January 20, 2023

AdviceTech Podcast #18 – DASH – Transcript

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Peita Diamantidis
Hello and welcome to the xy advice tech Podcast. I’m Peita Diamandtidas and the guest joining me here today to deep dive into the dash suite of tools was actually a BDM back when caught coin software was a thing you might be too young to remember that but I do is a DJ in his spare time and recently joined us onstage at the excellent advisor all licensed CPD day. Thank you so much for joining me on the show Andrew.

Andrew Whelan
You’ve done some research there you’ve dug up some some embarrassing personal

Peita Diamantidis
You know, it’s gonna make you human. You know, you’re the leader, this massive tech base, we’ve got to make you human. To my point actually just to create a bit more humanity. We’d love to get to know people through their technology use. What’s your most used emoji? Do you even use emojis

Andrew Whelan
are I don’t I am not a huge news. But I when it I do have one that I love whenever I use it, which is like that Italian gesticulation. You know like we’ve got this fingers that someone gives you some good news. And he’s awesome. So that, that I love as an emoji, but the rest? Yeah, the rest get a

Peita Diamantidis
fair, fair. Yeah. So then your smartphone will live on them can’t live without them. If you had to delete everything off the smartphone and just keep three, what apps would you keep you up?

Andrew Whelan
I’m just looking at my phone now. So obviously, we’ve got a boring way sorry. They just don’t care. They’re boring. Like, I’ve got to have the you know, the email, calendar, all that sort of stuff. But the ones that I. So that’s one but the one that I cannot live without, and quite good. So that we’re on a podcast now is I’m a massive podcaster. So my brain doesn’t switch off. And so I actually go to sleep, listening to podcasts. And the more in a better the better. Because if it’s you know, someone’s got a real story to tell it actually, yes, the opposite. But if it’s a boring sort of comedy, like, No, you’re boring, but in a income. Yeah, music podcasts that my brain can rest. And then I go to sleep.

Peita Diamantidis
It’s like that TV show you love that you can go to sleep to that just catches enough of your brain that it turns off. It’s like, yeah, that’s the same.

Andrew Whelan
That’s it. That’s how that’s how I live my life. So my wife is always yelling at me, because I’ve got headphones, no one around the house and she has a repeater. So that’s, that’s probably the big one.

Peita Diamantidis
Fair enough. I love it. Well, then podcasts. I mean, the variety is insane. Like you just ate a topic that you’d like to talk about or hear about. I mean, there’s one I listened to that guy, basically, it’s a movie podcast, but it’s through the lens of you’ve died, and you get to know people through their movies. And that’s how he interviews people like It’s the strangest and most bizarre thing really interesting, because it becomes quite emotional. Say that one, I cried slightly interesting. I’m like, Yes, that’s that’s a bit. All right. So we caught up at the extra advisor or licensee tip, which is a mouthful, and had a conversation that could have probably gone on for weeks. And so before we dive into dash, I guess, I wanted to just chat about, you know, where do we feel we’re at, in advice and in, you know, our progress? And I’m How do you How are you? And I’m happy to give my view? How do you feel about where we’re at versus where you’d like us to be at? You know, how do you

Andrew Whelan
do you know what, it’s, it’s a really, it’s a good question. And I think we’re at a really critical juncture. So I’ve been I’ve done nothing but financial planning in my whole adult life. So for my sins in a previous life, like I’ve gotten got a job at count when I was 18, you know, going to university that was there for five years, like picking up the phones, talking about superannuation, RBLS and all that sort of stuff back in the day. And like what was there when FSR hit an SOA is what they’ll call financial plans, right? Whether the time went from 10 pages, just normal documents to 130 overnight, and then we just haven’t ever looked back and it’s just sort of gotten worse and worse and then the banks came in and then that that did you know has had certainly an impact on innovation and tech and then obviously just the industry in general royal commission. So it kind of when you look back it really for a while, you know what I did get grim and then that where it landed for me really landed for me was when and I’m not going to get this stat right but it’s the AIA did that study into mental health of planners and like I think this is probably on the low sigh But from memory it was something like a 40% of them are in regular contact with a therapist. And that just hit really hit home to how this is the people the people side of All this regulation and the big banks have the reputational damage. Now having said that, like now we’re actually kind of in a now that for SEO is, this is what it feels to me as advisors, placemat for SEO and all this sort of stuff is going through the industry is becoming more professional, it’s more fluid from a tech perspective, the banks are out, and everybody gets the good, you know, the wheat spinning, being separated from the chaff, and the industry is sorting itself out. And I think it’s growing up a lot really quickly. And from that, from from where I am today, sitting on the software tech side, it’s the most exciting time that we’ve been part of, because everyone is a decision maker. It’s like 857 different businesses that can make their own choices and fashion, fashion, their own business, rather than being part of a huge brand. Certainly,

Peita Diamantidis
there’s the feel of democratization of access to take that’s never been there. I mean, it’s, it never was like you’d you’d meet with somebody like well, this Well, why is it like this? Well, that’s because the player that buys 50,000 licenses of this decides out this like, yeah, it was just always, you know, big into town driven. And I get that. So there’s absolutely no judgment in that I get why that was the case. But I think what it meant is to date and along the lines of what we’ve all been responding to, it was reactive innovation, in that we just reacted to what was right in front of us, you know, there was no discovery to the innovation, there was no wonder to the innovation. And that’s what I feel like we just turned like, I feel like we’re getting over that hill where we can start to do a bit of the weird and wacky you know, a bit of the out there. And that’s when you discover something that a client’s gonna love. They’re like, Oh, my goodness, this is the best thing ever. You know, I don’t feel like we’ve really had one of those from a client perspective for quite a while. You know, that magical thing, though. And

