Ep 024

Triad Member Interview: Shifting to a Leadership Mindset to Unlock Multi-Office Growth


Triad Member—Vantage Point Financial

Listen Here

Inside This Episode

We have a special episode today as I’m joined by Triad members Jeremy Reiland, Nick Reiland and Tim Kuntz of Vantage Point Financial.

With offices in the Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit, Vantage Point Financial have set themselves apart by trademarking their holistic approach to retirement — The Elevated Retirement Plan™.

In 2022, Vantage Point brought in $58M of new assets. This year, they’re on pace for $80M – $100M. How? If you ask Jeremy, Nick and Tim, they’ll tell you it’s thanks to a combination of their trademarking, authentic client connections and financial planning that focuses on life goals — not numbers.

Join us as we discuss Vantage Point Financial’s best practices for rapid growth while maintaining a client-first focus. You’ll also hear about a simple change that makes sales presentations more effective, how to speak to older clients as a younger advisor, and how each of the guys defines “Do Business. Do Life.”

3 of the biggest insights from Vantage Point

  • #1 Leadership, mindset and client interaction tips that have helped Vantage Point grow from $35M to $80M+ of new assets in only a few years. 

  • #2 How advisors can avoid the curse of knowledge, adjust their language, and help their clients live beyond what they thought was possible in retirement.

  • #3 Gain unwavering clarity, boost client confidence, and stand out from the competition by trademarking your process!


  • 00:00 Practical lessons around developing a mindset for early-stage growth in an advisory practice.
  • 13:25 What have been the catalysts to a year-over-year AUM increase of 60-100% for Vantage Point?
  • 21:18 Taking a twofold approach to leadership to grow your assets while growing your team.
  • 24:42 How can advisors authentically connect with clients instead of simply sharing high-level financial advice?
  • 35:58 Reframing the job of a financial advisor from someone who helps improve returns to someone who helps accomplish goals.
  • 46:04 Prioritizing tools and education to build plans clients can understand and execute.
  • 52:17 Why prioritizing authenticity over sales in presentations can actually attract more clients.
  • 56:55 How can advisors stand out from the masses despite most practices offering the same sort of “holistic” planning?
  • 1:09:33 Defining “Do Business. Do Life.” through the lenses of freedom, family and problem solving.





Want to leave your own review? Visit us on Apple Podcasts via mobile, scroll to the bottom, and give me your honest thoughts. I read EVERY review that comes through. Not only do they light me up, but they also make a huge impact on people who are considering listening. To leave your review, CLICK HERE. I might even feature it on the show 🙂


  • “Why are we doing this? We’re doing this to impact people’s lives. We’re doing this to help families. We’re doing this to help them reach some of their most important goals in life.” – Tim Kuntz`

  • “We’re being leaders for our clients, but we also have to be leaders for our team.” – Jeremy Reiland

  • “Ultimately we don’t really care what the tool is. We want to do what’s best for the client and make sure that they understand it so that they’ll execute it.” – Jeremy Reiland

  • “Try everything. Don’t be scared to fail.” – Tim Kuntz

  • “If you don’t show up differently in your space, the only person you can blame as an independent financial advisor is you, the founder.” – Brad Johnson

  • “Our mission is to help not only our clients, but our team and our community to live lives beyond what they thought possible.” – Tim Kuntz

  • It’s insane to risk what you have and need for something you don’t really need.” – Warren Buffett

Brad Johnson: Welcome to another episode of Do Business Do Life. Really excited to have my friends from Vantage Point on here today. We have Jeremy, we have Nick, we have Tim. Welcome to the show, guys.

Tim Kuntz: Thanks. Glad to be here.

Nick Reiland: Yeah, happy to be here.

Brad Johnson: Well, I believe every story has an origin story. And I think where we have to kick this off, guys, is a little place called The Shanty Rose, and it’s only fitting. And I do believe this is still rated as your number one establishment that you all have ever visited. Is that fair?

Nick Reiland: Absolutely.

Jeremy Reiland: Right up there. Right up there.

Tim Kuntz: I can’t argue with that at all.

Brad Johnson: So, for those listeners that have no clue what The Shanty Rose is, who wants to just explain the establishment so they get a visual?

Jeremy Reiland: Tim’s a good color guy. Go ahead.

Nick Reiland: Yeah. You’re the color guy, Tim. Have at it.

Tim Kuntz: I’m the color guy, you said?

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah.

Tim Kuntz: Well, The Shanty Rose is a place where you can walk in and both feel like welcomed and like you’re about to get in a fight at the same time. The drinks are stiff and lobster is in the air. And you know, you hear the best Boston accents you’ll ever hear in your life. The rest you have to look up on your own for whoever’s listening.

Brad Johnson: Yes.

Jeremy Reiland: And a lobster haven.

Brad Johnson: I feel like you nailed that, Tim. I feel like you nailed that. Yes. So, fun story. When I met the three guys on here, and by the way, welcome back if you’re listening in. This is another Triad member spotlight. So, I’ve been really looking forward to this conversation, guys. But we did a visit to a firm that we’re all familiar with, the SHP guys out in Boston and so had a great day. Sat down. It was really cool because it was easy to see the moment I sat down with the three of you. Just growth mindset. You guys were sponges. You’d already been incredibly successful but just the hunger to learn more and learn different frameworks that could help you scale and serve more, more people at a higher level. And so, anyway, we have this great meeting and then we walk. I believe it was Keith that we did… Any of the other guys join us or was it just Keith? It was just Keith, wasn’t it?

Nick Reiland: Yeah, just Keith.

Jeremy Reiland: Ryan was there.

Tim Kuntz: Oh, yeah, Ryan was there too.

Brad Johnson: Ryan on our team. Yeah. Ryan on our team and then Keith from the SHP guys. And so, we walk like this is Plymouth, Mass, very close to Plymouth Rock for those that have been there. And so, we walked a couple of blocks from their office and we find a little hole in the wall called The Shanty Rose and our lives were forever changed and that was where our friendship was cemented. And it’s just a fun memory because I think I get a text with The Shanty Rose mentioned at least once every 2 to 3 months with one of you all on it so it’s a good time. But if you all circle back and I feel like that was a bit of an inflection point when I saw your firm, so you’ve got an office in Chicago. That’s obviously Nick and Tim. There’s an office in Jeremy in St. Louis where Jeremy holds the fort down and Jeremy and Nick are brothers. But you’ve been really successful but I saw just kind of this like almost lightbulb turn on for you guys in that day, day and a half together. If we go back, what things could you share with the financial advisor audience out there that were breakthroughs or learnings just at that very beginning of that relationship?

Jeremy Reiland: I guess I’d say, we were really growth-minded and we were in that phase where we were trying to figure out how do we grow efficiently in more than anything because, in fact, we weren’t looking to change. We were there to SHP’s office to hopefully get a couple of tips, maybe things we could take back to our office and implement to help us either grow the business or be more efficient. So, we weren’t really looking for a big change but we definitely were growth-minded and we had big goals. We just didn’t know the path to get there. You know, we were talking about them and they were big. And then almost, surprisingly, you guys showed up and help us with the path. So, it’s interesting when you set big goals, you talk about them, you start to attract the people and the resources that you need. So, we didn’t really know what we didn’t know until you guys helped us kind of lay it out but we definitely had the right mindset, I think, and it was just a matter of learning and taking advice from people that were two or three steps ahead of us.

Brad Johnson: Awesome.

Nick Reiland: What I’d add to that too is I think it just opened up my mind to a greater possibility where we’d seen, you know, in network with a lot of advisors and in offices that we’re bringing in 50 to 100 million a year doing great work. But when we met SHP, it was bigger, obviously, bringing in over 250 million a year. And we thought, okay, this isn’t as big of a hurdle as we might think. Like, this truly is possible, like in 50 it seemed crazy. 100 million was crazy. You know, we’re meeting these guys and they’re showing us the path saying, “Yeah, you guys can absolutely do this.” It’s not like some magic fairy dust you need. You need a path structure and some good guidance and you guys will get there in no time. And so, that was extremely motivating, encouraging, and they saw that in us, and you saw that in us really quickly, which it drove our confidence through the roof.

Tim Kuntz: We set out to, Nick and I, at the beginning of that year. So, every year so far as Vantage Point, we’ve had this motion we go through with our EOS implementer where we set a theme for the year. And at the beginning of that year, our theme was Think Bigger. And a lot of times Nick and I’ve talked about, you know, our origin story or how we got here. And there’s not too much magic to it. It just kept one thing after another, kept arriving at our doorstep. And to Jeremy’s point, and shout out to Chris Smith, if you talk about it enough, things start to happen. And I bet you had we not had that theme and that mindset that year, I don’t think that we would have been ready to receive some of the things you guys had to share with us.

