18 episodes

In the Agile Financial Planner podcast, Roger Whitney, CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, RMA®, AIF® helps financial advisors build and grow the practices of their dreams. Whether you are trying to grow, scale, or even start a financial planning practice, you can build a practice that serves you and your family, with a team of motivated employees or contractors, and that serves only ideal clients. You’ll learn how to build a financial planning business plan as well as best practices with branding, marketing, the financial planning process, team-building, and the best systems and processes to leverage your time. And, of course, you will learn how to do it all compliantly.

The Agile Financial Planner Roger Whitney

    • Investing

In the Agile Financial Planner podcast, Roger Whitney, CFP®, CIMA®, CPWA®, RMA®, AIF® helps financial advisors build and grow the practices of their dreams. Whether you are trying to grow, scale, or even start a financial planning practice, you can build a practice that serves you and your family, with a team of motivated employees or contractors, and that serves only ideal clients. You’ll learn how to build a financial planning business plan as well as best practices with branding, marketing, the financial planning process, team-building, and the best systems and processes to leverage your time. And, of course, you will learn how to do it all compliantly.

    Do’s and Don’t During Tumultuous Markets, Ep # 18 

    Do’s and Don’t During Tumultuous Markets, Ep # 18 

    I’ve been in this business for 28 years and I’ve been through some crazy markets. We all know the markets go up and down, but sometimes when they are down it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. On this episode, I noodle on what I have discovered from my experience from these types of seasons and I offer you some do’s and don’ts to help get you and your clients through this challenge. Join me and we’ll see if we can see the good in these crazy times. 
    Outline of This Episode [2:22] These are the best of times and the worst of times [3:26] A bear market is like a forest fire [9:05] How do you get through this with clients and your business?  [26:00] Here’s what not to do When you’re up you’re up But when you’re down you’re down. For the past 10 years, the markets have been up. That’s been a heck of a run. But the good times can make it hard to really visualize the challenging times. This rocky road is where you can make great strides in your thinking and in your practice. These outside forces will force you to regroup, become more disciplined, and grow as an advisor. Just like working out with a personal trainer, bear markets bring on a good sweat. 
    A bear market is like a forest fire A bear market is a very natural, organic thing just like a forest fire. Strong, healthy trees grow when conditions are right. But those same optimal growing conditions also lead to undergrowth and bushes. After several years in these conditions, the forest becomes overgrown. Over time, the forest begins to suffer. Even the most robust trees can fall ill due to all the competition for resources. Without proper management, conditions become ripe for a forest fire. 
    The forest fire comes and clears out excess growth. It weeds out the weaker players and redistributes the resources of the forest. Only the strongest survive. Although it is painful, it is a healthy, necessary part of the ecology. A bear market is the same. It efficiently helps reallocate resources to the most sustainable businesses and decreases competition. The longer we go without forest fires the more damaging they can be. The same goes for market corrections. 
    What can you do to get through this difficult time with your clients and your business? Tumultuous markets can be scary for you and your clients. But it’s your job to help guide your clients through this challenge. Here are some tips for what you can do to help them and you through:
    Do take care of yourself first - do the things that bring joy to your life. Do get yourself mentally fit - you’re going to need to bring your A-game to help your clients  Do show them where you add value - this is your time to shine.  Do compartmentalize - a work-life balance is so important right now.  Do present strength to your clients - but don’t be overconfident Do reach out to your clients personally - show them you care about each one of them individually Do listen - your clients are scared right now, they need someone to listen to their fears Do ask yourself - what does this make possible? There are several things you should not do during these tumultuous times Don’t focus on facts and figures - this is an emotional time for your clients Don’t predict - realize what you don’t know.  Don’t hide - communicate with each client personally. Don’t hide behind mass communication and technology.  Don’t overthink things.  Don’t do the coulda woulda shoulda Don’t try to solve anything Don’t take too much ownership - You are not responsible for bad markets and you are not responsible for your clients’ life.  Hopefully, these tips can help you and your clients make it through this challenge. Listen in to hear my full list of do’s and don’ts. 
    Resources & People Mentioned Dan Crosby episode Connect With Roger Whitney www.RogerWhitney.com Roger @ FinancialPlannerFree

