Glen Hare: [00:00] And the third thing is, we actually got this concept from one of our mentors, is we can go through and actually write a timeline on the board, outline the short, mid and the long-term goals. And we actually asked them to scribe. It means that they are more, I guess, engaged in the journey, more engaged in the conversation. So I would sit there and draw the timeline and say, “Would you mind if you were to scribe in the 12 month bracket everything that you want to work towards?” And then we move to the 12 month to five years and then five years and beyond.
Glen Hare: [00:37] With them writing it means that they’re much more involved in the process and much more engaged in the journey.
Fraser Jack: [00:49] Hello and welcome to the Goals Based Advice podcast where we have conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice. My name is Fraser Jack and I want to thank you for tuning in today. I’d also like to thank our supporting partner, Advice Intelligence, for powering this podcast. Head to Adviceintelligence.com to book a demo.
Fraser Jack: [01:10] In this episode we chat to the other half of Fox and Hare founding partner Glen Hare. We cover some of the ways that they deliver high quality, high-touch advice with the focus on tech efficiencies, clear processes and a great team. They’re doing great work in their online presence, showing consumers the real value of advice and keeping their clients and professional relationships introducing new potential clients. They’re a growing business with plenty of wins and plenty of learnings along the way.
Fraser Jack: [01:40] Let’s jump straight in to my chat with Glen.
Fraser Jack: [01:47] Welcome to the show Glen.
Glen Hare: [01:47] Hi, how’re you doing?
Fraser Jack: [01:49] I’m really good mate, how are you?
Glen Hare: [01:51] Very well. Very well. Thanks for having me.
Fraser Jack: [01:53] That’s the way. Happy new year.
Glen Hare: [01:54] Happy new year, here we go again.
Fraser Jack: [01:56] Yeah, bring on 2019.
Fraser Jack: [02:00] Now do you want to start by just giving the listeners a quick overview of where you are at the moment?
Glen Hare: [02:05] Yeah, sure. So I am one of the co-founders here at Fox and Hare Financial Advice. Based in Darlinghurst Sydney. So my name’s Glen Hare, which is where the Hare side of things comes from, and then my business partner Jessica Brady. Although her surname isn’t Fox she is a strawberry blonde so ... one of our much more creative friends than us came up with the name.
Fraser Jack: [02:31] Fair enough. Now we’ve had Jess on the show and she was fantastic and she’s recommended you come on the show to bring something completely different she says. You’re completely different to her.
Glen Hare: [02:39] Polar opposites.
Fraser Jack: [02:42] So I guess that works really well because you guys have been kicking a lot of goals at the moment. Do you want to give us a bit of a round-up of how you actually got to where you are now? Where you’re coming from?
Glen Hare: [02:51 Where we come from? Yeah, sure. So I personally was at MacBank for just over 10 years. That’s where Jess and I actually started working together. Had various roles but what Jess and I used to do [inaudible 00:03:06], I was on the investment wrap side of things, Jess was on the insurance side of things. So we were pounding the pavement, knocking on many advisors door, selling our wares.
Glen Hare: [03:19] And then I suppose three or four years out, as you do, in the car going out to [inaudible 00:03:25] many hours together. Jess and I thought, what are our next steps? What are we going to do beyond our corporate careers? And that’s when we came up with the brainchild that was Fox and Hare. Certainly wasn’t called Fox and Hare at the time but that’s where we came up with the concept to basically to deliver advice to a different cohort of investors and consumers.
Glen Hare: [03:53] Most of the people that we were seeing as clients, so advisors we were servicing, typically pre and post retirees. Fox and Hare is 100% focused on working with the accumulative. So our youngest client is 23 and our oldest client is in their late 40s and it’s all about helping them with their lifestyle goals or their life goals, not just insuring that they retire comfortably. Obviously that’s one of the components but everything else from insuring they can take time off to have a family, buy a house, maybe start a business. All of those types of things.
Fraser Jack: [04:34] And what lead you to choosing that demographic? Or that cohort of consumer?
