The New Retirement Journey with Ken Cella and Ken Dychtwald
In this episode, Jack talks with Ken Cella, Principal of Branch Development at Edward Jones. In his role, Ken empowers nearly 19,000 financial advisors and their branch teams to serve 8 million clients across North America.
Also joining the conversation is Ken Dychtwald, Founder and CEO of Age Wave. Ken is a psychologist, gerontologist, researcher, speaker, and best-selling author.
Ken Cella and Ken Dychtwald talk with Jack about the new retirement journey, how Edward Jones plans to manage the full household portfolio, and how the firm’s leadership team commissioned Ken Dychtwald and the Age Wave team to conduct research on the changing face of retirement and specifically, what clients are looking for in terms of advice and guidance through their retirement journey.
What Ken has to say
“People care about four things. They care about their health, family, purpose in life and what they stand for, and how their financial situation could support the first three.”
Read the full transcript
Jack Sharry: Welcome, everyone. Thanks for joining us on this special edition of well tech on deck. We have a very interesting and unique show for you today. This is part of a series of conversations we will be holding on the future of financial advice. I’m pleased to introduce our two guests can sell it leads the Edward Jones branch Development Division which empowers nearly 19,000 financial advisors and their branch teams to serve 8 million clients across North America. Also joining the conversation is Ken Dychtwald. Ken is founder and CEO of Age Wave. He is a renowned psychologist, gerontologist researcher, speaker and author of the 19 books Dr. Dychtwald has published the seminal work and vessel he wrote in 1989, called Age Wave provides Ken with a rare distinction of predicting the future and being consistently accurate in his assessment over many decades. Ken Cella and Edward Jones leadership team Commission Ken Dychtwald and the Age Wave team to conduct research for the changing face of retirement and specifically what clients are looking for in terms of advice and guidance. Through their retirement journey. We will discuss every Jones plan as they look to serve their clients and advisors and delivering advice and guidance through both human and digital means over a series of podcasts. We will discuss Dr. Dychtwald’s research. Today we will focus on Edward Jones strategy, right applying what they’re learning from the Age Wave research. So Ken Cella, Ken Dychtwald. Welcome to WealthTech on Deck.
Ken Cella: Thank you, Jack. It’s great to be here with you.
Ken Dychtwald: Great to be talking to you today, Jack.
Jack Sharry: Very good. Well, thank you both gentlemen. So Ken Cella you’ve been at Edward Jones for many years. So let’s start with a little bit of background, or so our audience has a sense of how you got started in our industry, how you grew up at Jones and a little bit about what you’re doing today.
Ken Cella: Yeah, thank you, Jack. You know, I knew from nearly my childhood days that I wanted to be involved in some way in the financial industry. I started as an intern at ever Jones, quickly became a financial advisor and just had the bug to help clients. And I love that I was a financial advisor for many years. And then about 20 years ago made the transition into leadership, and our home office here. And I’ve been on a quest ever since then, to help solve some of the industry’s most vexing problems, namely, helping clients become responsible for their own future. Today, I lead our branch division at ever Jones, which really oversees how all of our financial advisors serve our clients and do that everyday with care. So thanks again, Jack. Appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Jack Sharry: Great. So we’ll get into conduct Walt’s background in our next episode, where we dig into the research that he’s done for Jones, much, far more detail in a moment, I’ll ask, Ken Dychtwald to share a little high level view and have Ken Cella talk about how they’re applying it at Jones. But for now, Ken Cella please give us the backstory on how you and Ken D get together and along with Age Wave to pursue the research that you all have conducted?