Brad Johnson: That’s awesome to hear, guys. And just kind of the theme that I’m hearing from all three of you, it’s that the quote that has been referenced more than once on this show. It’s when the student is ready, the teacher will appear and just the intention. I think what’s interesting, I hear a lot of humility because it wasn’t like you guys were floundering. I mean, we just talked through your numbers before we started recording here. Perfect timing to form a business, Nick and Tim. So, it was January 2020. Well done. Right before the world shuts down for a year, which, by the way, Triad wasn’t too far behind you. We were in November 2020, so we were right in the mix of that as well. So, I’ll run through this real quick, just for context for the listeners. So, 2020, your Chicago office brings in you said between 2022 million of new assets that year, St. Louis office, which is Jeremy, which he will be clear to point out is a one-man office, right, Jeremy? Not a two-person office.

Jeremy Reiland: At that time, yes.

Brad Johnson: Yes. Okay. So, there’s some sibling rivalry that sometimes…

Tim Kuntz: Don’t get me started.

Brad Johnson: It could flare up here today. So, 15 million St Louis in 2020. So, call it 35 million collectively, 2021 Chicago did 25 mil, St. Louis did 17. So, now we’re at 42 million collectively. 2022, Chicago did 30 mil, St. Louis did 20. So, that’s 50 mil. And then you all also brought on another firm that was linked to the Chicago office for another 8 mil. So, that’s 58 million. So, we go 35 million, 42 million, 58 million. So, you were already like you guys were clipping through some pretty nice growth numbers and I just love that you’re like in 2022 the theme was still Think Bigger. That was the 2022 theme?

Tim Kuntz: That was ’21.

Brad Johnson: 2021. Okay. And so, I just love the…

Tim Kuntz: Or no, it was ’22.

Jeremy Reiland: ’22. Yeah.

Brad Johnson: It was the ’22?

Tim Kuntz: It was ’22.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Which was when we met, right? So, it’s really cool. I’ve seen a very common theme with top performers in our space. It’s almost as if, you know, you’ve never arrived. You’re a lifelong learner. We say check your ego at the door a lot here because some of the most successful firms I’ve seen that they just are humble students their entire career. That was who I saw walk into the room out there in Plummet Mass. at SHP’s office that day and it’s cool because now let’s talk 2023. How are things looking this year? I know you guys have expanded the team and kind of built out the framework. I know you all are doing really well but I feel like you’re just getting started because a lot of the coaching, you’re just starting to like start to see come to fruition. But what’s 2023 looking like for you all?

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah. It’s been in our St. Louis Office. So, when I met you guys in March of ’22, we were out there in Boston. Myself and my assistant Marie, she’s a full-time assistant and we had just hired a part-time assistant so there was two-and-a-half of us. Today, we’ve grown. We have two new advisors starting next month. So, we’ve got, including myself, 12 team members now.

Brad Johnson: Wow.

Jeremy Reiland: So, really we’re trying to grow efficiently. We’re obviously growing quickly but trying to do it really efficiently. Put the right people in the right positions, you know, whether it’s ops, sales, marketing, that type of thing. So, probably quicker than I thought we would. Now, three of those are interns. One is year-round, two that are summer interns. In fact, we just had a new admin start Wednesday. So, we’re growing quickly but I think we’re really at least for our office and I think when that continues, it’s true, really build that infrastructure, getting kind of the framework so that we can really start to multiply and really grow on an efficient basis. We don’t want to grow so quickly that we can’t service the clients. And I think a lot of advisors run into that ceiling. They get maxed out and burnt out. So, I know for us we’re trying to be very, very diligent about who we’re bringing on and when and what their role is.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, I love that. We’ll circle back on that in a second but I want to give Nick and Tim a second. So, 2023, what are like the, you know, if we look at kind of the big moving parts, the changes, whether it’s production growth, whether it’s team members and kind of growing on that front, what’s it look like for you guys?

Tim Kuntz: So, Nick and I used to sit in on every client meeting together, so that’s what we trained our clients to be used to is two professionals in every meeting. So, this is the first year where both of us will truly be like separate kind of rainmakers, if you will. And I think so far, we have maybe 10 million of new assets placed and another 10 to 15 million pending potentially this year.

Brad Johnson: Wow.

Tim Kuntz: And I mean, it’s shaping up to be, again, one of our biggest years yet but this is also the first year that we have a fully clean year of completely revamping what our kind of sales intro and onboarding process is with new clients. So, I feel like we really caught a stride from that perspective and a lot of things too that have allowed us to get there is building up our team just like Jeremy’s doing. So, when we have what, Nick? We have a team of full-time six people and then part-time two additional?

Nick Reiland: Yep.

Tim Kuntz: And we have like three.

Nick Reiland: Sorry. Another one.

Tim Kuntz: Yeah. Three open job requisitions and an intern. So, it’s moving really fast.

Nick Reiland: Yeah. To go from 2020 was Tim and I and our assistant, Diane. Now, the firm has three offices over 20 people pacing for probably 80 to 100 million if we add up all the offices. And that’s only truly so far like four really producing advisors. You know, we’re training more and bringing more up. So, if that really exponentially grows quickly and that’s been one of our biggest keys to growth is like there are only so many hours in the day that the four main producers can meet people. We need to train the next set of lead advisors and have four in each office that are bringing in 10, 20, 30 million a year. And then obviously these guys are mentioning got the infrastructure behind it. So, yeah, it’s exciting. I think this year is going to be a banner year for us compared to the last two or three.

Brad Johnson: Well, I mean, the guys I was just listening here, I mean, like I said, it wasn’t like you stopped just before at 35 to 42 to 58. But what you all just talked about is a double-up year almost, you know, 80 to 100. We’ll see where it plays out. But to go from 50, 58 to 80 to 100, that’s a massive jump. So, let’s take a second and let’s talk about that. If you were to say, here are the one, two, three reasons that we believe led to that, was it simply the fleshing out the infrastructure so you all could focus more on revenue-producing activities? Or were there other things that led to that?

Jeremy Reiland: I think it’s our competition, you know, it’s that we have a $1 billion goal and neither office wants to lose the other one.

Brad Johnson: But that helps.

Tim Kuntz: You do know the competition, right, Brad? That first office to a billion between us and St. Louis, the loser charters the private jet to the destination of the winner’s choice.

Brad Johnson: Anywhere in the world?

Tim Kuntz: Anywhere in the world. So, Jeremy, I mean…

Brad Johnson: Guys, guys, that can get expensive quick.

Tim Kuntz: I mean, I’m not worried about that because we’re winning.

Jeremy Reiland: The good news for Nick and Tim, there’s a private airport right below my house about a mile away, so it’ll be a little cheaper for you guys but, yeah, it makes it…

Brad Johnson: So, let’s go ahead and memorialize this. This will be fun, guys, because we can look back on this interview a few years from now. So, where are we at? Where’s the leaderboard at, total AUM on each side right now?

Jeremy Reiland: So, we’re about 150 total in St. Louis.

Tim Kuntz: 190.

Brad Johnson: 190 you said, Tim?

Tim Kuntz: Mm-hmm.

Brad Johnson: And is this like a golf match where one started out ahead so there’s a handicap or no?

Jeremy Reiland: No. It’s good you mention that, Brad.

Tim Kuntz: Straight up. This is straight up, Brad. No handicaps.

Brad Johnson: Straight up. Okay. Okay. Cool. Cool.

Jeremy Reiland: I’m going to make sure that my destination is very exotic to make up for the handicap.

Brad Johnson: Well, I was just, I mean, we were looking at Bora-Bora flights for some good fun. We were looking at inside of Triad and those not private commercial are very expensive. So, Bora-Bora could be a fun one for you, Jeremy. Just throw that one out there.

Jeremy Reiland: Very nice. Yeah. Bora-Bora sounds great.

Brad Johnson: Nice.

Nick Reiland: Whether you’re in agreement or not, Jer, Tim has been telling our team that they’re invited too so it’s going to be a really big deal.

Brad Johnson: Oh, so you can grow the AUM and the team and then just make it really expensive.

