We make restaurant recommendations, mention a great hotel stay or great city to visit. Yet when it comes to financial security and peace of mind, it is much harder not to feel like we might be meddling in someone else’s personal affairs. Today on, ThinkSmart Advisors Rob McClelland and Mike Connon discuss why sharing your success with those around you is, in fact, one of the best things you could do.
Hello, this is Rob and Mike from The McClelland Financial Group of Assante Capital Management. And this is Think Smart with TMFG. Today on Think Smart with TMFG, Mike and I are going to be discussing things that are great. Mike, we all got a chance to recently watch the Academy Awards. It wasn’t quite what we expected, but we now have a list of movies that we all need to go out and see, some of which we haven’t seen, maybe because of COVID.
Go see that Will Smith one. Now.
You do want to see the Will Smith movie. Yes. I guess that has now risen to the top, that’s for sure. So when you think of great businesses, what are some of the businesses that come to mind for you? What types of businesses might be great?
Well, hotels, is there any, you stay in hotels more than I do. What’s just stood out in your life?
We, you know, it’s interesting, we’ve stayed Ingrid and me, whether it was on company trips or just our own travel, we’ve stayed in some great hotels. You know, we, I hate to say it, but at my stage, now that I’m in my sixties, I like a four-star hotel at least, and I expect them to deliver. And so, you know, some of them, I do love Fairmont hotels. We’ve had a good experience with Weston hotels. The odd time we can afford Four Seasons. It’s still a little bit of out my snack bracket. But we’ve stayed in a couple over the years, and they all just deliver a completely different experience, and great companies do that. Yep. And that’s why they have got a great brand name and that they continue to survive.
It was funny. I had some friends who were going down to going on to like restaurants. I had some friends that were going down to Maui, and I told them to look into Mama’s Fish House. I went there when it’s down there, and it’s always known to be the best restaurant. There’s a six-month wait to get a booking in there. So, you know, good places with quality are the word gets around. People talk about it. What other restaurants do you find?
I use Trip Advisor a lot. So, when I go into a new location, I start doing the research, and Ingrid’s probably better at it than I am. She finds these restaurants that have great reviews that, are busy, and offer great food, and, you know, most good restaurants charge a fairly high price. You’re going to probably spend, you know, a hundred dollars per couple. At least if you have a couple of drinks, so they’re not cheap. Some are ridiculously expensive, and I don’t think that’s worth it, but they often, you know, I think the key to a great restaurant is to have a great chef. If you got a great chef and then you put great service on top of that, throw in a good location, and you’ve probably got it made. Yeah.
You know, it’s funny, not that it’s the best food in the world, but I have been impressed with The Keg over the years. It’s a consistent experience where it’s not going to blow your mind. It’s always one thing, but I’ve always had good service. Anytime something came out bad, you know, they’d always take it back. It’d be on your plate within a second. I’ve been eating The Keg for 25 years now, and they’ve always, I never left The Keg angry in that time.
We used to go there used to be a place called it was called Julie’s. It was the Keg mansion down on Jarvis Street. We used to go when I was in my teens in early twenties. Yep. And so that just shows how long a chain like that has delivered quality service. What are some other things that you think of? You know, we were talking about the academy awards.
We, you go through, and you see in the audience Spielberg’s been there every year and has a decent movie. Whenever I see a Steven Spielberg movie, you know, it’s generally worth watching. There isn’t much garbage that comes ought of that, you know, and you watch some other people that just refuse to produce garbage. Like I’ve always loved Quentin Tarantino his movies. He hasn’t produced that many, but they’re always stunning movies. You know, if you see actors, if you look at Daniel Day-Lewis, he hasn’t been in that many movies, but there are no flops. You know he’s someone who’s consistently always producing top-quality stuff.
Even the new I’m not a big musical fan, I was on the plane. I saw West Side Story. I saw Steven Spielberg; I said, okay, I’m going to watch it. I enjoyed it. Rob enjoyed a musical. So that’s a big surprise, but it was a Spielberg movie. So why are we talking about great businesses? We recently found out today that we’ve made another top list as advisors. So, you know, you and I have been working together for over 25 years. I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, and we’ve received a lot of accolades during our time, especially, probably I would say in the last ten years, we’ve made the top 50 advisors for nine years in a row. We’ve been ranked by the Global and Mail as one of the top 100 advisors in Canada. The whole team has received a nomination in the last 24 months as one of the top Five-star advisor teams in the country. Two of our younger advisors have in their first couple of years in the business, and one is a top rookie in Canada. So we’ve got all these accolades. What does that mean?