Ken Cella: Yeah, well, this is a fun story to tell. And it really goes back to how we see the relationships that we have with our clients. You know, we really think about creating deep trusted personal relationships with our clients. And part of doing that is really getting to know them intimately. What’s most important to them what they care about. And one of the cornerstones to our unique approach to to investing is really understanding in a really meaningful way, what drives the decisions that our clients make. So we reached out to age wave, in fact, I think it was in 2019, I quickly started to work with Ken, we already knew Ken a little bit knew what he stood for. And really started to see that in those early conversations, we had an opportunity to really partner together to understand how we could be really build more meaningful insights into how our clients were feeling today, one of the constants that we know is the world is always changing. And 2019 pre COVID The world was changing a little did we know how much it was gonna change after that. What we really wanted to understand is how people are viewing retirement today, and how that’s causing them to reshape what’s important to them, and how they want to really invest in their future their families, and really prioritize what’s most important. So that’s how the relationship got started. Jack, I think one piece that’s really important to mention here is the partnership with the Harris Poll. Because as we started talking to Ken, and the Age Wave group, we knew that it was going to mean a fairly significant body of work to get these kinds of insights. The Harris Poll helped us to understand that we needed to have a large based survey, we surveyed over 9000 people across five generations. So you heard that right five generations, and really asked them what it means well to live in retirement. And that was the primary question. Obviously we have a lot more questions than that. But that was really the driver We developed the four pillars framework out of that what we heard was people cared about four things. And in this order, they cared about their health, their family, having a sense of purpose, about their life and what they stand for, and then how their financial situation can support the first three. So that’s really what we heard, it was so powerful that we put tracking studies in place. And we’ve continued to update this work each year. And the partnership has just been so fruitful and productive. So that’s how we met. That’s a little bit of our dating story. So thanks for asking Jack. I hope I hope that puts a little color to it.
Jack Sharry: That’s great. And I know there’s a little bit Ken Dychtwald the little bit that preceded that, I want to get into what you just talked about the four pillars. But going into that, I think I’m not sure what the exact sequence was. But I know you also looked at what you call the five forces shaping the new retirement journey, greater longevity, baby boom, becomes the retirement wave, need to match healthspan with lifespan, the demise of the three legged stool around funding, retirement and COVID, maybe kind of few talk about that, and then maybe echo some of the comments I’m gonna ask and some more about how they’re applying it at Jones, the four pillars, but maybe talk about that new retirement journey, what that looks like, and how that leads to the four pillars.
Ken Dychtwald: Sure. One of the things that has struck me over the last several decades, and I am not a financial professional, I’m more of a psychologist, gerontologist human behavior guy, and was that the financial industry was largely lining up at services to match the 1980s version of retirement where people thought they’d live a couple of years, and they needed a certain amount of money to round out their pension and their government support. And so what we examined during these studies, and by the way, I’m I will proudly boast that whereas most studies are kept close to the vest by financial firms, Ken and his team and Edward Jones released them to the world democratize them for no charge. And we also put them out into the media. And we’ve now past 6 billion media impressions on the coverage of these studies, which has never happened before in this industry. But as you mentioned, there were a couple of things that were in motion. First of all, more and more people say that they’re getting wind of the idea that they may outlive what their parents or grandparents thought retirement as being. So the idea of planning for three or four or five years is over, that people are now beginning to think I might live 1020 30 years in retirement. And that’s a whole different story. Especially since a lot of the financial services industry helps you accumulate for a few years in retirement versus helps you distribute and manage it to the rest of your life. Second, we got this big bolus of people as baby boom generation of which I’m a part, are now moving into their later years. And they’ve got their own quirky demands and attitudes, powerful women more well educated than previous generations of women wanting to be a piece of the retirement planning equation. Third, we’ve done a little bit of a flawed job at creating longevity, we do not match our health spans to our lifespans. And you might think, Well, what does that have to do with what a financial firm should be concerned with? Well, if people are going to be unwell for 10, or 12, or 15 years at the end of their life, that’s extremely expensive, the average couple will spend $456,000 Out of Pocket in retirement on health care expenses. Fourth, there once was a three legged stool that people could rely on. And more and more people are realizing that this is gonna be up to me to fund my retirement, I don’t know that I kind of my employer or the government, or some, you know, money fairy to drop dollars into my account, people are saying I need help more than I think people have ever felt they’re needing and now and last really put some scramble into the game. COVID-19 has caused people to be more frightened, more unnerved about their job security, about the value of their money, place that inflation is going to play. And also, there’s been a silver lining because people are more and more aware and thoughtful about what matters most in life. And while I might tell you that wealth and financial elements are really consequential, they don’t matter as much as what can sell. It just said, people said what mattered more to them was their health. What mattered more than was the people they love, and honestly having some sense of purpose in one’s life. And for a lot of these boomers, they view this as a whole new chapter in life. And that’s a different discussion than the average financial advisors accustomed to having with their clients.
