Showing Your Clients They are Truly Appreciated

Showing Your Clients They are Truly Appreciated

“It’s my belief that people want to be treated with respect. And that is a key part. When you don’t have respect between people that’s where there’s a lot of breakdown” – Michael Brady

Full Podcast Interview – Mike Brady and EPN

Interviewer:   This is Eric Dye and once again welcome to Enterprise Radio your EPN channel for exclusive interviewers with entrepreneurs, small business owners and some of the world’s top executives who are having great success.  This is where they share their latest creations, products, services, experiences as well as business strategies and insights that can all help you build your business leading through your business and personal success. Today, once again, we are speaking with Mike Brady; founder and president of Generosity Wealth Management, a mission-based wealth planning firm that works with the clients to develop comprehensive long-term diversified strategies to build their wealth.  Mr. Brady welcome back to Enterprise Radio.

Mike Brady:   It is my pleasure to be here.  Thank you.

Interviewer:   Yeah.  And the pleasure is ours as well.  Good to have you back.  Hope you’re off to a great start to this year.  So first of all, for starters, tell me a little bit more about your work as a financial advisor and how you work with your clients to establish and meet their goals.

Mike Brady:   Yeah first a little bit about me.  I’m 24 years in the financial business, 16 as a junior partner in a firm and seven as a sole entrepreneur, as the founder of Generosity Wealth Management.  And I bring that up because it really was a great experience for me because when I was a junior partner I was able to really work on my skill set of working with clients and I was able to bring that into having my own firm and running it my way with my own vision and my own goals.  And so when I hear your question about how do I work with her clients to establish a meet their goals, I think of it in two ways.  I mean the clients have goals and I help them create them and work towards those goals, but I also have my own individual goals, which, of course, should complement of theirs.  Goals are individual and one nice thing about as I work with clients is they get to be the entrepreneur of their own life.  I mean I believe that 80 percent of reaching your goals is defining them and having a plan for some of the speed bumps along the way.  But you also don’t want to get distracted by bright shiny objects.  I joke squirrel, if you’ve ever had a dog that gets distracted, squirrel, squirrel, well our life can be that way as well on the path towards our goals.  And so I think that it’s important that clients understand that you have to define them and really have a good plan for how to get there.  As an advisor I have goals as well and one of my goals is I want to make an impact on their lives and I also want to make an impact in my community.  And one of the ways that I do that is with long-term goals with the clients that is trusting – long-term relationships, excuse me, long-term relationships with clients that’s trusting but it’s fun for both sides.  And so this is one of the goals that I go into and I define it very clearly with clients is saying this is what I want out of our relationship is long-term.  It will be fun.  It will be interesting.  We’ll go through this together, but also let’s make sure that I have the ability to have an impact in your lives.  That’s how I think of establishing and meeting goals.

Interviewer:   So how do you secure new clients and build lasting relationships with these clients?

Mike Brady:   Well, I’m incredibly involved in many different organizations.  I’m on a number of different boards.  I’m involved in Rotary.  I’m involved in so many different things that I have a passion for.  And I think that that’s really important that you’ve got to do something that if you where to get no compensation or no clients or any referrals from you still would do it with 110 percent passion.  And it shows in each one of the organizations I’m involved in I make an impact on that organization and the people who are involved in that get to know me.  And because of that they think highly of me.  They get to know me.  They get into a relationship with me on a personal level, which then transcends into the business world as well.  I mean everywhere I go I’m making friends and being engaged in the world.  I mean even if that’s the barbecue in my neighborhood.  I mean I’m out there; I’m talking; I’m genuinely curious about other people.  And since I’m upfront and honest in my non-professional world I think that people get the idea that and understand that I’ll be the same in my professional world.  And so the way that I secured new clients and build lasting relationships with them is by being out there really the networking.  Touching them.  Rubbing elbows and being who I am as authentically as I can and that draws people to me.  And so because of that I’m constantly getting people who say how do I become a client of yours?  And it’s a great honor when they ask that.

Interviewer:   Mike, I would be curious what do you do to give your clients a positive overall experience?

