Ep. 189: Building a Client-Centric Business: Advice from Penny Phillips, Journey Strategic Wealth

Come on in and sit back relax, you’re listening to Episode 189 of the WealthTech Today podcast. I’m your host, Craig Iskowitz, founder of Ezra Group Consulting and this podcast features interviews, news and analysis on the trends and best practices all around Wealth Management Technology.

My guest for this episode is the one and only Penny Phillips! In January 2021, Penny co-founded, Journey Strategic Wealth, an RIA for financial advisors seeking independence and full-fledged practice management support. She currently serves as the firm’s President. Before Journey, Penny founded practice management firm Thrivos Consulting in 2018. She previously ran a national business-building workshop series for financial advisors. Penny has authored multiple practice management programs, and has been featured as a keynote speaker at conferences and events for some of the largest broker-dealers and insurance companies. She worked with countless advisory teams and broker dealers on issues ranging from the integration of next generation talent to succession planning to communication and behavior management. In fact, she was just a keynote speaker at the Pershing conference in Orlando and in this episode, we talk about some of the insights she shared with the over 2,000 attendees.

But before we get started, If you are an executive of a wealthtech firm that’s selling software to RIAs, broker-dealers, asset managers, TAMPs or others, then you should run, not walk to our website, ezragroupllc.com and fill out the Get in Touch form on the home page. Our experienced team can assist with software vendor evaluations systems integrations, improving operational efficiency, software implementations and a whole lot more. You can take advantage of our free initial consultation offer by going to EzraGroupllc.com. Now, let’s kick this thing off!

Topics Mentioned

  • Doing Everything Yourself Limits Growth
  • The Impact of M&A
  • Client Experience is a Spectrum
  • Are Next Gen Advisors Ready to Take Over?
  • Using Technology to Help Advisors
  • Integration Are Still A Big Problem
  • Don’t Overlook the Simple Stuff

Episode Transcript

Craig: I’m excited to introduce our next guest on the program. It is Penny Phillips, co-founder and president of Journey Strategic Wealth. Hey Penny, welcome.

Penny: Hi there. Great to be here.

Craig: It’s great to be here with you. It’s like we just saw each other, just the other day.

Penny: We did day. I always see you. I’m very excited to be formally talking to you, I guess, on this podcast. Thanks for having me.

Craig: I’m glad you could be here, and we just saw each other in Florida and Orlando at the Pershing Inside Conference.

Penny: That’s right. I just posted about this on social media. I was really impressed. I go to a lot of conferences. The larger ones sometimes are hit or miss. I thought it was a hit, not just because I was on stage, by the way, on a panel, but because I thought the content was really good and fresh and speakers were great. I liked it.

Craig: See now you’re underselling yourself here. You weren’t just on a panel; you were on the keynote on the final day right before Magic Johnson came out. Everyone was there, full house on the Thursday morning of the conference, which is hard to do. They gave you a nickname. They called you the coach.

Penny: Yes. That was a very cool experience. It was awesome. It was a huge room too. I think they must have had over 2000 people there. It was a great panel. I told you this, Craig, when I’m on panels like that, what’s super important to me or podcasts is just to give the advisor a voice. I know we speak to the advisor perspective. I’ve never been an advisor, but I spent my career coaching consulting advisors and now obviously running a firm for advisors. Bringing the advisors day-to-day struggles is something that’s super important to me. Because I think sometimes executives tend to talk at a very high level and miss what advisors are actually facing day to day.

Craig: Oh indeed. It is important to focus on that. A lot of firms don’t, they just assume advisors will always be there and assume the advisors are getting what they want.

Penny: That’s right.

Doing Everything Yourself Limits Growth

Craig: In which they don’t, and it is a problem. One of the things you mentioned, if I could pull some of the quotes. I was madly tweeting while you were speaking on the panel. One of the things you said, I’m just going to throw these out to you and you can expand on that. The biggest reason that solopreneur practices hit a growth plateau is because the advisors tries to do everything herself.