Jack Sharry: So it’s not about beating the market then anymore. Huh Ken?
Ken Dychtwald: Beating the market is still a good thing. As an investor, I don’t want to be behind the opportunity. But it’s not the whole thing. And this more holistic, wider view, is what I think Edward Jones is now leading the industry with regard to their understanding.
Jack Sharry: Yeah, so can you tell if you’d comment on that? I was a little bit tongue in cheek about beating the market because we spent so much you and I’ve been around this business for a while. So much of that seemed to be what was the only conversation today based on what Ken D just shared with us. It’s much more expanded So but it’s much more holistic, it’s much more challenging. It’s longer, it’s deeper, it’s richer, and so potentially not so Richard in that it’s gonna cost you a lot of money as you live longer and have all these bills to pay and so on. So, comment about how Edward Jones is applying this because it’s a it’s a big undertaking that you take many other firms are joining you in this effort. But talk about the how Jon’s, as a firm is translating that into action. Talk a little bit about that, if you would.
Ken Cella: Yeah, you bet, Jack. And, you know, I want to go back to what Ken just said, it isn’t about beating the market. But I want to be clear clients have a baseline expectation when they work with a firm like ours, that sound financial performance is part of the package, they want to have asset allocation modeling, they want to make sure that it’s customized to their goals. So all the things that our industry grew up to know, to be, you know, the, I’ll say the core elements of how you really do personalized investing, work for a client as well as all the related planning items. Those are increasingly baseline services that organizations like ours provide today, clients want someone as a financial advisor, who knows them who can understand them uniquely, it requires a different level of EQ, or requires a different level of engagement around topics that in many cases, clients don’t know all that much about as they come into the office of an advisor, they don’t really know what their goals are, in many cases, and it takes a really empathetic advisor who can help have that conversation to get them started. So, you know, when we started working with Ken and Age Wave, it was because they were the nation’s thought leader and foremost expert on the aging population and how people were thinking. So we wanted to kind of take that in outside and approach to really, you know, have this research be based on how people are thinking, and we subsequently now are really scaling up our organization, and then to respond to that, and to modify the things that we’re doing to really get to that deeper level of empathy, that place where clients are truly connecting, because their needs are being met. We knew Ken and his team were the right group, to explore, you know, people’s hopes, dreams concerns. And we did that through this study, we’ve seen that people’s views of retirement are evolving. I mentioned that earlier, these have been extraordinarily challenging times, not just COVID-19. But now other factors are really coming into the picture. And I think everybody on this call knows what those are. It’s inflation, it’s global conflict. And if you look back in history, these things aren’t necessarily new. In my 30 plus years in the industry, I’ve seen many market cycles where these things emerge. So it’s not different. But it is different, right. So this time, it’s a different confluence of issues and, and society has evolved. And so we really felt like partnering with age wave doing these studies on a recurring basis, would be one of our best sources of high EQ knowledge to bring to our financial advisors to our branch teams, to help them do that job. Even better of connecting with their clients, understanding their concerns, their financial realities, and really helping them to navigate challenging times, and to stay focused. And I’ll say remain steadfast focus on their financial goals, staying invested through market cycles, managing the emotions, so that you can participate in all that this industry has to offer to help people take responsibility for the retirement. So it’s been great Jack, there’s a lot to unpack there. But I hope that gives you a feel for what we’re up to.
