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Maximizing Your Retirement Income with Mark Hoffman

The investment advisory industry focuses on asset accumulation and allocation as primary drivers of investor outcomes, leaving out opportunities to enhance returns. Taxes are the biggest expense that investors incur throughout their lives, more than everything else combined.

In this episode, Jack talks with Mark Hoffman, CEO, Chairman, and Founder at LifeYield. Mark and his longtime business partner, Paul Samuelson, founded LifeYield to facilitate tax-smart, risk-smart household portfolio management solutions. Mark has over 25 years of experience as an executive at public organizations, including State Street, Fiserv, and Colonial Management. He is also the founder of three financial technology firms: LifeYield, Upstream Technologies, and Lattice Trading.

Mark talks with Jack about the lessons learned over the past 14 years of building comprehensive advice platforms, the importance of tax-smart implementation in financial planning, and how LifeYield simplifies portfolio management while maximizing returns.

What Mark has to say

“At LifeYield, we see financial planning as finally becoming the central pillar supporting how advisors engage with their clients.”

– Mark Hoffman, CEO, Chairman, & Founder, LifeYield

Read the full transcript

Jack Sharry: Everyone, thanks for joining us on this edition of WealthTech on Deck as I speak with industry executives, and read the industry media each day, it seems everyone is talking about and going about building platforms. I call them comprehensive advice platforms. Ryan Neal, the tech editor for investment news recently called them comprehensive wealth management platforms. Clearly the future is about not only connecting and integrating various tech capabilities, products and advice. But the key that so many are working on is how to coordinate all these capabilities. It’s kind of important here, this is something that we talk a good bit about at LifeYield. And with our clients, it’s critical to coordinate data and planning and proposals and ongoing wealth management, like multi-cap, portfolio management, transitions and rebalancing. And of course, the most challenging of them all is income generation, and trading across the multiple accounts and income sources typically found in a household. This week, we’re speaking with Mark Hoffman, Mark is one of the LifeYield founders and the chairman and CEO. We’re going to talk about lessons learned over the past 14 years and building these comprehensive advice platforms. Mark and our team have done more in terms of building these platforms and anyone else the industry by far. So Mark, welcome back to wealth tech on deck. It’s great to have you on board.

Mark Hoffman: Thank you, Jack. It’s nice to be here.

Jack Sharry: So Mark, let’s start with you talking about a little history of how LifeYield got started. It’s kind of a fascinating story about you. And Paul Samuelson and Michael Benedek cooked up this crazy idea of generating tax alpha across a household portfolio. So talk about that, if you would.

Mark Hoffman: Sure. Sure. Well, over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of notable individuals. And you mentioned two of them. But starting with my partner, Paul, who I’ve worked with for a long time, starting at Colonial funds, we had a small team, and a digital equipment computer. And we built investment systems that managed 14 equity mutual funds, so a very small budget. And that is kind of where we got the interest in automating investment processes, wealth management processes. We later built a firm called upstream technologies. That was one of the original and Premier unified managed account platforms in the industry. And it’s scaled tax smart asset management over many 1000s, hundreds of 1000s of individual accounts, you asked about, you know, start of LifeYield and Paul’s father, as you know, have the same name. What received a Nobel Prize in economics and console multiple US presidents, and LifeYield. humble beginnings were started really with a conversation between Paul and his father, about how to best coordinate accumulated investment accounts and other income streams like Social Security, and annuities to create a retirement paycheck. In the first simulations that Paul built to analyze the details of the conversation he had with his dad, he found the taxes would be the biggest expense for people in retirement. So we harnessed a team that built a solution to that problem that became LifeYield. And indeed, validating independent analysis by Ernst and Young, on behalf of our first client showed that Paul’s algorithms can save up to 33% more income and bequest for people during accumulation and retirement.

Jack Sharry: Yeah, I love that story of talking to Paul is like Pelago virus, of course. So Paul’s a guy my age and had his kids at my age to their friends. And Paul would be on the soccer field, much like I did back then you did as well, Mark, I know. It’s occasionally Paul Sr, would be there as well. And of course, hanging out with a Nobel Laureate, you do attract people that want to understand how to invest better. And I know that Paul and Paul, we get a lot of questions about how to invest in their advice is pretty simple, which was invest in long term, invest in equities, avoid taxes at all costs, and keep your costs low. It was a pretty simple, straightforward, I don’t know if you want to expand on that. But they were pretty straightforward. And that ultimately became LifeYield mantra, right?