Glen Hare: [04:39] So if you just look at a few of the statistics, the average age of an advisor in Australia is around that 55 year old mark. Typically they’re servicing people that are 10 years either side. Most people don’t seek advice until they’re probably five years out from retirement. And Jess and I had [inaudible 00:05:01] had a firm view that the sooner your get your financial stuff sorted the far better off you’re going to be in the long-run.
Glen Hare: [05:07] So we really went about trying to break down the barriers of people wanting to seek advice. Or really demystifying what advice actually is. The three biggest challenges that we face with the demographic that we focus on is, one, most of them don’t know what a financial advisor actually does. Two, they assume you need to have bags of money before you actually seek advice. And three, because they see typically older people getting advice they’re not really sure that now is the right time to get advice. They just assume it is for that older demographic.
Fraser Jack: [05:49] It seems like a really big communication piece missing in there doesn’t it that actually [inaudible 00:05:54].
Glen Hare: [05:54] Yep.
Fraser Jack: [05:56] Now you mentioned it was a good three years in the planning process. Do you want to take us through, take me through that journey? Because I’m imagining then what might have been a few changes and pivots along the way and ...
Glen Hare: [06:07] Oh mate, so many changes. And there still is today. So Fox and Hare launched officially on the 23rd of October 2017. So we’ve been running for about 14, 15 months now. And where we determine that date is where we turned on our website. So when we turned on, I suppose, our first digital door, for want of a better word. Leading up to that Jess and I would catch up. While this was a bit of a side-hustle, while we were still doing our day job, we would catch up every single week and talk about everything from how we want the clients to feel coming into a meeting, how we’d want them to feel leaving a meeting, the different types of advice and strategies that we may need to implement. We used to spend hours on what are we going to call the things. The types of events we wanted to run. The type of office that we want to have. Even what we want our office to smell like and the experience, what we want our clients to have as soon as they walk through the door, branding, absolutely everything.
Glen Hare: [07:20] It was a long time coming but we set a day in the middle of September whereby I left my day-job to focus on Fox and Hare full-time. And I had about three or four months before Jess joined as well. And really for those three or four months it was trying to put all the stuff that we had theoretically thought of into practice.
Fraser Jack: [07:50] Like you said there’s a lot of little things but I guess thinking of them all, and individually they might not be a big thing but to cumulate the lot together makes a big difference as you walk in the door.
Glen Hare: [08:02] Completely, yeah.
Fraser Jack: [08:02] So tell me during that process what systems did you use, what process did you use, to actually work out what it was you needed to do and then go about making sure that happened?
Glen Hare: [08:15] So because of Jess and I’s ... our role as business development manager and we’ve been in the advice industry, although not advisors but collectively the best part of 15, 20 years the two of us. We got the opportunity to work with incredible advisors, incredible business owners, go to all the various PD days and conferences. And really from a high-level, broad spectrum, got to look at best practices across the board. Whether we are looking at client engagement, fintech, process, or marketing, whatever it was we got to see what the best in the industry do. And that’s something that we still, to this day, don’t take for granted.
Glen Hare: [09:05] Now, being a small business owner and being in this seat for the best part of 15 months, it can be, I won’t say lonely, but you really get caught up in the day-to-day. And you’ve really got to make sure that you allot enough time to take the blinkers off. Well what Jess and I did for that three years running up to the launch, we made sure that we just never had the blinkers on. So we just looked at everything and really made note of which bits and pieces of the whole industry in its entirety that we wanted to, I suppose, take and leverage to build something that was our own.
Fraser Jack: [09:44] Would you be willing to share some of the small, little things that you thought that were great and other things that you thought that you maybe thought were great once and then canceled or threw out?
Glen Hare: [09:55] Let me think. So a few things that ... a couple of things that really stood out to me, one was around our website. So we still get really good feedback about our website and in terms of the ... we’re constantly updating it. So we refresh it probably every six months because, again, you think of the demographic that we’re servicing. If our website is a little bit dodgy then they’re going to be like, “Oh well are they a little bit dodgy?” You think if you look at a restaurant and their website isn’t great and you’re like, “Oh maybe the food’s not that great.” I believe that’s the perception that some of our prospects would have.