Andrew Whelan
that’s right. And I to be honest, I’m I’m just picking up on something, you said that there’s no judgment, I kind of in his top, possibly unpopular opinion. But I feel like there is a room for banks in the space, because not everyone can afford advice. And I always thought it was strange. You go to a Mercedes place, dealer, somebody, someone’s going to sell you a Mercedes, or if you go to a bank, someone’s going to sell you back products, but doesn’t mean all the advice is yes, sketchy. And it’s just affordable. So I think some advice is often better than them. But anyway, it played out how it played out. But to your point, from a tech perspective, that people are making stupid decisions, taking risk manage your decisions, rather than a real swing for the fence, because there was just no, no, and I think, to take to be

Peita Diamantidis
clear, in terms of risk management, when we say that I think a lot of the industry, he’s all well, they were protecting either themselves or their advisors. And the risk management controls aren’t necessarily more protective, often actually, they’re less so because they’re restrictive, or they’re too checkbox, or they’re too. It’s interesting, they have all these construct, but actually, you’re not more compliant, you know.

Andrew Whelan
Exactly. Yeah. And we’ve all that, you know, that’s exactly how I that So, look, it’s been a fascinating journey. It’s been a fascinating journey and grim at times. But uh, yeah, I think we’re, where we sit now is actually a pretty good, pretty good place, pretty exciting sort of place to be to be in and about price. And that’s probably

Peita Diamantidis
a nice entree into dash is because you’ll there’s only a handful of operators lucky that are sort of going for this more marketplace approach, you know, something that say, Hey, you can pick the combo things that you think might suit you, which is certainly not how it was historically. And there’s only a few doing that now. So I’d love to sort of understand for you guys the psychology behind that, like, what was the decision that when this is the way we’re going to approach this?

Andrew Whelan
Yeah, well, there’s a couple of things. So there’s, I’ll get into that. But the first thing that people have got to understand about dashes yet the advice marketplace so we’ve is that and I’ll talk about that’s the piece that facilitates all of the inspirations that you’re referring to. But our big swing for the fence, right? And this is where we’re saying now is the time is we, for the first time or at least since advisor net gain for people who can remember that there was much loved but restricted to map products. Remember to enjoy is that we have built a platform like and when I say two platforms and overused word, right, so I mean like an investment super rap platform that integrates into our financial planning software, and the end which anyone can use. And the reason for that is you think about how big platforms are and how much money they make and how successful they are. And you don’t ever deny or judge people for being successful but income I always feel like they’re very richly rewarded for Hang in there. Right? So, like the advisors go from factfinder to their financial event planning process is so long and involved and then the execution and reporting, while critical, you got to get it right, right. So we’re not we run a platform, we know how hard it is. But it feels like there was a real opportunity for us to if you’ve got a platform to reach deeper into practices and get to know them and use some

Peita Diamantidis
expertise. Yeah, and it’s there is there is a challenge to because we hit this wall all the time. And I imagine this is a lot of where you’re coming from is, you can do everything up to that point, you can be super efficient, you can be running a Formula One, like you can just have a practice that is the slick, it’s the most exciting, the most fantastic, the most effective, and it hits product land. And suddenly, you’re driving your Formula, Formula One car on pothole ridden roads, like it’s just a disaster. And so you can’t run the thing at 200 kilometers an hour. It’s running at 20 kilometers an hour, because the minute it hits that implementation piece, it becomes because it’s in somebody else’s world. That’s understandable. But I agree with you. There’s a frustration to that.

Andrew Whelan
Yeah. And it just feels like one of those things that has always been, but we’d never has it been challenged because I think it was an advisor in the room and said, You know what, let’s keep financial planning, production advice, production separate from execution. And never the two shall meet before, when we’ve rolled this out, this idea of a strategy out the feedback is overwhelming webpage. Because really, the platform should fall back to the to the background. And so anyway, so that’s Dash. Dash is the old welfare, the welfare to platform and raw software coming together. And integrating and blending the worlds of software, advice, your vision, and platform. But to your point, the advice marketplace. So you build software these days. So when I was selling coin, you mentioned that 2003 You were selling against x plan. And yes, Izzy, and Rhea. And anyway, there was a couple of others I’ve talked about, but you had to be the best and everything. Right? So every module, I’ve got it. And so you have to beat the competition at every single module. And then the result is binary, right? Like you either get the deal or you don’t right. But if you think so that’s from a sales perspective, it’s frustrating because you clearly you can’t be the best at everything, at all rooms at all times. But from a it also just from a user perspective, from an advisor perspective, it just means you it’s it’s so scary, because you’re just locked in for seven years, and you can’t. And if the next day you signed that contract, and the next day, some kid really revolutionizes the financial planning wealth was some app that’s got API’s at the back from their bedroom, then you can’t access it, right. So, you know, we’ve taken the sort of the very master Salesforce zero style view of the world where we will manage the integration, right? So we will rather than outsource this to the planners who have to like put in people who are pseudo tech people in to manage all their integrations where we can be the center piece, but you can build a custom ecosystem. So we’ve got like 3030 apps, in our advice marketplace, some of them we’ve built like, we will place bets on what we think we’re uniquely good at. And we’ve got modeling, and we think the best digital advice is always the gold based modeling for all sorts of stuff as CRM, but I don’t want to build commissions, for instance, and it’s not a skill set. So we’ll just plug into three of them. And you can just thought you know, and so I just think that’s the way of the future. But the benefit is, you get access to that. But then you’re you’re outsourcing the management of the integrations to a partner, which is us.