Penny: I saw you tweet that and I thought it was very clever that you put herself. I noticed that.

Craig: Oh, thank you.

Penny: Yes. That was very clear. Actually, his is totally unrelated, but I’ll share it. Someone just sent me a mutual NDA from a firm and it’s an advisor we’re talking to, and the mutual NDA had his business, his location embedded in the language of the contract. I just thought that was interesting and so old school, so I noticed that. That was one of the first things I think I shared when we were talking about growth, and look, it’s true. I mean, this used to be a transactional sales oriented business. Before we were fiduciaries in the industry. Before most advisors were fiduciaries and you could grow a business by just bringing on more bodies and advisors weren’t really worried about scaling or really building enterprise value.

They were focused on cash-flow and production and their rep code and all of that. The business has totally changed. As it’s changed, we’ve required more from the advisor. I talk about this all the time. I think it’s really interesting that the last decade or so we’ve been pushing this narrative of advisor needs to become CEO. Without really giving advisors the A, how to do that, but B, permission to say, I don’t really want to be a CEO, I really enjoy working with clients, or I really enjoy one aspect of the business. What’s happened is obviously, advisors have 57 different responsibilities and they’re the rainmaker and the founder and the operator and the HR person and growth and prospecting falls by the wayside. We see advisors plateauing at a very specific point, by the way, in the business’ life cycle, and that’s only going to lead to more consolidation in our industry.

Craig: Everything seems to lead to consolidation in the industry, isn’t it?

Penny: Yeah, it does. You’ve been around a while longer than me. It’s cyclical. We’re almost going back to where the industry was, at least in the independent space a few decades ago. I don’t think we’ll get to just like a couple of big firms or the big four or whatever but I definitely think the larger enterprises are going to dominate. We’re still going to see some solopreneur practices more of the lifestyle boutique practices, surviving and thriving. But we’re definitely moving to a place where the bigger firms are going to dominate from a growth perspective and from an attracting new advisor and client perspective.

The Impact of M&A

Craig: Another speaker at the Pershing conference mentioned that there are 500 RIAs started just year to date. The industry is certainly — there’s low barriers for entry, so there’s a lot of firms starting up and there’s still a tremendous amount of M&A. How does that impact your business?

Penny: It’s a good question and I agree. By the way, that stat is, there’s so much within that. You can call yourself an RIA and be an RIA structurally technically speaking, but be a service provider and just offer back office support. You can be an RIA in the traditional sense where you are the business that’s responsible for doing everything and growing the practice. There’s a lot of different RIAs out there. I would say it affects our business because this is an ultra-saturated marketplace right now. I think it actually strengthens our story. I tell advisors all the time, if you are a few billion, billion in assets, I don’t know, unless you really, really want to be an operator, you really enjoy running and building a business and not advising by the way or growing a business. I just don’t know why you’d go out and start an RIA right now.

I think a lot of advisors who choose to do that, I understand why they do it. Many of them are entrepreneurial in nature. The idea of building their own thing feels and sounds good. Maybe they came from a captive environment a captive firm or a big firm. They really want that independence. But for me, once the advisor actually does that and recognizes how hard it is to run and scale that business, I always remind them independence doesn’t necessarily mean your name is on the door. You really got to define independence for yourself. Independence means having time to do what you love. Independence means nobody’s breathing down your neck telling you they own your clients. With all these RIAs emerging, I actually think it’s good for our business because of our value proposition and how we actually help advisors operate.

Craig: That’s a great quote. “Independence doesn’t mean your name has to be on the door.”

