Getting To Know The Reformed Broker

There's a good chance you are already familiar with Josh Brown--he really needs no introduction. BUT, just in case you are a financial advisor beginning to uncover the world of FinTwit and the financial blogosphere, the latest episode of The Human Advisor is a must-watch! If you've been following Josh for awhile, it's still a must-watch; if you THINK you know JB, I'm willing to guarantee you will learn something new about him in this episode--I know I did.

I had some inside information that this episode was being recorded and I've been anxiously awaiting it. Josh Brown's fingerprints are all over my progression as a financial advisor. His blog, The Reformed Broker, was the first financial blog that I stumbled across and inspired me to start my own blog. His transparency as a financial advisor and leader not only laid out a blueprint for how I wanted to run my business, but also reaffirmed my views of where our profession is heading and how to stay ahead of the curve, giving me the confidence to step out and share my voice.

In the episode Josh talks about having people that he looks up to and feels like he'll never catch, well I understand what he means because he is one of those people for me. I owe a lot of my growth and success in recent years to him.

Any chance I get to listen, read, or watch Josh I do because I always take away something and end motivated to do more, so let's get to the conversation...

Some Thoughts

Rather than highlight the personal side of the episode, I wanted to pull out the parts of the episode that I feel advisors should see/understand/contemplate--the parts that will help you become an Advisor of Tomorrow:

The Trajectory Of Public Speaking (Minute 12:00)

Not everyone wants to speak at conferences--but if you're like me, public speaking is not a fear, but something you really enjoy. I'm in the early stages of getting to speak, so I don't have much to add other than I appreciate Josh's advice because I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to speak at conferences and I LOVE doing it, but I also hate to be away from my family and with three boys, leaving home for a couple of days puts a lot of stress on my wife, which is something I don't really want to do.

This part of the video may not apply to everyone, but if you enjoy public speaking, definitely take notes.

The Hiring Process (Minute 24:00)

Instead of growing Ritholtz Wealth Management via acquisition, Josh is growing the firm by creating financial advisors who are "fans" of the way RWM operates. Financial advisors are beginning to understand how leveraging content and telling their story can help attract new clients, but it can also help attract great advisors looking for a firm that is better suited for their beliefs.

Let's face it, there are A LOT of financial advisors working at firms that do not align with their values. I know this because I'm talking to them almost daily--I used to be one of those advisors--and they are anxious to leave for a better fit. If you are a firm owner, the content you create for clients also tells a story to financial advisors and WILL attract advisors that align with your values. And I can confirm this because if I ever decide to hang up my firm-owner duties, Josh will be the FIRST person I call.

Josh and the Ritholtz Wealth Management team were early to writing blogs, which has served them well in terms of growing their business over the last 6 years with new clients across the country. They are ahead of the curve again by using the same content to grow their firm with talented financial advisors, and I have no doubt it will serve them well again.

Other takeaways:

  • If it's not an obvious yes, it's a no. There are no maybes. "We're snobs."
  • The "would I have them to my house for dinner?" test.
  • Create a family environment within the firm.
  • Acquisition of firms could lead to having to bring on advisors/staff that may not be a good fit.
  • "It's not size for the sake of size" applying to both new advisors and new clients.

Creating Content To Develop Fans To Become Clients (Minute 27:00-33:00)

Day one of being a financial advisor you are taught to prospect and early on there is no escaping the torture of prospecting. BUT, with time, creating consistent high-quality content can replace the traditional tasks of prospecting. Whether it's creating fans like we discussed above--people who want to work with you because they subscribe to your belief system and have been reading/listening/following for awhile--or helping with SEO, creating content in one form or another should be a part of every firm looking to grow's strategy.

Not only does creating fans make growth easier, it also improves the likelihood that you will be growing with the RIGHT clients. In addition to the fans created, your content will also deflect clients who will not be a good fit. For example, if your investment philosophy is a passive strategy and you write about this and explain why, readers who are looking for active strategies are not going to reach out because they know that's not your approach.

Other takeaways:

  • "You cannot make someone want a financial advisor". This is such an important fact for young advisors to understand--early on you are going to sit across from individuals and couples trying to educate them on why they need a financial advisor and you'll be right, but as Josh explains, it won't be until a life event occurs that they'll understand. Content can help educate them while they figure it out and when the time comes, you'll be top of mind.
  • Content does not immediately lead to people calling in (aka LONG-GAME).
  • Great content is a long term investment.

How To Handle Social Media Negativity (Minute 50:00)

Once you take the leap and begin to put yourself out there and create content, you will eventually come across someone who does not like what you have to say--and most of the time these individuals will be hiding behind an anonymous account. If you've never experienced it, you probably don't think it will bother you--it will and it will bother you more than you think.

Trust me.

I've experienced it and I've seen other financial advisors really get knocked down by someone who does not deserve any of their time or thoughts.

Other takeaways:

  • It really is a minor part of our lives.
  • Focus on what you really want to focus--growing your firm, your clients, etc.
  • Consider the mindset of someone who has and takes the time to attack you or your work.

Before I wrap this post up, I want to take a moment to compliment Tyrone Ross for getting the most out of Josh. I can't think of anyone else who could have gotten Josh to open up and share his personal side like Tyrone did. Although I focused on the parts of the conversation that will help your practice, I think getting to see Josh the person, the dad, the husband was the best part. Tyrone really is becoming the Oprah of the financial podcast.

So, now you have my thoughts on the best takeaways...did I miss anything?

Let me know what you helped you the most--Twitter: @Jus10Castelli or jc at justincastelli dot io.