Stefano Duro: [00:00] You would have to rewind. I’ll go back to probably my earlier days as a youth where I’d say, believe in yourself more. When we’re younger, there’s a lot of doubt put into our ears. As I got older, I would say protect those things. So what you consume, what comes into your ears and what comes out of it. You have to protect both of those and what you say as well. Flashing back to the financial industry. I’m a business owner as well as a financial coach and mentor, so I have to look at the business side of it. Sometimes your ego can get ahead of you and I wouldn’t say this is where I’ve been, but it’s where I’ve had to pull myself back a lot of time.
Stefano Duro: [00:35] So I would simply go back and I’d say, things don’t have to happen as fast as you want them to and actually want more importantly, so slow down, but understandable on that note. Same thing with clients, it’s that small growth, it’s being repetitive and that continue to happen. It really allows us to achieve amazing things. So to answer your question, I’d probably go back and say, slow things down, you can do it, don’t worry, and take your time.
Fraser Jack: [01:05] Hello and welcome to the Goals Based Advice podcast, where we have conversations with pioneers of the new order financial advice. I’m your host, Fraser Jack, and I wanna thank you for tuning in today. I’d also like to thank our supporting partner Advice Intelligence, for powering this podcast. In this episode we chat to Stefano Duro, who has embraced the modern business model using social media platforms to share his messages, values and beliefs directly to his audience and clients. Stefano is great to talk to, he has a fantastic energy in everything he does and is generally excited about the opportunities for advisors right now. Let’s dive straight into my chat with Stefano. Welcome to the show Stefano.
Stefano Duro: [01:53] Hey Fraser. How are you doing?
Fraser Jack: [01:53] Really good mate. How are you?
Stefano Duro: [01:55] My better half are fantastic I can’t complain, but an incredible morning here. It’s Monday morning. I’ve gone for a jog on the beach already, had a bit of a workout and may just hit back into the office, which is in my home at the moment. And Yeah, just relaxing and enjoying the morning.
Fraser Jack: [02:10] You’re on the Gold Coast on Queensland time. So no daylight savings, which means it’s amazing down at the beach this time of the year.
Stefano Duro: [02:18] Absolutely incredible. It’s a little bit rainy, but nonetheless still amazing. Definitely a good place to live. Everyone else gets the daylight savings and essentially I get the benefits where I can call clients later in the evening, but earlier on my time and so forth.
Fraser Jack: [02:34] Very good. Tell us a little bit about your business.
Stefano Duro: [02:39] All right. About me, I’m Stefano Duro, I’m the co-founder of Pure Private Wealth which I started with my fiance. Myself, I’m a financial coach, financial advisor, a young entrepreneur in a sense where, just trying to innovate the industry and utilize my prior experience to do so.
Fraser Jack: [02:55] And how long have you been running for?
Stefano Duro: [03:00] We started in July 1st of 2017, so still quite young. In saying that though, we were planning for this a whole year prior to that, and a lot of the resources we used before we actually became to the public’s eye.
Fraser Jack: [03:17] So how did this happen? Where did you come from before that? What was your journey through starting your own business in 2013?
Stefano Duro: [03:23] Look, a good and interesting story. Like majority of the people that you’ve spoken to, I’ve noticed that we kind of all do fall into this industry in some sort of way. With myself though, depending how far back you would like me to go, we can look at the situation where I had moved with Sundays, I started a clothing business on my own shop. And through the essence of that, I was able to establish that I loved how businesses ran, the intimate details in relation to that. And basically from that I developed the passion of loving the financial industry and then move back to the sunny Gold Coast, which was definitely easy to do. And since then I basically worked myself through the industry. I worked for a couple of boutique financial firms, which really gave me the ability to leverage through the industry.
Stefano Duro: [04:10] And it wasn’t till the second to last firm before this one that I worked for where I met my fiance, and she was working in the administrator’s side of things. She has a Canadian deployment, which has got a CSA, which gives her the ability very similar to what I do but in her country and basically through aligning our values. And from there we were given a really strange opportunity. We basically approached together, it can work for a startup financial firm. And that was really interesting to see, it was cool to be a part of and to get that knowledge, but more importantly, it gave us the ability to believe that we can do it ourselves. And it wasn’t soon after that, that we did just that and we’ve just gone from strength to strength.
Fraser Jack: [04:53] And you mentioned you put a bit of planning into it, what was that?
Stefano Duro: [04:59] From my experience, I come from a marketing background where I believe that you need to be able to bring the consumer a great product. And what I wanted to do was I wanted to reverse engineer that and I wanted to bring it back down to basics and basically put those sorts of things into place that I feel needed to be done in our current situation where our current vendors were working for and leveraged off that.
Fraser Jack: [05:22] So you thought about the consumer’s product and all of their pain points and what they wanted and then started putting it together, the services as a product.
Stefano Duro: [05:32] 100%. When it comes down to any product, I believe that the consumer is the end result. So we need to give a service or we need to give a product that is helping the consumer achieve whatever it is they’re looking to achieve. And what I really wanted to be able to do through my young I, as in 29 years young ... I’m not as old as most advisors that I come across when I first got into the industry. I wanted to utilize that I and my entrepreneurial sense to be able to innovate the industry, and I thought, how do I do that? So I had to really reverse engineer what I currently see and what’s going on in the market. And more importantly, I had to utilize my previous skills from many businesses to work out where there was a gap in the industry and how I get involved in that.
Fraser Jack: [06:16] Yeah. And starting a business is not an easy thing. And there’s pros and cons I guess with starting out with your fiance. One is, you’re in it together and you know each other well, but I guess the other one too is when you start the businesses, both of you end up with zero income the first day.
Stefano Duro: [06:31] Definitely. That’s a very valid point. And it made me more hungry to be honest with you. Though I liked those situations where I’m put into a corner where I have to get out of, and we both came together with really our values aligned. We’re engaged first and foremost as that started, but there’s also the sense of the business that we love and the financial industry and working with people one on one and giving people the ability to be able to really say and visualize what they want to achieve. And you are right, you give up that income, but more importantly what you obtain from that is the ability to be able to work for yourself and long term that’s really what we should all work for in my opinion.