Mark Hoffman: Well, they, you know, in Paul’s father’s book that he wrote, several of the key chapters were focused on getting everyone who was reading it to understand that it’s really hard to go from, you know, those folks that really are just working hard and they wake up in their lifestyle and, you know, to get from, you know, into the middle class, in terms of earnings and whatnot is really, really hard. And then they go beyond that, and it’s next to impossible. And so his father and Paul have always been concerned with making that easier for more people to do. And that was really the nexus of what got their interest in. As you know, our Paul, when he has the conversations with his father has to go and write his software and get really into finding out the details to really prove out the theory, which he’s very, very good at. And that’s exactly what started LifeYield Because we felt we really have something here. And I know that we’ve been doing this for 14 years. But you know, the premise hasn’t gone away, the need is only grown, particularly in these challenging conditions that we have right now in the markets.

Jack Sharry: Yeah. And we’ll get into that some more, because taxes really are. They’ve always been, in my mind, the only thing you can really control and also, frankly, the hardest to control just because of the complexity. We’ll get into some of that detail. But one other story that I I’ve always enjoyed is that Paul’s dad was obviously very well known, I think was five different presidents over time. And he also was a close confidant of both Warren Buffett and Jack Bogle, and a lot of Vanguards ideas, didn’t they come from Paul Samuelson, Sr.?

Mark Hoffman: He certainly influenced them a lot. Yes. And he also was a close friend of John Templeton as well.

Jack Sharry: Yeah, yeah. So he was just the go to guy at the time about how to grow money. And so that really is the backstory around LifeYield is, then how do you apply software, which is where Paul really has stepped up to help in the developing of the software along with a whole big team behind him that makes it into actual scalable software. So I know Mark, you and our team spend a lot of time every single day on looking at these issues and taxes. In particular, of course, there’s lots of other factors that come in as cost, and there’s risk and there’s other issues that need to be considered. So why don’t you bring up our audience up to date on some of the key lessons learned over time, I know, we’ve done a lot of work around the importance of financial planning and the role that plays the importance of the dynamics between different account types, IRAs versus taxable accounts, and Roth’s and all the rest, wanting to talk a little about some of the key lessons that to the team have learned over time and are applying in the software and in the advice we provide firms their clients.

Mark Hoffman: Sure, well, while the algorithms and the math can be complex, I’d say the lessons learned to use a slang metaphor, are not rocket surgery. And what I mean by that is that what we’ve really learned is that you need to be extremely collaborative, with your clients, and your prospects. consultative, it’s very important. We’ve learned that firms develop a strategy that can have phase milestones of accomplishment, which can be executed often over more than one year. Because this, there’s as much organizational and people challenges to address when doing this. And everyone, as you’ve always said, when you show somebody you know, which would you like, you know, paying 50%, or 60% of, you know, what you saved in taxes? Or would you like to pay, you know, half of that? Well, everybody’s gonna say, I’d rather pay just the half of it. But how do you get there. And so if there’s a lesson learned, it’s that you have to work with the large firms, you have to start in a place that is helpful to them. And what I mean by that is, many of the firms we work with, are trying to answer one or two simple questions that their clients are asking them. And an example would be, how much Social Security can I get? When should I take it? Or another one would be how can I cut my investment taxes in half? So both of those questions are answered in proposal systems that LifeYield has built, or has helped its client firms build as a first milestone of accomplishment. And we have over 100,000 advisors using these proposals with clients today, and have helped them identify hundreds of 1000s of dollars and benefit. So lessons learned, while things are complex under the covers, you have to really work hard. And I would say it’s just as hard as the math, maybe harder to make it easy to understand and digestible for both clients and the advisors in their firms.

Jack Sharry: Totally. So one of the things that’s interesting Mark about this whole notion of the comprehensive advice platform, that’s something we call when we first got started, but the idea is connecting, integrating coordinating all these different elements. And I know something you’ve done, or Paul has done a lot of research on, is the importance of financial planning, and the importance of implementation. I think everyone agrees financial planning is really important. But as we’ve often noted, we work with a lot of the big financial planning firms. Planning without implementation is just planning. It’s just a map. It’s not driving to where you’re gone. And we’ve done a lot of work, especially over recent times. Working closely with a variety of financial planning tools to make things happen to improve outcome off of the plants in its place where data is brought together, it’s a place where decisions get made. It’s up to you to refer to over time, talk a little bit about the research that you’ve done, and the importance of planning on its own, but also the importance of tax smart implementation.