Ken Dychtwald: We’ve been getting wonderful notes from Edward Jones financial advisors over this last year, who have begun asking their clients are you looking at for a mom or a dad? Tell me what you’d like your purpose to be in your retirement years? Do you have a special needs child, you’re worried about? What’s the role you’d like to play in your community, which are really just I care about your questions and want to know what matters to you. And clients have been saying back, I’ve had other financial advisors in my life, and no one has ever asked me any questions about that, that just asked me about market risk and my age, relative to retirement. So widening the discussion into a more holistic concern has been yielding an extraordinary reaction back from clients, and not at all surprised it isn’t a brave new world that we’re in for sure.
Jack Sharry: Ken, I’m going to simplify what I heard you say can sell. But I heard you say a moment ago. And if you take one at a time, let’s talk about the user experience. That’s what the advisor level in the client level. And then there’s the mechanics of making the the various widgets and technology and all that sort of that’s a whole big undertaking infrastructure that we can talk about in the moment, but focusing on the user experience, and as Ken Dychtwald just commented on, to ask the question about what matters to you in life, probably the most important question to ask, not what do you want to get for return? Or what do you need for income? All important questions, for sure. But really tell me about your life, what matters to you most and how can I help you achieve your objectives or meet the various needs that you might have? If you talk about a little bit about how you’re working with your advisors, I’m making that transition because historically, too much probably a little bit on our in our business about products and portfolios all right and good, but now we’re shifting to needs and wants and hopes and dreams. So talk about how you’re making that shift in terms of training. And then a little bit, we’ll talk about some of the FinTech mechanics of what you’re pulling together as well, because that’s equally important.
Ken Cella: Sure, you bet. You know, on one hand, it requires a whole new level of acumen building for our advisors. And on the other hand, Jack, one of the things that we can leverage is that we have advisors who naturally and intuitively are very empathetic, they become top performers, because they are so client centric, they are so focused on what our clients need. And without much guidance from us, historically, they’ve developed their own processes, when we rolled out this four pillars framework, and they’ve now started to begin to integrate it into our training programs, to create tools that allow them to have the words to use the you know, and everything else. What we found is it ignited a passion that already existed. And it put a framework around skill sets that were in some cases already there. And in some cases, latent in our advisors, and as they started to practice it, and started to warm up to how to have the right conversations and how to, you know, deal with those with empathy, have the right pauses, given up reflection time for clients. What we found was, it was a sort of like a teacher, right. So, you know, sometimes the teacher gets more out of the assignment than the student does. We started hearing back from our advisors that Oh, my, you know, I was thinking that I didn’t know how many more years I could start continue to talk to clients about bond market volatility, and stock market volatility, and all the other things that advisor has to do. This gave our advisors a new sense of purpose. And the four pillars framework resonated so well for them, that it really started to make them think about, you know, if this is the work that I do, I’ll extend my career into the future in a place that I hadn’t thought about before. So we’re really doing a lot to upsell ourselves as an organization to have these empathy conversations, and to continue to make investments because it’s one thing to know the four pillars, it’s another thing to guide clients through those consistently, year in year out as conditions continue to change. And that’s the kind of personalization and approach that we’re really focused on these days. So I hope that gives you an overview, Jack, I don’t want to give away all the industry trade secrets about how Edward Jones prepares its advisors. We’re, I know, we’re known for that.