Fraser Jack: [07:12] Let’s go through that stage process because there’s a lot involved in just setting up and opening a business. Talk us through a bit of the checklist about what you went through and how you did it, where did you start?
Stefano Duro: [07:22] I was quite lucky cause, coming back to that clothing shop, although it wasn’t a massive one, it was a boutique one in a small country town or small, I guess with Sundays Airlie beach, it’s a small little hub. But that gave me the ability to understand, first and foremost to believe in yourself so then you can actually start a company and then also go through those fun little checks where ... Obviously the website, the content, working at what your point of difference is, your market, how you wanna distribute that and where you are going to get your original clients from and really how you’re going to start to generate income and how long was that going to be.
Fraser Jack: [07:56] You mentioned point of difference. What did you settle on or how did you come up with it and how did you go through that process?
Stefano Duro: [08:02] The point of difference, I guess a better way to look at it I would say would be the gap in the market where, let’s talk about goals based advice. Goals based advice in my opinion, when you’re looking at goals, there’s two sides of it. There’s your visual side of it and there’s the actual goals side of it. Your vision is the way that you phrase it yourself. You have in the back of your head where you see yourself in the future and wherever that may be, whatever it may be that you have in all those situations, but what you do from there is you then break that down the steps and that becomes our goal.
Stefano Duro: [08:31] So your vision and you actually get your goals through the steps to get there. And then if you look at the statistics, 78% of people do not set goals. I think it was 75% of people do not write them down. I think overall it was 5% of people actually write down their goals. That means that 95% of the consumer or the market needs our help. So that’s my point of difference. My point of difference was to come in with that angle and show people that goals based advice and financial advisors, we’re a hell of a lot more than just investing in just savings.
Fraser Jack: [09:06] Yeah. I 100% agree. And one of the things I like to talk about too is actually achieving goals, not just setting them. Getting consumers through or getting people through.
Stefano Duro: [09:16] That’s the fun part.
Fraser Jack: [09:17] Yeah. That point where you actually feel like you’ve achieved something as an advisor, is the moment when they actually achieved their goals.
Stefano Duro: [09:24] So true. Exactly. And you see that so much. The transformation inside the clients and to me it’s a really personal. I get situation where I truly do get quite close with my clients. Myself, I’m quite spiritual in the sense where I’m into my meditation, yoga every single morning. So I’m all about practicing what I preach and I tell my clients the same thing. And when you really do care for those people, they really start to shine. And when you see that shine you’re right, and your own successes becomes theirs as well, vice versa.
Fraser Jack: [09:52] Yeah. So you knew what you wanted to provide to consumers. How did you go about validating it, or before you set your business up did you talk to people about that?
Stefano Duro: [10:01] To some degree. You kind of hold it a little bit close to your chest, especially back then. I was coming out of a firm that was already doing a similar thing and I didn’t really want to speak to people about it, but I was looking at what multiple different industries are doing. I attached myself to different mentors online and that really enables me to look at where other industries are going and adapting that to our own. And the big picture here is that if you’re a consumer driven product or consumer driven company, you’re going to win every single time because at the end of the day you’re trying to give value to what people need and when you apply that value, it definitely comes back around.
Fraser Jack: [10:40] I love the idea that you mentioned that you attach yourself to different mentors online because there’s so many great people out there doing some amazing things in different industries, not just ours that we can learn from. Who are you following? What are the sorts of people you follow?
Stefano Duro: [10:55] I’m a big Gary Vaynerchuk, Gary V Fan. There’s a couple of others, but the reason why I love what he does is, applying what he does into the financial world is quite interesting. We are a media company first and we’re a financial establishment second. It’s the same thing with almost every single industry right now and we really are starting to innovate in multiple different ways. And one of the ways that Gary V really focuses on is delivering content and giving value to clients. It’s keep giving and giving, and his end result, he calls it Jab, Jab, Jab, right hook. The terms there, but the reality when you put into our situations it’s, apply value to the client, give them knowledge, explain to them what you do, how you do it, understanding the visualization of goals and actually practicing what you preach and doing all those things. At the end of the day you’re going to be able to get more clients from it and that’s what he preaches and that’s why I love, so yeah, definitely him. My big one.
Fraser Jack: [11:49] Your number one. The idea of being a media company first, amazing idea, cause it’s all about communication and letting the world know what you do and how you make a difference.
Stefano Duro: [11:59] So true. It really is, and we’re moving into a world, I think it’s 89% of decisions are made from mobile phones, and we need to be able to digitalize every industry. And it’s going to bring the consumer, again, the best product possible by doing so. So definitely agree.
Fraser Jack: [12:14] Yeah. I think it’s probably not just an individual business thing, it’s probably the whole industry thing and a profession thing that we get better communicating what we do and how we do it.
Stefano Duro: [12:23] We do, and a lot of advisors can be worried when it comes down to looking at what’s being perceived as a media company first because of compliance. But in my eyes, when you deliver ... In the financial world, there’s so much that we can share as advisors, as coaches, breaking down goals and all that sort of fun stuff. There’s so much fun to be had. Get out there and share it and apply value to people and don’t be afraid that what you’re giving away is free because it’s not, everything comes back around. And when you apply to somebody a value six months later, 12 months later, a year and a half later when they have a thought come into their head where, oh, I wanna seek advice or I wouldn’t mind some guidance in that, you will pop into their head because you’ve applied value to them. And that in return brings consumer-
Fraser Jack: [13:08] Yeah, I agree. If you can deliver it consistently too, then it’s a trust thing as well. They tend to get to know you and they trust that you’re gonna be there.
Stefano Duro: [13:17] Indefinitely. There’s a lot of social influences out there that are doing just this and it’s not a reason why we can’t adapt it to our industry and do the same thing.
Fraser Jack: [13:25] Tell me, what are some of the things that you’re working on in that media content space?