Mark Hoffman: Sure. So for many years, LifeYield has worked to decompose the complexity of our algorithms into advice that’s easy to understand and implement. And that advice really was at a single point in time, which in turn allowed advisors to show their clients how to keep more of what they’ve earned. But as well as the value of having that relationship with the advisor, the advisor has reason to exist, if you will. So that work, I think, has been quite successful. And it’s now coming in full circle, where our client firms have asked to see the results of a multi-year analysis, if you will, of using the LifeYield algorithms, inclusive of all the tactics and optimizations that we could perform. And we call the resulting benefit, tax alpha. And there are five main factors that benefit clients from accumulation all the way to getting that maximum retirement paycheck. And those five factors of tax alpha are the one that everybody knows best is tax loss harvesting, the most commonly understood when in the industry. And that’s rebalancing for the purpose of taking losses to offset gains that produce those gains taxes. And then the second factor of tax alpha would be lon- term gain deferral. So that is deferring the long-term capital gains by holding on and managing around the asset that has that gain through time. And that’s a little more complex than tax loss harvesting. And then the third factor, and we would argue it might be the most important factor of tax alpha is what’s called asset location. And that’s placing the most tax efficient assets, such as low turnover equities in brokerage accounts, and tax inefficient assets, such as high yield fixed income or high turnover alternatives in the qualified or Roth accounts. And then the fourth factor related to asset location a bit is what we call equivalent assets. And the best example of an equivalent asset would be satisfying the bond exposure that you may want in your asset allocation or your risk profile by putting municipal bonds in your taxable account. And that allows you then to have a quit, you know, equities or higher turnover assets and you’re qualified or Roth accounts where they can grow more. And the fifth and final factor of tax alpha is Roth conversion. And that’s fairly complex, because it really is a multi-year problem, where you want to take potentially voluntary IRA withdrawals when you have retired or you’re stopped earning income. But before you’re taking Social Security, or have a required minimum distribution that come out of your IRAs, and that can add a lot of benefit to some folks in retirement. So those are key initiatives that we’re working on now going from a single period point in time, advice and implementation action to being able to tell the whole story, mixing in the use of all those factors, and how it can really benefit the clients.

Jack Sharry: And if I cut out, let me just break that down. For those that may not be familiar, essentially, what Mark is doing is, like you mentioned a moment ago is breaking down the algorithm, the component parts that all contribute to what we call tax alpha. And they also have a dynamic quality because they impact one another. As an example, if you do asset location, you may not have to do as much in the way of tax loss harvesting. So they all have a dynamic quality. And there are many more beyond that. But what we do is we look at all those different aspects elements to be considered. And then we make recommendations that maintain the asset allocation, and then seek to get the tax advantages as we go. So that’s all the tax Alpha piece. And maybe if you would mark, then how that plays out. A lot of that what I just described is on the accumulation or ongoing management of the portfolio before you do a withdrawal. But maybe if you talk about some of the dynamics when you do an ad hoc withdrawal, or a systematic, ongoing, optimal sequence of withdrawal we call retirement income sourcing, maybe talk about where each fits because it transitions over time as the client’s needs and as the kinds of needs change.

Mark Hoffman: Yes, well, so try to make this as simple as I can And to explain so in working with the clients that we have, and really talking to a lot of their advisors interviewing a number of different advisors with different points of view, depending on what firm they’re at, it became very apparent to us that the firms want consistency. And they know that there’s going to be ad hoc requests, there’s going to be an ad hoc withdrawal, somebody needs some money. They’re not near retirement, but they need some money, other people in retirement, They Thought They filled their cash bucket up for the year, but they need more, they want the same algorithms in the same process to be used for the ad hoc, as they do anything that’s planned and goes through the annual review and can be systematized the adviser still wants to have consistency with the client. And that’s been one of the benefits of using the LifeYield algorithms, we’re able to, you know, do that ad hoc or single point in time, you know, advice. But with this new multi-period capability that we have, and when I say new this has been operating and working for over a year now, it’s really taking the same algorithms are using it pointing time, but sort of playing it as a movie. And maybe it can be played multiple times, and you can change some of the characteristics of how you want the ending to be, you know, do I want to leave a big bequest do I want to spend more, you know, what might I want to do, depending on the market conditions that might occur. But the algorithm and how it works, is going to be consistent. And the benefits of that are, the client has then confidence that the advisor knows what they’re doing, knows how to do something complex, like get them X amount of cash every year. But also, when they make that phone call that says, oh, geez, my daughter’s getting married, or my granddaughter is going to college, they can, you know, do that ad hoc, you know, action, whether that’s a withdrawal or something else rebalancing the portfolio, and it will be consistent with what they’ve agreed upon, you know, in the plan with the client.