    • 32 min
    What is the True Role of a Financial Advisor? Ep # 17 

    What is the True Role of a Financial Advisor? Ep # 17 

    Have you ever considered what the role of a financial advisor really is? I read a Tweet recently in which a financial advisor said if you aren’t calling your clients when the markets take a downturn you aren’t earning your money. What do you think? Did you call your clients last week to explain what happened in the markets? The Agile Financial Planner is a podcast created to consider how to thrive as financial planners in the 21st century. Listen in to hear what I think our true role is as financial advisors. 
    Outline of This Episode [0:22] Should you call your clients when the markets are down? [6:01] Don’t solely focus on the investment management part of planning [8:02] Deliver the WHAM [14:39] Teach the clients which levers to pull Should you call your clients when the markets go up or down? Would calling your clients when the markets go up or down help them reach their goals? If you call your clients out of the blue and tell them not to worry, would that ease their woes? What would you really accomplish? If you think about behavioral finance, this is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Find out how to really help your clients achieve their goals by listening to this episode of The Agile Financial Planner. 
    What do your clients really care about? Your clients’ goals don’t have anything to do with the markets. Money is simply a tool to help us achieve our true goals. Instead of calling clients every time the markets move up or down a few percentage points, focus on creating a plan that will help them live the life they really want. As advisors, we need to go beyond the portfolio and help with the little decisions that can make a big impact on creating the life they want to lead.
    Deliver the WHAM Instead of focusing on the shifts in markets, I help my clients by focusing on the WHAM. I use this helpful acronym to act as a project manager for my clients. 
    W - Clients always have a ‘wh’ question. What should I do next? What should I be focused on? What opportunities might I be missing? I help them define their questions and reframe them. I am constantly anticipating their ‘wh’ questions so that I can help them achieve their goals.  H - How always follows what. After focusing on what then you can focus on how you can help your clients achieve their goals. A - Provide assistance and accountability. You are the clients’ project manager. Teach them how to take the steps they need and give them deadlines. M - build momentum by achieving a lot of little wins.  What is your true role a financial advisor?  Think about your role as a financial planner. Your focus is not only on the markets and money but on how to help your clients make good choices to ensure they can live the life they really want. Your role goes way beyond portfolios and investment management. Instead, show them the real changes they can make to optimize their choices and teach them how to not get distracted by the small shiny objects that can divert them from their true path. 
    Connect With Roger Whitney www.RogerWhitney.com Roger @ FinancialPlannerFreedom.com  Roger on Twitter: @Roger_Whitney Subscribe to The Agile Financial Planner
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    • 17 min
    How to Market Yourself and Attract Your Ideal Clients with Brad Johnson, Ep # 16

    How to Market Yourself and Attract Your Ideal Clients with Brad Johnson, Ep # 16

    You’re a highly-skilled financial planner, you’ve worked hard to build your practice, and you’re good at what you do, but do you know how to market yourself? How do you find your ideal clients? One of the biggest problems many financial planners have is marketing themselves to the clients they wish to serve. I’ve invited Brad Johnson, a financial advisor coach, on the show today to help us solve the puzzle of how to attract the people that you serve best. Today you’ll learn how you can stand out from the crowd and find your target market. 
    Outline of This Episode [3:22] This show helps me flush out my thinking [6:30] How important is a personal brand as a financial advisor? [10:35] Why is it so important to be able to differentiate yourself? [18:00] How are you speaking to clients? [22:25] Naming your process will feel weird [25:05] How do we become more human on our websites? [31:11] Be relatable Who is Brad Johnson? Although Brad’s website is BradleyJohnson.com, he actually goes by Brad. Brad is a coach for elite financial planners and the host of the Elite Advisor Blueprint podcast. He consults the top financial advisors on how to build their ideal practice. Since Brad has over 10 years of experience working with financial advisors and improving their practices, I knew he would be an excellent resource for all of you to learn how to market yourself to the clients you wish to serve. 
    How to market yourself and develop a personal brand as a financial advisor We know that to be relevant among all of the advisors out there we have to find a way to set ourselves apart from the crowd. But how can we do that when we offer the same services as everyone else? This is when it’s time to dig deep. Before you begin to think of branding you need to think about what you really offer your clients. What services or products do you offer to get clients to their end goals? Think about how you can differentiate what you do and trademark that. 
    Why is it so important to be able to differentiate what you do for clients? When you are just starting out as a new financial advisor, life is like the Hunger Games. You’re just out there trying to survive. You’ll serve anyone and everyone. But after you begin to build up a clientele and hone your skills, then you can really think about the clients that you serve best. It’s important to find a niche so that you can serve clients at a higher level.
    If you can’t describe to clients how your product will change their lives then you are just a commodity. And the only thing that commodities offer is a good price. Do you really want to be known as the cheapest financial advisor? You can custom build your practice while serving your current clients. Learn how by listening to this episode of the Agile Financial Planner. 
    How do we become more human on our websites? Gone are the days when business cards ruled. Our websites are the first thing that people look at when trying to find the right financial planner. Did you know that people spend more time on the About Us page of a website? They want to know who you really are. If you want to make an impression then you need to put humanity into your About Us section. This is your opportunity to shine. Connect with your people and be relatable. Tell me about your journey in marketing. Has it been a bumpy ride or smooth sailing? 
    Resources & People Mentioned Story Brand Scribe (Book in a Box) Dan Sullivan Strategic Coach Tony Robbins Gary Vaynerchuk Connect with Brad Johnson Brad Johnson Elite Planner Blueprint podcast @BradJohnsonAE on Facebook @Brad_Johnson on Twitter Connect With Roger Whitney www.RogerWhitney.com Roger @ wwkwealth.com  Roger on Twitter: @Roger_Whitney