Jack Sharry: Yeah, I will just make the observation as a longtime fan and student of the Edward Jones approach, because I’ve been on the way back when Maryland Heights, the new training center, and have watched over the years that Jones has always frankly, from my standpoint, having worked with most, although having worked with other large firms over time, the premier trainer, that’s why I imagine you’re applying this newfound or this new way of operating, but surely you’re doing it well. In terms of the training programs, I won’t give any trade secrets, I’m just guessing here, but I don’t think I’m far off. That’s one piece. The other piece, I noticed you consistently get high ratings from not only your advisors, but your clients, whether it’s JD Power, or the various folks that are commenting on or doing surveys around your advice, delivery. And so it’s already very highly ranked, if not the highest is correct me in terms of but you’re always near the top with advisors and with clients. Is that true?
Ken Cella: You know, Jack? So a couple of things. One is we do have a long history of training, there’s no doubt about that. That’s part of the DNA of this firm, the legends who were part of building, Edward Jones understood the importance of really focusing on our clients, and preparing our people to do that. And that’s really where that emphasis on training comes from. It’s also helped us to grow to be the firm we are today. You know, we continue to value the rankings from Fortune JD Powers and others. And you know, we’re, we’re always moving in different spots. What I will tell you that we’ve observed recently is competition is very strong in our industry, many firms are investing in things that clients care about, and many of the things we’re talking about today. So we do see that there is a bit of an arms race to really equip the organizations in our industry to do this work. Ken mentioned earlier that we’ve made this research publicly available so that our competitors can all see it. You know, we are interested in creating a tide that lifts all boats, because what’s on the other side of that is Americans having responsibility for their own financial futures, as we have less safety nets to count on in retirement. So we take healthy competition is a very good thing for our industry and for all those that we serve. So yeah, thanks, Jack. We appreciate the accolades.
Jack Sharry: Yeah, well, I applaud you. It’s, frankly, remarkable, because I am familiar with what everyone else is doing. And there is an arms race. We’ll talk about some of those arms now if we could. So it’s one thing to interact with a client but then you have to do something. And the idea is to manage the full household portfolio because if you do that in a consistent way where you’re looking at issues of risk and tax and cost and all the various levers to improve outcomes, Have, those all have to be integrated. And as you have qualified and non-qualified accounts and all the different trusts and all the different ways that you can own the various products and holdings and so on, it gets pretty darn complicated. And I know you’re building out an infrastructure. And as I read in the news, you’re going to spend a reduced blessed news report I saw, you’re going to spend a billion dollars on building out these kinds of capabilities. So without giving away too many trade secrets, but tell us a little bit what that looks like. It’s a multi-year, probably, arguably a multi decade journey to bring our industry up, because our industry, I would argue, has been a little bit behind, it’s now catching up rapidly. But talk a little bit about what that looks like on the product or the process or the solutions side of the infrastructure that you’re building out.
Ken Cella: Yeah, thanks, Jack. The way I would approach this is, with the way we’re talking internally, with all the stakeholders at Edward Jones, our future vision is to deliver something we call a human centered, complete wealth management to our clients. So let me break that down into an equation for you. First part of the equation is human centered. And what we’re saying there is we think that people are investors, they are the investing public and our clients will continue to value personalized advice from a human being. So we are doubling down our commitment to human centered advice, really having the individuals face to face with clients in a variety of different ways of face to face, but serving them in that way. So that’s human centered, the complete part of human centered complete wealth management means we’re going to take an outside in approach, again, of understanding what complete means in the eyes of the client, every client’s view of the future is different. The four pillars may be a generalized framework, but we know there’s a lot more richness and really understanding what a complete, you know, solution looks like for a client. And so we are going to provide that flexibility, we think that’s what a role of a good advisor is, is to have a personalized plan for a client. So that’s complete. And then the wealth management part of human centered complete wealth management is really our way of saying we are going to continue to build our wealth management capabilities, not just those traditional capabilities, in that you would expect to see from a large scale financial services firm, but likely also capabilities that get into personal well-being and other capabilities, where we know that through our history, once a trusted relationship is created between a client and an advisor, they become a valuable