Mike Brady:   Well, communicate, communicate and communicate.  It’s my belief that people want to be treated with respect.  And that is a key part.  When you don’t have respect between people that’s where there’s a lot of breakdown.  And so therefore I try to set expectations with people; I talk to very plainly and honestly about what I can and cannot to do; absolutely don’t overpromise.  Unfortunately we live in a world where whether it’s a TV commercial or it’s a salesman in a store, many times there’s an overpromise, an over expectation and it’s the lack of exceeding that expectation that gets people very frustrated.  And I’m very interested in ensuring that people have a good positive experience by being in partnership with them and being in relationship.  And I’ve use those words a couple of times in our conversation here, but that really is a key.  We don’t know what the future holds.  Nobody does.  But I for one, and one who admits that very humbly with a client, but says we’ll go through this together.  We’ll be partners.  We’ll figure this out together.  I can’t guarantee exactly what problems we might have to overcome in reaching your goals.  I might not know exactly what the outcome will be but our intention will be to do the very best that we can together in a relationship.  And communicate, communicate, communicate is what I said at the beginning because the client can’t read your mind and I can’t read their minds and so therefore part of relationship, part of partnership is communicating this is what I’m thinking, what do you think?  It’s a fluid relationship to figure this out together and I think that that leads to a positive overall experience.

Interviewer:   Today we’re joined by Mike Brady founder and president of Generosity Wealth Management; a mission-based wealth planning firm that works with clients to develop a comprehensive long-term diversified strategies to build their wealth here on Enterprise Radio, a part of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network.  And you can also follow the show on Twitter simply @EPodcastNetwork.  Mr. Brady, why is it important to show your clients that you do appreciate them?  Get into that some if you would.

Mike Brady:   Absolutely.  Well, the first thing that I would say is I think it’s the kind thing to do.  Hopefully it’s a lifestyle and an attitude.  I mean hopefully you show appreciation for your family and your spouse and the person who is serving you food and the people that you see walking down the street.  So I think appreciation goes a long way in all aspects of our lives.  In our businesses I think that showing appreciation is a way of showing respect.  And respect with another person does build some loyalty.  And so one of the big benefits of showing appreciation is loyalty, but also some fun. I mean many times people think of the people that they work with professionally as it’s just business.  No, we’re human beings.  We’re emotional beings as well and let’s have some fun.  Let’s be very serious about things absolutely.  But let’s also understand that life is to be enjoyed and let’s go through this together so that it’s not so much work that you never want to do it.  Some ways that I’ve shown appreciation for clients, a lot of times people have an appreciation dinner and wine and cheese and things of that nature and that’s not really me. That’s not who I am.  That would be disingenuous if I did something like that for my clients who know me.  So they know that I’m a science-fiction kind of nerd and I had a Hobbit movie and I rented out the whole movie theater.  And most recently Star Wars A Force Awakens, I secured the entire movie theater and invited my clients and my friends the night before it opened.  It opened on a Friday; I had it on a Thursday for a prescreening.  That was one way that I showed some appreciation.  But, of course, on a daily basis I show clients that I appreciate them by giving them a call, by listening to them.  One the client said that her goals were to travel the world.  And I immediately got done with that meeting, went to Amazon and bought a book and had it delivered to her.  I think it was 500 Great Places to See Before You Die.  I mean it was all a book about wonderful places around the world.  And that showed her that I was listening to her, I appreciate her goals and that I want to be a part of helping her achieve those goals.  That’s I think some of the ways from big events to just daily events that we can show that you appreciate them.

Interviewer:   Certainly some good stuff right there.  Certainly appreciate you’re sharing that.  Lastly, what are some tips you can give it to entrepreneurs on building new client relationships and improving upon consisting ones?

