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Between Now and Success

We interview top financial advisors and visionary voices to bring you the strategies, tips, and tools you need to make a difference in people's lives. So rope up and get "On Belay" as we climb the summit to success with your host and Chief Belayer, Steve Sanduski.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jul 12, 2021

Guests: Patrick Brewer, CFA, CPA is the President & CMO at WealthSource, a full service national independent registered investment advisory firm. Prior to that, he was the founder and CEO of SurePath Wealth Management, a financial advisor practice with seven offices across the country. SurePath was acquired by WealthSource Partners in early 2021. He’s also the founder of Model FA, which supports financial advisors as they grow sustainable businesses, increase their visibility, and change their clients’ lives.

Stephanie Bogan has had a long career in financial consulting, including founding her own consulting firm at the age of 24 and selling it 12 years later in a seven-figure deal to a Fortune 200 company, and a stint at United Capital as SVP of Training and Client Experience. Today she runs Limitless Advisor, which is a program for advisors and founders to create bigger, better futures.

Insight: Financial advisors have never had more marketing tools at their disposal, more options for how their businesses can operate, or more access to prospects who value real human-to-human guidance. Your use of these mechanisms has to be connected to a clear, overriding strategy that will break down trust barriers between you and your niche, demonstrate your value proposition, and help your business grow.

Jul 1, 2021

Jim Crider, CFP® and CEO of Intentional Living FP discusses how his desire to guide people through the personal stress that money can create led him to a career in financial services and, ultimately, founding his own firm.

Jun 22, 2021

In a Nutshell: Technology is going to absorb most of the technical aspects of our work, so we have to become experts at what it means to be human. And advisors who embrace and further develop their "human" side of advising will thrive no matter how technology evolves.

Guest: Clare Ciervo, CFP®, Advisor & Financial Planner at Balanced Rock Investment Advisors.

Jun 16, 2021

Most advisors effectively handle the money question. Few are adept at handling the emotion question.

In this discussion, retirement expert Mitch Anthony and Steve Sanduski, CFP® show how you can become your client’s retirement coach and help them navigate this tricky transition to retirement.

For the full presentation, please register for our free webinar on June 29 at 2:00 ET. 

To register, visit: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bkodSXOASbyT0eTyIBH4wg  

This program has been accepted for one hour of CE credit from the CFP Board and for one CE hour toward the CIMA/CIMC/CPWA designations.

Jun 11, 2021

What do you need to be a successful financial advisor?

An Ivy League degree in finance? A family practice that you can inherit? A group of wealthy connections that you can network? An "in" at one of the major firms?

Well, Rebecca Rothstein doesn't check off any of those boxes, and she's currently managing over $4.5 billion in AUM.

Without even a high school degree, Rebecca left home at age 17. She bounced through a series of odd jobs -- including walking racehorses after they'd finished running -- and by the late 1980s she was slogging through an unfulfilling sales position. She jumped to finance and earned her Series 7 just weeks before Black Monday. Anxious investors looking to take their portfolios in a new direction responded to Rebecca's curiosity and tenacity, two traits that she credits with helping her build her business brick by brick, one phone call at a time.

Today, from her office in Beverly Hills, California, Rebecca's client list includes celebrities, athletes, musicians, and top CEOs and entrepreneurs. Rebecca has appeared numerous times on Barron's List of the top financial advisors, and according to Forbes, is currently the #1 woman advisor in the United States.

In our conversation, Rebecca Rothstein and I discussed how drive and perseverance helped her to overcome the obstacles she faced early in her life and build a multi-billion-dollar AUM business.

(Notes: This is a rebroadcast from October 2018.) 

May 25, 2021

Episode: Joining me for this panel discussion on Bitcoin are:

Meg Bartelt, CFP®, MSFP of Flow Financial Planning
Ronnie Colvin, CFP®, of ColeFP Wealth Management
Adam Blumberg, CFP®  of Interaxis Academy

Insight: Bitcoin can lead you down some very twisty rabbit holes. But as an advisor, learning the basics will allow you to answer the most common questions you’re going to get from clients: What is this? Should I invest in it?

