For much of its history, the financial advice industry has been dominated by a commission-based business model, where the comprehensive financial plan was a form of consultative selling that demonstrated to the prospective client their gaps (that the advisor’s products could fill). Given the one-off nature of the model, financial advisors would, in turn, need to gather as many clients as they possibly could in order to have a stable of existing clients with whom they do business again sometime down the road… often to a point where the advisor became overwhelmed with the number of individuals that they had to try to stay in touch with. However, as the nature of financial planning has become more about the relationship and ongoing advice rather than ‘just’ the transaction being implemented, additional business models (whether they be based on assets, income, a flat fee, or hourly) have evolved, giving advisors options to more effectively get paid for the ongoing advice relationship and providing ongoing comprehensive advice to their clients. Yet when an advisor has in the past primarily or only been compensated by commissions (that their clients don’t necessarily see), the transition to charging upfront or outright fees can be challenging. Which raises the question: what is the best way to communicate to clients when transitioning to a more fee-oriented business model?
In our 44th episode of Kitces & Carl, Michael Kitces and client communication expert Carl Richards discuss the key mindset shifts that advisors need to make in order to better serve their clients and themselves, how to present to clients who may not initially get why anything needs to change in the first place, and why, at the end of the day, most clients may not end out transitioning over… and why that’s okay!
The best way to navigate the transition to a more fee-based model depends on how the advisor comes to the proverbial commission/fee crossroads. One camp comes from the traditional brokerage model, and after years of accumulating a Rolodex of (sometimes hundreds of) clients find that they are starting to burn out, and want to get off the treadmill of having to continuously find new people to do business with and finding new products to offer. These advisors want to build a more focused business, with a smaller subset of their top “A” clients, and will often seek to transition legacy clients who they may have interacted with only a few times over the span of several years. In such circumstances, advisors will need to clearly lay out how the relationship will change, and all of the new (holistic) services that the clients who are staying will be getting on a regular basis.
The second type of advisor transitioning to a more fee-based model may have already started providing ongoing services, are proactive with their planning, and having regular meetings… but are getting buried in the volume because their (transactional high-volume) business model doesn’t match their (relationship-oriented lower-volume higher-touch) service model. In such instances, the conversation isn’t around all the services the advisor will be providing, but rather making sure that the fee structure is aligned with the work that’s being done so that it can continue to happen sustainably and scalably on an ongoing basis.
Ultimately, the key point is that the transition conversation isn’t about suddenly charging clients more and new fees, but instead doing a better job of aligning the advisor’s ongoing value to their ongoing business model, and aligning their ongoing business model to the advisor’s ongoing services. And, at the end of the day, it’s important to realize that many clients who hired an advisor for a more one-time transactional service will decide not to transition to a more ongoing relationship-based model, which may seem daunting at first blush but really means that the advisor will simply end out working fewer hours with a more focused clientele who really value what the advisor does and are willing to pay for it, ensuring the advisor can profitably serve the right relationships and charge what they are really worth!
***Editor’s Note: Can’t get enough of Kitces & Carl? Neither can we, which is why we’ve released it as a podcast as well! Check it out on all the usual podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, and Stitcher.
- Dan Sullivan’s Multiplier Mindset Blog: “If You Want People To Trust You, Ask Them This Question”
- Nick Murray
- Crafting An Annual Client Service Calendar To Illustrate A Financial Planner’s Value To Prospective Clients
- Kitces & Carl Ep 43: Discussing Financial Advice Fees And Value To Help Clients Better Understand The Benefits Of Financial Planning
- The Supernova Advisor: Crossing the Invisible Bridge to Exceptional Client Service and Consistent Growth by Robert D. Knapp
- Financial Advisor Success Requires Just 50 Great Clients
- Dunbar’s Number And How Many True Financial Planning Client Relationships You Can Really Have
Kitces & Carl Podcast Transcript
Michael: Good afternoon, Carl.
Carl: Greetings, Michael. How are you?
Michael: I’m doing well. I’m doing well. I just have to say I’m continuing – for all those who are listening and not seeing, you cannot see that behind Carl there is just this beautiful, magnificent, blue couch. And I would like to think that he selected the couch in honor of Kitces Blue. I’m sure he has some other excuse about how it was purely coincidental, but I like to think that it means deep down we have seated Kitces Blue into his mind to the point that he cannot help but shop for a couch and have it come up to be a beautiful blue.
