In this week’s episode of “Secrets to Scale,” Alli speaks with Jay Hummel, Partner and Co-Founder of Wealth Advisor Growth Network (WAGN). WAGN is dedicated to helping independent advisors accelerate growth and realize their potential.
Click here to view Jay’s episode of the podcast or read some highlights from Alli and Jay’s conversation below.
WAGN’s First Year as a Business
2020 was a big year for Jay and his partner, John Phoenix. They launched their first RIA on March 20, 2020, days after the pandemic lockdown began. Monday, March 23, was declared the bottom of the equity market, but they forged ahead and continued to find opportunities to help advisors.
Small to Medium-Sized Companies are Running this Country
Throughout the podcast, Jay stresses his beliefs in the business owner and that small and medium-sized businesses will continue to be the lifeblood of the economy. Small, agile teams allow each person to wear many hats and be much more efficient as they all work to reach a specific goal.
WAGN is truly passionate about the idea that independent advisors can serve small or mid-sized business owners that have been ignored by larger-scale private client groups. Right now, Jay feels that independent firms aren’t serving small businesses the way they should because they may only be looking at assets under management instead of the whole picture. If RIAs expand their offerings, they'll open an entirely new market of opportunities, and they can work hand in hand with small-business owners for multiple-generations.
The Advisor YieldSM
WAGN trademarked The Advisor YieldSM and defines it in two ways: what’s best for the client and what’s best for the advisor. Nowadays, clients want the "Amazon effect;" they want advisors to do more for them; more one-stop shopping, more yield. It’s WAGN’s belief that if you build a platform in which you can do more for your client, you can grow your firm from 30-40% from a revenue standpoint without ever bringing in another client.
Similarly, we at LibertyFi want RIAs to understand what resources they have access to so they can do exactly what is necessary to grow their business.
Most Firms Don’t Know Where People are Spending Their Time
Jay gives an example of a firm that does their back-office work manually, and although they are growing 15-18% a year, instead of streamlining the business, they continue to onboard more employees. What they need is focus. With every new person comes the need to manage; adding people is a distraction that takes away the firm’s growth resources.
The reality is that most firms don't know where people are spending their time, and for a small firm that stat is vital to their growth. As Jay puts it, there's a shortage of talent under 40 in the wealth management space; and the top talent that does exist, and who is the future of your firm, will only be interested in joining your team if it's growing.
Take a lesson from Jay's book: Twice a year, color-code your calendar, and see where you're spending your time—internal, with clients, new business, etc. While you may think your spending 70% of the time growing your firm, in reality, it’s probably the opposite. This technique will show where the opportunities to streamline are and where advisors can add technology to automate processes to focus on growing the firm.
Jay’s #1 Tip to Achieve Scale in 2021
Think about how you can engage investors in a very different way and make it valuable. The past year has accelerated and opened new avenues for advisors to connect. The client who was going to go digital 5 years from now is now digital. Ask yourself how firms will run more effectively, given that we’re most likely not going back to the way things used to be.
To hear more from Jay, listen to his podcast, “The Deep Dive,” where he interviews industry leaders on various topics.