Penny: It doesn’t have to mean, and one vision that I’ve had, one of our big visions for Journey is that we would challenge the industry’s perception on what it means to be independent. Because everyone equates independence. It’s your DBA, your name, you own the business and run it outright. You’re the CEO. Ironically, some of the advisors I’ve spoken to who have that model are a slave to their business and recognize like, I actually, I might be “independent” no one owns my rep contract, but I have less time. I don’t enjoy what I’m doing and the valuation for my business is not maximized in this current structure. It’s just an interesting thing that’s happened now and a lot of it has to do with consolidation.

Client Experience is a Spectrum

Craig: One of the other things that you mentioned on stage was, one of our differentiators at Journey Strategic Wealth is that we think about client experience even before someone becomes a client. What did you mean by that? Why is that important?

Penny: That was the second thing I said. I am very good note taking from you, Craig. The client experience is a spectrum, I said this on stage. It begins from lead generation. The way in which you talk about what you do, the way in which you market your services that is the first time a prospect and hopefully that prospect becomes a client is really interacting and interfacing with you. What was important to us was to create this cohesive experience that begins before someone’s onboarded. When they’re first interacting with Journey, when they’re first hearing about us, when they’re first reading our content or engaging with somebody on our team. We break out the client experience and we think of it as a spectrum and we break it down into different phases from lead generation to prospect nurturing, client onboarding, client servicing, review meetings, and then ultimately Next Generation wealth transfer rather.

If you imagine that right, we’re taking the client through the full life cycle of engaging with us. What was really critical was that at each of these stages, we gave not just a consistent experience, but an exceptional experience that really was scalable, first of all on the backend, but also felt like it had been customized uniquely to the client. There’s so much to talk to about this area, but that’s what I meant by that. I meant the client experience starts from the second a consumer interacts with your brand.

Craig: Something else that you said, you were talking about the transfer of wealth as advisors age out of the industry, that they’re going to need two kinds of advisors. You need the advisors who are producers, which is the typical thought of an advisor. You’ve got to go out there and make rain, you’ve got to go out there and close deals. But with these books of business that are going to be left after advisors age out, someone’s got to manage them. That’s a different type of advisor. Can you talk a little bit about those differences and how you hire those different types of advisors?

Penny: This is another really big topic, I could talk about this for two hours, but for a long time —

Craig: We only have 30 minutes Penny —

Penny: I know it’s not enough time. You know how much I talk, come on Craig. But it’s a big topic because for so long in our industry, we’ve been talking about the need for producers. I always joke, I say, we’ve done a great job as an industry of scaring the heck out of advisors for as long as they’ve been in business. We were telling them Robos, were going to replace them. Then we were telling them, oh my gosh, there’s nobody to replace you from a human advisor standpoint. You’ve built these businesses and they’re just going to disappear to the universe somewhere. The reality is because the industry’s consolidating, and again, this may not be a popular comment, but the industry has almost solved the succession issue for itself with all of the M&A activity that’s happening. Meaning an advisor ages out of the business and they don’t have a successor. Guess what? There’s a firm that’s going to buy them. There’s a firm that’s going to step in and serve their clients and clients are going to be fine.

My message to advisors is that it’s actually less important, slightly less important and much more difficult to nurture and develop rainmaker advisors. For multiple reasons, by the way, some of it’s generational than it is to hire, develop, and nurture what the industry needs more of, which is advisors who can service business and preserve and retain revenue. I think about it as in-house advisors and rainmaker advisors. I probably said this quote on stage advisors that can hunt in the zoo and not in the wild. What the industry calls lead advisors, advisors that are responsible for managing relationships and delivering advice. Because advisors are aging out, there aren’t that many successor advisors that have been raised in groom to take over the business. But there’s this other piece that they’re just less producer rainmaker advisors being born and bred today than there were 30-40 years ago. That’s the whole generational conversation. A Millennial or Gen Z advisor is very, very different and was raised very, very differently than the baby boomer even young silent generation advisor that’s retiring or has retired.

Are Next Gen Advisors Ready to Take Over? 