Carl: Okay, there are a couple of things wrong with your story. Number one: it is beautiful. It is blue. It might get pretty close to your shirt. That’s fine. But the assumption you made there, that’s the critical thought – I was waiting until the end to see – is that I was involved in any way in the shopping process of this couch, which would be – anybody who knows me would… Anyway. So my wife is an interior designer. This is her favorite couch. We moved it from New Zealand. I complained the whole time, like seriously? I’m taking a couch from New Zealand to London? And now, somebody told me earlier today on a webinar, that has to be the most famous blue couch in the financial planning world. So now my wife is just ecstatic because everybody loves the couch.
Carl: So there you go. That’s the story.
Michael: So for our discussion today… I’m trying to think of a graceful way to transition from blue couches now. Transitioning businesses. So one of the questions that we got, we periodically put out on Twitter and through the website: what do you want to hear us talk about? And the request that we got was transitioning a practice. So for those of us who grew up in a more commission-based brokerage world, and we’ve done the transactional model, and we’ve done the commission-based model, and often got into commission-based practices, had been around for a while, 100 clients, 200 clients, 300 clients, 400 clients. And we want to start transitioning to a more fee-oriented model. Maybe that’s asset management fees. Maybe that’s retainer fees. Just some kind of…I get paid ongoing fees for an ongoing financial planning relationship.
We’ve talked about the value of planning and the value of relationships, explaining the fees and overcoming objections and all that, but we haven’t really talked about, how do you actually make that transition? Just getting from A to B, right? It’s hard enough talking to a prospect cold and saying, “Here’s my fee. Hopefully you think that’s worthwhile, and we can talk about what you’re comparing it to and why you want to come on board.” It’s a whole other matter when you go to a client that you’ve been working with for years because of that one commission they paid a long time ago and maybe a tiny trail along the way. And you want to go to them and say, “Well, I’m charging fees now.” They’re like, “Whoa. What’s going on here? You mean you want to change what you’re charging us after all these years?” That is a really challenging conversation, I think, for a lot of us, even if we want to make this shift.
And so I thought a good discussion, a good focus today is: how do you make that transition? I think how you talk about fees is probably relevant for everyone, including those that are already in fee models but particularly when you’re trying to make that transition and you have existing clients who are not used to paying fees or writing checks, or however it is you do your model. How do you make that transition? How do you set up that conversation? How do you get them on board with this new pricing model thing you’re trying to roll out to them?
When To Transition Clients From Commission-Based Fees To Ongoing Fees [04:58]
Carl: Yeah. Super interesting, actually. I hadn’t really – as we were talking about this – I hadn’t really thought about transitioning the pricing. I was thinking more about transitioning the relationship, right? Like how they view you. But yeah, the pricing is a whole other discussion if we’re saying, “Look. You’ve been paying. You paid a commission three years ago. And now we’re trying…” So I think there are a couple of things that are…well, there are definitely a couple of things that are really important.
If we’re going to change the way we’re charging somebody, then that throws a real spanner in the works, if you will. I think at that point we… The only way I think to do that is to be incredibly direct, right? The reason this is challenging is you’ve got to figure out a way to tell someone that the way you’ve been doing it with them is less valuable than the way you want to do it going forward.
Michael: Without throwing yourself under the bus.
Carl: Yeah. It’s a challenging conversation. I think it’s very similar to what I wanted to talk about, which was just…and I wasn’t thinking about the theme of it. I was just thinking, how do you transition a relationship? And in transitioning a relationship I’ve always advocated you don’t have to make a big statement about it. Right? So here’s a client paying. Let’s say I was thinking from the perspective of – remember the old days? And there are still a lot of people doing this, charging an AUM fee but still have a transactional relationship. And everything you do, your client reviews. Maybe a better way to think about this would be a performance-based relationship. Your client reviews their performance reports and annual reviews.
Michael: That kind of performance base. Not that I’m getting paid based on my performance results. I’m literally getting paid for doing my portfolio performance reviews.
Carl: Yeah, sorry. Performance reviews. The relationship is all about finding the best thing and building the best portfolio. Here’s your performance. We’re reporting on portfolio performance. We’re not reporting on progress towards goals. We want to transition away from performance, performance, performance towards financial planning. Well, in those cases I don’t think you make a big announcement.
Next time you have your annual review you save the last 15 minutes of the meeting, and you just say, “John, we’ve been working together forever. Sally, you’ve been a part of these conversations. You two have been coming in forever. We’ve done the performance review, the portfolio review.” And at the end of this conversation just say, “Look. I saved a little bit of time in our meeting today because I just want to have a conversation with you real quick. Now we’ve been working together for a long time, John and Sally, and I think I know the answer to these questions I’m going to ask, but it’s so important to me that I didn’t want to assume. So I just thought we’d have a conversation real quick.” And then you dive in.