Jack Sharry: So Mark, we’ve always felt that we’ve always known because we’ve analyzed this study that, that a lot of research on this, that taxes are the single biggest expense that investors incur over the course of their, over their lifetime, really more than all the rest combined. So taxes are important, never more so then when markets go south, which is what we’ve been experiencing late and all of a sudden, everyone is more concerned than ever about taxes, as they probably should have been all along. But even more so now that they don’t have that lever called trees growing to the sky. So I know we’re doing a lot of work around where the world’s going, we’ve always felt that taxes were important or important will always be important. What are some of the things you see out over the next three to five years? Where’s LifeYield? Putting its attention in terms of what’s happening and I know taxes will play an important role in that regard.

Mark Hoffman: Yes, exactly. Well, so I think you’re at LifeYield, we see financial planning is finally and I emphasize finally becoming the central pillar, supporting how advisors engage and communicate with their clients. But financial planning has not been tax aware, as you point out, and without tax awareness, financial planning has not provided implementable advice. We believe that comprehensive wealth management over the next three to five years, we’ll have financial planning fully integrated with tax Alpha strategies so that it can become fully implementable. And so as an example, LifeYield is in fact integrated with several financial planning systems. Some of them were client proprietary financial planning systems. But we’ve also integrated with a leading financial planning vendor and money guide Pro. And we can make money guide pro plans implementable via EMA, SMA, brokerage, and retirement trading systems. And LifeYield is also working closely with our partner, Orion. It’s tax Alpha strategies. So that’s exactly where we really see the market going in the next three to five years. No longer are the advisors going to be selling products and talking about performance, they’re going to be doing plans and giving advice, sound advice, their firms are fully supportive of that. But that advice has to be something that can be done an account has to change, money has to come from somewhere, risk has to be taken into account in the form of an asset allocation that is monitored and you know, change through time. And that can be accomplished by financial planning, implementing, you know, tax alpha, all the way to, you know, execution of that plan.

Jack Sharry: And there’s another aspect that we’ve talked a little bit about, but maybe get into a little bit more. You And when you are looking at these tax Alpha strategies, which is sort of our calling card, we do all of the different ways that you might consider taxes and really need to consider taxes, if your objective is to improve outcome, of course, what other objective is there. So you would address taxes do you necessarily have to wind up dealing with risk because that makes adjustments as markets change. And as the asset allocation may be adjusted, whether that is on purpose or by accident, whether it’s market or it’s driven by the investor, but always has to be looked at. So risk and tax are kind of two sides of the same coin. And another thing we haven’t talked so much about, but you mentioned I think earlier, is that so security needs to be factored in, especially when you get toward retirement income. So as you’re thinking through this process of the plan, and all the data that flows through it, you said it earlier, it captures all the data’s it helps make decision making from there sets the asset allocation, we also find ourselves by the way, integrating with within through other risk tools like Latin, or what have you. But all this starts to come together in a proposal as to what you might do, and you got to monitor over time. And then when it comes time to dry income, you got to factor all this stuff. And all this complexity, we got to keep it simple. So maybe talk a little bit about that, as you see the future because I have to agree with you is that planning is going to be at the front end, it’s gonna get you started, get you in the right direction. But ultimately, you got to trade stuff, you got to make something happen, you got to buy and sell and make adjustments. And while the complexity might be there, under the hood, we also got to make it simple for the adviser and the investor to do the right thing.