Craig: That’s the next thing I was going to ask you about because speaking of controversial things, you’ve said, Penny Phillips on stage. You also said that the difference between the next generation advisors who are coming into the business were grew up in an environment of participation, trophies and constant positive reinforcement, which is very different than the advisors they’re replacing who grew up in a negative reinforcement culture where if you didn’t hit your numbers, you were out.

Penny: Yes.

Craig: How’s that going to change the way the businesses are being run now that this new wave of Next Gen advisors are taking over?

Penny: Oh my gosh. There’s just less and advisor producer. This has always been a challenge in our industry. You look at any big firm and the retention numbers like this has always been a challenge. It’s only going to become more of a challenge because let’s face it. The younger advisors coming into the business today, and I’m generalizing here for any of the younger talent listening that disagrees. But they don’t want to be salespeople. I grew up in the insurance broker dealer space as a consultant and find me young advisors today that want to come in and just sell life insurance to as many people as humanly possible. It’s just not going to happen. Or advisors who want to come in and be the traditional sort of brokers just trying to raise as many assets as possible.

Advisors don’t want to do that as much anymore. They want to be advisors. They come out of CFP programs, they get their CFPs because they want to be advisors. They want to deliver advice. But the differences in generations have changed the entire dynamics of sales cultures and I alluded to this. What the characteristics that underpin the next generation. Participation trophy society, positive reinforcement culture, our confidence, our ability to succeed, our ability to feel good about the work we’re doing is based on what? It’s based on the number of likes we get. As a younger generation, we respond to positive reinforcement, to constant feedback. We’re more likely to be successful if we’re on teams surrounding by people who are helping us move forward. That is totally different from maybe the industry. You started out in Craig where it was, you were an in individual producer, you had to hit your numbers, you were out and you responded to negative reinforcement.

Someone telling you you’re not going to make it, I’m generalizing that made you want to succeed. You’re cold calling more people or whatever. It’s just totally different now. I also think there’s this nuance about rejection advisors who’ve made it in this business, who’ve been in the business for 30-40 years, are comfortable facing rejection. The younger generation is not; the younger generation has lived their whole lives via technology. We break up with people via social media apps. We make decisions and engage with service providers behind a technology wall. Our ability to really deal with conflict in a way that’s conducive to ultimately selling and getting past rejection. It’s just totally different now, and so that’s what I was alluding to.

Craig: Well, let’s not get in my personal life, but breaking up with people over apps. Okay? That’s just a low blow Penny!

Penny: Sorry if that was triggering to you. I’m sorry, Craig.

Craig: I have a degree in computer science and I started out on the technology side of the business and I had to train myself how to be a salesperson. Because I’m the rainmaker at my company, Ezra Group Consulting, one thing I learned, I took a lot of course. I read a lot of sales books and one of the things that stuck with me, I think was a Zig Ziglar even an audio course, it was so long ago, I listened to it on cassette. That’s how old I am. What he said was, if you’re not hearing no 10 times a day, you’re not doing a good job. Because as a salesperson, you have to be, knocking on doors.

Penny: That’s right.

Craig: If you close one deal out of 10, you have to knock on 10 doors. If you want 10 deals, you got to knock on a hundred doors just in the very simplistic terms. You’re going to hear 90 no’s. So you’re not hearing nine no’s a day, you’re not talking to enough people. But that’s certainly not the way a lot of people generalizing, using generalization are brought up today.

Penny: That’s right. But there is an exception to all of this, and it’s a characteristic that I see in advisors regardless of age who are successful. When we talk about the best in the business, there’s something that unites all of them, and I’ve seen it in people that are 22-years-old and certainly people who are in their 60s and 70s. It’s what I call the relentless prospector mindset. It’s the advisors that have so much conviction in what they do. They believe so deeply in the profession itself and the value of what they provide, that they feel obligated to talk about what they do. They don’t see it as, gosh, I’m making the ask or I’m trying to sell what I’m doing. They think of it as it is my responsibility to talk about what we do to help more people.