Tim Kuntz: Yeah. It’s going to be great. I can’t wait. Well, to answer your question, Brad, I feel like I think your question was like, what would we attribute that big jump to, right? What’s really gotten us there? I think it’s a confluence of several things, in my opinion, but one that really stands out here in our office is the messaging and the conviction, and the authenticity of what we say. Like, yeah, sure, you know, being successful is great and having these milestones and looking back is great but I think Nick and I and Jeremy, too, really just got comfortable understanding that why are we doing this? We’re doing this to impact people’s lives. We’re doing this to help families. We’re doing this to help them reach some of their most important goals in life. And I think with a lot of your team’s help and some of the messaging that some of the community members have helped us with, that authenticity I think has really shined through in everything that we do and the why behind what we do as well. So, I think that’s probably one of the banner things in our office that’s made the difference. And I can tell I don’t know if you’d agree, Nick, but it’s huge.

Nick Reiland: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Without a question. You know, that kind of leadership that you guys talk about at Triad. Chris Smith talks about, you know, and just absorbing that and really, truly believing in what we do and like going into every meeting like, “Hey, I’m just here to serve you and help,” which is interesting. Going back early in my career, it was you were always here. Don’t give away the farm. Like, can you give all the answers to them in that first meeting? Why would they come back? Well, what we do is so much more complex than what we could tell them in an hour. And so, we went from, alright, giving so many answers to now not getting hardly any and the people are probably feeling like, “Wait a minute, they didn’t answer anything.” They just danced around and said, “You know, you got to become a client.” To truly just be interested in helping them and putting them on the right path and just being honest like, “Hey, I’ll tell you, this is the answer to that question but what you really need is this to really impact your life and change your track for retirement.”

So, just coming with that mindset and not at all trying to be salesy, which none of us are, if you don’t like that salesman kind of hat, it’s hey we’re there to help people and we know we’re really good at what we do but how do you take it from that to what’s our process to really move the business forward to? We’re helping these people or meeting a lot of people. I mean, there are so many times that we were just struggling where we meet a ton of people and we’re like, “Hey, we’re closing two out of ten or four out of ten, which is pretty good but look at the five or six that walked out the door that we know were great prospects and really honing in on that language. And I remember the first time we met Keith Ellis, he’s like he’s going to work through the language. He’s like, “It’s just a few words here and there and you guys, your closing ratio will go through the roof.” And he was right. So, yeah, I think there’s just a lot of that. It’s a conviction. It’s the training. It’s surrounding ourselves with really smart people. Yeah. That famous is pretty interesting. We’re like we want to think bigger but then a month later, we met SHP. That just sort of happened, referred off from our marketing agency said, “Hey, these guys are just like you guys. I think you guys will hit it off.”

And then met you guys through that too, I’m going to say you guys, Triad. And so, it just sort of started a snowball and then getting in that community and meeting people that think bigger. And we’ve continued that. We’ve been on that search, you know, to continue to do that, whether it’s your EOS group and going to a conference there and meeting people in different industries that are massively successful. It’s been just a game changer and opening up our minds to like thinking bigger, expanding our horizons personally, professionally, you name it.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. One of the themes I’ve seen in the community, it’s been really cool. Like, it’s so humbling to just sometimes sit back on the community zoom calls and observe the magic happening. And one of the themes I’ve seen kind of that you both just hit on is going into that first visit with the prospects. You kind of shared, “I’ve got nowhere to get.” I know that’s a Chris Smith thing, like, “Hey, let’s just be here and serve and let the conversation go where it goes.” But also stepping into that conversation as a leader versus a financial advisor and it’s just the mindset is different. To your point, make your like as a financial advisor or like trying to hoard information to make them kind of like need to come back to us. As a leader, you’re stepping into that and saying, “Hey, here’s what we’re about, here’s what we’re not about. If we can help you, we commit to serving you and challenging you more than you’ve ever been challenged but supporting you more than you’ve ever been supported.” And that’s like the dynamic that I see happening, which is so powerful because they need confidence. They need somebody that they can depend on as they navigate retirement and all the life changes.

And it’s just like Amy Porterfield episode that just went live this week that we’re recording this. She talks about Tony Robbins saying how much of leadership is just mindset. It’s just mindset and switching to a different mindset. So, do you guys feel that as well like it was just kind of a mindset shift like light bulb moment went on and here’s how we need to start showing up differently? Or was there something else that made that happen?

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah. I mean, I think so. I think the leadership discussion it’s really twofold. We’re being leaders for our clients but we also have to be leaders for our team. And for me, at first, that was kind of an intimidating word like on leadership. That takes on a lot of ownership and responsibility when you’re a leader, you know? I mean, heck, I wasn’t even the first one out of the womb, so I was a follower from day one.

Brad Johnson: People agree with that.

Jeremy Reiland: Holding to my food, too, by the way. Thanks a lot. So, I am four inches tall or shorter, but I think part of it was the mindset shift. You know, it was really you had to wrap my mind around like, yeah, what we do for clients, we really are leaders and we really are providing financial leadership. And then when you start to say that to prospects and clients, you really start to see the reaction is different, you know. And all I can tell them, “Hey, there’s a difference between a typical advisor providing advice and leadership,” kind of explain what that means. And they look at you differently, you know? And definitely it took, you know, with Chris Smith, we worked on the leadership language but it takes some time internally to internalize it to say, “You know, what I do is really, really powerful, not just for the clients but my team as well.” And so, I had to take that shift of working on myself as an individual to be a leader and still am. I think it’s a lifelong process but it’s definitely different. You know, you look at it differently and you start to realize your impact. I mean, what we do makes a huge difference in people’s lives.

And I think being in the industry for 20 years, sometimes we forget how impactful it is because it’s just our job in a sense but it’s way more than a job or a career. I mean, it really helps people sleep at night, you know, that stuff. So, definitely, it was a mind shift and it seems like a little shift but I think it’s a really big one, and the bigger picture.

Tim Kuntz: It’s the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been in my life. Jeremy, I totally echo what you said, like just making that shift to, “All right, How can I show up as a leader in all facets of my life, and especially in this business?” It was uncomfortable.

Nick Reiland: Yeah. And to your credit, Tim, I mean, because Tim is, as you know, Brad and Jer, Tim is extremely smart, well-read, researches everything to the nth degree. And I think years ago used to think that you had to tell everybody everything you knew and to prove that you were smart because you were younger and you’re great. And I know you’re authentic because I know you but in client meetings, sometimes I think you wanted to share your knowledge rather than that connection. And once you kind of switched to that in the last six months, nine months, you’re just killing it. I mean, Tim’s been he call it heater season and it’s most related to him. Like, heater season, we got clients coming in like crazy. The staff can’t keep up and that’s a great problem to have.

Jeremy Reiland: Never leave a heater.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. That’s wisdom right there for you, listeners. Yeah. Right there.

Nick Reiland: At the table.

Brad Johnson: You know, you bring up a really good point there, Nick, because and I know Enneagram has been a big thing inside of our Triad community and we’ve all kind of taken the test and geeked out on that. So, we won’t go too far down that but I think it’s really interesting as you look at the different personality types, some of us are wired to be a bit more analytical like I’m very guilty of the guy that can hop down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and like look up 3 hours later and say, like, “What happened,” right? And you nailed it. The word is connection. I mean, you can out-spreadsheet people, you can out-intellect people, but I think sometimes we forget is advisors like to step out of financial advisor role, it’s kind of the curse of knowledge, and like put yourself on the other side of the table. Like, you walk into a doctor’s office, they start speaking a bunch of Latin and straight over your head like all this doctor-speak. You’re actually going to be like, “Well, yeah, he’s smart, but I don’t want to work with him because he makes me feel dumb.” Whereas you go to like the doctor with great bedside manner that’s like, “Hey, here’s what it’s called. Let me break it down to like what it really means.” And Mike just talks to you like a regular guy. You’re just going to feel so much deeper connection and like, “That’s my guy right there.”

I mean, that’s how it works for all of us but for some reason, we forget that when we put on financial advisory, you know, the suit, the jacket, whatever, and you walk into a meeting. So, how did you. Maybe I’ll throw this one to you, Tim. How did you start to be aware of that and then call it break that habit a bit or have a different type of conversation?