Glen Hare: [10:34] So we actually looked at a few things. We looked at Squarespace. We looked at Wix, some of those more automated type, or out of the box websites designs. We decided not to go down that path because we were concerned that those visiting our websites would know that we may have cut corners. So we did end up employing a digital agency here in Sydney which cost us a fair bit of money but really glad that we did take the leap and put a reasonable amount of time behind that.
Glen Hare: [11:09] And I suppose the gem with the agency that we picked, we specifically picked an agency that had never dealt with a financial advice or done anything with a financial services firm before because we wanted something fresh. We didn’t want to work with an agency that had preconceived notions around what financial services could be. And we also had to explain, which it took about six months to build every single component or every single piece of content, to them because they didn’t understand it. But that was really great because if you think about our prospects they may come from a marketing background, or they could be a videographer or they could be a lawyer.
Glen Hare: [11:48] So with our digital agency the creatives can understand the content then there we had comfort that those who don’t come from a financial services background would also be able to get that content.
Fraser Jack: [12:00] Yeah so starting with your clients in mind rather than financial services?
Glen Hare: [12:04] Correct. And that was ... we also spent a lot of time and held a number of focus groups. So, again, in that three year period before we even launched, we sat down with people that looked like our ideal client and got them to essentially rip apart our website, all the designs that we had put forward. And without telling them we actually had the creative in the room because we were finding it quite difficult to relay what we wanted with the creative. So we actually got, I guess, the users to give her direct feedback without them even knowing.
Glen Hare: [12:43] And those focus groups were really helpful in that a lot of the stuff that Jess and I were thinking and formulating over that period we were being [inaudible 00:12:52] a lot of the stuff we thought would be road blocks and challenges we knew, so about 80% of what we got out of those focus groups were really validating our way of thinking, but then about 20% there was some things that we were quite surprised about or were a little, “Oh wow, we didn’t even think of that.” So that was really beneficial as well.
Fraser Jack: [13:16] I’ll just go onto your website a little bit more. You spent a bit of money, invested a bit of money on a really nice website. Have you been able to quantify or qualify that expenditure over that time or ...
Glen Hare: [13:29] Yeah so all of our, whether it be LinkedIn, Facebook, articles or publications that we’ve been in, we really direct everyone back through to the website. In terms of people that have directly booked in meetings is probably about 15% of the business that’s come through the door. But in saying that I would suggest that a lot of the people that reached out to us via Facebook or LinkedIn or email or other mediums, or even was referred to us by someone else and then went to our website, they would have used it to validate us and get a little bit more of the understanding about us.
Glen Hare: [14:10] I would dare say that no one, very few people, would have caught up with us for a coffee, for a chat, without actually looking at our website first.
Fraser Jack: [14:20] Okay so as far as you’re concerned it was a value for money well spent. You’d do it again?
Glen Hare: [14:28] 100% and we spend money on it every six months.
Fraser Jack: [14:30] Now just moving towards where you are now in your journey and the way that you react with your client. You do a lot of goals in conversations and I know that you spend a lot of time focusing on the client’s values and goals. Talk us through a bit about why you do that?
Glen Hare: [14:45] Yeah sure. So all of our clients and our approach is very much goals based strategic advice. And our clients know that right from the outset. So even before they become a client, so sign the engagement letter, we have a goals and values session with them, which can typically take anywhere between two to three hours. And this is after we’ve had a coffee with them. The coffee is, get to know each other, 45 minute chat, this is what we do. We go through our fees then. And then if they go, “Yep, cool. Keen to move forward.” We book in that goals and values session right there and then. And at the end of that goals and values session, probably about 85% of the people come on as clients. Because we go through quite a number of exercises, white board exercises, not talking numbers, not talking financials, it’s not talking about [inaudible 00:15:36] or insurances but talking about what is genuinely important to them in life.