Well, it was interesting many years ago, and I think we changed our motto at that time, someone we’re meeting with some consultant and they said, your competition isn’t the banks, or it isn’t anyone. It isn’t, you know, one of the other financial advisors around; they said it’s Disney, and it was a different thing, right? They said Disney is your competition. If you want to become like Disney, don’t compare yourself to other people you find doing financials. Look what Disney does for there, all the people that are using it. And for all the kids and try to bring your service level to that point. And I think when we heard that we decided we were going to build something a bit beyond just a financial plan in practice and try to create more of an experience than just managing someone’s money. And that’s been the goal for the last probably 15 to 20 years. It’s been decent. I think that’s where these, all these rewards and accolades have come from because that’s been a constant concentration for us.
So if I look at, you know, what do we do differently? And I think probably the biggest difference between most advisors in this country and us, most advisors focus entirely on the portfolio, and they worry about, you know, which stocks to own, which mutual funds, which exchange-traded funds you should have and what the mix should be and how performance has been. There’s very little effort on financial planning, tax planning, on estate planning. And I think the thing that’s made us different is we have focused on those things first. And we know that a portfolio is important, and we think we’ve picked out one of the best managers in North America to manage our clients’ money. And then that allows us to focus on everything else.
The trick is to concentrate on the person or the client rather than concentrate on the asset. And too many people spend their life concentrating on the asset that they manage, and they almost turn that asset into their client. Our client is the person, and you got to make sure that you’re always looking after the person, rather than just looking after the money, the money’s one piece, but the person’s more important than the money. And a lot of people, I’d say 50% of our clients, don’t worry too much about money. It’s not their biggest concern; if anything, it’s there, and it’s needed to support them. And they’re concerned about, again, decent returns as everyone else, but that’s not the reason they’re using us. And I’d say 50 is probably a low point. I’d say about 80% are using us for what we can provide to help them through their life rather than just the money part of the portfolio.
So, I’m going to talk about what I think is, is one of the mysteries, you know, and I look at this is, this is what keeps me up awake at night. So here we are with all these awards, and Assante was recently awarded by JD power as the number one financial firm in the country ranked by its clients. We know our fees in The McClelland Financial Group are probably less than 90% of the fees charged by financial advisors across the country. I think our marketing is, is topnotch that we do to our clients. Our client communication, I think, is top-notch with podcasts and videos. So we’re doing all those things, right? But the one thing we’ve not seen is a lot of new clients from our existing clients. And, so that’s always troubled me. And I think it’s important to understand about a referral.
So let’s talk about things that we refer in our life. If I’ve been to a really good movie, I’m going to talk about it to my staff and to my friends. You should go see this movie. If I’ve read a really good book, I’m going to talk about that to family and friends. If I’ve seen a good show on Netflix, and maybe it’s a series, you know, you’ve got to watch, you know, 12 episodes a year, 48 episodes, 48 hours. You got to watch this show on Netflix because it’s that good. Restaurants, lawyers, accountants. Why do you make that referral? Is there, is there anything in it for you?
No. You want to help a friend.
You want them to have a really good experience. And I guess that’s what’s always confused me. When I ask a client for a referral, I feel I’m doing it to help me, but really I’m doing it to help them. I’m trying to make someone who’s important to them. Be it a friend or family member to have a better investment experience. Because I know if they’re working with a lot of advisors, they do not have a great experience.
I think what people need to remember is when we go back to what we do, we take care of the person. I think people get a little bit worried about the biggest fear is what if I get the money and the market turns down, will they hold more responsible? And with what we do and the experience that clients have, the money is a very small piece of the entire equation of what’s done for them. And along the way, the market’s going to go up, and the market’s going to go down. We have no control over that. I mean, if we had a bad year when I was having a bad year, if we had a great year when I was having a great year, it’s not that different. That’s not what separates us. But if you can take a friend and make sure their family’s taken care of their estate plan is in order, make sure their taxes are reduced. You’re helping them out, and you’re going to help give them a better life. You know, sometimes if you look and you say, well, I’ve used this financial advisor, and they’ve made my life a lot less complicated. I can now go enjoy my vacation. I feel more confident in my future. If you can provide that to a friend, it’s probably the greatest thing you can do for them.
Mike that is a great observation that brings us to the end of another week. This is Rob and Mike with The McClelland Financial Group of Assante Capital Management with Think Smart with TMFG
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