May 10, 2021

In a Nutshell: Top-performing financial advisory firms create an employee value proposition that goes well beyond what you pay them. The firms that are attracting and retaining top talent have developed multi-faceted strategies that address team members' financial desires as well as their innate desire to connect with something bigger that inspires them to do their best work.

Guest: Anand Sekhar, Vice President, Practice Management & Consulting at Fidelity Investments.

Apr 19, 2021

Ready to take your marketing up a notch? Working with a PR firm can really accelerate both your media presence and your potential for growth. But PR isn't something an advisor can just outsource and forget about; you have to be prepared to invest both your time and your money to get the most out of this relationship.

Guest: Jason Lahita and Jimmy Moock of StreetCred Communications, a public relations company specializing in the financial services sector.

Mar 30, 2021

Episode: Recently I was a guest on the Wicked Pissah Podcast, where I talked to hosts Chris Boyd, CFP® and Jeff Tomaneng, CFP® about how my lifelong interest in finance and tech led me to investigate bitcoin's potential as digital money and a store of value. Today's episode is a rebroadcast of that show.

Insight: I believe that our global financial systems are at an inflection point. You don't have to agree with me about the role that Bitcoin might play in this transition. But you do need to have an informed opinion so that you can answer your clients' questions and help them make the best decisions for their future.

Feb 22, 2021

In a Nutshell: If you want to grow your business, you need to build out a systematic, repeatable action plan that will reach your ideal prospects and motivate them to make some positive changes in their lives — including working with you.

Guest: Jeremy Keil is a CFP, CFA, CIMA, and founder of Keil Financial Partners in New Berlin, WI.

My Key Takeaways:

  • Be specific. Jeremy’s firm is laser-focused on helping folks 55 and older transition into retirement. All their branding and messaging revolves around positioning the firm as an expert consultant for soon-to-be retirees.
  • Take advantage of opportunities. When the pandemic hit, Jeremy doubled his marketing budget, which helped him reach more folks facing early retirement and other COVID-19 financial challenges.
  • You can’t make other people change their behavior. But if you improve your interviewing skills and learn how to ask better questions, you can lead folks to realizations that can inspire change.

Also Learn:

  • How Jeremy rebranded his business around his target niche and name recognition.
  • How Jeremy created a repeatable marketing system that adds value before a prospect even picks up the phone and generates quality leads.
  • How Jeremy uses motivational interviewing rather than slick sales techniques to turn prospects into clients.
Jan 25, 2021

Listen to this episode to learn about the change I'm making to Between Now and Success.

The second announcement is the launch of my new podcast. You can subscribe to it here:

https://stevesanduski.com/dma/ 

Jan 11, 2021

In a Nutshell: The next wave of fintech and wealthtech will offer dramatic efficiency upgrades for advisors. Prepare your team to spend less time shuffling papers and more time having meaningful conversations with clients that will create real value.

Guest: Marty Bicknell, Founder and CEO of the $35 billion AUM behemoth Mariner Wealth Advisors.

My Key Takeaways:

  • We need a true advisor desktop platform. Marty believes the independent space still lacks a unified advisor desktop platform and that miss hurts our productivity. But he says it's coming.
  • Embrace change. Before the pandemic, about 25% of Marty's team was using the company's internal technology platform. During the pandemic, usage jumped to almost 100%. Now 85% of Marty's employees believe their productivity is up too. Those kinds of workflow and efficiency upgrades can be permanent if you build buy-in with your own team.
  • Explore your options. From upgrading your existing systems to affiliating yourself with a larger firm like Mariner, advisors need to evaluate the new pathways to growth that are opening in front of them.

Also Learn:

  • What Marty says is the number one problem in finance that tech can help advisor address.
  • Why Marty believes that the consolidation trend in our industry "isn't going anywhere, it's just getting started."
  • What changes Marty's team made because of the pandemic that will continue to be part of their business post-pandemic.
  • How Marty is leveraging the advantages of WFH while also helping his team work through the downsides, such as feelings of isolation.
Jan 1, 2021

Words have power, especially when you pick three of them at the beginning of the year and use them as a guide for the next 12 months.

Life is filled with distractions and it’s so easy to let the “stuff” of life knock us off the path we planned to follow at the beginning of the year. But an exercise I picked up from Chris Brogan called My 3 Words helps me stay on that path regardless of what life throws at me.