If we were meeting – what you’re trying to do is get a sense of the desired future state. You’re trying to get to ‘why’. Right? So far your relationship has been built on plane, train, or automobile, and you’ve never had a discussion about where you’re going. So now you just insert, as if you were doing a first meeting, and you let yourself off the hook by saying, “I think I know the answer to these questions.” And you probably do. If you’ve been working with them for a while, goals have slipped out and values.
You know about them. So you say, “I probably know the answer to these questions, but it’s so important I didn’t want to make any assumptions. So, John and Sally, if we were meeting,” and I’m looking at my watch. What is it? July 2nd. “If we were meeting July 2, 2023,” this is the Dan Sullivan question, “what would have to happen in this relationship in order for you to feel like it was successful?” Or, “John and Sally, why is money important to you?” Or, “Let’s pretend for a minute, John and Sally, you are brand new clients. You’ve never met me before. What brought you in today?” And then you say, “Great. Thank you. That was super helpful.” You take good notes. The next portfolio review, that moves to the front.
“Last time we talked, you came in. You told me that spending time with your family mainly outside serving the community, and here are the goals. I’ve put together a little plan to get there.” So you never said, “We’re moving from this to planning.” You just started doing it. Now pricing? Wow. That’s a whole different discussion. I think in that case the only way I would know to process is any time I bump up against a communication problem, I default to honesty, and I default to a transparent, a direct conversation where I just say, “You know what?” If I don’t know how to communicate something I just tell people I don’t know how to communicate it. “Hey, I’m really struggling to write this email, but here it goes.”
So I would just say, “John and Sally, look. We’ve had an occasional interaction over a couple years. Remember two years ago you bought this? A couple years ago we helped you make the purchase of that whatever, and this and this.” And just say, look, that’s one way to work with clients. And it’s the way I did for 10 years. I think we did a really good job, but it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that I’ve been playing the role of, and I love – I believe Nick Murray is who we should credit for this – the Joint Chiefs of Staff and generals comparison. I’ve been playing a role like I’ve just been one of the generals on a battlefield. And I know you’ve got a bunch of other stuff going on. And to be honest, that’s not serving you.
Because if those pieces aren’t talking to each other, you’re missing out on some huge opportunities. And you know, small changes in efficiency over time can make a big difference. So I’m here today. I actually did this. I do remember doing this. I’m here today to apply for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff job. Right? Another analogy would be the quarterback. Right? You’ve got individual people playing positions, and I’ve been doing that. I’m here to tell you whether you work with me or somebody else, you need a quarterback. And so I would just like to take you through a discussion today for me to help demonstrate why you need that. And hopefully, I can help you with it, but if I can’t, it’s important that you get that. Right?
And then I would go straight into, so let’s start here. If we were meeting three years from now, insert your favorite diagnosis question. Do a thorough diagnosis. And just go in that direction. Right? Now here, pricing – I think the context here where you have a legacy relationship; I think the context of this change is going to be really important. If you sit down and go, “You paid me a commission three years ago, and I now charge $5000 a year. Just sign here.” Right? Here I think we really do need some context. How does that land?
Changing Your Mindset Around The Firm’s Value Proposition [12:28]
Michael: Yeah. I think it lands well. I find some of the challenge to this, I think is, it’s not just the transition with the clients. It’s a mindset shift from the advisor end as well. In general, I find most advisors tend to come at this from one of two angles. It’s, “I’ve lived in the traditional brokerage model. I’ve got a zillion clients. Anybody I ever did any business with is a client, some of whom I may not have seen for two, three, four, five years. I’ve got hundreds of them. I can, truth be told, barely keep them all straight in my head. I’m tired. I’m burning out of just the constant treadmill of trying to find new people to do business with and new stuff to be able to offer them… I’d rather just focus in on a subset of my top clients. I want to transition to being more fee-based and get more focus to my business.”
There’s this shift I find that comes that you have to be mindful of if you’re doing this that if you’re going to go to folks that you have not charged fees on an ongoing basis and you’re going to start charging them fees, there’s a pretty good chance you’re going to have to do more for them. If you want to paint the value, like, “We’re changing our business model a bit. We want to work more with great clients just like you. We’re going to be charging an ongoing 1% fee, but let me tell you about all the stuff we’re going to be doing on an ongoing basis.”