Stefano Duro: [13:30] Wow, there’s so much. We are currently developing a podcast, it’s a little bit separate and I won’t go too much in depth because it is exciting and we are in the middle of it. But basically if you could imagine a scenario where we’re just communicating with people to break down how they establish themselves and really how they actually broke down their goals to get there. Tell you what? The journeys are amazing, I know mine is, I know that yours probably is too Fraser, and among other advisors out there and they should be told because at the end of the day people wanna know that something is achievable. Whether it’s a client or advisor or a colleague, it’s just that potential to be able to achieve it is real. Sorry, what was your question again? I went a little bit ...
Fraser Jack: [14:15] The different types of content. You’ve got your podcast and that’s going to consumer, isn’t it?
Stefano Duro: [14:20] Yeah, it is. I’m heavy on social media platforms too. Instagram being my main current marketing source. I love Instagram because it’s a visual, as they say, people interpret information in three different ways. I think it’s your senses, your ears, your eyes and, and how you feel. When you can get that, Instagram’s visual platform, it can be video as well, you can even go onto the next side of it, emailing. 80% of emails that have video content in them are more likely to be open. So that’s another one. Videos, developing videos. So we’re currently making internal videos where I’m directly talking to people. I’m directly talking to consumers to try to give them value in those smaller tasks that I do continuously that I feel like people can really just obtain the information through watching a video as opposed to having to communicate with me. And I have heard that from a couple other people that you’ve spoken to. In retrospect to that, I think that it’s definitely something that we can all do.
Fraser Jack: [15:18] Let’s break that down. Video, where do you start and how do you start?
Stefano Duro: [15:23] Okay. There’s a good book called The Principles, I’m not sure if you’ve read it before, but it’s where they basically break down. He breaks down how important it is to write down your prior lessons or prior things that you’ve learned from and record those and record what you did in the result of when you wrote them down. And you could do the same thing with the video. Write down certain questions that you feel are coming from your clients quite often, whether it be the smaller ones, the larger ones or whatever it may be that you feel like you summarize quite often. And you can do that very easily by starting a video, and before you know it ... The only thing I can say is, at least when our team come together to write these down it became two pages long. So there’s a lot of value out there, you just gotta find out where it is.
Fraser Jack: [16:06] I really love this idea, lessons. To me, it tells me that if you’ve been through a process, you’ve learned to listen and now you’re sharing that learning, there’s a bit of vulnerability in that too which opens you up from your Client’s point of view and probably brings your clients closer to you if you open up.
Stefano Duro: [16:22] It does, it definitely does. That’s the objective isn’t it? When you have a consulting situation where you’re trying to bring the consumer value in a lot of different ways, it’s really all about that. And if you’re able to do that, I guess through those videos or through any content that you can deliver free, people are gonna be receptive to it at the end of the day. And look, get it out there, it’s fun. The financial industry has a stigma about it, in my opinion, where it’s just suit and tie, where you can really have the ability to express in so many different ways. And just because you’re a financial advisor is no different to others.
Stefano Duro: [16:57] So if you’re curious to how to start your own videos and how to get into this industry, start looking at what people are already doing, whether it be in your industry or not, it doesn’t matter. Just find out how they’re doing it, how they’re delivering information, build your own from there. And even look at working with people, ask questions. People are really happy to share, they really are, don’t be afraid to ask.
Fraser Jack: [17:19] Very good. I’m gonna keep asking you a few more questions. The principles, book you’ve read, you’ve written your lessons down, you got a couple of pages. And so what you’re gonna do is, by the sound of it, you’re gonna go through and write a short script on each one of those or are you just gonna leave them as they are or how are you gonna do it?
Stefano Duro: [17:35] Exactly. There’s three sides to a story as much as we tell, there’s a start, there’s a middle and there’s an end. So find a way to tell that through what you’re trying to explain. Go through your list, as you just said, write a bit of a script. Most of the time you should only write down seven to 10 seconds in my opinion because the knowledge, you’ve already shared it before. If you’re starting the code and getting going, once you get going, you usually can’t keep us advisors quiet. We love to talk, especially myself.
Fraser Jack: [18:00] Tell me, what equipment and stuff did you purchase to start doing these videos and whereabouts are you gonna record them?
Stefano Duro: [18:07] Yeah. Okay. So basically I do work predominantly from home, although we do have a couple of beaches that we go to and restaurants as well. There’s a local place called Hotel Miami, which is around the corner from where we live. And that’s basically a communal space where they allow you to film stuff, they allow you to utilize their own technology. So you don’t even always need it, to have it yourself, but that’s where I did see a lot of it, which then in return I bought my own. And what I’ve got is a Rode mic that’s sitting in my office with a little tripod as well as some lighting equipment. All this stuff is found on Amazon. And to be completely frank, when it comes down to the equipment you could get it for under $1000 to get yourself started, I feel.
Stefano Duro: [18:50] And then you got maybe the camera gear and other sort of things that you wanna utilize. And I do believe that although content does matter, so does how people hear things and see things. So do spend a little bit of money on that equipment because it does make it more appetizing to the consumer, but also don’t feel like you can’t do it with your iPhone. iPhones do have amazing cameras also and you can utilize that. This morning I was on the beach, I did a quick little skid this morning on my Instagram, which I just shared some information on how to break down some goals and that was done on my mobile, and the consumers still loved it since that’s what matters.
Fraser Jack: [19:24] Yeah. Very good. Okay, so there’s plenty of different options. I guess the key there is to actually do something.
Stefano Duro: [19:31] Yeah, look it up. There’s so many videos again that will share ... If you wanna start say a blogging scenario, just Google it. What are the small things that you need to get started. And that’s exactly what I did. I’m no different to anybody else. I learned from what other people have already done and it’s all available because the Internet, as we said earlier, it’s growing so strong. 89% of us using on our phone, you can literally open that thing up and almost access anything that you need.
Fraser Jack: [20:00] Yeah, I agree. I love looking in YouTube and searching for stuff on YouTube of how to-
Stefano Duro: [20:04] I have been studying YouTube for about four or five years.
Fraser Jack: [20:08] Yeah, it’s a great medium. I think that’s why we’re producing videos ourselves to put up there. When you’ve done that, how are you gonna host it, how are you gonna send it out to your clients?