    • 36 min
    Help Clients Make Smart Financial Choices and Life Choices with Dr. Dan Crosby, Ep # 15

    Help Clients Make Smart Financial Choices and Life Choices with Dr. Dan Crosby, Ep # 15

    In today’s world, being a good financial planner is not simply about helping clients make smart financial choices, you also need to be able to help them make good life decisions. Being a great financial planner is means more than knowing about asset allocation and financial planning. We need more skills than we have been taught in CFP courses or at our firms. On this episode of The Agile Financial Planner, author, Standard Deviations Podcast host, and behavioral finance expert, Dr. Dan Crosby joins me to discuss how we can help our clients make smart life decisions as well as good financial choices. If you want to be a good financial planner you’re going to need more tools in your toolbox than just the CFP curriculum. Listen to this episode to hear Dr. Dan Crosby’s advice on how to help your clients make better decisions. 
    Outline of This Episode [1:32] Clients want the whole WHAM [4:40] How to help clients make better decisions [8:15] How do you give advice to people when you don’t even feel like you have made it yet yourself [14:15] It is important to know yourself [18:20] People will come up with the right decisions when given the right information [22:51] Connection occurs through vulnerability and shared values How do we help our clients make smart financial choices and smart life decisions as well? If we want to be an integral part of our clients’ lives we need to solidify our value to them. Being a good financial planner means that you’ll have to help your clients not only make smart financial choices but smart life decisions as well. You’re not just there to help them make decisions about asset allocation and retirement goals. You’re there to help them with little everyday decisions, like whether to pay off the mortgage or how to invest that dollar. There is an endless amount of decision making possibilities. All of which deal with issues outside what you have been taught in school or in any corporate training. That’s why you’ll need a framework to help guide you. 
    Clients are looking for what I call the WHAM WHAM is an acronym for a feedback loop that benefits clients. It creates momentum, confidence, accountability, and progress. WHAM stands for:
    What am I supposed to do next? How am I supposed to do that? Accountability assistance to help them execute their actions Momentum is created by a lot of small wins You are your clients’ project manager. You can help them not only set but accomplish their goals, and you can be there to celebrate their wins with them. 
    How to help clients make better decisions Before you can help clients make better decisions you have to look at yourself. If you are expecting other people to change and telling someone else how to live their life you must first examine your own. We all have our own biases, what are yours? Do you get defensive when you hear feedback? The process of getting to know yourself is messy, nonlinear, and imperfect. Being introspective is challenging but it will help you become a better financial planner. 
    How do you give advice to people when you don’t even feel like you have made it yet yourself? If you are a young advisor you may be feeling a bit of imposter syndrome. You feel like an imposter because you are one. You haven’t had time yet to make the money that your clients have made. But that’s okay, it’s okay to be who you are. As long as you are continually trying to better yourself and do the best for your clients then you should feel no shame. 
    Challenge yourself by putting yourself in new situations and being around different types of people. You’ll learn more about yourself when you put yourself into uncomfortable situations. Putting yourself around new people will make you aware of different types of mindsets. Dan Crosby has some great advice for learning to up your game as a financial advisor. So listen to thi

    • 28 min
    How to Improve Speaking Skills to Communicate with Your Clients with Tracy Goodwin, Ep #14

    How to Improve Speaking Skills to Communicate with Your Clients with Tracy Goodwin, Ep #14