First of all, you have to be ready to come to the table and say, “Here’s what we’re going to be doing on an ongoing basis. We’re going to be doing these meetings. We’re going to be offering these additional services. We’re going to be doing these plan updates on a regular, systematized basis that we weren’t doing before.” You can look up on the site we’ve got articles about things like client service calendars that you can build out and say, “Here’s what we’re going to do.”
Now, on the one hand, this is how you paint the picture of why this new fee you’re charging is worthwhile. Yes, we’re going to be charging you a bit more, but here’s what you’re going to get. The corollary to that is that you have to bear in mind – if you’re an advisor doing this – is you are not going to be able to do that for all of your clients. A) Not all of them are going to want it anyway. Some didn’t buy on for this value train. As good as it is, that’s not the train that they wanted to be on.
But secondarily, you can’t do this for all of your clients, so you have to be prepared to say: who am I going to focus on? Charge fees commensurate with the value I’m providing for them and accept that the rest are not a fit for where my practice is going in the future. And I find for some advisors, they block themselves because they’re afraid of the clients that they’re going to lose in this process. And the truth is unless you literally want to 3x, 4x your business, your team, and all the stuff that you’re doing to be able to do that work for all of your clients, they’re not all coming with you on this transition. But that’s okay. You may actually just end up in a practice where you make more, are more valued, and do less work, which is not the worst outcome.
But be prepared for – if you’re going to talk about a new fee, well, one of two things happens. Either A) you’re going to have to be ready to talk about, “And here’s the stuff we’re going to do on an ongoing basis in this ongoing relationship,” for that fee. I was going to say “to justify that fee,” but as we talked about on the last podcast, we’re throwing out the word “justify” now. Just explain your fee – your new fee – and what you’re going to do for it, and be prepared for the fact that, yeah, you’re going to have to show some stuff that you do.
Now there is a second group of advisors where the problem is they actually are doing it. They’re doing ongoing plan updates. They’re proactive with clients with their planning. They’re meeting regularly. They’re doing all that stuff. And they’re getting buried in it because they need more and more staff to do all of it. And it’s really hard to do that and earn the revenue that it takes to do that because now they don’t have as much time to do business with new people on the commission model. Their business model is having challenges because they’re basically doing an ongoing planning service model, but they don’t have an ongoing planning service business model. Their business model is still more transactional.
And so it’s important to recognize because in that scenario the conversation is different with clients. It’s not, “We’re changing the way that we work with some of our most valuable clients like you, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. We’re going to be changing to an ongoing fee structure of this where we charge 1% a year. And then here are the ongoing services that we’re going to be providing in this relationship with you.”
For others, if you’re coming up from the other end, this conversation may look more like, “We’ve been working with you for a long time, but unfortunately, I have to admit, we made a mistake in our business. We did not actually create a fee structure that’s well aligned, so all of the ongoing work that we’re doing for you. And so we’re going to be restructuring our business. I want to continue working with you and doing all of the work that I do for you, but we’re going to be changing our fee structure to make sure that it’s aligned to the work that we’re doing because I want to make sure we can do it for you on a continuous, ongoing basis.”
And it’s not so much a, “Here’s all the new stuff we’re going to do for your new fee,” recognizing not everyone is going to take it. It’s, “Oh, we’re actually doing all this stuff, but we’re not getting paid for it.” And in essence it is, “I need to right-size my fee to be commensurate with the amount of work that I’m actually doing.” And so depending on where you are in this model, this may mean I need to do more work and explain a fee increase, or this may mean I’m doing the work and I need to explain how I’m bringing the fee in line with the ongoing work that I’ve been doing.
Shrinking Your Business So That It Can Grow [18:30]
Carl: Yeah. I think one thing that would be important, at least my sense is to comment is on the first group, and I remember watching this go on when I was at a big brokerage firm. We had a big program. It was called Supernova, and it was all about shrinking your…
Michael: That’s very explosive.
Carl: Yeah. It’s all about shrinking your business so it could explode. And one of the examples, and I believe his name was George if I recall right. He had 500 clients, all transactional. He went through and just said, “Okay. It’s like getting pecked to death by ducks, right? This is killing me.” So he went through and made a list, like criteria of who he’d want to work with. So remember, if you’re worried about losing a commission client that paid you a commission three years ago, you’re worried about losing them, but they haven’t paid you anything in three years, anyway. It’s not like you’re going to lose something, right?