Peita Diamantidis
The other nice thing about that, when we think about it is because you’re not doing the whole Well, I’m knocking down my house and rebuilding this entire thing, then you can renovate a room at a time effectively. So it means you can do this piecemeal, which To be frank, not only is that less frightening, it’s also more manageable. I mean, very few people can shut down a practice for three to six months to get a massive transfer. And, I mean, if you’re going to move everything, that’s probably what you’d need to do. It’s insane. Like it’s really hard to do, whereas if you can piecemeal it from whatever that’s the most driving problem you have first, you know, right through that. That’s exciting too. You know, and more likely to

Andrew Whelan
leak it is yeah, it is. So is that helps I think it’s a win win for everyone a win for us because we can, you know, have have more conversations. Instead of being a product flog with the BDMS love it here because they get to go out and ask the question, you mean it what’s going on in your practice, like what we’re worth, how can we help, you know, and then we can if we can, if it’s an asset valves that we can plug in to make your life better, that’s great. But if we just if it’s someone else’s, that’s equally good too.

Peita Diamantidis
And I think and there’s some other things, you fold it in there that I think might go through, you know, sort of people might miss things like, I think you call it harder. Now, it used to be called something else where, you know, if there’s something you use, that’s like an Excel calculator, or groovy thing that even maybe is internally used, it doesn’t need to be necessarily just with the public, then you guys can turn that into sort of a really powerful online tool, you know, you can convert something that’s just excel. There’s some real magic in that, you know, if there’s a particular experience you’ve got with your client, and you use this one thing to demonstrate that, you know, whatever the calculation is, yeah, then just turn it into a little web tool, like, wow,

Andrew Whelan
yeah, yeah, no. Right. So we’ve actually got a global patent patent on that. And so yeah, you could basically take us if you’ve got a spreadsheet that a paraplanner and your business, always use it. So yeah, loves or whatever, he’s someone who uses it, you can take all the risk out, and we can turn it into an app like a cloud based app, and turn it around in like, six weeks. So it’s really it’s really, there’s really cloud, we build a lot of our internal applications on highlighter as well, because it’s just so fast, and easy to use, but it’s really cool piece of kit that Yeah, we don’t speak about a lot, because not not a lot of planners are interested, but it is. It’s so

Peita Diamantidis
yeah, and it’s it’s one of those things that when I think about where you know, the value settled, or the gold in most practices, it’ll be something repetitively difficult. So that’s a challenge. And that could be that they’ve always got to, you know, enter data a certain way, or they do it incorrectly, or somebody else does it for them, or whatever it might be to discover something like that tool. Okay, there’s some weaknesses with Excel, we can’t quite get it to do what we needed to do or protect it the way we need to protect it, turn it into an online tool, and suddenly, it takes away that challenge. Yeah, you know, this,

Andrew Whelan
and that key man risk as well. So it’s like this is the one nightmare is this, that we help a lot of people with those, someone’s built a spreadsheet, and then someone’s left, and no one knows how to update? Using? How do I update? Sanderling? Exactly. Yeah, it’s a really, and that’s, and that’s ultimately sort of the dash, if we take a step back and stash story that if we get if we, you know, as we can sort of roll out, its we only merged in April this year. So the two businesses create dash. But we just have all this kit so that if you’ve got a problem, you can just wait, if we get this, right, we’ve got it advisors got a problem. And I just I was just reading dash first because they have it, they have everything, or they’ve got a partnership with, you know, with someone with with, you know, with a partner that can fill the gap for us. So that’s ultimately the world we’re trying to create is this utility tech.

Peita Diamantidis
And I’m betting then, from your team that go out and then talk to people. That means they probably got a more consultative approach, because it’s more about helping the client discover, you know, or the advisor, discover what they need. And then, hey, this is what you could potentially do to solve it, as opposed to here we have a widget, let us jam it into your practice.

Andrew Whelan
Yeah, it is. And I’ve have, I’ve been on that side of the fence before where you’re talking to someone, and you just get this feeling that they’re just waiting, waiting for their moment to launch into the product spiel. So they’re very, that we have the opportunity, and we take it all the time to be really consultative to the point and we presented this at the X Y, at the XY day is that we’ve actually came up with a framework of how like it’s a little piece of IP right? This we call it an innovation implementation framework or the I O, where we have seen 1000s Like I said, 1000s of practices implement Yeah, software. And to your point before, some of them will take three months, six months, and then hate it. And then the big, big buyer’s remorse and then never admit stay, because they did not do that. Again, it was to implement it. Yeah, I’m not going to do it again. Right. So they get stuck to something that they hated so much this feeling of sunk cost. But anyway, what we’ve seen people do that, you know, we call that done badly. And then we’ll look at the other people who just seemed to take it like a duck to water and they just get the most out of it immediately. And so we’ve analyzed, what is the secret to that, you know, like what, what is why? Why is one struggling so badly and implement the same tech over here and they just nailing it. So what what is the difference? And what we’ve come up with is really interesting is that in software, what we software in particular, what we get asked for is can you do modeling, from trusts and SMSFs and like all the new All the complexity and I kind of get it kind of, it feels more like, are we really in financial planning? Are we software? Do we know it’s more of a do we really know what we’re talking about? But it is the wrong thing. But then if we win that if we if we get through that we’ll win the deal. But really what people should be asking is where rather than sort of the hard stuff is, sorry, the the complex stuff for new clients, and perhaps you only do 20 grand a year, what do you do three, maintenance run? And then yeah, most advice businesses that have you wouldn’t know this, right? Like you’re you’re in the review, game, and mature, you’re in the review game, and the ftsh, and all of that sort of stuff. So really, if you can knock off half an hour of something you do 400 times a year, that is such a big win. And then you get the big complex family trust, even if you have to do that in Excel, even if we did nothing else. But we hoped that that would be the huge win for the practice. So I think when people like the hate what they’ve got currently, but they they approach a business like ours is that they they sort of get a little bit lost in the demo. And all this is what but what were they should really be coming to us with, or and we should be teasing this out as well. Our sales guys should be teasing is that where are your problems? And how can we help and use the advice marketplace to put in the best product, whether it’s ours or someone else for that? And don’t leave that implementation? Right until you’ve achieved? See the win and move on to the next you see the win?