Tim Kuntz: Yeah. Great question. You know, I think also the way that we used to do work for new clients at the beginning was reminiscent of that feeling of needing to share information and intellect and, well, we have the ability to do because we used to basically do a comprehensive financial plan at the onset without having a commitment for an ongoing relationship from these clients. And I remember when your team challenged us to make that change, I was like, “There’s no way. There’s no way someone’s going to agree to work with us to be this involved with their financial lives without knowing exactly how we can help them and what we do.” Well, I was wrong. It’s the exact opposite. It really is a mindset shift. I mean, I think it’s that getting uncomfortable with like, “Why do I feel this way? Why is it that I’m showing up to this meeting and I feel the necessity to totally skirt making a connection and instead beeline it to, “Well, let’s talk about a proper tax distribution rate out of all of your different tax-treated accounts?” Like, it doesn’t matter. It’s, “I’m here to help you. I’m here to do whatever in the world I can do to make your life easier and add value to your situation.”

And it’s a confidence to know that we live and breathe this. We wake up every day and think about this. How can we do it better? How can we add more value to our client’s lives? Where I truly do feel as if we were at the forefront of what we do as financial planners, and we do it better than most people. And that’s a gift to give like it’s something that we can give to people all the time and impact their lives. And when it finally dawned on me that that’s what we do, it took all the pressure off in even the first 2 hours of a conversation that we have with new clients. It’s less about all these nuances of ways we can help them and more about like you would benefit your life would be absolutely transformed if you had what we have to offer in your life. And that mindset shift, it’s like I feel like I sit back in my chair more in client meetings and just like, “I want to get to know you. I want to understand what’s important to you,” and having people around you more specifically that hold you to that standard, too.

So, as Nick and I talked about this and the way we challenge each other, I mean, he straight up came to me and he was like, “Hey, Tim, I challenge you for the rest of this year to let authenticity be the center of all of your communications with clients at workshops with clients like don’t follow a script, don’t read bullet points, don’t memorize what you want to say, just be authentic.” And he held me to that standard, and we checked in on it and same thing with the Triad crew and the people that lift us up and support them. I mean, truly, we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. And without that ability, I don’t think I would have been able to see through that noise.

Brad Johnson: That’s so cool. You know what you just triggered for me, Tim, as you were going through that where you were, like, kind of like, and you were a younger advisor too. And I think I remember being a young guy in this business, and I was meeting with 55, 65-year-olds, and I was 26, 27, and there’s like a little bit of an imposter syndrome, you know? It’s like, “Wait, do I deserve to be here? Am I going to say something where they think I’m dumb or not qualified or whatever?” And I almost feel like it’s a bit of a defense mechanism, like a human defense mechanism of you hop into a meeting with the 55, 60, 65-year-old and you immediately start spouting tax rules and stuff that you know you can kind of like own the conversation as opposed to your point like getting uncomfortable, getting vulnerable, and truly connecting as a human. That’s tougher. That’s tougher work to do.

Tim Kuntz: It’s so hard.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Do you feel that like you think defense mechanism? And I don’t mean like you went in there and you’re like trying to show them up or anything but I think just like if you observe human psychology, sometimes that probably plays out that way.

Tim Kuntz: Absolutely. I think you nailed it. A defense mechanism is a great way to explain it. It’s like I’m putting up this metaphorical shield that, “Hey, don’t look at the 80% that I feel.” The key word is that I feel like I don’t have figured out. Just focus on this 20% that I know I have figured out. I think you nailed it.

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah.

Brad Johnson: And by the way, I’ve seen advisors that are 60, 65, 70. It’s almost like hiding behind the shield of knowledge that protects them. So, that’s a really good call out. So, I wrote down something else that I picked up there and I’m going to a Spider-Man quote with, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I think I got that right but I look at it like you’re stepping into this meeting now and I heard one time it was a really successful couple, Bryan and Shannon Miles, and they talked about, they worked with the Family Office because they’d done really well for themselves. And they basically said one of the things that Family Office told them is, “We are working on a financial plan and a legacy for the grandchildren that you haven’t even met yet.” And if you look at it through that lens and the power of the work you can do in like 60 minutes, 90 minutes in your office with someone’s life savings literally in your hands, and you can turn that into a plan that will outlive them and bless their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, that’s insanely powerful. But you have to be looking through that lens, not the, “Oh, got to close a 500K case today.”

And so, is there any other thoughts that you all have there? Because I’m picking up a lot of that from you all like, “Man, this is really powerful work we do. We’re confident in the work we do.” And with that like it’s worth something and it’s going to take the joint responsibility of the other side of the desk of saying, “Hey, we want that, too.” So, what are your, guys, thoughts around that?

Nick Reiland: Yeah, I agree. We stole that line from them as well. We use that line.

Brad Johnson: Oh, do you use that? Nice.

Tim Kuntz: We use it all the time.

Nick Reiland: It’s awesome.

Brad Johnson: Love it. How was it hit? How’s it hit in meetings? Do you see a little like light bulb or aha go on?

Nick Reiland: Yeah, I think so. I think there’s a lot of things we say. It’s funny. A lot of the meetings were using language like that. There’s one in particular recently where the husband and wife all kept going, “Oh, oh. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Oh.” You know, so it’s like very like they’re having this like, “Wow, this is not what I expected,” kind of meeting. And that’s what we want it to be but they probably see literally right across the street from our offices, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley. There’s another one in the building over there. I forget who it is that they’re sitting down. Each of them have their magic black box that they’re going to beat the market rate and they’re going to get a different pitch as they go to each office until they come over to us and we don’t talk about our investment philosophy at all in that first meeting. So, I think it is. For us, it’s their mindset like we talked about before, like what are we trying to accomplish in this meeting, you know, and how are we different and what is the end result for the client? So, it’s great to talk high level about all the things we do but okay what does that mean to you? What’s that mean to you, Mr. and Mrs. Jones? If you work with us, ultimately, you know, we’re going to empower you to live beyond what you thought in retirement, beyond what you thought was possible in retirement. And that’s kind of our brand manifesto.”

And so, they start thinking like that and what that does for you is we’re going to take care of all these things in our trademark elevated retirement plan. We’re going to take care of the taxes, the investments, the estate planning. Everything’s coordinated, the insurance, and so that you can live your life like you worked for the last 40 years to save up. Now, tell us about the things you want to do. Wouldn’t it be great if you’re on that beach in Mexico for three weeks like you planned and you don’t have to worry about what the market’s doing or what your portfolio is doing? Or should you be tax loss harvesting right now? Like, no, you can just go and live and we’re here to take care of that,” and to give them that clarity and confidence to know that, yeah, I don’t have to worry about it. And it’s funny, I just came up the other day and I forget if there’s a client meeting or where but that’s fine if somebody doesn’t want to hire us because they’ll have just an okay retirement and Tim had this one recently where they just could not get over paying the fee to hire our team.

And they said, “You know what? We might not live a great retirement. We’ll be okay.” Just might want an okay retirement managing everything on your own which is fine you know and that probably works out well because you’ll die sooner. When you have all that stress of worrying about the investments, the tax, legacy planning, the insurance, the Medicare, the Social Security, you’re probably going to die earlier because you’re stressing out about all these things. So, it’ll be okay. You won’t run out of money. But with us, you’ll probably live longer and enjoy it more. And it’s kind of funny but if you stop and think about the rest of your life, I mean, if you have a team that’s taking care of all the things that stress you out, you’re going to do a lot better.

Tim Kuntz: Or financial doctors.

Brad Johnson: I feel the compliance and suitability breathing down my neck right now.

Jeremy Reiland: That’s okay. Next, the Chief Compliance Officer.

Brad Johnson: We are allowed to joke on these things, right? So, to me, there’s a couple of ideas there. It’s more of a what’s possible meeting. I know that’s some language I’ve heard quite a bit is there’s one thing to crunch numbers on a spreadsheet and say, “Here’s my income plan and here’s Social Security,” and then we can get another 15, 20K on top of that. It’s another thing to say, hey, you don’t just dream about what’s possible and start with the end in mind and say, “Hey, back to the beach.” So, how many weeks would you be spending on a beach each year? Would it just be one trip? Could it be more trips? Like, what do you actually want? And then let’s back into what it takes to get you there. And I feel like that’s such a different conversation. You mentioned tax loss harvesting. Pat Quinn, who I know you all have had the pleasure of doing some training with. He does this exercise where he says, “Call up your brother,” and just go to this little role play and you’re talking to your brother about something that’s on your mind and use the language that you would use when you talk with your brother. And it wouldn’t be like, “Hey, I’m really stand up tonight.