The advisors that think like that, that have that mindset do not even think about rejection. They do not care about rejection. All they care about is spreading the message of what they do because they have a bigger mission. I really think it’s important, even for the younger generation to tap into that, align yourself with firms or build a firm culture that’s really tied to the greater impact of the work that you do that will help you ultimately feel confident telling the story over and over. Even if people don’t want to sign on as a client.

Craig: Relentless prospector mindset, I would abbreviate that as always be closing.

Penny: ABC. That’s right. That’s exactly right.

Craig: That’s what I hear. But it is true that if you’re really passionate about your business you’re not following your passion, you’re passionate about your business, which is a difference.

Penny: That’s right.

Craig: If you’re that passionate, you like talking about it. It’s not something you have to be forced into doing.

Penny: That’s right.

Using Technology to Help Advisors

Craig: Let’s shift gears into your favorite topic, which is technology. I know you were just chomping at the bit the talk technology. From your point of view, Penny, how is your firm using technology to help advisors? Can you talk a little bit about it? Not too deep. I know you’re itching to really just go really super deep but just keep it high level for me.

Penny: Well, the thing is, the reason sometimes I don’t want to have the tech conversation is because we’ve been saying the same things about technology for the last decade. One of my alma maters is, Envestnet, I consulted at Envestnet in-house. Just so many of the same conversations we were having then with advisors were still having now in the business. The one thing that was important to me when a launching journey, so we’re an RIA structured like a roll up for anybody who isn’t familiar. Advisors join us, they outsource all of their operations to journey, meaning we do everything for them. We open accounts for them, we bill, we trade, we do reporting, we manage investments, everything. It was really critical for me in thinking about how do we put a Tech stack together for advisors was obviously we needed something that would help us scale the business. Scale’s one of the most important words for any RIA roll up.

But the other thing that was really important was how can we use tech to drive advisor behavior? Our model is centered around this idea that if we give advisors 80% of their time a week to just business develop or work with clients, what will we do with that time? Ideally, and we’re helping them do this, they’re using that time efficiently. They’re in front of people, they’re talking about the business, they’re helping more clients. They’re working with higher tier households. They’re growing at a faster rate. One of the things was we really needed to make sure that the technology we were choosing was advisor friendly so that advisors can use technology to get deeper with clients and ultimately run their practices more efficiently. The other thing that was really important about what tech we chose was we needed tech that helped us institutionalize the client experience.

I said this on stage, I’ll say it again. The best firms in the business, so the firms that are growing, the firms that are going to be around for the next couple of decades are the firms that understand that everything that happens to the client, whether it’s the welcome letter they get when they first onboard with a firm or the review meeting agenda. They get seven days in advance of a meeting or the phone call they get from a service advisor, letting them know their account is open and funded, whatever it is. Any of those things that happen to the client happen because technology has either been automated to have it happen at a certain point in time or technology is alerting a person, an advisor to take action. Pick up the phone and call the client at an optimal time or let the client know something or whatever it is.

We really needed a tech that enabled us to do that. Our Tech Stack is, the usual suspects. It’s Wealthbox, Orion, eMoney. We have what I call our value-added tools, Riskalyze, Asset-Map, Holistiplan. From my perspective, Craig, there’s the core tech, the software that we need as an operations firm to scale advisors’ businesses. That’s our Orion and our CRM. But the advisors should have choice around what they use to actually make their experience come to life. All of our advisors happen to use E-money but if an advisor has a certain liking for a planning tool that they use, we will take a look at it and add it to our stack. It’s our responsibility, at least I see it as our responsibility as the “home office” to make the tech work for advisors. It’s not our job to limit the advisor’s tools just because we want to use a certain tech piece.

Craig: Let me just quickly review your tech stack, Wealthbox CRM, Orion portfolio management, eMoney financial planning, Riskalyze tolerance and risk assessment, Holistiplan tax. Was there anything else that I missed?