Peita Diamantidis
And I would, I would argue for most advice, practices. I really am generalizing here, but I think it’s a fair generalization is if you just sort of asked us or Hey, gee, what’s the biggest frustration, every one of the biggest frustrations will be an advisor frustration, the challenges. What they won’t be listing is the support team frustrations, which will be 40 times as long. And generally, if you can knock those off, you’ve recovered half or even a full person. Like it’s the to me the support like and it trickles on elsewhere. So if your support team member can get back a couple of hours a day, then they can do more for the advisor. You know, like it, it’s just all trickle through. Whereas we have this focus are pointing in focus of what we do. And it’s to me there’s far more volume of activity that goes repetitive volume of activity that goes on in the rest of the team. And that is where some Yeah, right. Gold is, you know, really about Yeah,

Andrew Whelan
100% 100%. And that’s pretty much what the framework that we came up with really realize what we analyze that is that if you nail the unsexy stuff first, then, you know, so often it’s people with, you know, problems with reviews and our platform, which is way more easier to implement a platform than it is a CRM, right, but everyone starts at the CRM. But if our platform can solve, like, as it has the coolest review, automated review thing, right route for functionality where you do bulk pings out the reviews, the client signs it on DocuSign, and the system waits for it to come back, and then places it in the market without anyone having to watch sure maintain, right? So that takes all this time away from this stuff that you mentioned, right. And so then you can work if you almost work back to front and you say, get that humming, then worth by the time you get to automating or putting this cool goals based modeling software. Like the way Archer said, it’s awesome for the front of house, and paraplanning. But it’s really cool that you can model in front of a client, but if you don’t, by the time, like if you if you nail your sales process, or you’re going to do is put more pressure downstream on the poor people who are implementing the software will implode. Right. And that’s, that’s ultimately the insight that we glean from, from this review is that there’s a way to there’s a way to do Yeah, and we think we’ve sort of cracked it.

Peita Diamantidis
And the interesting thing that I find which we’ve had happen is once we created that bandwidth at the back end then the advisors became a bit more willing as well to go Alright, well why don’t they do some setup of the first step so even with your modeling tools, so without Okay, let them get some first steps that they can just be trained to enter and do and you know, the for this type of client put that in and then it gets handed to the adviser to do the next step or the paraplanner you know, so these the advisors go, oh, well, that person has capacity. Okay, well, I can show them how we do this step and then you know, the expert just comes in for the second step. Whereas when they look at them, and all they’re doing is near the paperwork and submissions and all that sort of stuff, and they’re never gonna hand over that stuff. You know, they’re gonna be fearful and it won’t get done. So

Andrew Whelan
then you stuck on the same house to nothing gets improved. Exactly. So yeah, so that’s, that’s what we’ve that’s what we’ve gleaned. But it just circle right back to where we started the really cool part. and that makes us a little bit different is we can solve it with our assets, or we can solve it with someone else’s. And we are equally happy to do that. In fact, we’ve got to one of the strangest things of my business, it still spins me out is that we get we paid by about 300 planners to integrate the astute wheel with XSplit. So, and this, they use nothing, none of our tech, there’s like two whole dealer group that pays us a small fee for off, but we just handle that that data handoff between the two. So

Peita Diamantidis
which is an interesting thought, I think that’s worthwhile for the listener is that this is there’s some glue, or Gil that you guys can provide. That’s that connector, that and once you think that way, then you’re probably more open to the other tools you have as well. It’s like oh, okay, wait a minute. Yeah, yeah, yeah, 100% can get a bit easier. And I know for having having checked things out that the other thing is because of the way either you guys have heard, either negotiated or dealt with, say something like explain, then somebody could just get that one module they need or love, you know, maybe there’s one thing they love about Explan, they just want that one thing, then they can do that via you know, raw with you guys where they, where they probably struggle, if they’re going direct, because there’s certain things you need to add on.

Andrew Whelan
And it has certainly I, I understand this, but because I ran a power planning business for seven years, back in the day, and that just through the GFC, which is Oh, Julie, not the best we got through it. But the the key component of that, and I think you’ve alluded this already is because we’ve got the glue, you can sort of deploy piece by piece and nail it right. Which means for what it also means is that the compliance person allows the x plan CRM, you can stay on that, and then use everything else that we’ve got. So that’s fine. And likewise, if the parent, there’s a singular power planner, that just loves X tools I’ve been using for 25 years, they haven’t seen no benefit in changing, that’s cool, too, right? Like we can build around that. And then still deploy, deploy, you know, more apt to facilitate,

Peita Diamantidis
and it’s a really important change management approach is probably something we don’t really cover much in our industry is change management. But if you can ease the fear of the paraplanner and saying that’s alright, you stay where you are, we’re going to do these other things. But you know, what, in 12 months, once you get used to the other things, we’ll run a pasture again, let’s see what you think, you know, and people’s, the more they need to experience new tools, the more they do get comfortable with that. That’s just a fact. We actually had she’s just recently retired, but we had a wonderful support team member who, when we, when she first joined us, she was like, oh my goodness, pity a copy serious. Like she’s overnight with you know, even using your mobile phone was a bit, you know, originally a challenge, whereas by the end of it, she was the one I’d first get to look at it, she got so used to Alright, so it’s okay, if I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s okay. If I just try it out. It’s okay, if we give it a world. And I’d send it to her to break it in. Go hard. Yeah. Tell me what doesn’t work. Tell me because we would design our training based on her experience, because she would be the but they said to right click on the cross, but it’s not a cross. It’s actually a down arrow or that you know, all that stuff. Yeah. Which is for change management is really, really important. For sure. Yeah. 100%.

