Is there anything that you would like to highlight about your personal CPA practice that is a differentiator
My firm is a small sole practitioner practice. I have one person solely dedicated to doing corporate year ends, which is not quite the norm. I have one person who does personal tax with me, and then I have myself. And when you wanna talk to an accountant, you'll end up talking to me. And so the differentiator is, I'm very hands on.
It's not for everybody. The bigger firms definitely have tiers of people and they have more depth of expertise. There's no question about that. And, and so, my job as a sole practitioner is to know when. To bring in those specialists, and that's probably what keeps me up at night, in fact. So that's my differentiator With one additional caveat, I have an investment arm, as I call it.
I have wealth stewards in my pocket or corner. I wish I had you in my pocket. I only have you in my corner . So why did I become a wealth steward affiliate? It was something that evolved over many years. I have been dealing with investment advisors of every kind, and I've never been satisfied with the level of service that was provided.
Why did you become a Wealth Stewards Affiliate?
I can't remember how I first found out about wealth stewards, but it was probably through an invitation. So it took me three years from the time I first met wealth stewards to the time that I became an affiliate and typical accountant. We take our time and do our due diligence and. All of the parts fit for me, offered the same level of services as the, the large firms had some interesting products investment products that they offered that were outside the realm of the normal that not everybody should invest in.
But that's, it's hugely important. And then the estate. Side of the group was excellent. One of the best I've seen. The other piece was winning the award for personal financial planning that, over the couple of years that really was a strong endorsement. I have my CFP and I've dabbled in financial planning, but the reality is unless you're geared up for it, it's very difficult to do. So that's why I became an affiliate.
What has your client’s response been to being able to access these additional wealth management services?
So what is my client's response to being able to access these additional wealth management services? The clients are aware of it. One of the interesting things is, well, yes, we, accountants are trusted advisors. What I find is they have a, a relationship with their advisor that is personal and most of them have a very difficult time.
Breaking the personal relationship from the business relationship. In general, the ones that have gone and met with Wealth stewards love it. Others are aware of it and they're looking at it, but they just have, too strong a personal relationship with their investment advisor, which. Unfortunately it is frustrating.
I point out the excess fees, I point out the low returns because I get to see, you know, 300 different clients, tax returns and see their returns on investment. So I, when I say your fees are high, your fees are high end of conversation. So in general, the response of the ones that have dipped their foot in the pool have enjoyed it.
Is there any advice you would give for someone considering referring clients for Wealth Management services?
Is there any advice that I would give for someone considering referring client for wealth management services? I do the standard. What's your assets under management? What's the number of clients do you have? And whether they're a fit. Big five banks are 80% of the market. They all say they offer those wealth management services, but the reality is it's it's ad hoc and it's brought in and there's distinctly money tied to it.
I point out all of that. So my answer is that anyone considering referring clients to wealth management services, you should look at the holistic level of services. I will say this, not everyone. Needs all of the services that wealth Stewards provides. I think that if somebody is a stock picker on their own, that's probably not as good a fit.
What I generally find though, is you should have an investment advisor, not me, investment advisor in in that group. When you do that so that you can compare contrast, I really like the way, and it was actually the last piece with, Wealth Stewards, Of how they approached, how a portfolio was built and how the rationale is put together.
And so that I like, I like that logical service. And so, it allows them to compare and contrast while they're doing their own thing and everybody needs estate planning. And so it's nice when you are with that group to look for somebody that has those extra services. What I'm finding nine times outta 10 is, is, outside of wealth stewards.
The, the, the investment advisor tries to do it themselves, which is as bad as me trying to do it myself, cuz I know better now I been in, been in this profession longer than I haven't. Or they, they do bring in that estate person. But it's often tied to commissions. They don't know that, one of my experiences with Wealth stewards is that phrase, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make 'em drink.
I still want to be able to lead my clients towards the services to make them understand it Wealth stewards has been very generous at talking to clients, even though they may not be a fit for them and, and offering components of services, and that's all I ask of my clients. And I wish more clients would avail themselves of that.
That would be the one thing I'd offer up. I, I tell clients all the time, My advice? Go talk to another accountant, see what they say. Okay. And if they give a different answer, I'm happy to chat about it. I've been around long enough to know there's more than one answer to everything.
Okay. And, but the, the most important part of their lives after buying their house and pay for their car and getting their kids to grow up is, is, their investments or retirement as they call it. And, they often don't take the time to do that. That'd be my one comment.