Mark Hoffman: Exactly. So the best example that I can give you, because it’s something that happens every single day. And going back to our ad hoc requests, the industry practice today, which isn’t talked about unless it has to be that one of the things that we help solve is if a client needs to raise money for let’s say, they need to buy a new home, so they need to raise some cash. So they go and do that. But meanwhile, when you’ve tried to go raise a couple $100,000, to help put a down payment on a new house, you want to minimize the taxes and doing that. Well what does that mean? That means you’ve pretty much knocked, you know, the risk characteristics of your whole portfolio on its ear, you know, you have an asset allocation for all your different accounts that your financial plan, or your risk management system has helped define, and then you need to go change the balances a lot. Well, you go get that cash to satisfy a real world need. And now everything is really out of balance. So what has to happen? Well, it has to be rebalanced back in line with the risk. And that may, you know cause as much pain in taxes as you avoided by doing a tax efficient withdrawal as best you could. One of the things that LifeYield algorithms help with, because we can do both of those things together at once we can go and get you and raise that cash, like minimizing, you know, changing your risk at all. And so it’s spinning multiple plates at the same time. And the result is a much simpler result for the advisor and their client a much more palatable result for the client. Because it’s done all at once in one without sounding too geeky atomic transaction, it’s all or none together to minimize the risk to minimize the taxes to produce the result. So that you don’t have to get out of balance to get your cash and a week later, have to rebalance everything and sell stuff that you didn’t want to sell that they’re going to harm you in terms of taxes anyway.

Jack Sharry: Yeah. And if I could add insult to injury in terms of the complexity of what you’re describing, again, we’ve really designed it. So the user experience is far less complex than what I’m about to share. But while you want to consider on the accumulation side, you want to consider tax loss harvesting, you want to consider asset location, you want to do all that, right. And then ongoing portfolio management, as you say, we make a one time withdrawal whether it’s for a wedding or a house or whatever it might be you got to factor that all in. We also have the wherewithal and working with some companies on the annuity front, where we can consider what might you sell to buy an annuity, let’s say an AI ova and investment on the variable annuity, how to buy that, and what you might have to sell to make that purchase and do some other tax efficient basis because this is all driven by that. And then when you consider that you may want to defer your Social Security benefits because the government gives you incentive to do so we’d say percent a year from 62 to 70. If you want to defer that you got to consider how am I going to make that income I need to 1862 and 70. We help with that. And then along the way, just in case it wasn’t complicated enough. Then when it comes to Roth conversion, how do you do that? And then how do you consider RMDs? I think it’s fair to say we do a lot of that stuff. We try to make it as simple as we can. In fact we do. But the point of all that is how do you maximize outcome How do you improve outcome through all those different factors and everybody’s different. So you got to do it in a very personalized, I know there’s a buzzword out there about hyper personalization. This is kind of the poster child for hyper personalization about making it just right for that particular family. But I want to comment on how we do that the complexity of it, but also how we try to make it simple so that the right thing is done coming about that.

Mark Hoffman: I don’t understand hyper-personalization.

Jack Sharry: Exactly, but what people are saying is that it’s exactly for Mark and Jeanne Hoffman in what you own.

Mark Hoffman: Well, so even the example I just mentioned was the amount of money that that particular client needs is, you know, derive that from a personal need. But how you want to solve the problem is formed in a way that that advisor knows exactly what to do, they know, here’s what I need to do, I need to know I need to get $200,000 without changing the asset allocation, and minimizing the taxes as much as possible. And they have to have a system and technology that can do that. So to me, the hyper personalization, comment really means I have to take the request, which is unique to that particular client, and come back with a consistent result. And even though that client’s request is personal, you know, the other 20 or 30, or 100, clients that the advisor has, they could ask for a personalized request, but they’d go to the same place to satisfy that request. And we’d have the same consistency that, you know, kept the risk in line with minimize the taxes, follow all the firm’s compliance rules, yet still got that client, their personalized, better outcome, their trade report to go get the money that they needed, that fit in all those constraints. And that’s not easy to do. And that’s what we do. Yep.

Jack Sharry: So willing, looking at three to five years, I know we’ve done a lot of work, I think more is coming, but maybe comment on we’re doing a lot of work around, you may overlay the ideas that you amaze are kind of the product of choice, if you will, maybe comment on that type of models. In general, we accommodate all the different ways that models are being developed across the industry, you got annuities that are coming into the fore in terms of being considered. So there’s a variety things, social security, so a lot of different factors. Because ultimately, what we try to address and relatively what the industry is trying to address is how do I maximize the retirement paycheck? That’s really, how do I grow it more tax efficiently? And how do I spend it more tax efficiently? So what are some of the things you see coming down the road as we continue to work with our clients? Everyone seems to have a different list of what they’re trying to solve for, but maybe common in general, what are some of the things that you’re seeing?