resource for that client in a variety of different ways. And so we know and expect to continue to build out some of those capabilities, both financial and non-financial into the future. So yes, we fully expect to have a technology infrastructure that underpins that entire vision that includes digital initiatives, virtual business enablement, tools, we’ll be doing more business virtually, we see the lasting effects of that from COVID. We’re doing a variety of different tests and learn pilots. And one of the most important things that we’re doing is we’re investing in new planning tools, with investment and money guide Pro, that Jack start to get to some of the areas that you’re talking about that, that help us to simplify that view for the client that they see, that really takes into consideration, investment considerations, retirement income considerations, you know, the whole spectrum of tax considerations, and how that all comes together to focus on their most important goals, whether that’s their personal health and the health care expenses associated with that, taking care of their family and leaving inheritance and legacy, investing in their own personal purpose, whether that’s starting that next chapter in their life that involves a new business or a venture to give back to the community in some way. So we will have the tools and the capabilities that will allow us to go deep into those relationships to across a broad range of client needs. And really get into the elements of retirement, and planning for that in a more fulsome way. So that that financial advisor that serving our clients really is more of a guide, that really can help on walk or open these doors to new pathways, as clients start to really unpack their dreams and really discover their goals with that advisor. So we’re super excited about this. The investment in technology is one part of it, there’ll be even a larger investment in the people, and the skilling up of all the people that serve our clients with all the acumen building and resources that they need. One of the things that we’re focusing on now, which is a big change for us is moving to a teaming structure across our entire business model. So our financial advisors will have more flexibility and how they want to build their team to serve their clients to provide more capacity for their branches, more specialization in these areas that I’ve highlighted, that allow them to really go deeper and have the expertise on their team to do that, either in their geography, or potentially virtually in some cases. So we’re thinking very broadly and differently about how we do that. So we’ll have to check in on these over time Jack. There’s a lot going on there. But I give it the head If human centered, complete wealth management is really what we’re focused on.
Jack Sharry: Love it, love it, I spend most of my life studying these sorts of things across the industry, I really admire what you all are putting together. It’s a huge vision, you are backing it up not only with dollars, but leadership commitment. So really, really applaud your efforts. It’s really remarkable.
Ken Dychtwald: Yeah, let me add something as a little bit of an outsider. But as one who has worked with banks and financial institutions all over the world wasn’t too long ago that if somebody worked in the industry, they were a stock picker or an insurance salesperson. And then people claim that they were financial advisors, what you’re hearing from Ken Cella today is a different paradigm. This is different. This is not same as it used to be with a little bit more of this and a little more of that, whether it’s through the spine of technology, whether it’s through asking the right questions, the fact that Edward Jones is exists in 68% of all the communities in this country, and is concerned for the well-being of the kids of the local folks of the churches, the synagogues, and mosques, they want to play a role in helping people to live to and through retirement in their best ways. And I just want everybody who’s listening to this, or who will be reading about this to realize that this gentleman who not only has relative Edward Jones, but as the incoming chairman of sigma, this is a new model that’s being put into the world. And the reaction that’s being heard from the rest of the industry is we want to be like that. Hey,
Ken Cella: Jack, I have to say something here. So Ken is such a raving fan of what we’re doing. As you can see from the infomercial, he just provided there. I’ve never said this out loud before. But I think that in Ken’s next chapter, he may want to re-emerge as an Edward Jones financial advisor, I’m not sure it’s possible.
Jack Sharry: He seems to have all the right characteristics. So what you guys are shooting for it. So he’s got the empathy. He’s got the insight, he listens? Well, he’s understands the client.
Ken Dychtwald: Exactly. I do want to emphasize that when I got involved in the first series of meetings with Edward Jones, we had worked with many other firms. And I said, my problem with your industry, is that I think you’ve lost your heartbeat. You think that all you’re about is moving numbers around and getting people numbers, you’re there to save people’s lives. You’re there to help somebody care for a special needs child, you’re there to give somebody their dignity and their later years versus outliving their money. You’re there to keep families together. And this is a company that resonates with that, that feels that way. And I think that they could be the lead for the rest of the industry. We’ll see. Thank you. Great.