Stefano Duro: [20:18] Again, those media platforms where the public is currently, Facebook’s huge. There’s a lot of ways we can share information through Facebook. It obviously goes through Instagram and then Instagram ... Look, a really good thing for people to start doing is, in your bio story it only allows you to put one hyperlink in or a link to a website or whatever it may be. It’s a really awesome website called Link Tree. To give you understanding how I would share it, you put it in Facebook, which you could also market through Instagram and that could attach people back to your Instagram profile, which would then go into your bio.
Stefano Duro: [20:52] And then inside of your bio where it says Link Tree, takes you to a website where you have all of your links basically wind from top to bottom, and you can have everything in there and you can have new content for instance, or new video or whatever it may be, and then you can disburse it like that. Again, coming back to Facebook, you do need to, in my opinion, utilize either YouTube or any other major platform to upload your video. To get that higher quality, push it through Facebook, have it come through Instagram and disburse it on your links and go from there.
Fraser Jack: [21:22] Yeah. You said a really good thing in that around going to where the people are. Quite often we spend a lot of time building our own websites and expecting people to come to where we are.
Stefano Duro: [21:33] What’s the ROI? What’s your return on your investment? People will sit there and go, I want people to go to my website. Why? Is it because you wanna be validated that you’re real or is it because that’s how you want people to come through and sign up or whatever it is, but go where the people are. If people are on Facebook, express yourself there. If they’re on Instagram ... I’m a big believer that you’ve gotta be on almost everything that you possibly can because the attention is forever changing. Instagram, I think wasn’t here post 2014 to my knowledge, but look at the world that we live in now? We couldn’t live without it. These social medias are forever growing, but go to where the public is, where the media is and you will get attention.
Fraser Jack: [22:14] Yeah. Be seen and liked in that area and then once they’ve done that they might come back to your website to look.
Stefano Duro: [22:22] Again, coming back to the ROI. You’ve gotta work out why you want them to go to your website. If you want someone just to go there to see who you are, see, okay, I’m an advisor, I’m this and maybe tell a story, that’s fantastic. So you want to make awareness of who you are. Or do you want to develop, I guess, have clients come to you. On Facebook you can do inquiry forms that are done through Facebook on the platform and that will deliver you the same content, whether it be into your sales force or whatever it may be. You don’t need to always have them go to your website. A lot of the time, people just feel like a website is the same as a shop front. You have it just so you can rather deliver or sell your product, and that’s just not where we are anymore. We’re so beyond that. In fact, I use multiple different service to build websites. I built all of our own websites totally myself. I love doing it.
Stefano Duro: [23:13] I love it because I can forever change it cause the industry is forever changing. But I recently built my own personal website on learning page from a company called Carrd, C-A-R-R-D. They are a great service where you can just build a one page or two page or a three page to deliver content, but it doesn’t take a lot of resources and I truly believe that your website should be almost like a tree. When a tree comes up, it comes up with multiple branches. You want your website to disburse into those branches or you wanna deliver content or clients throw it. So you need to choose those. But understand your ROI, focus where the intention is and my ability and the other things will come.
Fraser Jack: [23:52] Yeah. Very good. Thank you for sharing all that. So plenty going on. Do you go into individual platforms and posts something or do you use a facility where you can post and then have time to go out to different platforms?
Stefano Duro: [24:08] That’s right. That’s probably a dark post that I would probably ... I think they’re absolutely amazing. Again, Gary Vaynerchuk was speaking about earlier, he really focused a lot of attention on Facebook dark posts, and he doesn’t like the term boosting. When you post something on your page and then just boost it. He’s more like, get your demographic or your niche, find whether a photo or whatever it is that you wanna deliver that’s for that niche, and then post it through what’s called a Dark Post, which is just essentially posting it off your wall, but it’s not on your wall, it’s off the wall. And it goes directly to the consumers you’re trying to target.
Stefano Duro: [24:41] That is a great way to market but I think there’s a lot of attention right now through Instagram stories, it’s really undervalued when it comes down to marketing. But if you’re smart and you wanna deliver those small videos I was speaking about earlier, 10 seconds, five seconds, whatever it is, chuck it on one of those. One in three Instagram story videos are a business, so you’re already consuming it, you probably didn’t even realize that. That’s because people are bringing great content through those funnels.
Fraser Jack: [25:12] Yeah. Just using the word stories. Stories resonate with people.
Stefano Duro: [25:16] So true. How many times have you told a third party story where you referenced someone else’s experience and it became so much more relatable to you as a person. It’s just simply how we communicate.
Fraser Jack: [25:29] So you’re doing a massive amount of work there on getting the consumers in and getting to know and like and trust you and who you are and getting your voice, getting your face, getting all those things that people wanna hear or see. What happens when you get them into your office, what advice are you providing from a functional planning point of view?
Stefano Duro: [25:48] We are predominantly online, so I do say to Australia, why I do a lot of face to face in those workplaces we spoke about earlier around the corner of the coffee shop. But to answer your question, goals based advice is where we focus. That’s where I’ve always come from, a background of that where visualization and stepping stones is how you get there.
Stefano Duro: [26:07] As I was saying a little bit earlier, when you visualize something and that’s your end result and people then ... We all know what that is. So when I talk to people and they’re like, I don’t know what my goals are. I’m like, that’s fine. Let’s talk about your vision. Where is it that you perceive yourself in the future? When you close your eyes and you go, okay, I’m happy now. This is basically essentially where I perceive happiness to be. You’re on your house, you’re traveling a lot more, whatever it may be that you’re doing, for instance, right? You then work backwards from there. So then I established, that’s your vision, now let’s get your goals. How do we get you there? Some of these plans can be so very out there, so you need to make them tangible.
Stefano Duro: [26:47] The client needs to be able to physically feel like they can obtain this item or this object. And without visualizing it and physically be able to think that they can achieve it, you find that they will never stick to it. So when you do work back from those goals, you establish really what it is the client wants to achieve, and then you actually establish ... You break apart the ones that a little bit unachievable, what’s achievable, and then you look at the timeframe. Most financial plans, as advisors will tell you, they are outdated from the day that the client signs them. So how do you change that? That’s where Fintech, financial technology comes into place and it’s never been more important. Financial plans do become outdated really fast, but when you’re utilizing software that clients can manage and monitor their plans, they can update them and change them through the process.