Mark Hoffman: Well, as we’ve been talking about, in particular, because of these times, these very trying markets, we’re seeing the taxes are now very important for firms to deal with. You know, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, maybe even five years ago, a lot of wealth management firms didn’t want to talk about taxes. They were told their advisors not to advise them not to. And then a number of leading firms, Morgan Stanley, perhaps being at the forefront said, Well, we have to talk to our clients about taxes, there’s tax implications for anything we do for the client tax in place, in terms of what CPAs do is not what financial advisors do. So let’s, let’s go get that clarity. And they did. So tax alpha, it’s often the largest benefit that we’ve talked about, and these bad markets. And so for any firm in the wealth management industry to be successful, I’d say they certainly need a tax Alpha strategy. You know, so I guess that would be one of my key points that we’re seeing. And the second key point would be in this is, again, what we’ve seen with some of the leading wealth management providers out there, which are our clients is that wealth management firms really need to become the primary advisor for their clients where someone else will, particularly when, as you know, Jack, when somebody’s transitioning into retirement, it’s a natural asset consolidation point, because the client wants uniform advice. And so going after becoming the primary advisor, is what you have to do. What that means is that firms better have a multi account strategy to consolidate those assets and provide holistic advice. And we’ve seen, you know, Morgan Stanley, I think being the leader in the industry with building net new assets, by having a really good reason to show the client why they should consolidate with them and become the primary advisor. And they’ve been doing it to the tune of doubling AUM and net new assets every year since 2019, when they started to implement the strategy. And finally, to be successful at those first two takeaways, firms must support their advisors in giving good and relevant advice. And that means helping all client demographics plan their wealth creation journey, by having the technology to accommodate the complexity and scale required.

Jack Sharry: It’s fascinating to watch Morgan Stanley, and they’ve been quite public about what they’re doing. They’ve been all over the press of late and proud they should be because they’ve really developed a significant capability on the wealth management side. And now we’re also seeing they’re doing the same on the workplace and E trade side. And all that’s getting connected, and taxes seem to be at the center of it, because I think they understand as most people are coming to realize that then this is well before markets got Rocky, that dealing with taxes is the best way to improve outcome for their clients. So it’s been exciting to be a part of, we’ve learned a lot right now, we’ve learned a lot as we’ve worked with them, because we’ve taught each other about just the importance of taxes fundamentally, and also around creating a coordinated platform that really works together, that continues to be a work in progress. But they seem to be well ahead of what we see in the rest of the industry. You know, one of the mark that we haven’t talked about that sort of interesting, and that we’ve talked a little bit about in terms of what we see on the workplace side with places like Morgan Stanley work in the trade, direct to consumer. And another thing we haven’t talked so much about is what’s going on in on the asset management side. And a lot of asset managers are kind of figuring out what their role is now that this multi account, comprehensive advice platform stuff is going on. And one of our clients, Franklin Templeton, we recently announced doing something with them goals optimization engine, which is a planning tool, but when you describe really what’s going on there, it’s kind of interesting story, that the walls keep coming tumbling down between the different facets of our business, but we talk a little about that.