And I was just, man, I couldn’t get to bed. It was like I just couldn’t get this tax loss harvesting thing out of my head. I couldn’t get to sleep.” But that’s how financial advisors speak all the time, right? As opposed to, “Hey, I’m trying to figure out, are we going to be able to spend the two weeks on the beach with the grandkids? And that’s really important to me. And I’m wondering, do we have enough? And like, it’s really kind of keeping me up at night because that’s really important to me.” That’s the sort of conversation you would have with a brother or sister. And I just think sometimes be like, “Don’t think like humans.” Like, back to the curse of knowledge. It’s like, “That’s not how people talk. So, why do we talk that way so often in this business?” Yeah. Go ahead, Jeremy.

Jeremy Reiland: Thanks. I had a quick story on kind of the asking them like, you know, what’s possible and one of the questions we ask him is if money was no object, what’s one thing you love to have or do in your retirement? And we asked that question and it’s probably March maybe to as a referral. And the guy immediately said, “A plane.” So, he’s a pilot, more of a recreational pilot, but he’s like, “I don’t know if we can ever afford it or not.” So, of course, we take note of that. Well, about a month later, we’re meeting with existing clients that have been, gosh, they probably been with us eight, nine years and they have a plane. He’s like, “By the way, we’re selling our plane.” And so, I was like, “Well, I happen to know someone that wants to buy one.” And I was able to connect two clients together, this guy to buy a plane that he never thought was even possible. So, it’s not a Learjet or anything but it’ll be perfect for him. So, it’s kind of cool.

Brad Johnson: How cool is that?

Nick Reiland: It’s awesome.

Brad Johnson: That all stems from asking a different question, right? You know, that’s how you uncover that versus, “Hey, how much income do you need on a monthly basis?” It’s basically solving with like if I look at so much of the work financial advisors do, obviously, it’s a math equation. You’ve got to get all their variables right but you get the right answer on the other side of the equals sign. But essentially what you all are doing is you’re starting on the other side of equal sign and saying what you want the answer to be. Okay. Now, let’s go retrofit the variables to get you there in the most efficient way. It’s just such a different conversation where that’s where the good stuff comes out of that conversation, not the let’s figure out the variables on the front end and not know where we’re going.

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah. It’s like the way we talk about our planning is, you know, all our competitors, you know, Morgan Stanley, Stifel, Edward Jones, they’re talking about their shiny object to this portfolio that’s going to make 8% a year. You know, we don’t talk about like rate of return or anything. We talk about what do you need your money to do? You know, what does it mean to you? You know, we actually work it backwards. We actually start with your goals and what your need is, what you want to accomplish, and then we plug in the investments to accomplish it. It’s a lot different than, “Hey, look at all these great portfolios.” You know, they don’t really mean anything if it doesn’t accomplish your goals.

Brad Johnson: And how much more fun is that as an advisor? I mean…

Jeremy Reiland: It’s way more fun. Yeah. I’d rather be a plane broker from client to client. But it is. It actually makes our job easier, honestly, because we do reviews. It’s not about rate of return. It’s like, “Oh, hey, you know, you guys didn’t beat the market last year, so I’m upset.” It’s never the conversation. It’s like, hey, we got your income plan. You know, we’ve got your income bucket. Here’s your income protected last year. It was a really rough year in the market, but you didn’t have to worry about it. You don’t have to lose sleep. You know, they’ll tell us that. They didn’t have to think about it. And so, that just goes back to the impact that we have on them. And it honestly really does make our job easier. If we do it right from the beginning, you don’t have to backtrack and always feel like, “Oh, what am I going to do next for my clients so I don’t lose them?” You know, they have a plan. We’re making sure their plan is efficient. Everything’s in place the way it should be, and then we’re just helping them guide them through the plan and tweak it as needed versus these wholesale changes every month or every year depending on what the market’s doing. I mean, that’s a stressful advisor if they’re chasing returns every single year.

Tim Kuntz: You know, Brad?

Brad Johnson: Yeah.

Tim Kuntz: I think it’s you, Brad, that have said this in the past, like how you meet a client in those first few meetings that you spend with them and kind of the atmosphere of those is what sets the tone for your entire relationship with them. So, it makes sense that the vibe you set with them in those first couple of introductory meetings that it’s about relationships. It’s about what’s important to them. And that’s what you’re talking about at review meetings, not, “Hey, we’re trailing the S&P by 0.50%. Are we going to be okay?”

Brad Johnson: Yeah. The phrase we say is, “What brings them to you is what they expect from you.” And so, if what brings them to you is we can beat the guy down the street or the S&P or whatever by a percent or 2%. Now, you’re selling your value proposition as returns. And I compare that kind of to like going to the Kentucky Derby and picking winning horses. Yeah. I mean, you can research and say statistically, “This is the one that’s going to win,” and that’s great until you pick the horse that doesn’t win. And now they come back to you and they’re like, “What the heck? I thought we’re beating the market by 1% or 2%. What’s going on here?” Now, we’re back to goal-based planning and building a proper plan. It’s actually not about the returns. The Warren Buffett quote, which I know we talk a lot about in our community, we should throw this in the show notes, but I’ll probably butcher this. “It’s insane to risk that which you have in order to attain that which you do not need.” And how often do you all see that when somebody walks in your office the first time? They’re heavily loaded up in high-risk stocks chasing returns. I was like, “Dude, you have $3 million. You need like a 4% return a year to do everything in the world you want to do for the rest of your life.” It’s silly.

Tim Kuntz: It’s like driving a Ferrari in a school zone.

Brad Johnson: There you go. There you go. Don’t hit any kid.

Tim Kuntz: I say that all the time. That’s literally my tagline for that.

Nick Reiland: In all of this, too, it makes our jobs easier when you, it’s not only just the conversations and it’s goal-oriented planning but it’s also obviously how we structure their assets to have safety for the things that they need sooner than later. But it changes like in 2008, I didn’t have structure. I was an investment advisor, you know, and we talk about that common enemy that most advisors only give advice on the things you’re getting directly paid for. And 90 plus percent of the advisors in the industry only advise you on the investments. Why was that guy the first ten years of my career? And when 2008 hit, it was horrible. I mean, it was just the phones wouldn’t stop ringing. People hated us like you wouldn’t believe because we didn’t have a real plan to protect them and didn’t have as many retirees at that time but it didn’t matter. When people lose 30%, 40%, 50% of their net worth, it’s troublesome. So, I knew that and we had to make a change. And fast forward, obviously, we had a massive bull market, but in 2020, I mean, we had people not calling, panicking.

There was literally one or two clients that were panicking, but people calling and saying, “Thank you, I get it now.” During this bull market we did some more conservative stuff, but completely protected that they would say, “We know the market’s up 20%. Like, do we really need that? It was only up seven. What about you know these other things that are getting 20?” And then in 2020 and we had tons of calls, people saying, “Thank you so much. I can still retire when I want to retire. I can still go on those trips. I mean, probably throw a wrench in there, but I can do what I want to do.” It’s not dictated by the stock market, which gives them peace of mind and it makes our lives a hell of a lot easier. And last year too, I can count on one hand where people were a little bit maybe panicked or even calling concerned, and it was usually like, “Hey, I just need one of your pep talks. I know you’re going to make me feel better.” You know, it’s not like, “What did you do?” Because I heard that a lot like, “What did you do to my money?” Well, by the way, there’s something going on in the world that’s beyond what I did but I didn’t do my job the way I should. I mean, it was a big eye-opening experience for me.

And I had to change my career path and what I do for my clients and how I serve them because I wasn’t serving them in the right way. I mean, luckily over the years, I’ve met some really good people that have helped mentor me, guide me, train me and all of us. And so, we couldn’t do it alone. Like, surrounding ourselves with really great people is the thing that I’ll never stop doing. If I can keep surrounding myself with people much smarter than me, which, by the way, is not hard to do. And then…

Jeremy Reiland: There’s one in the womb. I don’t know if you remember.

Nick Reiland: Yeah, I did. Yeah, that was a good move by me in the womb, you know, surrounding myself…

Brad Johnson: Hey, you started your mastermind group very early. That’s right. You were ahead.

Jeremy Reiland: You’re welcome.

Nick Reiland: We did. Yeah. And it makes him, her mom said that he was always sitting on my head, so, you know. That’s how oxygen get to my brain but that’s something that I probably shouldn’t say.

Tim Kuntz: I got to be honest. I don’t know if I want to be the honorary triplet anymore.

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah.

Nick Reiland: Yeah. Rough.