Mike Brady:   Yeah.  Well for new client relationships I believe that chemistry is important.  So if it’s not there don’t to go forward.  I mean it’s easy for me to say because I’m in a place in my business and in my career where I’m able to pay the bills and do fine without trying to convert every single person who comes in from a prospective client into a client.  But I believe that long-term you and the client are better if there’s chemistry, you guys are talking the same language and you just feel comfortable with one another, however that is.  You know when is comfortable and when it’s not.  And so therefore you’ve got to be willing to walk away.  You don’t have to put a square peg in a round hole, willing to walk away and make sure that it’s right for both.  And make small promises in the beginning and keep them.  I’ll call you tomorrow to schedule that appointment.  Well, that’s real important.  That’s the first promise you might make to that person.  Or you know what, I’ll send you a link with directions to my office.  Well, that might not sound like a big deal but that’s a promise.  And so if you’re not keeping the small promises how are you keeping the big promises?  I like to talk about expectations about communication early.  I communicate with them early and often.  And, of course, once they become a client I have to continue that expectation and provide value at every interaction.  The last thing I’ll say maybe about new client relationships is to differentiate yourself even to the degree of how you’re similar.  I read this great book, and this is actually how I would give advice to someone about existing client relationships, by Scott McKain called Create Distinction.  And I have no idea of who Scott McKain is except I saw him speak at a seminar once.  So I’m not hocking is book only to the degree that I really liked it.  It was called Create Distinction by Scott McKain.  And what it talked about is that when you look around at the cars driving around your town, so many of them look alike, and if you look at many of the trucks, so many of them look the same.  And so when something looks different it stands out.  I remember a movie critic was once asked, “There’s all these movies, why do you movie critics always find these obscure movies to say they’re best for the year?”  And the guy says, “You’ve got to understand we see two or three movies a day.  Anything that is different and distinct stands out in our minds.  All the rest kind of blur together.”  And so I think that when developing and improving upon existing, differentiate yourself.  Create distinction.  Be easy to work with.  No drama.  People get enough of that in their own lives.  I’m a relationship guy and I believe that if you’ve got an existing client relationship and you’re not personally involved in that relationship, you know, if they just see you as some vendor, and I define vendor as someone who just fits a purpose, no loyalty, you know, you just do the thing and I can replace you in a moments notice.  Think about that because they deserve better.  Do they deserve a trusted advisor, a trusted ally that’s going to be on their behalf?  And you deserve more as well.  And if you say to yourself I can’t; I’ve got to take every client.  Or at this point I’ve got some clients but I can get rid of some of them.  Well if you really have a goal for yourself of the type of business that you want perhaps five years from now, you got to start creating it today and get that fixed in your head and think about the perfect client for you.  And if you can’t get rid of the clients that don’t meet that now just because of where you are and you’ve perhaps got obligations, start calling the ones that don’t fit.  You get one that does maybe bring on new client, get rid of an old one.  It’s not growing your business necessarily but it will start to change your business into one where you have a bunch of clients that perhaps aren’t exactly what you’re looking for or your vision, you’re slowly replacing them with ones that do.  And over time you’ll be very happy and you’ll look at your client list or your customer base and say wow these people are a reflection of who I am and what I want and this is exciting to work with these people.  It might take some time but I think that that’s a way that you can, with existing client relationships, start to improve upon them,

Interviewer:   Well Mike, I want to thank you for sharing from a genuine and a passionate place and certainly valuable information.  We really appreciate your time today.  Tell our listeners where they can get more information once again about Generosity Wealth Management online.

Mike Brady:   Yeah.  Absolutely.  Well, my website is www.generositywealth.com, generositywealth.com.  I also have a Twitter account.  It’s generosity_wm.  And they can also look at my LinkedIn profile.  Michael Brady in Boulder and there’s a number of different ways.  And, of course, my email, Mike@generositywealth.com.  Always love to talk with people and see if I can help them; see if there is a relationship that is just budding and waiting to happen.

Interviewer:   Well Mike, once again thanks so much for your time and look forward to another conversation in the future right here on Enterprise Radio.

Mike Brady:   Thank you very much sir.

Interviewer:   And you’re more than welcome.  We have been speaking with Mike Brady, founder and president of Generosity Wealth Management; a mission-based wealth planning firm that works with clients to develop comprehensive long-term diversified strategies to build their wealth.  And for more information simply visit generositywealth.com.  This is Eric Dye and you’ve been listening to Enterprise Radio, a part of EPN, the Entrepreneur Podcast Network.  Pick up our iPhone or android mobile app for your mobile listening convenience.  And once again we do thank you for tuning in.

Female:          Thanks for listening to Enterprise Radio here on EPN.  For more information or to subscribe to this podcast, visit epodcastnetwork.com.

Female:          This is the E Podcast Network.

Understanding and Managing the Cost of Raising a Child to Age 18

Understanding and Managing the Cost of Raising a Child to Age 18

Equifax“The cost of housing can be a bit misleading because the USDA report, which is based on 2013 facts and figures, doesn’t account for the return on investment of buying a house” – Mike Brady

Understanding and Managing the Cost of Raising a Child to Age 18

1/12/2016 – According to the USDA, the cost of raising a child is $245,000 until again 18, and Michael was asked to dissect the numbers and explain, including ways families can prepare.

5 Questions at the end of 2015

“I want you to be everything that’s you, deep at the center of your being” — Confucius

This is my year end video, and it is one of the most important I’ve done in some time.  It is a reminder of some of the basics and foundations of investing!

I answer 5 questions that investors are probably asking themselves right about now

  1. What happened in 2015?
  2. Is this normal?
  3. Do I have the right investments?
  4. Will next year (2016) be different?
  5. What should I do?

Especially if you’re my client, you need to watch the video to get my answers.

Click on the video

Transcript:

Hi there clients and friends.  Mike Brady here with Generosity Wealth Management, a comprehensive full service financial firm here in Boulder Colorado.  2015 is now behind us.  Let’s look forward to a very happy 2016.