Jack Sharry: Thank you. I agree. So Ken, I know your research was comprehensive, extensive in depth. And I know you’ve had some interesting takeaways in terms of diversity and gender, and so on. So share with us what you learned. And I’m in a moment I’ll ask Ken Cella what Jones plans to do about it.
Ken Dychtwald: There were some very heartwarming things we saw. But there were also some alarms that troubled us. One of them was that 80% of the American public has not crafted anything resembling a plan to support them in their retirement years. That’s dangerous. That’s irresponsible and dangerous number to two thirds of the population don’t even have a financial advisor, they feel that they’re, they don’t have enough money, or they don’t have the wherewithal. Number three, that the story for men is very different than story for women, the men’s confidence went down during COVID. And then came back, women’s confidence went down and dropped even further. And only 42% of all the women in America have any investments at all. And keep in mind that women live on average six years longer than men. And so a woman’s longevity trajectory, and retirement trajectory is a different set of dynamics. And last, more and more realization, as we did our study, that people of color or people in the inner cities, or people with lots of kids were really struggling because of their kid’s mental health or because of not having enough dollars to begin with. And so what Edward Jones looked at very carefully, is how to pay more attention to these different dynamics and realize that one size doesn’t fit all.
Jack Sharry: That’s great. So can you talk a little bit of how you’re applying that research?
Ken Cella: Yeah, well, I think it goes back to something Ken Dychtwald said earlier, and that is, we feel like we’re in a unique position to help society. I know that’s a big word society. But being in 68% of the zip codes in the United States, we believe gives us a competitive advantage. You know, the Edward Jones representatives that serve those communities, part of the community, they know the people, they’re interested in serving members of that community across the spectrum of the demographics. We’re not an organization that’s just built for one part of the demographic, but we index to have clients all across the demographics and so, so we feel like we’re very well equipped to do that. There’s a couple of things that I would highlight one is, we continue to focus on who makes up the Edward Jones workforce. I know many organizations do, we are making significant interventions into providing the right support for women and people of color to join our firm, to be a difference maker in this industry, we’ve seen tremendous support across all of our regions for that some of our region’s have more opportunity, demographically for that than others. I’m certainly not trying to make a one for one connection here to, you know, a woman necessarily investor wants to work with a woman advisor. But in some cases, that is true. And so we are we are very much focused on the people side of it. And the insights, that’s part of what we’re building into our programs, Jack. And that’s really that ability to demonstrate with authenticity, empathy. You know, I’ll give you one minor example. But we’ve heard far too many times through the years, situations where a financial adviser focuses on the male in the relationship, and the female feels completely slighted. And we’ve all seen these statistics on generational wealth transfer, and what that means for women who will control the financial pictures of so many households, and the decades and then the years to come. So that’s one example of where, you know, unintended consequences, probably, but some retraining for an individual. So we’re taking these insights. And we’re building a man to the I don’t have a better word for it, but the psychology of what it means to be a financial advisor today,
Jack Sharry: I have two more questions. I’m going to direct them at Ken Cella in a future episode of these questions will come Ken Dychtwald’s way. But first Ken Cella this has been wonderful both Ken’s wonderful conversation. For Ken Cella. As we look to wrap up, what are three key takeaways you’d like to leave with our audiences, we could start to close out our session.