Andrew Whelan
And what are we in right to be able to turn someone that’s of an age? Yeah, and this is this is where people get stuck. And we hear it all the time where advisors like I badly want to change but the just the headspace that is that required to do they know they want to they know they need to but it just the fear of leaping off and can keep them stuck. Yeah,

Peita Diamantidis
absolutely. And I think that’s where Yeah, it is it is down to picking, you know, your first adventure. I mean, one of the things that you might be interesting, depending on the type of clients they have, I know with dynamic docks that you guys have, which is interesting to have, you know, this avatar, talking somebody through their advice, as they’re going to sort of, you know, choose your own adventure style almost, to hold their hand. You know, this is an interesting concept, particularly, you know, what’s appealing of that, to me is I can be that avatar too. So it doesn’t need to be a cold distant thing. I could record a whole lot of stuff that you guys could use in there, that would just make them feel comfortable as they’re going through it. You know, like, right.

Andrew Whelan
And also what dawns on me is it can give you business, some leverage, like the planning businesses, if you’re delivering all the advice, one to one, you growth just hits a natural ceiling. You know, that’s not that approach is not as scalable as a model way. If you were pinning out a digital SOA, and the client can read it in their own time. I’m thinking specifically around reviews, because we’re in this review game. And then because it’s software like it’s any SOA dynamic Docs is didn’t take any SOA and just turn it into a web browser. So it’s software. So you just click your way through. But because it’s software or the graph smooth, it can time how long the client is on each section. It’s got an inbuilt chat. All this sort of stuff,

Peita Diamantidis
things that you want us to cover them or, or acknowledge, like, really

Andrew Whelan
all that stuff. All that is what is really the point. That’s hard and stuff, Hard and Soft gates, we call right. And what that does is gives you a compliance tool. So if you go to, if you ever get in trouble and get hauled before, you know, fix isn’t, I think it’s called something else now, but

Peita Diamantidis
just your compliance, the internal

Andrew Whelan
audit compliance, yeah, there’s a client or client compliance. And so I’d never understood this and like, well, you spent five minutes on that section, and you acknowledged your way through right there, you understood it, so that you don’t get that with a Word doc, now, he’s got these compliance tools that are really slick, but to your point, the avatar, what you can basically just record yourself on your phone and then go up to YouTube or Vimeo, and then you’re in a box down the bottom. And you can explain or be delivering 180,000 180 pieces of advice all at once, all at the same time. So this is this is a scale, it’s all of a sudden, it’s a real scale go. And I’ve

Peita Diamantidis
it because it’s not scale is something we talk about, but I don’t think people only he Robo when the heat scale, and scale is anything that is more people than you can currently see, in my view. It’s just amplification. That’s all it is, how do we get to more, and one of the things that really appealed about what you’re describing is, is, you know, your advisor, you sent out a great review, it’s fantastic. It could be written, you know, in the most easy to understand why. But there’s just one thing that they’ve got a question about, if you design that journey with the avatar, well, you’re preemptively handling a question. And what’s interesting about that is it’s not just your own time you’re saving, it’s the client’s time that you’re respecting. Right, because you instantly answered the question that they otherwise didn’t know, they would have had. You know,

Andrew Whelan
exactly, yeah. It’s, it’s really clever. And I think it’s something that we, we see some of the better practices, the bigger practices, and I’m really like their eyes light on, because they can see that they can see that this is a way to grow more and deliver, deliver advice more cheaply, you know, so that, you know, which is which all advisors won’t have to help it. Yeah. So. But the cost has been so prohibitive that, you know, we’ve as an industry, we’ve had to shed clients, which is just a real like that, you know, he’s, you know, these people need help, but we just can’t see our way clear to do it. So this is a real opportunity you’d like the advisors, when they see this, they go, they immediately feel a bit weird. Like go to camera. So that takes a bit of getting used, oh, my god, maybe we just outsource it, or we get someone to do it. But But yeah, it’s a real, it’s a real opportunity to add scale. And your definition is the perfect one.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, it’s, and I think, you know, that’s where it’s finding to me talking to you guys is about finding the most impactful first entry point, you know, and for some practices, they might be about to go well, either I hire a number of extra, like, we’re at that tipping point where we might need to hire another advisor, which is hard right now. Like, it is hard to hire advisors, there’s Liz and Liz, there was a bit lucky and Steve at the moment, or could you get some bandwidth by doing something like this? Like, could you do something such that your current advisors can actually see, you know, more people, or at least the current ones in a more easy and less jammed in process? Yeah. Because, you know, I’ve been back on the tools this year. And what I’ve realized is, you know, it’s yes, the advice process and or the analysis or the dot preparation, that’s all of that can have some work, but also, it’s the client calls in and doesn’t get you so you call them back and they don’t get, you know, you don’t get them and then like, Oh, my goodness, like the wasted time, you know, on both sides. So anything that can preemptively you know, make that experience feels smoother. Feels like we know them because we design that avatar, so well the things that it covers the things it talks about, just when and we do know them that will we know when we say 400 times a review, you know, we know we’re ready with this grip, trot badass play. Oh, my goodness, I mean, current markets right, the last 12 months, I must have said what’s been going on 100 No more than 200 times. Well, why wouldn’t we have that? You know, it’s just something that that can be said

Andrew Whelan
once Yeah, just say it once and embedded. Yeah, that’s exactly it and then we have something I must take it out. But I read somewhere in a classically forgot about what the source is, but this sort of thing is really prominent in the States. Yep. So this is where we acquire voice For an unfair way behind instead of sort of the tech, you know, like the the advice marketplace style thing is really prominent over there, but also this willingness to embrace, to make yourself bionic. Right. So it’s still you, but it’s you in a box, you know, times 180. And they did a study that, because they rolled it out that when people were doing recordings as themselves, that the clients still felt like it was the adviser talking to, to to them, because they have a personal relationship, because underpinning all yes, they can call them. And so it actually had no effect or a positive effect on renewal rates. So that people think that’s a concern as well, as advisors, like, clients. They’re used to this, you know, so if I implement this, how’s the change management again? Yeah, gonna go into, gonna roll out? And it’s, yeah, if you take the lead from the States, as the clients

Peita Diamantidis
love it, because our brain does process videos then being in front of us, we might not right, our brain does. So yeah, yeah.