Brad Johnson: There’s a few things there, Nick, but I think one of the things that you just nailed is if you’re an advisor out there and if your own mental health and the health of your business is directly equated to market performance, then now you’ve basically put your business the good days or the bad days, you’ve weighted that on something you absolutely cannot control, which for anybody that’s built any business they should, they would absolutely say, “Don’t build your business on something based on something you can’t control.” And so, I think if you’re an advisor out there and you’re like, “Man, the market’s really rough. This next two months is going to suck.” It probably means you might want to reexamine how you build your plans in the first place, right? Or the conversation that we talked about that’s bringing your clients to you and the expectations they have of you and your planning but the other thing that I really see there is, Nick, you evolved and you grew and you said there has to be a better, different way where I can serve my clients at a higher level. And you were willing to evolve. You were willing to challenge, maybe.

You know, I see it so often the advisors that grow up in certain distribution models, just the biases that come along with that. And to your point, it’s very much based on how that distribution model gets paid. I was just literally talking with the guy. I don’t know if I… Let’s just say it’s one of the names we all run into over the doors. And he basically said, “In my training, I was taught that this financial tool is bad.” And by the way, it was an annuity. And to literally say an annuity is bad is to me the equivalent of trying to build a house and saying a hammer is bad. Like, the tool is not good or bad. It’s what is the use for the tool and what is the proper tool to get the job done and then selecting the best tool out of that category. And I just think there’s so much of that going on in finance where it’s almost this like indoctrination of, “This is bad.” And I believe as a fiduciary, which you all are, you should have as many tools as possible at your disposal, and then you should objectively just choose, “Hey, here’s what we’re trying to do. What’s the most efficient tool to pull out of my financial toolbox and let’s just go get the job done?”

And I believe that’s kind of what clients love about the plans you all build, right? It’s like we’re not trying to sell you anything. We’re trying to build you a great financial plan that gets you from A to B in the most efficient way possible and doesn’t create a bunch of anxiety the next time the market corrects. I mean, any other thoughts on just kind of the different approach or psychology there?

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah. I think to your point, Brad, it’s all about the education. You know, we’re educating our clients on those tools. We have all of those tools at our disposal. It’s a matter of matching up, they’re playing with the correct tool, and it’s an educational process. And I think we do a pretty good job of actually taking that educational approach. You know, we teach a lot of educational classes we have for going out eight years and teaching a Social Security class, tax retirement class. But even when you talk about portfolios and other investments, it’s still an educational type of an approach and I think people appreciate that. You don’t have to get in the weeds and drown them with the details and alpha and beta and Sharpe ratio and all those crazy things. But if you kind of show them how they work and the pros and cons, then they feel more equipped to understand the plan and execute the plan. And I think early in my career I was with a broker-dealer that was very anti-annuity. And I remember I came across someone like, “This doesn’t look all that bad. What’s the issue with them?”

And so, part of the reason I actually went to work for American Equity in their home office, wasn’t real happy with where I was at. And I said, “I’m going to figure out what’s wrong with this or what’s right with them.” So, we got firsthand knowledge of like, “There’s billions of dollars in this space and it can’t all be that these people were mis-sold. That just doesn’t make sense.” And just like any whether it’s a stock bond, mutual fund, every financial product has a time and place. It’s a matter of pairing up the situation with the right tool. And I think when you take that approach with clients, they appreciate it and you can be unbiased because ultimately we don’t really care what the tool is. You know, we want to do what’s best for the client and make sure that they understand it so that they’ll execute it. And so, I think that’s a big shift from like Nick was talking about the old, you know, really advisors, salesperson model. I mean, I never feel like a salesperson or a consultant, an educator, a leader. It’s a lot different than, okay, I got to hit a quota and I got to sell this annuity or this portfolio or whatever it is. It’s just a different mindset from our end and I think that translates across the table to the client.

We’re like, “Okay. This is a lot different than when I was at Edward Jones down the street. They’re trying to sell me a portfolio versus, and they’re calling it a plan”. You know, it’s really just the portfolio but they’re calling it a plan. So, it’s just a different shift. And people, I think they can gravitate towards that and it makes a huge difference, you know, obviously, for us acquiring clients but also for the success of the clients to execute the plan and stick to the plan as they age.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. And how do you beat that up? Like, think about a salesperson versus a planner. How dare you build me a holistic plan that meets my goals, Jeremy? Like, you can’t beat it up. I’m going to listen to what you want and then as an independent advisor, as a fiduciary that has access to every tool at my disposal, I’m going to try to build you the most efficient plan that gets you from A to B, And then, by the way, as things change into retirement, we’re going to adjust. It takes you out of like used car salesman language, which, by the way, I was a guy that grew up cold calling advisors to sell annuities. Like, I have felt this on my side. And when you change the conversation to just, “We want to lead you. We want to serve you. We want to be transparent on how we’re going to build this and educate you on the tools that we believe you can get through there in the most efficient way,” it’s like, man, that’s like such a noble profession. It completely changes the dynamic of it. I want to make sure we have time, guys. I’ve pulled up if you guys saw me looking at the other screen, I pulled up your website and I see some of the language on here. “We lead and empower our clients to achieve beyond what they thought possible in retirement because they deserve it.” I believe that came directly out of kind of the Chris Smith, the brand manifesto work. Is that correct?

Tim Kuntz: Yes, it did.

Brad Johnson: And how does that get embedded into the conversation, in a first visit, in a seminar? And how has that changed the conversation when you lead with something like that?

Tim Kuntz: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, something that we haven’t talked about that is really hard to contend with is the way that these potential clients have been trained to think. Because all these things that we’re talking about like have all been weaponized by advisors to subscribe to their sales process. The word fiduciary has been weaponized, the word fee-only. And so, all these clients and I think it was, was it Kyle Van Pelt? He did a great job of talking about the evolution of some of these sales process. So, I think what that language does in these meetings is it disarms those people. It’s like, hey, I totally understand that you’ve been trained to think that this is the most important thing to solve with a financial advisor. But let’s get back to basics for a second. This is about you and living your life. Like, let me tell you what you deserve out of a financial advisor. And they’re like, “Oh, okay.” And even just saying like, “Hey, we’re passionate about doing the right thing for people. We’re passionate about getting information out. Hey, even if we never talk again or you just absorb our newsletter or blogs and that is beneficial to your life or if we give you great advice in this our envision meeting and you get to take that and change the rest of your course, hey, so be it.” It’s disarming to people.

They’re like, “Whoa. I felt no pressure. I felt no sales. I just sat in front of a person that had nothing in mind but my true best interest. And it wasn’t weaponized to talk smack about all the other advisors out there.” That’s super disarming. So, we started implementing that language into workshops and seminars almost immediately at the beginning of every seminar or workshop we do. By the way, Vantage Point, home of the six worlds, not five worlds. At the beginning of all of our presentations, we start with, at least in our Chicago office, we start with a presentation of the six worlds, and we kind of inject that language right away, like, “Hey, having this done right and in your best interest is the way to make your money work harder for you than it’s ever worked before. And it’s a way to make sure that you live a life in retirement beyond what you felt possible like you deserve this. And I want you to really think and stop for a second and consider if is this something that you already do on your own or with an advisor? And if it’s not, then you truly need to start exploring whether or not you could benefit from this.”

And then like since we started doing that, we have people come up to us on the break of these presentations, which by the way, we’re doing a lot of presentations through nonprofits and we’re not allowed to sell so we cannot make a pitch on our services at these things and we make that clear. And people come up to us at the break and they’re like, “Hey, so I want to be respectful of the fact that this is through a nonprofit and you’re not selling, but like, how soon can we talk about working together? Because that’s what I’m interested in.” I’m telling you, that’s the only thing we changed is injecting that language and having an authentic message. And it’s like people are knocking on our door now instead of us like trying to find an in to talk to them about our services. It’s incredible.

Brad Johnson: That’s cool. And that’s the thing that the longer I’m in this industry, I always knew words matter but words matter so much just at how intentional you are with them and the way you say them, say them in confidence versus, “You know, oh, well, we kind of believe that this…” and it’s amazing to see that because, number one, you all did the work which that’s the hardest part is extracting that. And it’s deep work, right? You can’t kind of half-assed that sort of work. But I want to rewind like it’s so fun to, I mean, like I’ve known you, I feel like I’ve known you guys forever, probably because of The Shanty Rose but we’re only really like not even two years into this journey and the massive evolution that I’ve already seen from you all, which is a testament to you all showing up as students, putting in the work, putting in the effort, and then actually implementing the work into your seminars, into your appointments. But I’m looking at your website right now and I want to go back because I want to make sure I’m not misremembering this. When we were sitting in SHP’s conference room with Plymouth Harbor right behind us, Keith Ellis in there probably cracking some awkward jokes like he does and that’s what I love about him, was the name of your process, the Elevated Retirement Plan, at that point I’m trying to remember if you’d named it at that point or not?

