Harry Goldberg: 00:00:00 Just to add, when we’re talking about raising clients, the education and advice part, if you’re thinking about raising children, and as you’re raising them, you just tell them, “This is the way the world works and this is what you should do.” Without focusing on the empowerment part, then you’re missing the real chance to be able to change their lives and empower them to be able to live their most fulfilled life and a purposeful life at that.
Fraser Jack: 00:00:29 Hello and welcome to The Goals Based Advice Podcast where I have conversations with pioneers of the new world of financial advice. I’m your host Fraser Jack, I want to thank you so much for tuning in today. I also would like to thank our supporting partner, Advice Intelligence for powering this podcast.
Fraser Jack: 00:00:44 If you’re enjoying this podcast, then please help me spread the word. We still have a lot of people in our profession that don’t yet listen to podcasts, and to be fair, it’s mostly because they don’t know how. So the challenge is still out there to you all as your good deed for the week to help your friends and colleagues by showing them just how you listened to podcasts and what you get out of them.
Fraser Jack: 00:01:04 In this episode I chat with Tristan and Harry from Purpose Advisory. The duo based on aligned values joined forces to create a unique offering. They start with coaching both group and one-on-one to become the client’s mentor and life coach as well as their financial advisor. In this catch up with them both, we covered everything from their philosophies to helping their clients live fulfilled lives all the way through to their meeting process and services that they offer.
Fraser Jack: 00:01:33 This is a long episode, but they just kept offering up more and more value, so we kept the conversation going. So sit back and enjoy this therapeutic session as we hit play on my chat with Tristan and Harry.
Fraser Jack: 00:01:47 Welcome to the show Harry and Tristan.
Tristan Scifo: 00:01:49 Hey there.
Harry Goldberg: 00:01:49 Hey.
Tristan Scifo: 00:01:49 Good to see you Fraser.
Fraser Jack: 00:01:50 Thanks for coming on.
Harry Goldberg: 00:01:52 Nice to be here.
Fraser Jack: 00:01:52 Now, do you want to give the listeners a quick overview of just what you guys are doing at the moment?
Tristan Scifo: 00:01:58 Yeah. Harry, you want to kick?
Harry Goldberg: 00:01:59 Yeah, sure. We’ve got a few core parts of our business and what we’re focused on, primarily it’s an advice business with coaching and with life coaching. We’ve always found that most clients will tend to focus on how can we have enough money to be able to stop working, and so they end up living their life for money.
Harry Goldberg: 00:02:20 And the core reframe, which we’re trying to help clients with is find a way that they can actually empower themselves with their money to be able to live the life that they love as opposed to feeling like they’re working so hard for it their whole life.
Fraser Jack: 00:02:33 Yeah. Fair enough.
Tristan Scifo: 00:02:35 Empowerment is definitely the keyword with fulfillment being the end goal, so both of us were financial advisors primarily, that was our skill set. We’ve both been very passionate about life coaching or coaching in general and we’ve brought that into the business. The aim is to have 50/50, financial advice and life coaching.
Tristan Scifo: 00:02:53 And we’ve really started with the financial advice process, but then built around it with a lot of the traditional life coaching tools and then some of the ones that we picked up along the way. So I’d say now we front end and we really focus on helping clients get clear on what they want, who they are, where they want to be, and then we transition towards the strategy piece of okay, how do we do that?
Fraser Jack: 00:03:14 It’s called Purpose Advisory, so it’s like financial advice business with a twist or with a whole lot of extra, should I say?
Tristan Scifo: 00:03:21 Yeah. I started the company myself in February 18. I met Harry about three months later, and we joined forces at the end of that year, so 10 months in. When I chose the name, it was one of those things that you do to like you throw your hat over the wall, or you try and pitch something further than where you know you are at the moment because it was rooted in your vision.
Tristan Scifo: 00:03:39 I am part of a church called Hillsong Church, and the senior pastor there wrote this statement about 20 years ago called The Church I See. And about 20 years later because that was a while ago, we’re very much an example of what he wrote, and he’s written a new version called The Church I Now See, which is the next pitch.