Stefano Duro: [27:37] So it becomes a working plan. And that’s what we need to focus our time and energy. And the start of it is foundation and establishing your goals and putting together a plan around those. Products come into that and whatever it may be, but it is the basis of goals and then everything gets wrapped around that. Basically we monitor that through the advisor intelligence software and other software that we’re currently utilizing to show clients, cause you can upload photos in whatever media so they can actually track it and they can also update new information. So teaching them how to use it, that’s really what I would think clients come into except that we do have internal processes of course also.
Fraser Jack: [28:16] Yeah. It’s a huge part that, that visualization and understanding. How much time do you spend on that process? How much time do you spend with the client really getting to the basis of their happy place and the vision and the visualization of it, say compared to a normal practice?
Stefano Duro: [28:34] To me, how long it takes to string it, I do like to say to a client, my time is an hour, two hours or whatever it may be. But when I get talking, just like right now Fraser, we could probably continue this all day. It seriously is something that once a client gets talking, its great value, absorb it, take it in and listen to them. I’m young, I’m happy to listen, I’m happy to sell my time to give them more value. That’s who I am. That’s why I think I am successful in this industry. And when you do truly go through those things with people and you spend a little more time with it, the foundation of the relationship that you’re really trying to grow really starts off really strong, and they really feel connected.
Fraser Jack: [29:13] Yeah, I agree. It’s such a big part of it. I think it’s the part that makes us feel better as advisors too, you know what I mean?
Stefano Duro: [29:19] It makes me feel good, 100%.
Fraser Jack: [29:22] So you do a fair bit of cash flow working and budgeting and costing and that sort of stuff.
Stefano Duro: [29:26] Yeah. We’re always trying to innovate. We really wanna innovate how people manage their finances and track their goals, and we’re interpreting new software all the time. MoneySoft being one of those, which is an amazing software. It enables people to follow their transactions, categorize them. That can be the boring side of it, but really what cashflow and all these other softwares that we’re talking about really give the consumer is the ability to see their situation from a hindsight. So they’re looking down ... And MoneySoft is about the cash flow. People don’t understand where they’re spending money. Every person that I speak to, if I were to just simply ask them what they’re spending on, eight times out of ten there’s a huge amount of surplus that’s not there, and they know it’s not there.
Stefano Duro: [30:19] And you can only establish that sometimes through utilizing these softwares. And I tell you what, most clients that I find utilizing these softwares, they only have between five to 20 different merchant facilities that they actually shop at. So what they establish quite soon is, there’s 20 companies that I go to on a regular basis and how much money am I spending here and there. And that really gives them the ability to break things down and go, okay, I’m going to BFF, whatever it is. The fisheries shop too much.
Fraser Jack: [30:52] Yeah, I agree. To me the cashflow is the big point of financial stress for consumers. And it’s also the one thing that they can control in what they spend. So to me the advisor role in this cash flow space, it’s really like a coach or a partner or somebody that’s keeping [inaudible 00:31:12].
Stefano Duro: [31:13] It’s a business too. When I was running my clothing shop, when I first got into the business world, I really learned really fast how much your ins and outs are important. And same thing as any person. You have maybe paid on a TFN, but you’ve gotta picture yourself like a business, you’ve got incomings and you’ve got outgoings, and you need to track those. And if software helps you do it ... I probably don’t know any business that doesn’t utilize a software to manage how they pay their tax or how they track their transactions or where they upload their receipts. It should be no different to a consumer. You as a person need to take accountability for where you spend your money, need to be able to see it. Utilize technologies to leverage and get the end result.
Fraser Jack: [31:55] Yeah. I know in business planning and putting together a business plan, your cashflow or your financial business plan is a massive part of that, and it’s all about cash flow and forecasting and yet maybe the traditional advice processes is less about one of those things that is so fundamental in every business plan.
Stefano Duro: [32:13] It is. Goals based advice is obviously where it’s at, right? Cashflow and all those sorts of things aren’t the most interesting or appetizing thing to a client, but when you tie it back to those goals, that’s when it becomes relevant. So as you’re saying, it’s all about applying that relevance to the person and allowing them to understand that these things that we don’t love to talk about, they kind of all work together with your goals. So you need to know.
Fraser Jack: [32:40] Yeah. I think like you mentioned, the goals become the motivation for doing the boring stuff.
Stefano Duro: [32:45] They should be. It is. Yeah. It’s what life’s about.
Fraser Jack: [32:48] Yep. Very good. So a big part of the business is cash flow. What are the other major parts of the business?
Stefano Duro: [32:55] We also go into product, obviously. So superannuation insurance, I love that side of the industry just as much as I love this side of it. That’s why I got into it from that angle. I ended up becoming more of a ... As you can hear, I’m very enthused with how the end person receives that or goes through that. So it’s really about the person. I find it hard to not look into everything when you’re looking at someone’s financial situation, so I go through a bit of a client questionnaire to find out where they currently are. Through those conversations, you can really start to work out where you’re going to apply value. And also a lot of advisors that you’ve spoken to as well, I’ve noticed, very similar to myself is, a lot of people don’t know what financial advice is. It is this really gray area for some weird reason.
Stefano Duro: [33:41] And when you do take them through what an advisor is and what other things we can help with in their lives, a whole lot of things just start to come out. So you never know where it’s gonna go, whether it’s gonna be superannuation insurance goals, depending on where they are in their life. Where they’re a little bit younger and they’re coming through the ranks and they wanna start a business, so they wanna understand a bit more about the metrics behind that. And then you could also progress to starting a family and having that. So with my niche, it’s around 25 to 55. But in saying that, I do believe that when I do speak to people, depending where they are in their age, it doesn’t really matter, there’s a lot of value that can be given. It just depends on whether you’re the person who gives it or not, or whether you pass that off.
Fraser Jack: [34:25] Yeah. And have you developed, in your business, referral relationships or relationships with other professionals around other services?