So you go through and make this list. He made this list. When he did the whole criteria it was: revenue opportunity, do I like them, do they have a problem I’m interested in solving, could we be friends? He made this list, and there were only 20 out of the 500 that fell to the bottom of all that list. Then he’s like, “Wow. I’m actually kind of curious.” And it turns out that those 20 out of 500 represented 75% of his revenue. So I think when you… And then it’s easy to go, and rather than telling them, “Here are all the things. We’re changing our fee model. Here are all the things we’re doing,” I think you say, “Look. Come in for a review.”
You give them the experience of talking about… So the first meeting discussion, however, you have that, you thoroughly diagnose. You treat it as a mutual discovery meeting. You’re trying to decide if you want to give them one of the hundred slots on your airplane now. Right? And conversely, they’re trying to decide if they want to, as you put it, be on this train.
So rather than telling them about, “Here are all the things we do,” I think you give them that first meeting experience, and then you say, “You know, this has been really insightful. I’d really like to continue to work with you. And I hope you find – because I think what you just told me is something I can really help you do. And in fact, we’re making some major changes around here to make that happen. Because right now we have 500 clients,” whatever the number is. “We’re going to reduce that down to people we can serve in this new model, and we’re going to charge $5000 a year to do it. And I think I can get you from what you just described to where you want to go.” The way of doing that, we didn’t have to say anything about we were doing it bad before. I think it’s fine to realize you were doing a good job, and now you’re just talking about doing a better job. Right? It’s not bad and good.
Michael: How do you set up that conversation? I got clients I’ve been working with for however many years. We’ve been meeting periodically for years. The meetings, frankly, usually get somewhat routine. And then one day I’m just walking in with this completely new process and questions and all this stuff that I’m going to start doing differently because I want to set up the valuable things I’m going to do because I’m going to drop the news at the end of the meeting that I’m changing my fee structure accordingly. How do I set up this meeting? I’m envisioning this couple, these clients. It’s just like, “What the…? Carl, what the heck are you doing? What is this conversation you’re whipping out?”
How To Introduce The Fee Change Conversation To Clients [22:22]
Carl: I would just say exactly what you just said. “Hey, we’ve been working together for a couple of years. We touch base once every other year or something, and I think the work we’ve done has been helpful when it’s been needed. I’m not sure I know the answer to these questions, so I wanted to just ask you. In terms of your relationship with a financial advisor, if we were meeting three years from now, Jim and Sally, on July 2, 2023, what would need to happen in your life financially in order for you to feel like it was a success?” You just have that conversation.
Then you go, “That was really helpful for me. It really helped me clarify where you want to go. Given what you said, I think we could be much more helpful than we’ve been in the past. And in fact, we’re making some changes in our business to make that happen. Rather than being sort of this touch-base-every-couple-of-years, playing a specific position, being a specific general – whatever analogy you want to use – we are going to start working with a fewer number of clients as the quarterback, making sure it’s comprehensive. Because you’ve got all this stuff going on, I guarantee you there are things that are getting missed. Right? And so by playing this comprehensive planning role, we can be in a much better position to help you. And this is kind of what that relationship, to your point, we’re going to meet. We’re going to do this, this, and this. And that is going to cost x. Confidently, that’s going to cost x. So here’s how I’d like to proceed. You don’t have to make a decision. I know I just sprung this on you. You guys go home and think about it. But given what you told me, I’m going to just go ahead and put together a really rough outline of where I think we could go and some areas that I think I could be helpful.” Right?
You’re just going to put together a one-page financial plan. “Let’s meet. Give me 10 days because I’m going to huddle the team. It’s going to take a little bit of time. We don’t take this lightly. Come back. We’ll review that together, and we’ll decide if it’s a good fit.” Now you already know it’s a great fit revenue-wise or else you’re not going to do this. I told you this for people who it’s not a good fit for. You just simply say, “Hey, you know what? How about this? It’s not a good fit. The direction we’re taking the business isn’t going to work particularly well for our relationship. So based on what you told me I’m going to put together just a list of suggestions of what you might want to focus on, and then just check in with me in a couple years.” That’s how I would handle it.
Letting Go Of Clients Who Are Not A Good Fit [24:50]
Michael: I think one of the powerful things to recognize in this transition, just as we wrap up, is the understanding that part of this transition is that, I was thinking, realistically not all of your clients, not all the people – I’m going to put clients in air quotes. Not all the people with whom you’ve ever done business in the past who we call “clients” are necessarily going to come with you on this transition. And perhaps even more importantly, not all of the clients you’ve ever done business with should come with you on this transition.