The idea is simple. Pick 3 words that motivate you, remind you, and guide you on your road to making 2021 your best year ever. Then write them down in a place where you’ll see them every day.

My 3 words are printed at the top of my Daily Outcomes sheet (my prioritized to-do list) so I see them multiple times a day.

By being thoughtful when you identify your 3 words and then reviewing them on a daily basis, you’ll have a daily reminder of your key focus for the year and this will help you stay on track and on plan.

Dec 21, 2020

Barron’s Advisor is the gold standard when it comes to advisor conferences, rankings, education, and practice management. I’ve had a longstanding relationship with them and am thrilled to announce our new collaboration.

Learn all the details in today’s short episode. And be sure to visit: https://stevesanduski.com/barronspodcast/

Dec 14, 2020

In a Nutshell: Learn the basics and dispel the myths around Bitcoin so that you can provide advice that's in your clients' best interests.

Guest: Adam Blumberg, CFP, co-founder of Interaxis, a company that provides research and education to advisors and companies in the cryptocurrency, digital assets, blockchain, and DeFi space. 

My Key Takeaways:

  1. Money is complicated. Money's been called many things and we discuss some of its key properties and why Bitcoin may just be the ultimate manifestation of "money."
  2. Bitcoin is not going away. It's survived several boom and bust periods and is now hovering near all-time highs. Big players like Fidelity, MassMutual, Paul Tudor Jones, Bill Miller, Stanley Druckenmiller, and many others own and advocate for it.
  3. Bitcoin is not for everyone. Not yet, anyway. But as interest rates stay low, federal deficits rise, and ideas like Modern Monetary Theory gain popularity, there's a subset of your client base that will be looking for alternative investments. Do you want those clients buying volatile crypto on their own or working with you to diversify a reasonable percentage of their portfolio?

Also Learn:

  1. What the difference is between "bitcoin" and "Bitcoin."
  2. Why many bitcoin proponents call it "digital gold."
  3. Why some of the mystery that turns people off Bitcoin -- such as who created it -- is actually a strength that has helped it gain widespread adoption and acceptance as a store of value.
  4. Where advisors are turning to learn more about Bitcoin, even if they ultimately decide to guide their clients elsewhere.
Dec 7, 2020

Paul Tudor Jones did it for hedge fund managers. Michael Saylor and Jack Dorsey did it for publicly traded companies.
 
Now, Marty Bicknell is doing it for RIAs and he discusses it with me on my new podcast.
 
Once called “rat poison squared” by Warren Buffett, bitcoin is now going mainstream. After a tumultuous 12-year existence punctuated by head-spinning bull markets, devasting declines, exchange hacks, and its use in criminal activities, bitcoin has grown into adulthood.
 
Bicknell recently announced that his firm, the $35 billion AUM behemoth Mariner Wealth Advisors, will offer bitcoin to its clients through a separately managed account run by Eaglebrook Advisors.
 
To date, only a small number of intrepid advisors including Morgen Rochard, Jackson Wood, Adam Pokornicky, Tyrone Ross, Adam Blumberg, and Isaiah Douglas have done the pioneering work of understanding bitcoin, figuring out the compliance and operational details of offering it, and presenting it to their clients as part of a thoughtful asset allocation.

Nov 30, 2020

In a Nutshell: As our industry evolves beyond money management, engaging with clients on their money-life issues and formative experiences surrounding money will be one of your most valuable services.

Guest: Dr. Preston Cherry, the Founder and President of Concurrent Financial Planning, a comprehensive financial planning firm serving households and business owners across generations. Dr. Cherry is also an Assistant Professor of Finance & Personal Financial Planning at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay's Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, where he is in the process of building a new personal financial planning program.

My Key Takeaways:

  1. Experience matters. Your clients are bringing a lifetime of positive and negative money experiences into this working relationship. You need to understand where they're coming from to help them get where they want to go.
  2. Bridge generations. Older clients might still be "stuffing money under the mattress." Millennials are curious about the latest bitcoin surge. How are you serving your current client base while broadening your horizons for the next generation?
  3. Share your stories. Opening up about the experiences that shaped your own life and career creates real connections. Those connections can create clients for life.