Tristan Scifo: 00:03:57 And that really inspired me, not just because of the type of language he used in the vision statement, but the fact that he’s executed on it, and the whole community’s really rallied around that. So I wrote a similar thing, The Advice Practice I See, and I’ve been mulling over that for about a year, and a half before I started Purpose Advisory.
Tristan Scifo: 00:04:13 And the name is a really clunky name. Some people don’t know how to spell it. It makes for a weird web address in some ways, but it meant a lot to me, and so I ran with it. And then you’re trying to come up with a logo that fits in, how do you come up with a logo for purpose?
Tristan Scifo: 00:04:27 I’m sure someone will help us do it one day, but it’s not so much about the word, it’s more about the sense it means to me, and my hope is that I can live that out as an example for my clients and find people who equally able to live that out, and ultimately let our clients lives be an example of what it means to live a purposeful life, striving for fulfillment as an empowered individual.
Fraser Jack: 00:04:49 Wow. Well said. Let’s go back in time. Tell us how you got to here. We’ll start with you, Harry.
Harry Goldberg: 00:04:55 Yeah, sure. I got out of uni, I did a Bachelor of Commerce/Economics. Wanted to go into financial advice, mainly I just wanted to help people and be in an industry where the client or the customer is not always right. And it took a little bit of ego to start or ego adjustment to start recognizing that there’s a lot to learn out there.
Harry Goldberg: 00:05:17 Start up in a small boutique firm. It wasn’t a good fit or it wasn’t the right culture. Moved across to BT at Asgard on the phones in customer relations. And I was there for a little bit of time while I was on the phones and emails and project stuff and then moved across to Westpac Premium with high net worth clients in one of the partnerships.
Harry Goldberg: 00:05:40 I had a wonderful mentor while I was there. Gradually became an advisor in my own right. And then before royal commission actually, decided it was time to move on from Westpac, wanted to find new ways of doing things. And at the time it was feeling quite restrictive in terms of the capacity to be able to help clients.
Harry Goldberg: 00:06:05 And then I was in a business partnership and it started getting to a point of conversation of do we stick to a traditional financial planning model or is it time to start looking to expand and find something new to do and something different? And we were on different paths in that respect and a completely amicable split.
Harry Goldberg: 00:06:28 And then throughout that time I’ve become quite close to Tristan. We met on XY Adviser group. It was just he was reaching out to other advisors who might be interested in life coaching and financial advice and we ended up connecting, but speaking nothing about finances or financial advice for probably about a few months, at least-
Tristan Scifo: 00:06:48 Four or five months.
Harry Goldberg: 00:06:48 Four or five just building a beautiful friendship, and then it got to a stage of let’s explore whether or not we want to do this together.
Fraser Jack: 00:06:55 Fantastic.
Tristan Scifo: 00:06:58 My backstory starts at a uni degree as well. I did an Actuarial Studies Degree, which six months in I knew that firstly, I didn’t fly in the same league as these other people I was studying with. They were absolute genius and that knocked me down a few pegs. Before that, I really thought that I was pretty crash hot, probably similar to Harry. I’ve got a similar story in that regard.
Tristan Scifo: 00:07:17 But I also realized that the pure technical side of work was not for me and I really wanted to engage with people. So after a year of study abroad in my third year, I came back and pretty much just went to full time work. Still studied, took on a couple of double degrees to extend my studies, but I was working full time in a training company in high schools and that was super rewarding.
Tristan Scifo: 00:07:37 The company was called Rising Generations and it was a team of about 11, and it was family. The CEO was only 27, 28, 29 and ran the best company I’ve ever seen, even to this day. It’s taught me so much about how to build a business and how to grow a team, but more importantly how to value the end users of your service.
Tristan Scifo: 00:07:58 That was super rewarding, but it was also very much one hit wonder business. We’ll go into schools and doing a single day program, changing these kids’ lives. They’d be in tears by the end of it, but the teachers would say, “How do you do this? Where do you get the energy? I can’t deliver this on a yearly basis.” And surely they couldn’t. So I was looking for something more permanent.
Tristan Scifo: 00:08:15 And after a short stint in executive leadership coaching, I was really in the backend of a company and learning a few things there. I actually got the sack because the company was in a downturn and there was no business. I’d really just been trained for six months and I was a bit green around the color as well, so I didn’t see the numbers, I didn’t see what was coming up.