So yeah, and then there’s probably an untapped sort of connection point, you know, we’re not using that well enough. Because that has real value, even if it is one to one as in, you’re doing it just for that client. Having the recording, as opposed to just doing it over a phone or a meeting means I can go back, you know, and they can revisit it, and they can, you know, so there’s real it’s real,

Andrew Whelan
it’s tool. And yeah, and then just a really Labor’s apart the point on the advice marketplace, if you are wedded, let’s just suggest you’re wedded to explain, you can still drop this in, right, this is the world we live in. Now, you can just drop, you can use everyone else’s tick. And then we can draw just the just the dynamic dock bit over what your existing thing is. So if the listener is lit up by this, but they don’t want to move, you don’t want to move you don’t you can just make your life better tomorrow, right? Just by dropping that in.

Peita Diamantidis
And a bit exciting. I love these things where everybody gets a bit like it. There’s a morale builder about some of the stuff in the team. Yeah, just everybody’s energy. What about, you know, what part of the full suite? Do you think just brings the client closer? I mean, actually, dynamic Docs is probably one of them. But they’re really other parts where you find it can really bring that connection a bit closer to the advisor.

Andrew Whelan
Yeah, so really, I think about I think about the two areas really, so the modeling, I feel like is a wasted opportunity. And one of the places where we’ve invested is just sold more or less and as an as an old paraplanner. It’s the forecast obviously, the projection is so is often the most thing that people look at. Yeah, right. Planners tell me that all the time. But it’s that it Yes, and is just word. And if there’s anything wrong, you’ve got to go back and mark it up, and then go back and reproduce it and it takes another Yeah, five hours. So we’ve developed this thing called an archer this module called Archer, which is goals based, you drag down the strategy, and it does the math for you. So we’re living in a world where like x plan, and midwinter and all of a lot of the incumbent sort of providers do that you still I’ve had to use them as a coin back in the day when I was using the like, was the what I thought was the best that modeling trusts and stuff. But I still had to optimize, right, I still had to figure out how much to put in how much to take out to meet the expenses. But in 2022, we can do better, right? We can do the next four years. So we know the rules. And we get that don’t change that regularly. So there’s no, I don’t feel like there’s any excuse for well, there’s no need to continue to be the optimizer use your brand. So we can run the math. But because it’s gold based, you can show it in the in as software in the media as well, and then Tinker right, so tinker on the fly. So if you’re a planning tool, yeah, what do you want it? And that’s what I think brings clients in that engages them because it’s their life, right? Yes. Like I was, I was one of my favorite rats to go on. But I hate benchmarks. Right. I hate them because I don’t think any person and we run a platform and we do reporting versus benchmark right. And I get that’s useful. And but I don’t believe and this is more my opinion than dashes have been put this in its place, but I just don’t believe that people walk down the street worried about the performance of their portfolio versus a bunch of rocks, right? Like they don’t go well. I lost 10% But the ASX 200 lost that as we’d like. So I’m pretty happy. And likewise on the upside, but we all people really care and it seems to become more pronounced since COVID is they just want to be able to live the life that they want. And if you can funnel everything through goals, a it’s a lot less scary when markets go down. And so that be it It changes the conversation completely is the feedback that we get. It’s all about the client. It’s not about us, and our investment philosophy and this that and it’s all important,

Peita Diamantidis
and actions they can take, which is a barrier.

Andrew Whelan
In actions. Yes. So what if I did this? So I think that’s critical. And then what I would what I were building, and if I can get this done, I’ll leave the industry a happy man is to close that loop on the portal. So rather than have, you know, the markets been incredibly volatile with markets, where days where it’s dropped 2% In the morning, but if Pete someone has a portal, and they look, if this stayed here, my goal has dropped from 89% to 87%. You know, and long term goals, that lens has that effect. It’s much more common. Yes. So I think if you’ve you’ve got your front of house, it’s a good goals based solution. And then you’ve got your, the client has that at home as well. And that becomes the language in which yes, we speak to clients that I think that that in addition to the dynamic docs, digital SOA, it’s just, it’s a different world. Yeah, it’s a really different it’s a different language. And I think the client engagement just goes through the roof.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, it does. I completely agree. And so have you guys got? And I apologize for not knowing this before I’m asking the question. But if you’ve already got a portal in terms of, you know, transferring documents or anything like that, as part of the suite, yeah,

Andrew Whelan
yeah, we do. So we have one off course, we’ve got the platform, right, so that we’ve even got a native app on Android and an iPhone. So but what what we what we will be doing as part of this, the merged entity, and as part of this integration effort, is we want the portal to be have data feeds, obviously, live API stuff from our platform, but then anything else in there plus all of the bank account debt, real estate, you know, the whole thing, and then get the whole client in the whole client view, but then layer over the goal. And then that’s, that’s the client portal that I want to live with. Rather than having multiple, you can just say, well, with with the lens,

Peita Diamantidis
yeah. It’s what? Yeah, it’s what they want. Because they think about their money in a holistic, like, you know, one picture Central, they don’t think about it as Oh, my bank money’s there. And my student like, they don’t think that way. Why so? Yeah, exactly. It’s just the money properly. Yeah. Okay, so is there any little hidden ninja things that people you just think people probably don’t take advantage. So the users you have don’t quite take advantage enough of yet that you think I don’t really need to check that out.

