates, helping us prepare for a meeting. And so it’s been, we’ve certainly lucked out, I feel like we’re at this moment or two for two with just, you know, great people. And I know at some point, that trend can’t always continue. But it’s been a great journey so far. And the next one, which I kind of alluded to is like that, that paraplanner role where we’ll will groom somebody to become an advisor and do it You know, the way that, you know, we think financial planning should be done, but with the autonomy for them to do it the way they want to, as well. So that’s the that’s the, that’s the balance, we’ll have to strike. But um, and we’re in talks with that position. So it’s just, it’s, it’s, it’s awesome, man. It’s been fun. It’s, it’s been fun. And I think what’s really cool about it is, like, you can sense the excitement, obviously, but like, we love being in client meetings, we love helping clients. But it’s equally as fun, if not more, to then continue to grow this team to feel like we can help clients that much better, like we can do it. Like our processes can be that much tighter, we can do it in a different way. So it’s, it’s been it’s been pretty cool. It’s been fun. Yeah,

 

Fraser Jack 

absolutely. fantastic story to you. By the way, I love the fact that Megan was a was a client? And did you did you would like how did that come about? How did you come about deciding to use it? You identified you needed somebody and then you just thought, well, she’d be the perfect person or?

 

John Kennedy 

So I’m actually really glad you asked because it is it is it kind of funny and cool. At the same time she was she has an event planning company. And we went to her in 2019 to help us with events because we’re, you know, we’re really trying to, you know, we’re just at our events aren’t prospect driven. It’s not like, hey, come out, we’ll buy a steak for you and your best friends. And you know, we’ll pitch products, our events are, you know, come out and go bowling with us go to Top Golf, which is kind of like, you know, I don’t know, if you have a something like topped it off there. But it’s perfect, perfect. So you know, exactly I’m talking about, but our events are like fun. And it’s geared towards like clients and their families and bring their kids out to bring their grandkids out. Like, it’s fun stuff. And she was planning all of those for us. And finally, it just got to a point where like, She’s so good at what she does, and she loved or loves talking with clients and you know, mingling with people at these events and stuff. And so finally, we just came to her. And, and asked her and it was also at a time where we had switched all of our events to virtual events, which I don’t know if you have no any advisors who did that super weird thing. But it’s kind of turned out fun we have, we have a wine expert that comes on and we would do like bourbon tasting or wine tasting. And we’d all join a zoom clients would join a zoom and we’d make it fun and interactive. And she planned all that stuff soup to nuts. And so finally we said we have got to work with her in a more like in a bigger capacity. And we offered her a position and thank god she said yes. And you know, she’s she’s been a great addition. So yeah, that’s actually how it evolved. She was a client was starting her event planning business. I remembered this from meetings and stuff with them and, and so we just kind of went to were on a contract basis for events until it just sort of slowly morphed into what it is. Yeah, that’s

 

Fraser Jack 

an amazing story. Thank you for sharing that. That’s cool. Yeah. Yeah. Well, john, thank you so much for coming and chatting to us. I really appreciate your opening up and being so open and honest about it your whole business, how you grew it your relationships with your staff and the relationship with your business partner. If someone wants to continue this conversation, what’s the best way they can find you or reach out at

 

John Kennedy 

any like our handle like I said at candor path, you can find us on Facebook. I just my email, I mean, truly, truly, I I think like I said at the beginning of this, it’s easy to feel like you’re isolated, alone on this island trying to figure out this industry. And even though somebody that might be listening to this is in Australia, and I’m in I’m in the states in Florida, that doesn’t mean our challenges aren’t similar and what we’re going through is growing a business so I you know, I’m open to talk to anybody I think that’s such an important thing and so my I’ll just get my email address, it’s john j. o h n at Kendra path comm reach out to me, we’d love to talk with anybody. And honestly, like, first of all, thank you for having me on the show. And I you know, kind of like a fan so I feel like I’m talking to a celebrity. But you know, we’ve we’ve been listening for quite some time and Matt and I just you know, will continue to listen, so appreciate all that you

 

Fraser Jack 

  1. Fantastic. Well, I’m sure Mehta be keen to listen to this episode to say what you said about him.

 

John Kennedy 

Fair enough. Yes, yes, Captain RPG. Yeah.

 

Fraser Jack 

Fantastic. All right. Well, thank you so much, john. Really appreciate your time. Thank you. Well, there you have it. Another episode of the Expert Advisor podcast, Fraser Jack here and I’m joined by Emily Blanche. Hey, Emily. Hello.

 

Emily Blanch 

That’s me. favorite time of the week.

 

Fraser Jack 

It is it is a system shout out. So we’re going to share that today. As part of that.

 

Emily Blanch 

Yes, massive shout out to 3x y advisors, Felicity Cooper, Knapp daily, and Ross Moray, who joined our panel in this week’s x y on to digital events. absolutely crushed it. We were talking activation. So over three weeks, we’ve been covering the Pirate Metrics framework for an advisors advice process. So awareness, acquisition, activation, revenue, retention and referrals. And this event was all about activation. So what are you doing to make that first meeting with a new client successful? Amazing discussion, Fraser. I know you were a part of it, as Well, tuning in as an attendee, plenty of great questions coming through the chat and all three panelists were incredibly generous and such open books in sharing their experiences, their business models, their processes, and it just made for a really good dose of collaboration and idea sharing. So huge shout out to those three for jumping on board and delivering the goods

Listen to the podcast on the links below or on your favourite platform

General disclaimer for this podcast and all XY Media podcasts
https://www.xyadviser.com/disclaimer/