    How you talk to people matters. You may have the best information, but if nobody is listening it won’t matter. Early on in the days of the Retirement Answer Man podcast, I worked with a professional audio coach. She really helped me improve the podcast by making me more aware of my voice. But I not only improved the podcast, but I also improved the way I communicate with my clients. People choose who and what they want to listen to. That’s why I’ve invited my audio coach, Tracy Goodwin, on the show today. She is here to help us improve our speaking skills and become better communicators. Listen in to hear why your voice matters.
    Outline of This Episode [1:22] I worked with a professional audio coach [8:00] Why is it so important to be confident in your voice and how you communicate? [19:01] Helpful tips to make you a better communicator [23:10] A lot of financial planning is helping people with delayed gratification [27:12] What tools can people use with their voice Why is it so important to be confident in your voice and how you communicate? People don’t realize that we build connections through our voice. Trust is built in your voice. It’s our connection piece. Are you communicating in a way that your clients can feel that they really trust you and know you?
    Sure, you have sales training and product knowledge, but all of that means nothing if your clients aren’t listening to what you are saying. As financial planners, we need to learn to speak to people in a more human way. Learning how to effectively communicate is one way to help you evolve as a financial planner.
    How to improve speaking skills to make you a better communicator When you are with clients you may feel that you need to show them what you know. You want to come off as the expert in your field. But rather than talking at them by throwing facts and figures in their face, think about having a conversation with them instead. People really just want to have a conversation. Doing so won’t make you come off as too casual. By having a conversation you can reveal your own communication style and you’ll take off some of the intensity that comes with being the expert. Discover how to convey your message to your clients by listening to Tracy Goodwin’s communication advice on this episode of The Agile Financial Planner. 
    What tools can people use with their voice? Our voice is really a tool that we can use to help us convey our message to our audience. But the audience will only listen when we present our message in an engaging way. Here are some tools that you can use with your voice to make you a more effective communicator. 
    Slow down. When you speak quickly you are just talking at people Pause. Pausing is a powerful tool that when used correctly allows people to process what you are saying.  Up and down. Louder and softer. Play with the cadence of your voice.  Melody. This is the movement in your voice and this is where trust is built. Be unpredictable. Creating unpredictability keeps people listening to you.  Not everyone wants to listen to their financial planner As financial planners, we often have to tell people things they don’t want to hear. It’s easy for our clients to tune us out. If we want to really help our clients we have to find ways to be heard. It’s important to learn how to speak so that our clients will listen and follow through. Tracy Goodwin has amazing advice to help us navigate how to effectively communicate with our clients. Find out what she has to say so that you can really connect with your clients. 
    Resources & People Mentioned My Nerds Eye View Guest Post BOOK - The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker Connect with Tracy Goodwin CaptivateTheRoom.com Connect With Roger Whitney www.RogerWhitney.com Roger @ FinancialPlannerFreedom.com  Roger on Twitter: @Roger_Whitney Subscribe to The Agile Financi

    • 31 min
    The Organizational Systems That Keep Me Productive, Ep # 13

    The Organizational Systems That Keep Me Productive, Ep # 13

    The agile financial planning method creates a fluid, ever-changing environment so I need organizational systems in place that can adapt to constant change. People wonder how I manage to get it all done. I have 2 podcasts, my financial practice, client meetings, the Rock Retirement Club, plus, I’m writing a book. Many people think that there is no way that they could ever have time to balance all of these things. But even though I do have a lot of balls in the air, the organizational systems I have in place ensure that I get it all done. Find out how I manage it all on this episode of The Agile Financial Planner. 
    Outline of This Episode [4:02] How I get it all done [10:11] We have rules of engagement to get everything done [17:51] Why this works for me Do your organizational systems ensure that you are spending time or passing time? On the previous episode, we talked about time. We’re either spending time or passing time. I feel that if you aren’t intentional about how you spend your time it will simply pass you by. The organizational systems I have in place help me ensure that I am not just passing time, but spending it intentionally. 
    It has taken me years to develop the systems that I have right now. But when implemented properly, my days and weeks flow smoothly. I love technology, but I don’t live in it. I use a combination of digital and analog systems that help keep me on track.
    My digital life I actually spent years searching for the perfect project management tool that would meld the different areas of my life together. I was looking for that unicorn, a place where I could seamlessly integrate everything, but I finally came to terms with the fact that that ideal system simply doesn’t exist for me. So now I embrace the separateness.
    My project management systems are purely digital. I actually use 3 different project management suites. This may seem excessive to you, but I see these different locales as being suited for the separate areas of my life. Listen in to find out why having 3 different project management suites actually helps keep me more organized. 
    My analog life In addition to the 3 online project management tools, I use 3 separate notebooks to help me plan my life. Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner helps me plan my days and weeks. I also have a client notebook which is highly organized where I keep an analog record of my client meetings. Without this tool, I wouldn’t have a clue what was said in each meeting. The notebook I use helps me prepare for meetings and remember where I am in the organizational process. Listen in to hear how I keep the details straight and set the agenda for my client meetings. 
    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast All of these separate organizational systems may seem cumbersome to you in this ever-increasingly digital world. But the fact that my processes slow me down makes me more effective. I use my organizational systems to keep me in check and ensure that I am serving my clients in the best way that I can. When I slow down things run more smoothly and I feel more in control of my life. What do you use to help keep you organized? How do you run your life?
    Resources & People Mentioned Michael Kitces blog article on agile planning Retirement Management Forum Redtail Asana Slack OmniFocus Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner Connect With Roger Whitney www.RogerWhitney.com Roger @ FinancialPlannerFreedom.com  Roger on Twitter: @Roger_Whitney Subscribe to The Agile Financial Planner Podcast
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    • 21 min

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