Andrew Whelan
i Where, where we’re seeing the best results. And this is gonna come off completely self serving, but there’s one advisor, who we just, we just love here, right. And he he just lives, lives a great life as a soccer coach at night at a high level. And he’s just one of those advisors that seems to have time, right, right time for time for their clients. He’s really flustered. So I’ve taken him out to lunch a few times. And what he’s actually done is he’s moved all his assets onto our platform. So he’s got one platform, he runs managed account run. So he under and he’s got an MBA, so he does that. But then he took advantage of the advice marketplace. So he got that sort of refer back to that advice. So he got that. So his back office is too poor to start. So he’s got what one adviser to stuff. And then he’s got it all humming there. And then he’s then added on Archer for the front of house and, and he’s just trying dynamic dogs, right. So piece by piece. This is over the course of, of two years, right. So it’s been a slow burn, but he’s one adviser managing 125 mil across 250 clients. Right. So that, for me is a success story from a tech perspective, and just shows the value of having everything in one place where and even though he’s using other apps through the advice marketplace, or he does doesn’t key in the same data twice. Right. And the amount of times when we ask the question is how many times you rekeying data, like it can get up to seven if like if you’ve got if you include platforms, in templates, you know, in CRM into different off to insurance providers in quotes. It’s, it’s crazy. Yeah. And so I think rather than sort of any one feature, it’s the framework, you know, like in thinking about your business holistically and committing to, I’ve just got to put it in all my stuff in one place rather than having you know six platforms. And then a different texture, I think that’s, that’s the real ninja. And I think

Peita Diamantidis
it’s a great example because the other thing I’d say is somebody that advisors will often ask are picking out or should be doing about this. And should I start is I think we do need to cut ourselves some slack here like this stuff is change, and it is disrupting and absorbs time. So just start, just start. And like you say, Pick an effective point, start with that, give yourself time to embed it, give yourself time to have the the rollout and the lessons and see the value, and then go again, but it is different,

Andrew Whelan
but it is a different message. So this is our challenge, right? Is that not advisors are expected to, we shouldn’t expect them to understand this innately. Because when we were selling software to them for the last 20 years, it was like all or nothing. So this is a chance that you can solve a problem one piece at a piece minute, you know, and you don’t have to. So that’s our challenge here at dash is to is to really work with people within this framework. And only I think you say, only automate or get their processes, right and be aware of where the process falls down. We need to engage support staff, make sure we understand their business before we implement. And then you know, like it’s, it’s, it’s a whole different. That’s a whole different approach. Yes.

Peita Diamantidis
And I think if you’re a business owner to if, if you can’t enunciate the 47 steps that that support person goes through to do their thing. You don’t have processes yet. Because anybody should be able to describe it if it remained like they should be a place where they go, Oh, yep. Okay, those are the things they do. Now they can be better at it, they can be really comfortable with it and, and effective and know this stuff really well. But you should be able to describe it. Whereas I think because we are so advisor focused, then we can do that for the advisor, but probably not for the rest of the team, you know, and we need to be able to do just to run a business, you need to be able to do that you need to understand the experience of each of your team members, for sure.

Andrew Whelan
Well, and the last point on that is, it’s just worth it’s worth doing before approaching any tech provider. Because of the reasons we’ve we’ve covered but also processes, they’ll surprise you like they’re a moving piece. You know, like you think you knew it two years ago? And then you got that? Yeah, things have changed. And so it’s worth it’s worth recap before engaging with us or with

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, definitely. One of the things before we wrap up, I am curious about you sort of talked about where you guys specifically and some next things on the horizon? Is there any unicorns, things a bit further out that you’d love to see happen? Or you’d love to, to, you know, be a part of down the track? Is there anything really? You know, it’d be wonderful if,

Andrew Whelan
oh, that’s a really good question. I would love it would be wonderful, there will be a time and place where every piece of tech in the market. And this is very tech shop orientated. Where every piece of tech in the market has the ability to plug in like Lego. Right? So not only do they have the tech, like they’ve built post 2010 Yeah, like which, which was totally right. So this is, this is a surprising conversation to be having. Yeah, we’re still we’re like the market out the financial planning market is dominated by software that’s more than 20 years, right. And so it’s 68% of the platforms of money is still on platforms, and they’ve been around since the early 2000s. So if you have tech like that, your options are limited. But then if you go to the States, and so much new tech has been built all the time, and they are being built with the view to, to integrate, and to integrate nice play nicely. So there’s a willingness and a philosophy there and then there’s the, the actual tech chops to do. So then you advisors can in that world, they can be build a tech stack, that’s completely custom. But with none of the none of the the drawbacks of having to forego data. Yeah, you know, integrity and privacy and all that sort of stuff can all be so you get all the all the good stuff without any of the nasties where data just goes missing, you know, so that would be that’d be a hell of a place to live.

Peita Diamantidis
It would be and it’s something that I mean, I’m with you there because it’s frustrated me when you when you go in into entrepreneur world, right. So you’re outside of advice and you’re in, you know, coaches or, or trainers or podcasters or any of the other world then any new app in that world must integrate. Like people won’t use it if it doesn’t, like they just won’t. That’s right. Good to know. Yeah, sorry.

Andrew Whelan
Nadine. Yeah, no, sorry. What’s the point of view?

Peita Diamantidis
And so you know, I’m with you. I’d love to be at that point. because it also there will be loads and loads of composite combos of two things that will have more impact than the sum of their parts. You know, like it’ll, the people will combine two things, you’re like, Oh, my goodness, that is magic, you know, and, and because tech providers, even like yourselves will be willing to do that, then those comments, there’ll be more and more of those magical combos, you know, there’ll be more and more because you’re being open about it. You’re being yes, we want to collaborate. Yes, we want to integrate, you know, it’s less defensive and protective. Which Yeah, I think that’ll be really exciting. You know, and then it’s down to the individuals creativity. Really?

Andrew Whelan
Yeah. Gain. Yes. You know, your imagination. Yeah.