Glen Hare: [15:42] At the end of that two, three hours we have a whiteboard full of all their goals and their values that clearly are articulating what’s inherently important to them. And Jess and I pose the question, “Do you want us to help you achieve everything you’ve outlined in today’s session?” And very few people would go, “Oh no. I don’t want any of this.” So our conversion rate is quite great there.
Glen Hare: [16:05] And that’s really important to the fact that we focus on goals is really, really important to both Jess and I. Tax minimization, the investments and budgeting and all that is all well and good, that’s great, but the client is most interested in, are they going to have enough money to take six months off post having a baby? Are they going to be able to afford that house that they wanted to in the next two years. They want to have a year off. They’ve worked hard and they want to have a year off when they turn 35 and live in France for a year but they still need to pay the mortgage here in Sydney. Can they do that? That is what is important not so much the financial element. But the financial element is really designed to enable them to achieve the lifestyle pace and be [inaudible 00:16:57].
Fraser Jack: [16:57] Yeah I agree. Now when you developed this process, how did you come up with these questions in the goals and values session? Where did they come from?
Glen Hare: [17:04] So a lot of it wasn’t financial services it was predominantly looking through mindful literature written by psychologists. Brain based testing and learning and teaching. Nothing really, specifically with regards to financial services. Jess and I, we did do actually a course a couple of months ago in October, November and it was actually all psychologists and it was all about how to ensure that people that ... say that these goals are really important, we put a strategy in place and then deviate from the plan, how do we get them back on plan? And it was all about making sure that they understand the ramifications of immediate gratification and what impact that’s going to have on the goals that they say are important to them.
Fraser Jack: [18:03] They’re really focusing their behaviors and the client’s focusing on their behaviors.
Glen Hare: [18:07] 100%
Fraser Jack: [18:09] Yeah great. And you mentioned you did that a couple of months ago. So during the process of the last year and a half nearly, has that conversation changed? Have you added or changed that conversation around the goals as in added or edit your questions?
Glen Hare: [18:25] Yeah a couple of things. So in terms of the questions probably not so much but what we have done is really made sure that the prospect is 100% aware of some of those questions and the exercises we’re going to actually go through in the meeting. Because what we’ve found is some people are really across their life goals and aspirations and others probably need more time to really consider those.
Glen Hare: [18:53] So once we have coffee with the prospect, we would tell them what exercises we’re going to go through, what types of questions we are going to ask, so that then before we catch up with them for that goals and values session, they’ve already had two or three weeks to have those conversations.
Glen Hare: [19:14] And the second thing is, when looking at the values, we would go through the values, if it’s a couple, separately, so both in the same room but would let one of the individuals speak and then the other individual speak, otherwise we felt that they were overriding each other and they weren’t letting each other answer their own questions.
Glen Hare: [19:37] And the third thing is we actually got this concept from one of our mentors, is we can go through and actually write a timeline on the board. Outline a short, mid and the long term goals and we actually ask them to scribe. Because then it means that they are more, I guess, engaged in the journey, more engaged in the conversation. So I would sit there and draw the timeline and say, “Would you mind if you were to scribe it and in the 12 month bracket write everything that you’d want to work towards.” And then we’d move to the 12 month to five years and then we’d do five years and beyond. Them writing it means that they’re much more involved in the process, and much more engaged in the journey.
Fraser Jack: [20:25] Yeah I like that idea. That really does put them in a position where they’re physically engaged, not just mentally engaged in the ...
Glen Hare: [20:32] Correct, yeah.
Fraser Jack: [20:33] Yeah, well done. That’s a great tip. So you go through that session, you spend a lot of time, a couple of hours, which is I think really time well invested with an 85% conversion rate at that point. Which I’m assuming wouldn’t be 85% if you hadn’t gone through that process.
Glen Hare: [20:47] Correct, yeah. And they’re coming to that eyes wide open. [inaudible 00:20:52] flat fee structure. We go through that in the coffee, what coaching program we would feel is most appropriate for them. If they come to that goals and values session, what they’re really looking to do is get a bit more of an understanding of what it is we actually do in the first place. But to understand that we can actually add value to their situation.