So, before I get into answering some of the technical questions and a review of 2015 I just want to say that personally this has been one of my best years ever in my life.  Just about to turn 47 and I feel ten years younger.  I lost over 40 pounds, became very involved in a lot of martial arts this year.  And so from a health and fitness point of view I feel really good about that.  Many of you know I’m a voracious reader and so I read 94 books this year and professionally I was quoted as an expert in almost 40 different articles from Washington Post to Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Portfolio Advisor Magazine.  I mean I was really honored that so many different journalists and publications thought that I could help others out in that particular way.

Let’s talk about 2015–blah.  That is not a technical term, that’s my kind of analysis of 2015.  What I want to do is I want to answer five different questions here today as efficiently as I can.

  1. What happened in 2015?
  2. Is this normal?
  3. Do I have the right investments?
  4. Will next year be different, 2016 be different?
  5. And what should I do?

And I think that those are all very common questions that people ask themselves about this time of the year and so if I want to address each one of them.

So what happened in 2015?  I’m going to put up on the chart there the Dow Jones Industrial Average an unmanaged stock index.  What you’re going to see is that the first five or six months were pretty much break even, pretty much sideways and then the third quarter hit.  The third quarter, July, August and September, was the worst quarter in about four years since 2011 when we had that S&P downgrade of U.S. government, just a horrible quarter.  Then what is interesting is October started to really dig us out of the hole, I mean really was one of the best months in many years, but we have November and December and they were pretty much sideways.  So what does that really mean for an entire year?  It really means that it was a year that was not horrible, negative ten percent greater.  I wasn’t a good year, it was just sort of like in between.  And depending on when an investor might of invested from a time horizon into an index, they could be negative for the year, particularly if they came in halfway through the year.  I mean that’s a very frustrating place to be if a time horizon is very short, which is, of course, one of the big things that we always have to keep in mind is that let’s have that long-term time horizon.

Markets do three things: they go up, down and sideways.  I’m putting up on the screen there the S&P 500, another unmanaged stock market index since 1997.  So what is that?–that’s 18 years.  So what you’re going to see is an up, down and I just circled there in red the last year.  When you look at a longer time horizon it really was just sort of a blip, an irritating blip when it happens but a blip nonetheless

I mean I think of investing sometimes as a mosaic in that when it’s so close in front of your face it’s hard to have any kind of a prospective, so therefore it is absolutely essential to look back on it and have some prospective to see how all those dots come together.  That’s why I think that the people who do the best are those that really keep that long-term perspective in mind.  Is this normal is my second question for you?  Up on the screen is a chart, a graph going back to 1980.  So we’re looking at a good 34 years or 35 years, you’re going to see 27 out of those 35 were positive.  The red numbers on the bottom are the Intra-year declines.  This is one of the graphs that I use repeatedly in my videos because it is normal for there to be declines throughout the year.  That does not mean that the year is going to turn out negative.  This year, at one point, we had a pretty sharp decline of about 12 percent.  That didn’t mean that the year has ended negative 12 percent.  But every year is not going to be a positive and that’s part of investing is understanding that.

Up on the screen is another chart going all the way back to 1926.  That includes, of course, the great depression, that includes the tough 1970’s, 1987, the tech bubble in the early 2000’s, 2008 in recent history.  And what we have seen is that 73 percent of the time the U.S. stocks have been positive.  That’s almost three out of four years are positive.  That means one out of four is not.  When we look at that zero to ten percent, when we add in that bar graph that’s slightly negative, that means that 87 percent of the year, since 1926, have been positive or just slightly negative.  That’s about nine out of ten years.  That’s a pretty good average I think, pretty good odds.  What is difficult is when you’re so afraid of investing as an investor that you’re running away from the really bad, which do happen.  When we look at those numbers there 13 percent of the years have been a ten percent decline or greater.  That happens maybe one out of ten years on average.  But you know what, that also means that you give up the nine out of the ten that are only slightly negative or very positive.  So I think that it’s important to remember that they do happen but we can’t live our investing life by only avoiding negative things because then you’ll never get out of bed in the morning if you’re always worried about what’s bad going to happen that day, you don’t look at all the wonderful things that can happen in your life.