Peita Diamantidis
Exactly. Awesome. Is there anything we’ve missed? Probably. But is there anything, particularly if it’s

Andrew Whelan
not really, I just really enjoyed the chat. Thank you. I’ve been, it’s been fun. And I think we’ve got, we’ve covered a lot, we had a shorter period of

Peita Diamantidis
time. Exactly. I mean, we could have the sixth episode. But I think that’s a bit rough. That’s a lot to expect for people. All right, advice, explorers. If you’d like to find out more about, you know, the dash suite of tools, then the website link is in the episode show notes, along with Andrews LinkedIn details, so he’ll you know, poke him on LinkedIn, and then he will point you in the right direction of a member of the team that can look after you, I’m sure. Thank you for joining us, Andrew, really great. You know, to see advisors and advice, practices, just having options, you know, to feel a bit more freedom. And so, you know, I’m really excited to see the future permutations of how you guys can sort of bring different tech together to support their client experience. So are you a current user of Dash, or have Archer or have dynamic Docs. So while I do any of the any of the tools we were talking about, you know, maybe you agree or disagree with our discussion of all of those tools, please share insights on the XY community platform. In fact, I referred to the platform to make sure I drew out some of the things you guys have been discussing. You know, it’s great when we share these things, and really give an experience and insight to, you know, other practices and other advisors that are looking at these tools. So please, I’d encourage you to go and do that. And as for my thoughts from that, I think, you know, there’s sort of two key things, I’d say, one, the magic, and having implemented a lot of tech in our business over the years, the magic of having this suite of opportunities to choose from is you can just solve your most immediate problem first, you know, maybe you want to upgrade your CRM, or maybe you want more out of a modeling tool, or maybe document generation is just driving you nuts, whatever it is, it’s that one thing that you feel will have the most impact for you, but also for your team, right? No matter what it is, you can just engage on that front first, you know, then over time, you can just gradually pick your next challenge, and compare what tools are available in something like say, the dash sort of marketplace or their suite of tools against what you’re currently using. And just keep on on this compare game, right? And then all right, what what are the what am I going to plug in and change? Alright, so it lets you do this piecemeal. It doesn’t need to be an all or nothing exercise. And, you know, aside from ensuring you get the right tool for the job, which isn’t easy and require some energy, what this means is, you aren’t trying to implement a complete end to end solution in one hit. Right? We’ve probably all as consumers experience when a provider does this, you know, when maybe a tech a sorry, a telecoms provider does or, or even when a platform does, you know, they upgrade you take and then it just all hell breaks loose, right? It’s just invariably does. This is when we do this on this full end to end replacement. It’s just a surefire way to make you age prematurely. Honestly, it is hard and it is torturous, you know, piecemeal at a time, we’ll let you and your team absorb and adjust to the new technology, and really ensure that you embed the value, you embed the improvement before you take the next step. You know, the other part, I’d say that I’d reiterate, and Andrew sort of enunciated this as well, is take the time to deeply understand every process in your practice. Every experience a client goes through, what’s the process when they come into the office? What’s the process, right? Understandable, those just document them all, even if it’s boxes and arrows because that combat conversation you’ll have with your team to do that can just highlight these disastrous, repetitive manual difficult, complicated, torturous things. I remember one session I ended up doing with a practice where the single most frustrating thing for the team as a whole but primarily the admin team was the scanner they used was so slow, one of the team was standing up at the scanner for about half their day. Right now these things once resolved, which was just upgrade to a decent scanner, which isn’t a huge outlay unlocked hours and hours a day, your head so it doesn’t need to be the sexy front end advisor. And now as the oil wonderful things, it can be this back end stuff that can really transform not just the practice, but their morale of the team. Let’s all have happy staff, you know, let’s let’s fix those things that frustrate them. Now, as you know, only one skill we need to become bionic advisors. That’s ever curiosity. And I’m hoping we’re a little ways into this process. Here are a few episodes in so hopefully you’re starting to build that curiosity muscle. But to help you build a habit, today’s curiosity corner app that caught my eye is air Graham. Now you can find it at Air gram.io. This is interesting. This, you know, their tagline says focus on your meetings, not your notes. And basically, it’s for internal and client meetings, virtual ones, ideally, you know, video ones, and it automates joining recording and note taking with some sort of clever AI. Right. So for me, what’s interesting about this is, you could be having a video meeting, it could be in zoom, it could be in Google meet, it could be in teams, they’re indifferent to that. And you turn on air Graham to record it and transcribe the discussion in real time. So it’s doing that in front of you. But also you can set an agenda that then you can step through, and you could make separate notes as you go. Right, you can then download the recording to save against your clients file. But I just like this dynamic transcription, you can interact on it amended as you go. Basically, you can be focusing on the conversation, while the recording, record keeping thing happens aside. Now it’s really important when you’re using tools like this to run it past compliance. So I’d encourage you to do that. But you can test it for free and get five recordings to just give it a try. So, you know, you may even find that it’s useful for team meetings to have notes taken as you go have an agenda, get some structure. So I’d encourage you to check it out. And let me know if you like it or not either way. Welp, that’s all we’ve got for this week, be sure to subscribe to the podcast. So you’ll get your advice tech fix automagically sent to you each Friday. And I just want to take a moment to welcome you back from the interview break. I hope you and your loved ones had a safe and really relaxing time together. And you’re ready to leap into 2023 as only advice explorers can. Now with that in mind, Jenny pace and I have a couple of spots available for our niche down and scale up workshop in February. This is sort of about narrowing down who you focus on and who you’re going to be really trying to attract in 2023 for your new business, and then tailoring your systems and processes to optimize their experience and make life easier for you while you’re at it. So the first session in February is in Sydney however, we’ve actually had loads of interest all over the countryside. So if you are keen, then please reach out on LinkedIn forward slash Peita M D that’s P e i t A MD as all we need is about sort of 10 people in original area and we’ll absolutely run the workshop there too. Otherwise all look forward to turning up in your earbuds next week. And remember, advice explores Stay curious

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