Find an advisor who will help you with your entire financial picture. Some advisors might be great at helping you set up retirement accounts. However, in addition to this you also want an advisor who can ensure you have your day-to-day budgeting in order and that you are on track to accomplish goals along your financial journey such as putting a downpayment on a house, saving for your children’s college, and anything else that is important to you!
As part of our series about what one should look for when hiring a financial planner or adviser, I had the pleasure of interviewing Isaiah Goodman. Isaiah was born in Colorado Springs, CO and grew up in Richfield, MN. After graduating with honors from Washington and Lee University, Isaiah started working in frozen foods at Target corp. He started as a business analyst running a $150M per year inventory business, and moved on to training and facilitating new hires as they were onboarded to Target. After working at Target for about 2.5 years, Isaiah joined the world of financial planning. He worked at an insurance company for 5 years before creating Becoming Financial in 2017. He is a Certified Financial Education Professional and a Certified Financial Education Instructor with a goal of attaining his CFPTM in 2020. Isaiah has been married to his wife Sarah since 2012. They reside in Maple Grove, MN and at home they are joined by their children Crue, Lakely, Waverly, and Rhodes, and dog Marshall.
Thank you so much for doing this with us, Isaiah! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Iactually became very interested in the stock market in 2007! We started an investment group in college, and learned a TON in 2008 when it fell apart and we were able to buy stocks super cheap. I actually used the money I earned from that group to put a down payment on my first home. That experience showed me there was something cool about this industry. After working at my first job for a few years I couldn’t help but venture back to something I could learn about all day.
Can you share a story about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting in the industry? Can you tell us what lesson or take away you learned from that?
For perspective, I started in 2011/2012 so smart phones were actually just becoming popular. The way to reach people was to actually call them…I’ll never forget calling one prospect over and over only to find out that I had the wrong number! I learned to double, and triple check things.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’m working on an app! I found that the biggest thing that people need is not just financial literacy, but training and practice. We’re a few months away from launching an app that will empower people to talk about, practice, and become good with money.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lesson that others can learn from that?
For me it was a couple years into the gig. My first year was really rough because my father died. We had a child my second year and I just wasn’t able to get everything to click. My third year I interviewed all of the top reps and asked them for advice. My fourth year I hit MDRT (Million Dollar Roundtable) and my confidence has been sky-high ever since. The biggest takeaway was to ask others that may have been in a similar spot before. Not everyone will help you, but most will.
What three pieces of advice would you give to your colleagues in the finance field to thrive and avoid burnout? Can you give a story or example?
- Think of the golden rule. Treat others how you’d want to be treated. When it comes to our field you really have to find the right niche of sales. Will you be commission based, fee only, charge a planning fee? When I was commission only it never jived right and when I created my own thing referrals and sales took off.
- Find your routine. MY most successful quarters have come from when I’m able to string together several streaks of 20–30 days of consistent habits. When I’m in the groove everything gets done and there is more than enough. When I’m on social media too much or have an off week with a few lunches that last too long, then the next few weeks are always a frenzy trying to catch up to create more business. When you’re in a frenzy, you skip the routines more, and it’s a downward cycle.
- Strive to work more efficiently. I used to think this meant work harder — and it does — but it’s not just waking up early and staying at the office late. Monitor and measure your results. If you find that you just can’t close clients over a certain age, stop calling them. If you call everyone and no one calls back, start emailing them. Be aware of your results and routines and tweak things so that you can maximize your concentration. Even if you work 10–12 hour days you’re probably only actually doing meaningful stuff about 5–6 hours. What if you could be at the office for 7 hours and still do meaningful stuff 5–6 hours?
Ok. Thank you for all of that. Let’s now move to the core focus of our interview. As an “finance insider”, you know much more about the finance industry than most consumers. If your loved one wanted to hire a financial advisor (not you :-)), which 5 things would you advise them to find out about before committing? Can you give an example or story for each?
1.Look for an advisor who is a fiduciary — an IAR or CFP. This advisor has a legal obligation to only work in the best interest of the client. If you were to work with an advisor who was non-fiduciary, it’s not bad, but he or she could potentially recommend investment decisions to earn themselves money, not you!
I had a client who didn’t see great investment results for several years from their old advisor. We unfortunately found out that the advisor was moving equities often to earn commissions on the trades. They knew just the sweet spot to avoid flagging compliance for churning, but the front-load mutual funds and individual stock trading fees added up quite a bit on the small account.
2. Find an advisor who will help you with your entire financial picture. Some advisors might be great at helping you set up retirement accounts. However, in addition to this you also want an advisor who can ensure you have your day-to-day budgeting in order and that you are on track to accomplish goals along your financial journey such as putting a downpayment on a house, saving for your children’s college, and anything else that is important to you!
In my previous jobs I often grew frustrated because I couldn’t help my clients with things like student loans or budgeting without using it more as a guisel to have them purchase a product. I loved it and it was what most of my clients wanted to do most, but I couldn’t get paid for my time, only my sales. In my own business I’m much more aligned with my goals and values now!
3. Learn how much you need to have in order to work with the advisor, and how they will be paid. Many advisors will only work with clients who have investments of $250k, $500k or more. Others may charge you by the hour for spending time with you and creating a plan. Still others might charge a very high flat rate. Maybe an advisor costs $50 per hour or $2000 per year. Many of our clients want to have $500k or more someday but need someone who will help them to get to that point. Look for an advisor who will work with you where you are at now to help you crush your goals in the future! You have to find what’s right for you.
Because of the commission tables at some large firms it really doesn’t make much financial sense for them to take client accounts under a certain amount. If they receive 50% of the 1% AUM fee, then a $100,000 rollover will only earn them about $500 before taxes. If they spend 2–4 sessions meeting a client to discuss their plans, all of the sudden they see that they are maxed out at meeting about 400 clients per year. If they have office expenses and staff to pay, $200k per year won’t cover all of that and their take-home income. (I know $200k seems like a lot, but not necessarily before taxes in a service-based expertise business)
4. Seek out someone who can challenge you. They need to keep you accountable and on track for your goals.
I’ve had clients cry in my office because they were disappointed with where they were or because they were sad about their lack of progress before meeting me. I’ve been able to help turn those tears into joy by coaching them to place they wouldn’t have gone without me.
5. Find someone you are comfortable with! You will be spending a good deal of time with this person and you need to be able to share your current situation, your fears, your goals, and your dreams. You want someone who understands you and can cheer you on along the way.
The very best part of this job is seeing people accomplish their life milestones. New babies, new jobs, trips, savings goals. All of it! I’m literally sitting in a client’s newly built home as I type this.
I think most people think that financial advisors are for very wealthy people. This is likely not actually true. Can you explain who would most benefit from hiring a financial advisor and why? Can you give an example?
Financial advisors certainly often work with very wealthy people, but the truth is that most people are not super wealthy and instead need advice on how to increase their wealth, not just manage it. For average people, a financial advisor can look at your current financial situation and goals and work with you to put together a plan to accomplish this. Maybe this is to get out of crippling consumer debt and putting together a budget. Maybe this means opening retirement accounts and learning how to invest wisely. And maybe this means helping you optimize your already well-funded accounts. Whatever stage you are in, there should be an advisor who can help you!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My wife and my mom. They’ve supported me through the ups and downs of this crazy business!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Already working on it… it’s called “MoneyVerbs”. Be on the lookout for our Financial Training app in 2020!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.