Ken Cella: Well, the first one is, I’m just going to talk about the what we’ve seen in terms of the client response from the work that’s been done together. With age wave, the Harris poll and our four-pillar study, we’re just so heartened to see the number of people who choosing to transform the path that they’re on. And to be able to do that in a way that really helps them to have a more fulsome retirement, it appears that people really are recognizing the four pillars, so that I guess that would be the second thing that I would highlight, they are really making that intentional investment into their health, their family, their sense of purpose. And that just feels so good. You know. And when I started in this industry over 30 years ago, it was all about accumulation. And today, we’re having conversations about, you know, you’ve done a great job on the accumulation side, it’s time to start living out your purpose in a new and different way. And so that’s so heartening to see. And we also see that evidence that people are seeking out resources in a more fulsome way, different educational opportunities that we make available that our industry makes available broadly. And one of the things that I continue to track very closely is how people value the advice of a financial advisor. And that’s on the rise in the United States today, across generations. And so this idea that our advisors are transitioning from maybe an advisor to more of a guide to help people throughout life’s journeys, is the other takeaway that I hope that people will hear in what we’re doing here. So thanks, Jack, I appreciate that opportunity.
Jack Sharry: Ya know, you guys are doing great work. I’m really, really impressed, thrilled for our industry, I’ve always been an advocate for doing it right. For those that do it. Well as Edward Jones has done it for a very long time. Not only does the client benefit, the advisor benefits the firm as well. So one last question, my favorite question, Ken, this is way off the mark that is going to Ken Cella, what is something you do outside of work that you’re excited about or passionate about. I know you’re pretty pretty busy person that people might find interesting or surprising. So tell us.
Ken Cella: Well, that’s a that’s a good question. I don’t know if I am all that interesting of a person.
Jack Sharry: Oh, I think so. I think so.
Ken Cella: I do one thing that I guess maybe I’ll highlight because it’s taking a lot of my time these days, is I investing back into the community. I currently serve in a number of different capacities. Three that are meaningful leadership commitments for me at the current moment is I chair the Leadership Council of my alma mater in partnership with the chancellor of the university. And so I’m thrilled to be able to do that. Ken mentioned earlier I’m incoming Chair of the board, or I guess should say chair elective SIFMA. And then I also serve as chair of the board for a local Regional Chamber of Commerce through Greater St. Louis. And so those are three things that you know I do to give back. I guess the other thing that I would highlight is, when I’m not at work, I spend most of my time with my family, my wife, my four kids, two grandchildren and three dogs. And we work out a lot. So as I as I think about it, it’s very similar to the four pillars. You know, I’m focused on my health, my family, and my sense of purpose of giving back to the community. So, yeah, thanks. Thanks for that.
Ken Dychtwald: Ken, what was it like for you to identify purpose as one of the issues that you’d be focusing on that’s different than health or family? Or finances? It’s sort of exists in its own world. Yeah. That that feels alien to you, or did that feel right to you?
Ken Cella: You know, for me personally, it was a learning journey. It was, you know, wasn’t a question I had contemplated a lot. You know, it was more about success for me, if I’m just really playing about it is that you know, you want to enter this industry, I wanted to be successful, of course, I want to do a great job for clients. And it was over time that that I started to see that there was significance on the other side of success. But I the missing puzzle piece for me was not being completely clear about my own purpose, that sort of overarched, personal and professional. And so having spent time with coaches and mentors and friends, family, sharing some of the things that, you know, were coming to me as I was going on this journey over the period of I’ll say, probably about three years, you know, it really did help me to solidify and, you know, I think I have more focus now for myself, we all can struggle from knowing not knowing what to say no to and I do feel like I have a better sense of how to do that, based on my purpose today. So thanks. Thanks, Ken. I appreciate that.
Jack Sharry: So thanks, Ken Cella Thanks, Ken Dychtwald, this has been just a wonderful conversation. And on behalf of the audience, I want to thank you for all that you’ve shared, not only in our conversation, but all the good work that you both do in your respective fields. Very, very important for our industry and really, for society not to get too grandiose, but I believe that to be true. For our listeners. If you’ve enjoyed our podcasts, please rate review, subscribe and share what you’re we’re doing here at WealthTech on Deck. We’re available wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you again, gentlemen. It’s been a real pleasure.
Ken Dychtwald: Thank you, Jack.
Ken Cella: Thank you.