Fraser Jack: [21:16] Yep. And then you go through a process of explaining certain different strategies to the client and really educating them so that when you do give advice they have the power, I guess, and the knowledge of being able to have that conversation with you about the strategy?
Glen Hare: [21:31] Correct. So the next session after the goals and values session, so once we know actually what we’re working towards, the next session is quite numbers heavy. And this is more of a workshop. So we build the strategies with our clients. We don’t just dictate what their strategy should be. And, again, this is to ensure that they’re more engaged in their journey. We don’t want them to just do it because that’s what we’ve told them to do. We want them to pick their journey and really understand what that means for them longer term and how it relates specifically to their goals.
Glen Hare: [22:07] And sometimes they have conflicting goals. It might be, “I want to buy a house in two months but I also want to take a year off in a years time.” And that’s a conversation we need to have that you might be able to buy a house in two months but that time off may be five, six years away. Or if the time off is more important then that house is going to have to be put on the back burner.
Fraser Jack: [22:32] Yeah. I think that’s a conversation you have to have with almost every client, I would imagine.
Glen Hare: [22:41] Yeah. All my clients follow luxury escapes.
Fraser Jack: [22:41] Of course, of course. Don’t we all, don’t we all.
Fraser Jack: [22:44] So then, obviously, you provide the advice and then, at the moment now that you’ve been established for coming on 16 months, 18 months, you’re coming up to doing a lot of reviews, do you want to walk me through that process of your review and just how you utilize their goals and values session in those reviews?
Glen Hare: [23:02] Yeah, of course. So the majority of our clients we have three progress meetings with them a year. So rather than reviews we refer to them as progress meetings because, I guess, we like to use the language of moving forward and we catch up. So we’re going through that now, really great time of the year to reengage with clients, to set them up for 2019 and then we catch up with them face-to-face, or over video conference, every 12 to 16 weeks.
Glen Hare: [23:32] Typically what we’re doing is we’re using a traffic light system and working out are they on track, as in are they hitting ... and it’s related specifically to their goals, are they on track to achieve their goals, so they’re green? Are they amber? Are they working towards it but there’s things that we could probably do to get them there a little bit faster or in a more efficient manner? Or are they red? Are they off-track? So is it something ... us looking back, the competing goals, have they chosen that they want to buy that house so then the holiday is not happening? So we class that as red. Anything that’s amber or red we would then start to talk through, okay, what do we need to do to get it on green?
Glen Hare: [24:17] So, again, trying to ... all the financial stuff, whether we’re talking about the first time buyer super savers game, that’s great. It’s a strategy that we might talk about with some of our clients, but it’s relating to the goal of getting new property. If it’s a budget, one of my clients came to us for considerable credit card debt and their goal is to be debt free by the end of the year, that’s the goal that we’re working towards, and then we’ll talk through a cash-flow strategy that enables them to achieve that specific goal.
Glen Hare: [24:49] And we go through that throughout the course of the year. They’re the face-to-face things. We also have engagement in between meetings as well for various reasons.
Fraser Jack: [24:59] Yep. Now when a client hits a goal, I don’t know if you’ve had too many that have hit their goals yet, but when they hit their goals do you have a process around the idea of celebrating that goal or sharing that goal and then maybe putting more goals into the timeline or anything like that?
Glen Hare: [25:13] That’s a really, really good point and something that we’re working through at the moment. So if you thinking about the lifecycle of Fox and Hare, as you eluded to we’ve just turned 12 months old. So a lot of the first 12 months has really been that up-front journey, that onboarding journey. We just underestimated how long it can take to onboard a client. Which is all well and good, that’s not a problem, but now some of our clients have been with us for 12 months. So we’re starting to look at the challenge for this year will be how do we feel about that ongoing proposition.
Glen Hare: [25:51] We definitely have a framework but it’s still certainly a work in progress. And one of those things around actually monitoring goals and whether they’ve achieved it or not is something that we need to address at the moment. So, to answer your question, in 12 months time I’ll be really disappointed if we don’t have a clear way to monitor that but at the moment it is when we have those review meetings in the prep for that, that’s when we determine whether they’ve achieved it or not. And we would love to bring that more real-time.
