Case Study #6: 10-Year Veteran

Background

“I was on track to become a U.S. Marshall. My dad was a fireman and my mom was a nurse, so there was not a lot of money growing up. Then my parents inherited a sum of money, worked with an advisor, and watched their account go down 50 percent six months later. I made the decision that if anyone was going to manage parent’s money, it would be me.

I got some experience in corporate sales first. Then in 2002 I quit my tech sales job, called a wealth management firm and got an interview.

I like that every day is different. You help make decisions with people, make meaningful impact on their lives. I live and work in one of the wealthiest county in the country, so there’s lots of opportunity.”

Goals and Challenges

“I have self-induced ADD. My first five years were very successful. Then I changed firms in 2009 when the markets were down, in the middle of the crash. My business got destroyed. I went to new place where there was not a lot of help; I felt isolated.

I started coaching in early 2011. I read Altius’ book by one of the Principals and said, ‘These guys know what they’re talking about.’ I Googled them, and began coaching. I realized they had mentored some of the industry’s biggest producers. That gave me confidence to commit 100%.

I had no plan. I’m good at bringing in money, but I needed discipline and a road map to move forward with a structured plan.”

Tactics

“We wrote a physical business plan that became the roadmap for my practice over the next few years. It’s a detailed process to acquire new clients; work on client service, business management.

A lot of this business is about throwing lots of things at the wall and seeing what sticks. Altius already knows what sticks, so I can concentrate on those things. That’s where the focus comes from — be good at those very few things that we know work.

My coach took a deep analysis of my practice. I thought I was good at some things, but I really wasn’t. I was taught ways to create the growth I’d always dreamed of.

My coach was adamant about me getting involved in a non-profit board. I have a four-year-old and a seven-month-old — trying to be a husband and father. I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that, so I didn’t. I appreciated him being flexible.

I just do what I’m told; it’s easier to copy genius than continue to build mediocrity. I called clients quarterly; he said monthly. I had to trust him and he was right.”

Performance and Practice Changes

“Last year, my production went up 20.7 percent and my asset growth went up 18.5 percent. This year, my production is up 24.7 percent so far, and my assets are up 10 percent.

I’m more focused, I have a plan in place — it’s all been laid out, so I spend more time doing it versus thinking about it.”

Advice to FAs Considering Coaching

“You need to be open to a lot of constructive criticism. You have to be committed and disciplined; it can be overwhelming.

It’s no different than going on a diet or breaking a bad habit: you’re going for progress, not perfection. Are you going to take advice on how to lose weight from an overweight person? Of course not. Look at Altius’ experience and connections. You have to trust what they tell you.

I’ve dealt with different coaches in the past. One of them didn’t really try to understand my business. I was always uncomfortable taking for recommendations; it was not a good fit. There’s a lot of hokey coaching out there from people who are life coaches, but have never done it. Your credibility is at stake. Results with Altius speak for themselves.”

He keeps me honest and motivated. It’s nice to have the unvarnished truth — whether I want to hear it or not — from someone who can’t hire or fire you. He’s not tied directly to my business, so there’s no conflict. His only vested interest is that I grow my practice, that I’m happy with my practice, and that I’m happy with my life.”

Advice to FAs Considering Coaching

“I’ve already recommended a couple of people who are now his clients. I’m a big believer in Altius.”

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