Stefano Duro: [34:33] No, not really. I really haven’t had to. What I found is that, a lot of those clients that come through, there’s other side of the angles, through accountants and whatnot like that. They’re not really the client that I’m necessarily going for. I’m really trying to find people that just believe in themselves, wanna change. They wanna innovate how they manage their finances. They really want to work with someone and that someone’s gonna hold them accountable for things, and actually cheat those. I’m not saying that the referral ones aren’t gonna want that. But what I have found is that my clients, they’re not coming from there, they’re coming from other platforms and I’ll focus my energy on where they’re coming from. And I do have people reach out to me that do say they wanna do a referral bases and things like that, and as we’re growing, we’re almost two years old, maybe later on that is something that I’ll look into, but for the time being, to be completely honest, I just don’t have to.
Fraser Jack: [35:26] Okay. Very good. So a lot of your new clients are coming through either your existing clients or through the social platform.
Stefano Duro: [35:34] That’s right, exactly. In saying that too, there also is clients that have inquired around certain scenarios where we could take them through a webinar and just as we were speaking about earlier, I’ve actually introduced an intro to where I take clients through a Webinar just to explain what financial advice is. I think one of the people you were speaking to, a couple of episodes back, they were speaking how they started off through seminars and group seminars and they were doing it through that. It’s not very different to what I’m doing where I’m talking to people, taking them through a webinar presentation online, but it’s individually and I’m explaining them what advice is. They’ve obviously inquired, but I’m just making sure you’re the right fit for me and vice versa. Every client that I take through that at least walks away with knowledge and that’s what matters.
Fraser Jack: [36:19] Yeah. I’m finding I’ve actually been to a lot of webinars in the last few months and if you’re interested in something you will turn up for a webinar.
Stefano Duro: [36:27] Especially if they’re situated in the right timeframe, the person has a computer, it was in the morning having a cup of coffee like myself and you, and/or whether it’s in the afternoon on a Friday enjoying a glass of wine, whatever it may be. Those webinars are a great source of delivering information.
Fraser Jack: [36:43] Yeah. I think it’s certainly something that advisors really should take notice of and start thinking about how they can add webinars to-
Stefano Duro: [36:53] They’re going to have to. The financial advisors have their interest in space. I don’t know why it’s perceived a lot different to other industries. I believe that things happen for us, not to us and this industry that we’re currently in, all these things that are happening in technology and innovation, this is happening for us, not to us. And the faster you can get rid of this stigma of, I might wanna change or whatever that may be, the faster you can actually look at it. And if you choose to stay in the industry, it’s exciting. But if you haven’t dove into anything yet when it comes to the Fintech, once you start to do, you’ll go, wow, I’m so far behind. There’s so much out there and once you dive into it, you just gotta keep digging and it’s a very fun space to be in, in my opinion.
Fraser Jack: [37:33] Yeah, I love it too. Tell me about, do you have to go do more study or are you in that process at the moment?
Stefano Duro: [37:39] No, I definitely do. I’m currently studying. I’m doing my master’s as well and there’s also other areas that I’m studying when it comes down to the coaching side. There’s a certification you get as a coach, not in this country to my knowledge, in the States, which I’ve been looking at as well. But yes, I’ll definitely increase my knowledge as this industry needs it, but with knowledge comes power and the more knowledge that we can take in, the more knowledge that we can provide for our clients. So to me that’s a gain to the consumer and it’s a win win.
Fraser Jack: [38:07] Yeah. We had Leesha Dell on a few episodes back. She talked about some of the coaching stuff that she’s doing and how important that is.
Stefano Duro: [38:15] Awesome story. You need to be that as an advisor, in my opinion, we need to be able to motivate people to really see their own potential. And I don’t know about other advisors stories, but with my own, I have seen clients go from leap to leap, and the coaching side of it really helps with that. More importantly, it makes me love my job more and that’s what matters because I love to help people, and I’m a financial advisor as well, so I can apply the knowledge, but I really wanna bring you a point of difference.
Fraser Jack: [38:43] Yeah, exactly. Now tell me about the long term. How do you see the industry, the profession changing over the time and moving into the long term.
Stefano Duro: [38:52] Yeah. Coming back to what I was just saying then about how I perceive that things are happening for us, not to us. If you’re a large corporation or if you’re an older firm, right now I believe that where the industry is going, it’s going to be highly consumed through our phones. So you need to adapt to that. I believe that audio is huge right now, myself and you doing a podcast. I believe that we’re going to start delivering a lot of information to our clients through audio. I also believe that I’ve got this little black blocks in my house, Alexa, I’m sure a lot of do as well, where I can almost ask her everything that I need. She now actually gives me my newspaper in the morning through audio.
Stefano Duro: [39:29] So there’s a lot of things that I believe are going to change, but they’re going to change for the better. And when we start to see this change, you really wanna hope that you are already on the train. So if you’re not and you’re an older establishment, a bigger fam or whatever it may be, the advice that I’d give on that would really be to hire the people who are innovating, find people who are changing the industry, whether it be in your or others, and see how they can adapt it into yours because it’s definitely where we’re heading.
Fraser Jack: [39:58] Yeah. I see you are practicing in hand nibbling and quick, you guys can move. And then I think of maybe a larger practice that might be well established and traditional, and I’m just wondering how those two will play out over the next four or five years.
Stefano Duro: [40:12] That’s a great point, but there is a reason why ... For instance, look at Google and Amazon right now, they’re opening up shops in New York. But more of the point is, on that situation, they’re currently hiring everyone that they can that are tech and the best in the industry and all that other stuff. This is no different. We are in a competitive industry. So if you’re a larger co-operation, and you have a bit more resources ... That’s what I would say you have over me, I have the ability to change faster, you have a lot more capital to be able to do it with a lot more sophistication I guess. And if you want to change, and you wanna stay in this industry, start getting those people into your establishment and helping them innovate it. Because if you’re gonna do it on your own, and you’re that large, you’re gonna find that you’re gonna be falling very far behind and before you know it, you’ll be what they say is the toy world of the industry. And you don’t wanna be that.