Fraser Jack: [26:25] Yeah I’d love to see clients getting their goals and sharing them and tagging you in there as well time. That’s the point isn’t it, that we’re all working towards. We help people set goals and it’d be nice to help them celebrate them as well.
Glen Hare: [26:40] Yeah. It’s interesting. We’re exploring all different options. One that’s probably still a little bit a way off but is actually using social media to actually determine when people are hitting key life stages or milestones or things like that. People put everything on social media and if we can systemize that so that we’re reaching out to them when they get engaged, have a baby, get married, buy their first home, go on holidays, have a birthday, whatever it is, that would be fantastic. But, yeah, we’re not there yet.
Fraser Jack: [27:20] Yeah technology’s an amazing thing and it’s certainly getting there but it’s still a journey.
Glen Hare: [27:25] Yeah, definitely.
Fraser Jack: [27:27] Now tell me a little bit about some of the things you’re working on now in the business for the near future?
Glen Hare: [27:32] Over the course of the next couple of months, so we’re doing a couple of events actually. So we host an event quite regularly here in Surrey Hills at the Wine Bar where we invite about 20-25 existing clients or prospects and partner with a local mortgage broker to give people a little bit of an update on the property market, what’s happening with the investment space. And it’s quite a safe space. It’s only 20 people that come along over wine and cheese and what not. It’s designed to get people thinking about their [inaudible 00:28:08] and more engaged with their personal finances. Because some people just aren’t interested. And I believe that’s purely because they’re probably not ... they don’t know enough to be interested. So we’re doing a number of those.
Glen Hare: [28:21] We’re also hosting an event Wealth, Health and Heals in a couple of weeks time, predominantly focused on females. So Jess gets a lot of young women reaching out to her because so many standard advisors are men. And this event will have three panelists, Jess obviously, also a careers coach as well as a personal coach that talks about you’ve only got so many energy credits a day, how do you prioritize where you spend those? So that’s something else we’re doing.
Glen Hare: [28:53] And also a number of workshops. So we’ve had a number of corporates reach out, particularly law firms for whatever reason we’ve got a lot of lawyers reaching out to us, which is fine. But going into these law firms and doing finance 101 for their grads or their associates in that 25-35 year old age bracket.
Glen Hare: [29:14] So yeah, definitely a couple of events on the agenda. And for me, personally, I’m really focused on the operations at the moment. Really need to make sure that we are as efficient as possible. We need to even buy a book of business. We literally started from scratch and one of the reasons we did that is so that we didn’t have, I suppose, any legacy issues that we needed to clean up. So now it’s about making sure that we’re processing and having clear processes around everything. We’ve just had Charlotte join us who’s come on full time in the support space. We’ve just had Katarina who has 13 years experience also join us in January. So we’re really trying to bolster up that back office so Jess and I can really focus on doing what we love, which is delivering advice not completing application forms.
Fraser Jack: [30:09] Yep, fair enough. Fair enough. So it’s working pretty well then. A year of doing everything and now being able to hand over some of that back-office support.
Glen Hare: [30:20] Yeah, definitely. And making sure that we’re really, I guess, leveraging that talent. So one of the things that I’m always conscious of is I don’t want to just plug problems with people. I want to make sure that we’re using technology as best as possible. And where we need to. We have people to bridge the gap between the technology, the client, the advisor, etc.
Fraser Jack: [30:53] Yeah, absolutely fantastic. A lot of work in that back office space with the operations part isn’t it?
Glen Hare: [30:59] Yeah. It’s definitely and, again, it’s something that we need to make sure is efficient otherwise we’re just not going to grow and build a sustainable business. I spent a lot of time for the first 12 months building that up-front process and we’re pretty comfortable where that is at the moment, in terms of how everything moves between the various stakeholders. Now my attention’s turned to that ongoing case. We’ll constantly be reviewing everything but you can only focus on one or two things at a time.