Mark Hoffman: Well, the asset managers, the ones that have figured it out, you know, all back to the whole conversation we had where the world’s, you know, needs financial planning, it’s going to be the centerpiece, not just a tool to uncover held away accounts, it’s now going to be the centerpiece for the client conversation. And, you know, to make sure the advisor and the firm have the right supervisory fiduciary framework, on a client relationship, the asset managers who understand that know that they have to play a larger role, they can’t just hope for their slice of the pie, in some accounts somewhere, they have to really provide some value. So Franklin Templeton is one of those firms that is aware of that. And they’re really setting up, you know, for support, and education, and systems backed by really good systems to do that. And they’re also as any asset manager really needs from a business perspective, they need quality distribution. And as you know, there’s been a large number of growth over the last 1510 years into the independent space, I think it rivals, there’s as many advisors in the independent space as there is, you know, in the more traditional IBD, and wirehouse channels, so asset managers need distribution, you know, in that space just as much. And the opportunity for them is to help, you know, those advisors with some of their technology, some of the things that they have to do like the risk assessment. So, you know, goals, optimization engine that Franklin has built, it’s a very good system that can be used for planning. But ultimately, it’s creating an appropriate level of risk, which can be then output as an asset allocation for a particular client. And the user interface is done with advisor engine, which is a firm that Franklin Templeton purchased. And they have a really nice, crisp user interface. They’re used by a number of RAS out there in the marketplace. And it’s combined with LifeYield, because we’re doing the tax alpha component of it. And we’re also doing the multi period, as we’ve talked about ticking and tying and showing what the story could be with the parameters that have been set, what’s the end result going to be? And it allows the advisor then to have what if conversations with their clients to really tease out? does the client want to leave a big request? Do they want to spend more? What’s their risk profile? You know, do they want to add an insurance product? All kinds of questions can be answered by being able to tell the multiperiod story and sort of like, pick your ending in the movie and then see how the chapters go. It’s a very powerful tool, it’s a lot easier to understand and looking at a table with numbers going through spreadsheets, or, you know, inadequate graphics. It’s just much more intuitive. And a really nice way to have that for an advisor to have a conversation with a client about a very complex subject. And one that’s always very personal because, you know, people’s money is very personal to them. So excited. about what they’re doing excited that they’ve chosen us. They’ve been a client for many years. But this is a new endeavor that I think it’s going to be industry groundbreaking.

Jack Sharry: I agree actually, for our audience, which spans the wealth management business. But we find as we’re having conversations with, as an example, Franklin, on the asset management side of net, we’ve six, seven or eight different annuity companies that we work closely with currently, with lots of interesting things being thought up and developed over time, we’ve got wealth managers, pretty much. I don’t think there’s a wealth manager, we’re not talking to these days, probably missing one or two. But wealth managers are working at this, everyone’s trying to figure out this comprehensive advice platform, everyone recognizes taxes are central to producing better outcomes. So it’s been an exciting time to be in our business. And as you well know, Mark is you and I’ve been at it for a while here. Let’s take a little longer than we might have liked. But the industry has definitely caught on that the future is around multi account tax smart household level management. So more to come. We’ll be sharing that as we go. So, Mark, pleasure. As always, thanks so much for our conversation. They bring us up to date on what you and the team are working on. That’s very exciting stuff across the industry. So as we do on each of our podcasts, my favorite question is, What is something you do outside of work that you’re excited about or passionate about that people might find interesting or surprising? I think last time we talked it was your sea captain ship. You have a special license for navigating boats. Right?

Mark Hoffman: Yeah, that was my lobstering hobby. Yes. Yes, well, so I have to say that I wasn’t terribly successful in how many lobsters I cut this year. But I caught a lot of crabs unfortunately. But not everyone may know that. I’m a Menorcan heritage. And my ancestors came from the island of Menorca, which is a Mediterranean island, off the coast of Spain. And they came to St. Augustine, Florida in 1768. And with them, they brought dado peppers to season their food. So they will peppers have a heat similar to the habanero pepper. So they’re hot, but they’re much sweeter, and therefore they’re really good for cooking or putting in sauces or jellies. However, they are extremely hard to grow in northern climes, and need soil temperatures of around 75 plus degrees to even germinate. So for the past five years or so, I have been working to breed what I call Yankee doodles that can be productive with shorter, warm seasons, we basically had two hot months in Massachusetts, they really need six or seven. So it’s still a work in progress. But I’m having a bit of a competition with my sister down in Florida, where we’re just seeing who can grow the most from a plan.

Jack Sharry: Let me guess she’s winning so far.

Mark Hoffman: Well, it’s getting close. I will say she makes a much better sauce than I do. So I can’t seem to beat around that. That’s great.

Jack Sharry: Very, very good. So my thanks once again, great to talk. We talk often but I didn’t know about the peppers. So that’s, that’s a good one to know. So, for our audience, if you’ve enjoyed our podcast, please rate review, subscribe, and share what we’re doing here at WealthTech. on Deck. We’re available wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks again, Mark. It’s been a pleasure. We’ll look forward to the next time we get you on WealthTech on Deck.

Mark Hoffman: Thank you, Jack. Talk to you soon.