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How one advisor leveled-up his practice with simple scoring systems

June 30, 2020 Matt Nollman By Matt Nollman

“Now I understand what you’ve been saying all these years.”

This is music to anyone’s ears. But it’s pure gold in the financial advice world.

Advisors have been trying to simplify complicated topics like risk and tax for decades. Today, we have a real success story.

Enter: Rick Mida, Partner and Wealth Advisor at Canopy Wealth Management.

Asset location from the beginning

Rick and his firm broke away from a large broker-dealer with one thing in mind: better serving clients. He had always focused on asset location but struggled with his process. The reality was, most of it was done in Excel. He never had a good way to execute his process, let alone show clients the true impact of his strategy.

Every day, his process looked like this:

  1. An associate manually populates values into Excel
  2. Color-coded each account differently
  3. Worksheet summarized values by asset class
  4. Compared Current to Target to manually determine trades
  5. Prepared trades on post-it notes then given to another associate to trade

This was even more cumbersome than it sounds. It ended up being extremely difficult for clients to understand and resulted in many incomplete Investment Policy Statements.

It also resulted in some really difficult conversations with clients. Asset location was a constant topic of conversation. Rick spent most of the meeting summarizing the strategy and trying to explain the impact. Without anything visual to show, this was often a lost cause.

Something had to change.

Out with the old, in with the new

At his previous large firm, Rick had some compliance challenges and technology limitations that added to his workload and prevented him from serving his clients the way he knew he could. That’s when he broke away. When Canopy Wealth Management was formed, Rick knew he had to improve his process and level-up his technology. So, that’s what he did.

At this point, Rick had been practicing asset location for years. He knew the benefits it provided but needed a partner to become efficient. Technology was the partner he needed.

To address some of the execution challenges, Rick inked two separate deals with Riskalyze and LifeYield. Each fixed key parts of the asset location process. We’ll outline those in a bit.

After signing up with LifeYield and Riskalyze, Rick created an entirely new process that he can use across all his clients simultaneously. He also added the ability to simplify the discussion he’s been having with clients for years.

Now, Rick has multiple easy-to-understand scoring systems at his fingertips to use in his conversations.

The new way to execute asset location

Rick dove into the deep end, looked at his old way of doing things and created a new process that he could use across the firm. This freed up associates to execute more important tasks and expand their skillset across the board. Any way you look at it, it was a win for the firm.

Here’s what Rick’s new process looks like:

  1. Take clients through the risk profile
  2. Enter the portfolio into Riskalyze
  3. Through the integration, push the portfolio into LifeYield
  4. Assign overall portfolio model to the portfolio in LifeYield
  5. Instantly see the current tax-efficiency of the portfolio and where to locate assets for maximum tax efficiency
  6. Build proposed portfolio in Riskalyze based on LifeYield recommendations
  7. Prepare an IPS for multiple accounts under one portfolio model
  8. Use this IPS to guide the initial meeting

The key here is to create one IPS for the entire household, in an effort we at LifeYield call smart-householding. More on that here.

This sets Rick and Canopy up for success from the beginning, because many firms don’t manage money this way. If you manage each account in a silo, you’re likely missing out on crucial ways to grow your clients’ retirement income. Not to mention your own AUM.

Matt is the VP of Marketing at LifeYield. He has deep experience running marketing automation platforms, managing social media, creating engaging content and coordinating multi-channel digital experiences for tech and financial services companies. He writes about personal branding and marketing strategies for advisors that help them attract prospects and retain clients.