Fraser Jack: [31:30] Yeah but I really like the fact that you’re making sure everything’s efficient because, at the end of the day, your clients have got to pay for that and that’s ... not being efficient is really just not acceptable these days. You’ve got to be efficient. It’s not something you strive for but a ticket to the game.
Glen Hare: [31:49] Totally. And, selfishly, another reason that I want to be efficient is so that we’re not doing things that we don’t enjoy doing. Where if it’s something that we don’t enjoy doing or don’t want to do we’ve got a process where it’s either automated or outsourced or someone else in the team that does enjoy doing it is allocated that task. Otherwise it’s just, I guess, one of the phrases that the coach that’s coming to this event often terms is, you’re wasting energy credits. You’ve got 100 credits a day and you’re using 90 credits on this menial task that has really no bang for buck.
Fraser Jack: [32:31] Yeah that’s a really good way of looking at it.
Fraser Jack: [32:33] Now there’s obviously a lot going on with the industry, the profession, at the moment. How do you see it playing out long term?
Glen Hare: [32:40] Long-term. So personal view is everything that’s going on with the role commission, hopefully it will in turn turn our industry into a profession. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that. But I look forward to the day that we are looked in the same light as an accountant or a doctor or a lawyer. So I feel that where the role commission is trying to take us, it certainly has its challenges along the way but also people ... those advisors that genuinely have their clients [inaudible 00:33:19] and genuinely want to deliver advice that’s in the best interests of their client without any conflicts, I don’t envisage it having much of a negative impact. I feel like it can only be for the positive.
Fraser Jack: [33:34] Yep. Now if you’re at one of your events and you’re giving advice to consumers around seeking advice that maybe haven’t before in the past, what sort of tips do you give them about looking for an advisor or what they should consider?
Glen Hare: [33:48] So [inaudible 00:33:49] make sure that they understand ... [inaudible 00:33:54] advisors something that I’ve learnt over the last 14 months is advice is incredibly personal, more personal that I could have ever imagined particularly when you’re talking about things like insurance and all those wonderful things. You learn a lot about your clients. And you have conversations with your clients that they probably have with nobody else. Money’s one of those things that no one wants to talk about, or is comfortable to talk about. So we encourage them to definitely [inaudible 00:34:30] hopefully us being one of them.
Glen Hare: [34:31] And then the other thing is probably make sure that they understand the fee structure that they’re getting themselves into. And understand exactly what they’re getting for those fees. Probably try before you buy. If they prospect or the client is looking for an advisor, has the ability to sit down with the advisor to go through at a high level where the advisor feels that they could add value, I’d say that that would also be a benefit for the individual as well.
Fraser Jack: [35:06] Thank you. Now if you’re chatting to an advisor that’s looking to come along a journey very similar to yours, what tips would you give to them?
Glen Hare: [35:14] Be very planned and very organized. Like I said, before we pulled the pin we were planning this for about three years before starting Fox and Hare, which is ... you might think is a long lead time but we wanted to ensure that we didn’t have to cut any corners or, if we wanted to do the website, we could spend the money on the website. If we wanted to do the branding, we could spend the money on the branding. Mind you you’ve got to be conscious of your budget but make sure that you budget for things that you genuinely want and not just the bare minimum. Because if you’re going to differentiate yourself in this industry, you need to make yourself stand out in some way, shape or form.
Glen Hare: [36:03] That is probably the main thing I would suggest. And just having really good mentors. We have a number of good mentors that help us for various reasons. Whether that be for the technical stuff or the branding stuff or the client engagement. And also looking outside our industry. So one of our mentors is a psychologist. She says that a lot of the reasons couples come to her for counseling is because they argue over money. So we lean on her to understand the conversations that she’s having with her clients. And also we also do the same with our technology. Fintech is great but we also look at fantastic client engagement technology. So it’s a broad spectrum. Keep the blinkers off.
Fraser Jack: [36:52] Yeah, a lot of good tips in there. Now tell me when you’re speaking to an advisor that’s been doing things the same way for many years and looking to make some changes in their business, what do you say to them?