Jeremy Reiland: No.

Tim Kuntz: Not even close.

Brad Johnson: Did you have a name of your what I would call planning process? Or was it just we do financial plannings?

Jeremy Reiland: Holistic planning.

Tim Kuntz: Yeah, a holistic plan. Come on, Brad.

Jeremy Reiland: Nice and very original.

Brad Johnson: Okay. So, this is fun. So, you all are now reminding me of a firm I talked with in Kansas City. This is years back. They were managing, by the way, they were managing a billion and had a really cool presence on radio. And I talked with the founder and I was like, “Well, why are you guys different than other advisors in the Kansas City market?” And by the way, he said this like not joking. He said this like with full confidence. He said, “Well, we build financial plans.” And I looked at him. I looked at him and I was like, “What do you think the other guys say they do?” And it was like this big aha moment. He goes, “Uhh, they probably say they build financial plans, don’t they?” I go, “Yeah. So, how do your prospects know the difference?” And so, back to your, “We build holistic plans,” well, yeah, so does everybody else. Welcome to being a financial advisor. Not everybody but they probably say they do.

Jeremy Reiland: They say they do. They say they do.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, yeah. But here’s what’s cool. You guys were actually building great plans. You were doing the hard part of it. It just wasn’t packaged and messaged in a way where it differentiated you all, where the people you were talking to knew that you did. And so, what I see is we use McDonald’s references a lot around here. It’s like McDonald’s is in the most commoditized business in the world, the hamburger business. There’s a hamburger stand in every small little town like even Minneapolis, Kansas. That’s 2,000 people. But what McDonald’s did was productized the hamburger, turned it into something unique to them, the Big Mac, and that’s the only place you can get it. Well, you guys take CFP, standard-based financial planning and you packaged it and now you message it in a way that’s unique and distinct to you. And I also saw this shift where you were like really trying to charge people and it was kind of like, “Well, they’re kind of resisting the fee and they’re not sure they want to move forward,” to where you just change the game and you’re like, “Hey, here’s what we’re about. Here’s what we’re not. We want to serve you. If you want to take the next step, here’s how it works. We move everything over, ACAT it, put the team to work and we’ll move forward.” And it was just like, well, you’re off to the races from there. And I think, Nick, your first one was a big one. Like, the first time you tried that different conversation, it was a multimillion-dollar case, wasn’t it?

Nick Reiland: Yeah. Yeah, it worked out quite well. And it just convicted and like, “Great. We’re going to try this new approach,” and we’ve got the old approach and standby if we need to the last minute. But you know, practice the language a little bit and it worked. I mean, when the clients made $4 million and they’re great clients now but when they said, “Yeah, we’d like to move forward,” I was like, “Wait a minute, did you say yes?”

Brad Johnson: But now that, hey, what I love, man, is you’re like, “Eh, I’m going to try this new process out but I’m not going to try it on like just like a 500K case. I’m just going to swing for the fences, 4 million right out of the gates. Let’s just test it on a big one.” But that success…

Tim Kuntz: That was like two weeks. That was like two weeks after we got back from just being introduced to you guys and SHP out in Boston. And we had first one that was like small, like 500,000, and then within I think the exact same week Nick did pull that on the $4 million. And it was like, “We just learned this two weeks ago.”

Jeremy Reiland: It was a mental shift because the way we did before was we would present like planning options, we’d put a fee, and we would build the first half of the fee, do the plan. And then if they implemented the plan and move their accounts, we’d waive the second half of that fee. So, it’s kind of how our process worked and it worked well. I mean, we didn’t have a – the holistic planning process didn’t have a trademark and it does work but what we’re finding is that we were doing a lot of plans. We were underpaid for sure. And then some people, I mean, a good number of people would implement them, obviously. We had good numbers but not all of them. And one of the worst things is what I found was especially for the people that didn’t implement with us, they really would come back for like a review and they’re basically on their own. So, I didn’t feel like we were necessarily doing our fiduciary responsibility because once they paid for the plan, we’re not managing their accounts, you know, we typically wouldn’t hear from them. And the few people that I did hear from years later, they didn’t follow the plan. You know, we couldn’t really stay on top of it to make sure they were.

So, in a sense, we weren’t really doing our fiduciary job correctly, I think. With this one is like, “Hey, if you want to hire us, we’re going to make sure from start to finish, we’re going to guide you through every step of it.” So, it was definitely a mental shift when you’ve been doing the same thing for several years that wasn’t necessarily broken. It’s just better now. And I think we’re better advisors because of it but it definitely took a few months to like get comfortable with like, “Hey, this is our process.”

Tim Kuntz: Oh, yeah.

Nick Reiland: Some of you would take a few months, a few weeks for others.

Tim Kuntz: By the way, I mean, shout out to Nick because I mean something that I think has been transformative for all of our development, Jeremy, myself, and Nick, is like Nick is not scared to jump in and try anything. If all it takes is telling Nick one time that, “Hey, this worked really well for me,” and like he’s starting his day tomorrow doing that thing. And if like left to my own devices, I don’t think I would take that approach very often but it’s been a constant driver of moving the needle forward in our business. And every once in a while, I meet advisors who will ask me like, “You know, what’s the biggest difference maker to get from where I’m at now to where I’m at later?” and it’s try everything like don’t be scared to fail. And I think because of the business we’re in, we tell ourselves that like, “Oh, we can’t fail.” You know, it’s people’s money or it’s my money, my livelihood, or as entrepreneurs but like what’s the harm in trying? You hear something that someone so convicted, they tell you it works. Well, why wouldn’t you try it? Nick does an awesome job in that. I can stand firmly on saying I don’t think that we would be as far along in our journey as we are if it weren’t for that. So, for anyone on the fence of trying something new, just do it.

Nick Reiland: Thanks, Tim. I appreciate it. I just want to mention too, in trademarking your process, Jer, why don’t you tell the story about the lady that applied for the job and why and how she found us?

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah. So, on Monday, I did a Zoom interview with a lady that was trying to apply for her associate advisor position. She contacted us through the website and I didn’t know anything about her. It turns out she works for a holistic planning firm a mile from here but she said that she was searching all of the independent advisory firms in St. Louis that did actual planning. She really loves the planning side of it and they do some of it at our office now, but not to the same level that we do. And she said she went through a whole bunch of websites, you know, just did searches and she said ours stood out the most to her because, number one, we had a process that we documented and we named our process. She’s like, “I’ve never seen an independent firm actually trademark their process.” And so, she knew that immediately we were head and shoulders above everybody else, and she intentionally could be a really good advisor. And I got two new ones starting next month so she’ll definitely be in the pipeline but just the fact that people are finding us and we’re differentiating ourselves from the competition is a huge benefit.

You know, we always kind of hope that would work that way but now we’re starting to see in a short period of time that separating yourself with the language and with what your process is, there’s two things immediately that it does a lot different than everybody else, and it makes a difference. And really, I’m hoping that our clients are thinking the same thing. Maybe they don’t necessarily tell us. I mean, they’re coming on board, obviously, but they might not have vocalized, “Hey, you guys are different.” But it was just kind of cool to see that somebody found us and recognized the difference. And she could potentially be a good teammate.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. A couple of things there, guys. So, on the last point, if you don’t show up different in your space, the only person you can blame as an independent financial advisor is you the founder. That’s your fault. And so, if you haven’t taken the time to clearly differentiate, trademark, name your process, which by the way, this is work we do all day, every day because we realize the importance of it and I’ve seen the before and after. I mean, Exhibit A was SHP. You know, we help them name their process back in the day and I met those guys when they were doing 8, 10 million a year, and fast forward not even a decade, and they’re bringing in 250 million plus. And what you just hit, Jeremy, is not just how it shows up to prospects that come in but how it attracts great talent on the team. And if you’re going to scale any business of substance, you’ve got to attract and keep and train great talent. And so, I love that you all are already starting to see that. I want to hit one other thing. Back to kind of before when you were charging a fee. And it sounds like, hey, if they bought the plan, you kind of gave it to them and they would kind of do the DIY version of it, Nick said something earlier during, you know, we’ve had some volatility, obviously, around COVID and the market’s gone a little crazy there but you said something, Nick, where clients would call you up and basically say, “Hey, I need one of your pep talks.”