There’s a mentality I find in the brokerage insurance world, like I remember starting my career, growing up on that side of the business as well that just anybody you can ever talk to and do business with is a prospect and becomes a client. The more clients, the better. You’re supposed to collect as many as you possibly can so there are more people that you can call and do business with again in the future. And it’s just all about more clients, more clients, more clients until eventually, you drown yourself in too many clients, which is usually when we hit the pain point in the wall that leads to this conversation about saying, “I need to change my business. I need to transition my business.”
But understand that the transactional model is a volume model, almost by definition, and that’s why we get trained volume, volume, volume, more, more, more, clients, clients, clients. The relationship model is a high-value intimacy model at the end of the day. You can’t relationship everyone. There’s not enough time, and your brain literally can’t handle that many relationships anyway. Our brains can only keep track of so many people. And when you’re shifting from a more transactional model into a more relationship model, you will have fewer clients. You should have fewer clients. You have to have fewer clients.
And the corollary that we see if you look at any and all of the benchmarking studies in the relationship-fee world, you will actually probably end up with more profits and fewer hours worked because you can actually get extremely efficient when you get focused on the right relationships and relatively few of them and charge fully what you’re worth. But you have to move on from that mentality that every client has to be a client forever, that you’re supposed to be with clients forever, that success is measured in terms of how many clients you have in a raw account because that mentality will get you stuck in a corner where you can’t actually make this transition.
If you just approach saying, “You know what? If this transition goes well, I’m going to lose 80% of my clients, because 20% of them were generating almost all of the profits anyway. So I’m just going to focus there and charge my full value for them.” If you approach this assuming you’re going to lose 80% of your clients, going into these conversations talking about the value you now provide, the fees you’re now going to charge, and expecting that some clients aren’t going to be on board with that, good. You probably have to lose 80% of them anyway, so let them winnow themselves down. Those are not losses or failures. Those are getting you to the end point of the 20% of your existing client base who really values what you do and are willing to pay you full value for it. And the faster you get to them, the faster you get to this outcome.
Carl: Yeah, totally. I completely agree. And the one caveat, obviously, is if you figure out a way to run a business where you charge a lower monthly retainer so you can serve more people. You’re still going to lose a bunch of people because they just don’t want that thing that you’re doing. And that can be harder for us because we feel like, “Oh, we’re not saving them.” It’s got to be okay too. Right? We’ve just got to be okay. In fact, I remember when I sold my financial planning practice.
A mentor of mine said to me, “Carl, the greatest…” Because it was so much angst about this. It took me three years to decide, actually. It was clear to a number of people that I needed to, given everything else that was going on. I had so much angst about this, and a mentor of mine that had watched me and helped me for these three years said to, “Your greatest disappointment in life is going to be when you sell your business and no one cries. None of your clients cry.” I was like, “No. They can’t live without me.” They’re all fine. In fact, they’re better, given who’s taking care of them. I think we’ve got to separate. This is a little different because you’re saying you won’t move from a transactional-model relationship to a comprehensive model. We know that that’s better, but it’s still not your job to convert people, right? You walk them through it. You show them the best you can. And realize you’re not going to need all of those clients. And we can do that nicely. We can do it in a humane, nice way.
Michael: You can find another advisor for them to work with if they don’t want to continue with you and help them get to a better place if it’s not going to be with you.
Carl: A list of suggestions here. Pay off your credit card. Do this. Do that. Whatever. You can do whatever you need. And I’m a fan, actually, of doing that because I don’t think that’s wasted, altruistic time. That’s a good enough reason. It’s altruistic. That’s a good enough reason. But I don’t think it is. I think it’s marketing. And I just find the more good I do in the world, the more things seem to show up. I can’t draw a line between them. I don’t know how they do. It’s a complex, adaptive system out there. But I do know it works.
Michael: And this last question, as we finish, it sounds like you would do these in individual client reviews, not necessarily sending out a letter to all our clients. “We’re restructuring our business. Here’s going to be our new model and our new pricing.” You would do this in individual client meetings?
Carl: Absolutely. And I know that doesn’t scale, but you don’t need it to. Absolutely. I can’t think of any magic words you could say in a letter that would compare to giving somebody the experience.
Michael: Awesome. Well, thank you, Carl, for hanging out for another episode of talking financial planning.
Carl: Super good. Thanks, Michael.
Michael: Awesome. Thank you.