Penny: No, I think you got it.

Craig: In picking those, how do you feel about those choices now? It’s been a little bit since you made those decisions. How are you feeling about your tech stack now?

Penny: How am I feeling?

Craig: Don’t you like talk about it? What don’t you like about it?

Integration Are Still A Big Problem

Penny: Well, I’ll say this — I know, well, look, I’ll say this, we have a long way to go in our industry before we get to a place where we’ve really optimized tech for the advisor and the client. I mean that in a couple of different ways. I mean, anybody listening knows this. The tech is not as integrated as anybody will tell you it is. One of my biggest learnings switching from consulting and coaching to actually running an RIA was, gosh, all the things my clients were telling me and complaining about as it relates to tech is actually true. Something as —

Craig: I didn’t believe them.

Penny: I didn’t believe it. I was like, stop complaining. No, but something as simple, and I always use this example because it’s such a perfect example of an issue that the industry doesn’t solve for, but is a top issue for advisors. The naming conventions within different tech tools, getting data to flow from one tool, one platform to the next. If the naming conventions, the different systems are different, and also we’re dealing with the custodians. That’s sometimes my biggest rub. If the naming conventions don’t match, you need to bring in some other solution, a backend piece of technology, or you need to build your own data warehouse in order to solve for that, in order to get data to flow effectively and efficiently from one system to the next. It’s something so simple that we haven’t yet solved for and it doesn’t seem like we are solving for that really breaks down the efficiency of a tech stack. So that’s something I don’t like, something else I don’t like, I think we talk a lot about client experience in our industry.

We do very little to actually build a client experience in any of our tools. I mean, we talk about client portals. Having a client portal is not a differentiator. It’s table stakes. I mean, go on Robin Hood, go on any one of these self-directed apps and feel the experience. We are nowhere near what it feels like to be on any of these platforms. I mean, these platforms think about not just like ease of getting data and visualizing our finances, but these apps outside of our, wealth management space are thinking about things like gamification, community making you feel like you’re part of something. We’re nowhere near that. That’s something else I don’t like. The other thing I’ll say that I don’t like, and this is the age old issue integrations. I mean, you go to any conference, you hear about how integrated all the tech is, it’s not.

There are some tools that just don’t play, nice in the sandbox for their own reasons. Again, we’re really doing a disservice to advisors, particularly to the advisors that want to stay as solo-preneur advisors. Because the bigger institutions are going to solve for it because they have resources, they have money, they can build their own tech, they can build their own dashboards. The individual advisors are going to suffer. The advisors at the broker dealers that are managing to the lowest common denominator. Those are the advisors that are going to struggle things I like. That’s a harder one to immediately have an answer to. I mean, look, we are Orion users. I think the depth and breadth of the Orion platform, whether you like it or not, it’s impressive. I mean, there’s so much that you could do, especially around portfolio management and trading.

You could really scale a business. I mean, you could scale a big business with disparate firms that all do things slightly differently. You can really easily scale a business like that, which is pretty incredible. I think I also like that technology is helping advisors move down the wealth management value chain, and that is something that we really have to focus on. As our business becomes more commoditized, the advisor that is going to not just survive, but thrive is the advisor that can deliver on wealth management in a deeper way. Meaning they’re introducing tax planning into their practice not necessarily doing people’s taxes, right, but tax planning. They are serving clients in unique in different ways and they’re using technology efficiently to do that. I think holistic plan and tools like fpAlpha, I mean their use of artificial intelligence and their use of AI to really easily help clients deliver insights to help advisors rather deliver insights to clients. I mean, that’s impressive stuff. I like the value add tech that’s out there. I think some of the core tech, we really need to focus on improving client experience and optimizing the way in which we work with other vendors in the space.