Fraser Jack: [41:05] Yeah, exactly right. With your businesses, yourself and your fiance, have you got anyone else in the team or are you growing that?
Stefano Duro: [41:12] We do. We actually utilized quite a cool services. My fiance’s Canadian, so we actually have her sister who’s quite experienced, and she actually works, not every day for us, but we do utilize her because as you can imagine we finish up at, I guess sometimes 12:00 PM. But realistically as a business, 5:00 or 6:00 PM in the afternoon. Her day’s really starting around then or a little bit later on the evening because of the time difference. So while we sleep, she follows up on things and we wake up and things get achieved, so we’ve got that there. We also have a lot of services that we outsource too depending on when we need them. As I said earlier, we are predominantly online, so I do usually work from home and help people over the phone or on the computer, so it doesn’t take a lot of resources. But when it comes down to developing those resources, that’s when you bring in those other people and they help innovate my company just like those others.
Fraser Jack: [42:04] So global stuff, are you Zoom? We are on Zoom right now. Is Zoom your platform of choice for video meetings?
Stefano Duro: [42:12] It’s where the consumer is. If I’ve got Skype, if I have to use that, join.me is another one. Zoom is the one that you’re using today. There’s even the ability to FaceTime on our phones, which is very common now. So if a client wants to physically see me, which a lot of clients do like to have that relationship. So they just send me a FaceTime and I pick it up. Obviously there is the problem of writing notes, you pull your pen out and write them, or you put onto your phone, you’ve got your phone in your hand. That’s exactly it, that’s how I’d say it.
Fraser Jack: [42:39] Yeah. So go to where they are, that don’t necessarily say it has to be one or the other.
Stefano Duro: [42:46] Exactly. If you need to provide a day to a person, you need to ... I have clients who say that I only use my iPad, and that’s fantastic. iPad is the best thing right now to be able to be utilized to deliver content. They can sit on their couch, Skype meeting, a Zoom meeting, a join.me, it doesn’t matter, wherever it is. I ask clients what they already have and then I dive into it. That’s the benefit of having the versatility of utilizing all different platforms because you know that you can use them in a very easy situation.
Fraser Jack: [43:16] Very good. Tell me, if you’re speaking to a client or consumer that may or may not have received or look at your advice, what are your tips to somebody who’s thinking about getting advice?
Stefano Duro: [43:28] Coming back to where we first started off, about the goals and what goals based advice is. For instance, if someone does approach me quite often in relation to that, they usually like to throw information at you and they want you to give them an answer and that’s really unrealistic. But if that’s not the case and they’re just asking me, Stefano, what should I look for in an advisor? I would find someone that you can relate to. I have a lot of older clients that have got no problem with me being a younger advisor because I’m hungry. So if you’re with someone who is of a younger sense, you can say then, are you looking for somebody who’s like that, are you looking for more of someone who’s relaxed, just a product, just an investment advisor? Then I’ll find you what you want.
Stefano Duro: [44:07] But I do believe that in the coming years there’s gonna be a lot of innovation in the industry. So even those older advisors are gonna be in that space. So I’d probably just tell them to establish what is it they want to achieve, go through maybe a webinar with an advisor like myself or someone else to find out what they do as a living, and then also you can work it out from there how they can apply that to you.
Fraser Jack: [44:29] When you were saying that I was thinking to myself, that sounds like another video you could be putting out there to talk to a client-
Stefano Duro: [44:34] Another idea, we can collab and do it together. [crosstalk 00:44:38].
Fraser Jack: [44:38] You can put out there a thing, what you’d be thinking about in an advisor.
Stefano Duro: [44:45] You are right, put a quick little 10 second video up. You know what? Just because you said that I’m gonna do that after this podcast today. I think it’s value. You’re right. It brought value to you and that’s what matters, listen and then utilize that information.
Fraser Jack: [44:57] Yeah. Just having those prompting questions for them to think about cause where do you start? Anything, where do they start?
Stefano Duro: [45:06] Again, how long does it take to string this. People are in so many different areas and so much changes in people’s lives these days. It’s so fast. We live in such a fast paced arena. So you really need to find someone who’s gonna keep up with you or go slow enough for you. That makes sense.
Fraser Jack: [45:23] Yeah. If you’re talking to advisors looking to get into the advice or to start their own business, maybe they’re an advisor somewhere else, what tips would you give to them?
Stefano Duro: [45:32] Your coming into our industry right now has never been more interesting in my opinion. What most people that you spoke to, adapting yourself to someone who you feel that’s gonna drive you. If you were to come into the media industry, for instance right now, I would say attach yourself to Gary Vaynerchuk. I would say to literally find a person that you find is gonna drive you to be the best in your industry and also has the knowledge to back it up, and then at the end of the day, someone you can get along with because you work together. These working environments, they’re changing so much now we’re not really employees anymore as much. As I said, we are teammates, we are people that work together for the same purpose. And finding someone who has the same purpose as you and then jump on that train and work your butt off.
Fraser Jack: [46:18] Yeah. You’re right there. The magic happens if you’re inspired by those mentors that you pick up. You’re motivated by what they’re saying, but then you’re also learning. You just put a webinar on that, maybe I could do a webinar. So you can get this two fold.
Stefano Duro: [46:36] Exactly. And you don’t need to be an advisor to share content as well. So if you are coming up in the industry, I’m not saying you need to give direct advice. You’re an enthusiastic person. If you wanna come into this industry, it’s usually because you do like to deal with people. It’s not for the opposite. So if you are that person, start sharing your information on platforms as well as obtaining it through other platforms of other people who are releasing it. And you just keep growing. If you’re coming into this industry and you’re young, you’ve never been given more control because right now the young people do have a lot of control in our industries because they’re a lot more attached to their phones and they’re innovating and they’re a lot of consumers, so a lot of information being consumed by them. So we’re trying to deliver it to them and so forth.
Fraser Jack: [47:22] Yeah. That’s a really good point actually. Don’t wait. Learn something and then share it, don’t wait.