To me, so much of the power of being a great financial advisor it’s like being a psychologist, a therapist. It’s like you’re talking people off the ledge where they want to buy high and sell low like human psychology. And you’re like, “Hey, this is why we have a plan. This is why we’re here.” It’s, hey, this is why we structured it the way and you’re just reinforcing the reasoning and the purpose behind that plan versus, “Oh, let’s throw everybody in, you know, let’s throw all my money in GameStop during COVID because it’s like a rocket ship or whatever, you know?” And I just love that the process allows you to lean into the psychology side and the commitment side of like, “We’re going to guide you and keep you on track. This is not just here’s a plan, good luck.” And not that you guys were trying to do that. Before, it was just the model allowed for that to happen a bit. Is that fair?

Tim Kuntz: 100%.

Nick Reiland: For sure, yeah. Definitely, it’s a game changer for our business. Game changer for the clients that we meet. Absolutely. It’s a win-win.

Brad Johnson: Well, guys, we’re getting to the end. This has been fun. There’s been a couple of jabs thrown. We worked a little Shanty Rose in, so I feel like we’ve checked the major boxes. It’s been a really fun conversation. I just want to say before we get to the final question here, man, I’m so humbled to have a firm like your all as a part of the Triad community. Just can’t wait to hang here in about a month. And like that’s the whole purpose of Triad, you know, doing business and doing life. We want to do business with people we want to do life with. And it’s just a lot of fun to do life with you guys. So, it’s been really fun to watch the growth, watch the journey, and just thankful that you all are a part of Triad. So, thanks for being here.

Tim Kuntz: Feeling’s mutual.

Brad Johnson: Well, with that, this is the Do Business Do Life podcast so you all have had pretty good experience because we’ve done some business and done some life but I would love to hear each of your definitions of how you define doing business and doing life and what that means to you. So, whoever wants to jump in first.

Jeremy Reiland: Well, I had my thought about this a couple of days ago, and then I had one particular word. And then this morning I finished the Amy Porterfield podcast and hers was freedom. That’s exactly what I was thinking. So, I’m not stealing it from her but that’s really how I think about it. You know, if you’re doing business and you’re doing life, it really creates freedom, not just for us as individuals, but for our family and our teammates and our clients. So, it’s a big combination but I think at the end of the day, that’s really probably what we’re all after. And being able to really integrate, you know, you want that work-life balance but you really want to integrate it so that, you know, like we talked about a leader for our clients who also want to be a leader for ourselves and our family and our team. And so, it kind of meshes together into the one word, freedom, so it means to me.

Brad Johnson: Love it.

Nick Reiland: Yeah. Yeah, that’s awesome. And thank you, Brad, for inviting us to join the community. We love Triad. It’s been phenomenal. And probably the number one thing I love is the DBDL. I’ll be honest, when we first met you I was like, “That seems kind of corny. What is this DBDL?” Just been, you know, full transparency but…

Brad Johnson: No, I love it. We encourage full transparency on here, so please keep it real.

Nick Reiland: Yeah. But the more we’ve gotten to know you, guys, and the whole community, like you live by it. You talk about it more than anything. And, yes, we’ve been involved in some really great masterminds and they kind of preach that, too, but not to love what you do and it’s not woven into everything that you do. So, I really appreciate it because it’s like on the forefront of my mind all the time because my family is so important to me. It’s not just business all day, every day, but to me, it’s not a separation of business over here where it’s all work. And then I’ve got life over here, family, friends, fun. It’s interwoven. And you guys have taught us a lot about hiring and hiring great people that you want to be around, that you want to do business with, you want to do life with. And it’s so refreshing to come and just, hey, I’m at work with a bunch of my friends, which is really cool. I mean, as we grow the team, we don’t lose sight of that. We want to continue that.

So, for me, it’s really kind of weaving them together but I’m always thinking now, like so much further ahead where a couple of years ago was, you know, I’m going to be an advisor forever and I’m thinking about how I can empower other people to do it and help more families so that I can go spend more time with my family and play more golf and travel, things that I want to do outside of work. And so, that’s been huge. And the thing that you talk a lot about is you’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with and the more that we can surround ourselves with great people, that’s DBDL, in my opinion.

Brad Johnson: Love it. Thanks for sharing that. Tim?

Tim Kuntz: Man, I don’t know how to top those.

Brad Johnson: That was pretty good.

Tim Kuntz: Those are some great answers, guys. Yeah. Thanks, Brad, for having us on here. It’s like any opportunity to give back to you guys and the community and to help is, like, seriously, our pleasure. So, thanks for having us today. I feel like one of the reasons I was first interested in working with Nick back in the day was because he had this philosophy like, “I’m not going to work weekends. I don’t want to stay here later than I have to.” I know that there’s a way we can grow a business in a controlled way, a way where we’re not wanting to gouge our eyeballs out every day because we can’t stand another financial plan on our desk.” And I really appreciate that because, like, I never want that. And if you ask anybody, like, what’s the dream job for you, a lot of people will eventually arrive at some version of an answer that’s, “I want to work a job that doesn’t feel like work. I want it to just feel like something that I wake up to do.” Well, and for a lot of people that’s not reality like it’s really hard to find that. But again, talking about mindset like it really isn’t.

And the cool thing about DBDL just with this community in particular is we’re all in the trenches together. Like, where else can you go that you’re around 100 plus people where like, “Oh yeah, I did that too,” or, “Oh yeah, I just had the worst day of my life too. Let’s talk about it.” Like, there is so much to that. And now it’s like really transformed into our business here too where we’ve just kind of naturally started seeing this thing around the office of like what our mission is. And our mission is to help not only our clients but our team and our community live lives beyond what they thought possible. And I’m excited about that, like because the same way we’re in the trenches with the Triad community, well, same thing with our team here and same thing with our clients and same thing with our community. And it really is like that integration that it truly doesn’t feel like work. It just feels like you’re showing up to solve problems that I’m passionate about solving and I get to do with people that I’m excited to be around and I’m invested in their lives. Like, I truly want to know how you spent your weekend. I truly want to know the most important things to you.

I’m like confident that through Triad I’ve made friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life. And for me, DBDL is really just that feeling. It’s a pursuit of that feeling that you wake up and it’s not work today. It’s just another day with people I’m excited to be around solving problems that we all get to solve together.

Jeremy Reiland: Yeah. Like, today I was excited to come to this podcast when I woke up.

Tim Kuntz: Likewise.

Brad Johnson: I was too. Guys, for me, this is zero work. This is nothing but play. This is so fun. It’s funny. My wife will be like, “What’s on the calendar for today?” I’m like, “Two podcast interviews. It’s going to be an amazing day,” because it’s with great people that I love being around that I can learn from that oftentimes I challenge my own thinking and it’s just awesome. So, guys, the cool thing is this is one of those conversations I feel like it could go for another 2 hours but, unfortunately, we all have stuff to do today. But man, thanks so much for just sharing. You guys always play all out. You’re givers. You’re a great representation of the community and can’t wait to do some life here in a month or so out in Lake Tahoe. So, thanks for joining, thanks for sharing, and until we see each other in person and get a hang.

Tim Kuntz: Also, we made it through an entire episode without Brad saying deconstruct.

Brad Johnson: Hey, on that note, you’ve got to go back and listen. If you’re going to be a podcast host, you have to go back every once in a while and listen. And everybody’s got their filler words. Everybody’s got their verbal tics, and it’s painful, guys. So, I’m sure I had a couple more on this one that I didn’t realize. So, we’ll go back and listen to this one and see what else I have to correct.

Nick Reiland: Deconstructive.

Brad Johnson: Yes.

Tim Kuntz: See you in Tahoe, Brad. Thanks for your time today.

Jeremy Reiland: Thanks, Brad. Keep it up.

Nick Reiland: Thanks, Brad. Appreciate it.

Brad Johnson: We’ll see you. Bye.


These conversations are intended to provide financial advisors with ideas, strategies, concepts and tools that could be incorporated into the advisory practice, advisors are responsible for ensuring implementation of anything discussed is in accordance with any and all regulatory and compliance responsibilities and obligations. 

The Triad member statements reflect their own experience which may not be representative of all Triad Member experiences, and their appearances were not paid for. 


Get yourself some DBDL Swag by clicking below

Become a dbdl insider

Get your copy of and access the rest of the DBDL Library

Claim your private coaching session

Apply today to schedule a coaching session with brad