Also Learn:

  • Why one of Preston's favorite discovery questions is, "Tell me about a money situation that you've had the last six months."
  • How a combination of open dialogue and measurable assessments can keep clients actively engaged with your planning process.
  • How to use connection, communication, and convincing to "nudge" your clients towards better financial decisions.
  • What Preston saved in an envelope to remind him of an important disconnect between his emotions and his money that he was able to overcome.
Nov 16, 2020

Mindy Diamond is the President and CEO of Diamond Consultants in Morristown, NJ. Recently, Mindy invited me to be a guest on her podcast, Mindy Diamond on Independence, and I appreciate her allowing me to share our conversation with you here.

Some of the topics Mindy and I discussed include:

  • Why discipline and focus are two essential traits of a financial advisor, especially an RIA CEO who wants to grow a lasting business.
  • Some of the most common problem areas that the advisors I coach are working through right now.
  • How the best advisors crash through perceived barriers by adjusting their mindsets and matching their dream to their desire.
  • The 5 key areas I believe advisors need to focus on to accelerate their growth.
  • Wisdom from top advisors like Ric Edelman, Joe Duran, Jon Jones, Elliot Weissbluth, and Peter Mallouk that you can adapt to your own business.
  • The ways that the pandemic will continue to affect marketing and messaging as we head into 2021.

Thanks again to Mindy for having me on and for letting me republish this episode.

Nov 2, 2020

In a Nutshell: In this era of "fake news" and deep divisions between people, understanding the context behind dominant narratives can help build bridges, stimulate new ideas, and push us all forward.

Guests: Nathaniel Whittemore, a strategy and communications consultant for leading crypto companies as well as the host of The Breakdown, which is my favorite podcast in the crypto world. Nathaniel was also a principle at the venture capital firm Learn Capital and he was on the founding team of Change.org.

My Key Takeaway: As you try to anticipate some of the narratives that could shape your story in 2021:

  • Think macro. Big ideas like Bitcoin and MMT could have more of an impact on global economics than they do on how we buy and sell things day to day.
  • Explore in good faith. There are thoughtful folks on both sides of every issue who are worth listening to and learning from.
  • Share your diagnoses. When we talk about problems we agree on, we're more likely to arrive at meaningful and inclusive solutions.

Also Learn:

  • Why, as a financial tool, Bitcoin might not be an "either or" but more of an "and."
  • What the broader applications for crypto could mean for developing countries and creative companies.
  • How narratives can create self-fulfilling prophesies that alter our beliefs.
  • Which narratives Nathaniel Whittemore is trying to break right now to expand the range of political and economic possibilities he shares with his audience.
Oct 19, 2020

In a Nutshell: The top 20% of RIAs aren't just the biggest. They're the firms whose best practices lead to sustained growth, high valuation, and an enduring business.

Guests: Lisa Salvi, Vice President, Advisor Services, Charles Schwab and Catharine Aguilar, Chief Marketing Officer, CornerCap Wealth Advisors. 

My Key Takeaway: To prepare your firm to make a big leap in 2021:

  1. Standardize your workflow, write out your plans, and strengthen your value proposition by creating a clear, definitive ideal client profile/persona. These are actionable activities that can lead to growth and low attrition.
  2. Build metrics that allow you to track and manage your progress on top-line growth, customer service, and profitability--and hold your team accountable for meeting them.
  3. Always be recruiting. Billion-dollar firms are always hiring the best people, even if that means poaching from another advisory firm.

Also Learn:

  1. Why Lisa, Catharine, and I are such big believers in the annual planning process.
  2. How hiring a diverse group of top performers from inside and outside of finance can lead to stronger culture and greater innovation.
  3. What kinds of motivation and incentives the next generation of your firm's leadership will respond to.
  4. How embracing authenticity can lead you to more effective social media strategies.
Oct 5, 2020

In a Nutshell: Computers are for number crunching. When it comes to managing people, leaders have to nurture the qualitative if they want to drive quantitative results.

Guest: Walter Booker, the Chief Operating Officer of MarketCounsel, the premier business and regulatory consulting firm focused exclusively on the RIA sector, along with its affiliate, The Hamburger Law Firm.