Craig: You’ve hit on a number of areas that are also my hot button issues, especially on integrations at Ezra Group. This is our 18th year in the wealth and asset management business and integrations were the bane of our existence for many years. Last year we launched a research database we’re calling the WealthTech Integration Score to help do some of the things you were mentioning.

  • One is, provide some transparency because it’s very difficult to know who integrates with, who has a lot of fluff marketing fluff out there in vaporware. Yeah, sure, we integrate with X, Y, Z and then you buy it and then it turns out they don’t really integrate with them at all. Or if they do, it’s a very small section of what you really need.
  • Our score is helping to do that, but the second part of the score is to help nudge vendors along to do more, to build out more robust APIs and more integrations that can do more and provide better advisor experience and client experience. We’re behind you. A hundred percent fair, Penny.

Penny: I do have to give you kudos and you did not know I was going to say this, but we have gone out to firms and said, Hey, here are the challenges we’re facing. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, we want to make the tech work together and we want to use the technology to derive critical insights about not just our advisors, but our clients. Like how do we do that? Every firm out there, every consultant says they can help with that. I would say, you really understand the issues that firms like ours face and everything you reflected back to us was so spot on. Kudos to you guys for really leading in this area. What you’re doing is very much needed.

Craig: Well, thank you Penny, and yet this does nothing to do with the check I’m going to be sending you after this call.

Penny: I need the money. Send it. You’re welcome.

Don’t Overlook the Simple Stuff

Craig: I’ll do that. I think we’re just about out of time here but let’s just talk one more question. When you mentioned we’re still having the same conversations as you had a long time ago, and then you also mentioned to me that a lot of tech firms are overlooking the simple stuff. Can you talk about those? Are those things related or are they different?

Penny: Oh, I definitely think they’re related. I mean, they’re separate and related at the same time. Again, it’s different with depending on which channel in the industry you’re looking at. But so many of these bigger firms, again, that have to manage thousands of advisors, businesses and experiences are still using really outdated tech. The technology has actually been updated at the firm level, but the broker dealer is still on an outdated, older version of it. There’s that and we’re still talking about that and still dealing with that in our industry. But I would say that the second part is I think firms, and I’ve always believed this really overcomplicate issues. I think what we miss sometimes is, what is the advisor challenged with on a day-to-day basis? I’ll just give you a simple example.

A certain tech firm may be wanting to be really forward thinking and build an AI chat bot in their tech tool. Or they may be thinking about how do we use our tool to create community amongst advisors. Well, the individual advisor is faced with the challenge of like a DocuSign envelope at their custodian only allowing for five account paperwork documents. Like that’s how simple firms need to think as it relates to how to really get more advisors using their tools and more advisors operating optimally. We haven’t solved for the fundamentals. My recommendation to every tech company out there is have an advisor take you through a day in their life and a day in the life of the new client. From the paperwork or the link that’s getting sent to the client to how the new contact in the CRM flows to the portfolio management tool, flows to the planning tool. Everything you need to know about how to prioritize the initiatives at your firm will come from that. There’s a major disconnect between what advisors want tech firms to work on and what they are working on, and that’s always been the case

Craig: We can just keep going on and on and on. But I’m going to bring this one in because we’re out of time. Penny where can anyone find out more information about your firm?

Penny: JourneyStrategicWealthAdvisor.com, and you could Google me, Penny Phillips, I’m on Twitter, I’m on LinkedIn, I’m on YouTube, always talking to advisors, always trying to bring the advisor perspective.

Craig: I love your LinkedIn videos.

Penny: Thank you so much. I appreciate that.

Craig: Thanks a lot, appreciate you being here.

Penny: Thanks Craig.



The Wealth Tech Today blog is published by Craig Iskowitz, founder and CEO of Ezra Group, a boutique consulting firm that caters to banks, broker-dealers, RIA’s, asset managers and the leading vendors in the surrounding #fintech space. He can be reached at craig@ezragroupllc.com