Glen Hare: [37:05] It’s a bit of a bated question. Well I feel like they’re probably going to be up for some challenges. I can assure you that the clients that I’m seeing do not want to sit down and just talk about investments. Or they don’t want to just sit down and talk about super, they want holistic advice and they want to know how that actually helps them live the lifestyle that they aspire to live. And that the white picket fence and the huge house with five kids isn’t necessarily everybody’s goals or aspirations. We actually have a young couple that currently live on a boat. He’s a ferry driver, she’s a nurse. They then have the ability to live around the world. They came to us and said, “We’re in our late 20’s, early 30’s and earning pretty good money. We want to set ourselves up so we can retire as soon as possible.” They never want to have kids. Never want to buy a house. They want to buy a big boat and spend their 45 year plus just traveling the world on a yacht.
Glen Hare: [38:11] Some of our clients have come to us, and very few of our clients have seen advisors before us, just because, again, coming back to those challenges that they just never thought about it. But some of them that have come to us have said that the advisors that they’ve sat in front of has had preconceived notions about what they’re going to talk about. Like, sitting in front of a young couple and turns to the female and go, “Oh when do you want to have kids?” She may never want to have kids. Or, “When do you want to buy your first house?” They may never want to buy a house. Not having preconceived notions about the life they should live but, kind of to my point earlier, spending time understanding what the life is that they want to live.
Fraser Jack: [38:56] Yep, we can certainly make that mistake pretty easily can’t we of assuming what people want.
Glen Hare: [39:03] Definitely [inaudible 00:39:03]
Fraser Jack: [39:04] Now if you had your time again, you could make some changes along the way, go back in time and give yourself some advice, what would you say to yourself?
Glen Hare: [39:14] What would I say to myself? That’s a hard one. Probably got a lot to say. It’s been a massive, massive learning curve. I think ... I don’t know. Save more money? I don’t know. There’s probably nothing that really stands out as such. One thing, probably, if I had to fix one thing is I mentioned we did focus groups before we started. Since we launched 14, 15 months ago, we have only done one since then. And I think that’s a mistake. Coming back to your point around assuming what our clients want, I think we may have got a little bit too comfortable and started going, yep, this is the process and begin taking things through that process. Whereas we probably should have spent more time checking in with them and sharing [inaudible 00:40:16] that this is actually the journey that they want to be on. That would probably be a call out for me.
Fraser Jack: [40:23] In a perfect world, how often do you think that could happen?
Glen Hare: [40:28] I would love to do it every three to four months. I think we’ve done it once in the last 15 months. I think we should have at least done another three or four. And it’s not hard. It’s about getting four or five people. You don’t want too many more than say five because then too many cooks. But it’s just about sitting down and having an honest chat about how their journey’s been today, what worked, what didn’t, what did they expect, and what do they expect moving forward? And coming back to my point, a lot of it is going to be validating what you already know you need to be working on. But you’ve got to get some gems that you just would never have thought about. Because, again, these people aren’t in financial services so they don’t necessarily have preconceived notions about what advice should be. So they’ve come out with some weird and wonderful things that we’re seriously considering.
Fraser Jack: [41:25] Yeah and when you had that focus group, how did you find the change in the relationship that you had with that client?
Glen Hare: [41:32] So much better because they know that we’re genuinely listening to what they want. And when we make changes based on conversations with them we make a conscious effort to ensure that they understand this change was because they suggested it. And it can be very, very minor, to I suppose larger changes. Whatever it is.
Fraser Jack: [41:57] Yep. Now having an advisor can be, as you mentioned, a very personal relationship. Has anyone ever had any problems within the focus groups or getting together in any of the things that you’ve put on, with other people knowing that you’re their advisor?
Glen Hare: [42:15] No.
Fraser Jack: [42:16] People just come along and get along with everybody that’s there?
Glen Hare: [42:19] Yeah. No so we’ve never had any issues. Most of our clients are fairly [inaudible 00:42:28] no I think they’re all pretty comfortable where they’re at. No we’ve never had any issues that one person knows that another person is a client.
Fraser Jack: [42:38] And they bring along guests to you
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