My Key Takeaway: To take a holistic approach to managing your team:

  1. Focus on the "soft stuff." Teaching your people how to manage portfolios is easy. Helping them grow as people so that they can be more effective advisors is how you create real value for your firm.
  2. Let your people be who they are. Covid-19 and WFH are changing the boundaries between our professional and personal selves. Make sure your employees know you embrace both.
  3. Treat your team the same way you treat your clients. Caring that goes beyond the numbers will trickle down through the rest of your organization and across your whole client base.

Also Learn:

  1. Why "who" your team members are matters more than "what" they are.
  2. How to apply the same process of discovery and values-matching to potential hires that you use with potential clients.
  3. How improving your cultural fluency and embracing diversity can lead you to a talent goldmine.
  4. What Walter Booker learned about teamwork and diversity from working on his own "Island of Misfit Toys."
Sep 28, 2020

Dennis Morton, Jr. CFP,® CHFC® is a Founder and Principal at Morton Brown Family Wealth in Allentown, PA. I've known Dennis for several years and he and his co-founder and business partner, Kathryn Brown, have built a really outstanding firm.

He also hosts one of my favorite podcasts, "Leading with Purpose." Dennis was kind enough to let me share this outstanding episode on developing versatile leadership. Joining Dennis for this conversation about leadership, blind spots, and adaptability are Craig Reynolds, former CEO of Cigars International and current Senior Advisor to Scandinavian Tobacco Group, and his Executive Coach, Eleanor Lawrence of Human Dynamics, LLC and the Center for Creative Leadership.

Sep 21, 2020

Imagine you’ve just given a fantastic presentation to a roomful of executives. You’re pumped because you know all your preparation and rehearsal paid off. And you can tell from the energy in the room that your audience was knocked out too.

Then, as you’re shaking hands, one of the execs “compliments” you by saying they were amazed by your intelligence because given your ethnicity, it had predestined you to a life of mediocrity. That’s exactly what happened to today’s podcast guest, Cecile Munoz!

I was stunned when she shared that story with me. But, in a certain sense, I wasn’t. Anyone who’s been in financial services a couple decades is far too familiar with incidents like that. Too many pockets of our industry were boys’ clubs, and usually, the higher up the ladder you got, the whiter and more male the organization looked.

Thanks to executives like Cecile, that’s finally changing in a meaningful way. On today’s episode, Cecile talks about how her experiences as a Hispanic woman inspired her to create an executive search company that’s helping advisory firms redefine what leadership looks like, especially post-pandemic.

Sep 8, 2020

Is the key to growing your business narrowing your niche?

I know that sounds contradictory. And I know many advisors worry about the “Million-Dollar Prospect” who swipes past your firm because she's a pediatrician and you specialize in orthodontists.

But if you're one of 10 advisors in town that offer the same services, you have a 10% chance of winning a prospect. If your specialization, your marketing, and your values set you apart, then prospects who are drawn to your firm have a binary choice: you versus everyone else. Your 10% chance just skyrocketed to 50%!

My guest today, Samuel Deane, started with a pretty narrow niche: comprehensive planning for millennials working in tech. Then, Samuel zeroed in on a niche within his niche where Deane Financial Partners could establish a real competitive advantage and make a positive impact on communities across the country.

Aug 24, 2020

Due to advances in technology and the rise of centralized systems that limit privacy, the very nature of how we think about money and the government’s role in it is evolving.

The clearest manifestation of this is the rise of cryptocurrencies, of which bitcoin is the most prominent.

In today's conversation, we go back 5,000 years to explore the beginning of money and then trace how the way we think about money and how we distribute money has evolved over time. Along the way, we touch on gold, central banking, Modern Monetary Theory and yes, bitcoin. It’s a wild ride!

My objective in this episode is to give you some historical context that has led to the development of bitcoin and how it is being used today so you can speak more confidently to your clients when they ask about it.

My guest to discuss all this is Michael Casey. Michael is a true pathfinder. He spent over three decades in journalism including 18 years with Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal. He's been in business and academia, and he has a real grasp on the big technological, geopolitical, economic, and social trends that impact businesses, communities and individuals.

Currently, he’s the chief content officer at CoinDesk.

In addition, he's the author of five highly acclaimed books including:

  • "The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything"
  • "The Social Organism: A Radical Understanding of Social Media to Transform Your Business and Life"
  • "The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order"
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