The next chart is going back to 1915.  They’re in groupings there.  The first one is one year, five years, ten years and then 20 years.  The first kind of green bar is 100 percent stock market index, unmanaged stock market index.  The next one is 100 percent bond index unmanaged.  And then the third bar in that kind of an ugly brown off-color something is 50 percent of those two things together.  The most important thing here is that the time horizon is very important.  On a one year track going back to 1950 there have absolutely been years where the 100 percent stock market has been negative, 100 percent bonds and even a mismatch of the two have been negative.  But when we go out longer, five years, there actually historically has never been a five year time horizon where a 50 percent stock and bond has not at least broken even or made a little bit of money.  Same thing when it goes out to ten years and 20 years.  So time is in our favor and so we always have to keep that time horizon, that big picture in mind.

I’m going to throw another graph up there and this is the stock market since 1900, so that’s a good 114 years.  And you’re saying well my time horizon is not 114 years.  Yeah.  I get it.  Mine’s not either.  However, why don’t I circle that little bit.  You can see that we actually have broken out of a sideways market.  And so I personally believe that that’s going to continue up.  If you’re invested you have to believe that as well otherwise why do you have investments?  If you don’t believe that five or ten years from now investments are going to be greater than they are today then why do you have them?  You should have your money in the mattress or in a CD.

So, I’ve answered the first question, which is what happen in 2015?  Is this normal?  The answer is yes.  Do I have the right investments?  This is absolutely a normal question to ask yourself.  And I think that if you are well diversified I think that’s the right approach, well diversified and have the right time horizon.

For clients, of course, I’ am continually looking at their investments throughout the year.  And so if there’s something that I need to change or I believe should be changed as I look to the future then I let them know and I’ll, of course, do that as I’m doing my year end statements as well.  One thing that we really want to watch out for is not moving and trying to chase returns one after another because I think that’s an amateur mistake and that’s something that we should watch out for.

Will next year be different?  Listen, anyone who’s going to tell you that they know what the future holds is lying to you.  I’m just upfront that nobody knows and I don’t know as well, so therefore we deal with probabilities.  I believe that 2016 will be positive but I don’t know that.  So therefore if I’m wrong then I only want to be a little bit wrong and I want to fall back on that diversification and I want to fall back on how does this fit with what my goals are, my individual goals and what my time horizon is.

Historically election years are good.  I just had to look at my notes here.  And I believe because of the profitability and the cash supply, the money supply that’s out there that I think that we’re going to continue with, even with rising interest-rate in 2016 we’re going to end out of the year 2016 in a positive, but I could be wrong.  I’m human.  Nobody knows the future.  I just admit that I don’t know the future.  And so therefore we fall back on let’s have the best investments that we can and be well diversified in them.

What should I do?  That fifth question is very common to ask.  I will be reaching out to a few clients to some of you this year because there are a few things that I want to change in 2016, a couple of investments in particular, a couple tweaks here and there and it’s normal to do that.  Otherwise chill out.  I mean pay attention to the rest of this video.  I mean if you’ve gotten this far in the video hopefully you’ve gotten the message that it’s normal.  It wasn’t this horrible year, it was a slightly disappointing because we didn’t make money, potentially, if you’re in an unmanaged stock market index or an unmanaged bond index.  But you know, one thing that history has shown us is that these things happen periodically and they are definitely not something to overreact.

I mean unfortunately many people ignore and then overreact.  And so I hope that you’re not ignoring and I certainly hope that you’re not overreacting.  If you knew how much your house fluctuated in value on a daily and on a monthly basis would that freak you out?  Maybe.  Good thing you don’t know.  I mean if you’ve got a house that you’re very pleased with over a 10/20/30 your time horizon what does it matter?  And so we’ve got to keep that in mind along the way.

The average investor, I’m going to throw a chart us there, the average investor is that orange on the right-hand side.  And you can see all these other categories, the blue one is a mix between an unmanaged S&P 500 and unmanaged bonds.  And so the average investor usually underperforms because when we look at the inflows and outflows of the stock market really you’re supposed to buy low and sell high right?  Well, when we look at the inflows into mutual funds real people do the wrong thing.  The late 1990’s, I know this for a fact, people were jumping into Internet stocks because you couldn’t lose in that and so they jumped into the bubble at the high, not at the bottom.  Same thing.  As we look at 2008 and 2009, 2009 was absolutely the right time to buy but people were so freaked out from the year before that they sold everything at the bottom.  And so what we want to do is not be the person who has a negative year or even a sideways year and says okay, well now I want to move it all over into cash.  I just don’t think that’s the right way to do things.  And so therefore, as we have the right time horizon, as we have the right diversification, patience and that vision is what I think is going to best serve investors long-term.

Anyway, Mike Brady, Generosity Wealth Management (303)-747-6455.  Give me a call if you have any questions, otherwise it is great to talk with you versus this medium.  If you’re my client, of course, I’ll be talking with you within the month.  So anyway, I hope you have a great day.