Welcome back to the forty-second episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Carol Craigie. Carol is the co-founder of Fiscal Fitness Clubs of America, a financial wellness company that aims to expand the reach of financial planning advice using a combination of online education and Group Classes.
What’s fascinating about Carol’s business, though, is that while the idea of providing financial advice in a group format may seem alien to the traditional financial services industry, the reality is that it’s already established as an effective model amongst psychologists, and is used for a wide range of successful counseling programs, including Weight Watchers and AA. And not coincidentally, Carol’s training before she joined the financial services industry herself? She has a degree in Psychology, and a Master’s in Counseling.
In this episode, we talk in depth about how financial planning advice can be delivered in a group format. We explore the highly structured way that Fiscal Fitness Clubs takes clients through its process, starting with a series of 8 “Taking Control” classes, and followed by an ongoing series of Monthly Action Classes. The process is built entirely around focusing on cash flow first, and tackling the underlying issues that cause money stress, with the idea of breaking up financial self-improvement into a series of small bite-sized tasks that can be accomplished every month… and then using the group format as a way to create peer-to-peer accountability, including the fact that everyone gets a “money buddy” when they first start.
From there, we also talk about the business model of doing financial planning and financial wellness in a group format, the experimentation that Fiscal Fitness Clubs is doing with various price levels and group sizes, and how financial advisors can actually get paid upwards of $100 per hour to facilitate these financial wellness groups… which suggests that financial advisors could actually make a very solid income, serving a group of consumers that the industry has long claimed “can’t possibly” be economically feasible to serve as a financial advisor!
And be certain to listen to the end, when Carol shares her own journey from having served as the National Director of Financial Planning for both a wirehouse and a private bank before making this substantial pivot into financial wellness, and her perspective about what it will take for financial advisors to really succeed in an increasingly technology-driven future.
So whether you’ve ever been curious about the idea of delivering financial planning in a group format, or want a glimpse of how a financial wellness program can deliver financial advice value to the masses, or simply want some ideas and inspiration about the value of financial planning, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!