Stefano Duro: [47:28] Don’t wait. You don’t have time. Time is of the essence. Get involved, get amongst it. Speak to people. There’s so many people out there. Looking at Glen on the other night, he does the millennial podcast, an amazing podcast. Speak to him, he’s happy to have a chat. Adele Martin, I’m sure, especially a lot of knowledge, ask her. Go across these people, interact with them, find out where they are and just put your hand out there because you’d be surprised. A lot of people are happy to help, myself included, I’ll be definitely happy to give you some advice. You probably have to tell me to be quiet after a while, but I’ll definitely give it to you and as long as you actually have execution and you dive into it, then you can succeed in a lot of things.
Fraser Jack: [48:04] Yeah. Great advice. If you’re talking to an older advisor, maybe some of that is established at a practice and been doing it the same way for many years, what would you say to them?
Stefano Duro: [48:15] I would say to him, two questions. Do you wanna leave or not? I’d be straight out with it. The second question is, if you wanna stay, then you need to bring people in who are going to innovate your firm, your establishment. They’re going to give you the ability to leverage because just because you’re an old advisor, doesn’t mean that your firm needs to be old. It doesn’t mean that your product needs to be old. Don’t become an outdated product. In the [inaudible 00:48:35] you’ve always done, 10, 20 years ago, the Internet wasn’t around. You’ve already changed. Look how much change you’ve already done, see that you can do that and start doing it. Start making those steps or start making the steps to exit because either way, I truly believe the consumer runs the end product and you need to do that. So in my opinion, stick your neck out, pull people in, grow or leave.
Fraser Jack: [48:57] Yeah, it’s decision time, isn’t it?
Stefano Duro: [48:59] It is. And I think that there shouldn’t be a stigma around it. If you’re old enough to be considering leaving the industry and retiring, congratulations. If you’re younger enough and you want to start to drive this industry ... What you’re doing right now Fraser I absolutely adore because what you’re doing is you’re grooming advisors to come together, spread their knowledge, grow this industry collectively as we push it to the next level. That’s what we should all be doing. We should be wanting the consumer to have a better product. These things, MoneySoft, the links, the websites, all these products that we utilize, advisor intelligence, it just makes us look better. So if you wanna look better to your consumer, get amongst it. It’s not that expensive. It’s not the time resources maybe, but the end result, everything that costs time is worth it. Let’s put the effort in.
Fraser Jack: [49:43] Yeah, absolutely right. And it’s not a stigma, it’s just the progression. You’re right.
Stefano Duro: [49:48] You’re right. Exactly. That’s exactly it.
Fraser Jack: [49:50] Now tell me, a bit of self reflection. If you could go back in time and do things again or not do things again, what would you do? What advice would you give to yourself?
Stefano Duro: [50:00] Good question. You would have to rewind. I would go back to probably my earlier days as a youth where I’d say, believe in yourself more. When we’re younger there’s a lot of doubt put into our ears, as I got older I would say, protect those things. What you consume, what comes into your ears, and what comes out of it. You have to protect both of those and what you say as well. Flashing back to the financial industry, I’m a business owner as well as a financial coach and mentor. So when I look at the business side of it, sometimes you ego can get ahead of you. And I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily where I’ve been, but it’s where I’ve had to pull myself back a lot of time.
Stefano Duro: [50:38] So I would simply go back and I’d say, things don’t have to happen as fast as you want them to, and they actually won’t more importantly, so slow down. But understandable. Same thing with clients, it’s that small growth, it’s being repetitive and that continue to happen. It really allows us to achieve amazing things. So to answer your question, I’d probably go back and say, slow things down, you can do it, don’t worry, and take your time.
Fraser Jack: [51:04] I agree. What you also mentioned there that, be predictive about what goes in and rather than just-
Stefano Duro: [51:10] So true.
Fraser Jack: [51:12] Yeah. Think about what you listen to, what’s going in and-
Stefano Duro: [51:16] You could do the same thing right now. If you listen to this podcast you’re doing just that, you’re protecting what’s coming in. I believe what we’re doing is innovating in the industry. There’s a lot of bad in our industry that we can listen to. I do believe we need to track that from a compliance angle like we all do, but do we need to focus our energy on it? No. There’s not a lot of bad in the world, there’s a lot of good. There’s a lot of great advisors out there, and we need to innovate, and we need to help our consumers have a better end product, and we’re all gonna win. But I love it that we’re coming together, and we’re letting people into our practices, and we’re opening up the ability to what we can all interpret into our own things because there is plenty of clients. Coming back to my first data, 5% of people actually write down their goals. Let’s think about that. That’s 95%, the people that need goals based advice, which is where our industry is heading.
Fraser Jack: [52:07] Yeah. Thank you so much Stefano. If someone wants to continue this conversation and keep changing, where can they find you? Where can they hit you up?
Stefano Duro: [52:14] I’m on a lot of platforms, you can get me on Facebook at Stefano Duro. You can also get me on Instagram, which is stefanoduro.co. As I said earlier, go to my Instagram profile, hit the link in the bio and you’ll be able to get to everywhere else too.
Fraser Jack: [52:29] Fantastic. All right. Thank you so much. This has been an absolute blast. It’s been a great morning to have a chat here and I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your wealth of truth bombs with us all. I wish you good luck with all of those videos. I’m looking forward to seeing them as they come out and sharing them as I see them.
Stefano Duro: [52:46] Keep an eye out. Hold me accountable for it. I appreciate. Fraser, thank you so much for interviewing me. I do believe that what you’re doing is going to help grow our industry and I’m looking forward to the next coming years. I’m not deterred. I’m looking forward to it.
Fraser Jack: [52:59] Fantastic. Thank you so much.
Stefano Duro: [53:01] Thanks so much buddy. Bye.
Fraser Jack: [53:02 See ya. If you haven’t already, I’d love you to subscribe to the podcast on your podcast platform of choice. And to continue the conversation, head over to our social media channels. We’ll catch you next time.
Disclaimer: This document is a transcription obtained through a third party. There is no claim to accuracy on the content provided in this document, and divergence from the audio file are to be expected. As a transcription, this is not a legal document in itself, and should not be considered binding to advice intelligence, but merely a convenience for reference.