Tristan Scifo: 00:08:36 And so my wife who had just married me two months before getting this letter, I was fired effectively, she had a really hard time that Christmas because she thought that she married someone who was financially stable and everything together and all of a sudden we lost that income. I was a little bit excited because I was looking to where next, but I realized that in order to provide for my family as well as to impact people, I needed a skill set, something a bit more tangible.
Tristan Scifo: 00:09:04 I was too young, I was 24, too young to be a leadership coach. You need a lot more experience under your belt, and so I went and picked up financial advice. I did the AMP Horizons program and the team there, especially in the three month academy are incredible. I know that they’ve trained probably the majority of the leaders of our industry, a lot of the guys from the early year of Horizon.
Tristan Scifo: 00:09:24 Finished that year, came out, joined a great practice in Revesby, Innovative Wealth Management, a guy called Jake who’s a quality advisor, really well screwed on his head and he runs a business very well. We grew all that together, he taught me a lot, he gave me a lot of flexibility to do what I wanted within the practice. I wasn’t profitable for at least a year and a half and he just funded me and believed in me. Such a quality guy.
Tristan Scifo: 00:09:49 And then as I found my feet and got a solid book, I started to explore more the coaching side of financial advice. I started experimenting with things, having modularized coaching sessions. Eventually, I was doing more coaching than advice and I realized I needed to do it on my own, and so I asked if Jake wanted to be involved.
Tristan Scifo: 00:10:06 It wasn’t the right, I guess, direction for him, and so I forged out on the path by myself and very quickly I was like, “I want to do this with someone.” And that’s where I flipped the message onto XY Adviser portal. Got in touch with a few people of which Harry was one, and yeah, we’ve been moving forward ever since.
Fraser Jack: 00:10:24 Wow. Exciting journey. Exciting times too. So tell me now, you guys do a lot of coaching... You talk of coaching and you do mentoring and coaching, and then you have advice. Let’s start with how you separate those two.
Tristan Scifo: 00:10:39 We see it as a singular process and we’re building that process from both ends. Obviously the financial advice part is more known by our industry, but is less known to the client. The client’s more familiar with the coaching side of the process. So what we ultimately did was broke everything up into chunks.
Tristan Scifo: 00:11:00 I’m a big believer if you can modularize things and you can find the right... the optimal fit of how you arrange them, and you can also then make yourself more accessible. For example, I think the first few sessions I trialed were property coaching session. It’s a great case point because we couldn’t offer property advice.
Tristan Scifo: 00:11:17 I had a lot of clients, this was 2013, 14, 15. I’m in the middle of the Sydney boom, everyone’s talking property, everyone’s getting in on it, but they do want a bit of guidance. And there’s too many sharks in the property advice market, it wasn’t even an advice market at the time everyone was commissioned based.
Tristan Scifo: 00:11:32 Even the companies these days who are pure fee for service were still taking commissions at the time, with very few exceptions. I found about two exceptions who I actually trusted, so we’d often refer to them, but I wanted to do a genuine coaching piece before that. So we sculpted out a two hour session, which answered heaps of the questions.
Tristan Scifo: 00:11:49 That would mean that the client knows what they’re looking for before they come to the property advisor and even decide whether the property advice is right for them and the price point there and that sort of thing. And there was a few other examples. The cash flow coaching piece or let’s just call it budgeting is another one.
Tristan Scifo: 00:12:03 It’s quite scoped, it’s quite specific. For some people it often takes more than two hours, we’d have a few followups. Whereas for many people it’s just having a rethink of things, challenging their mindset and the psychology. I would say recommending, ultimately you do, you recommend to shift the way that they’re using their money, shift their bank account structure.
Tristan Scifo: 00:12:22 Say it’s probably worth having a holiday savings account. I’ve met no one who that’s not a good thing for. And then the few other things are much more negotiable, whether you split out your bills and your discretionary into two separate accounts ideally with the two separate cards like what Barefoot would say.
Tristan Scifo: 00:12:36 Barefoot’s been a great help in that regard. There’s a lot of resources to draw from. You don’t have to do it all in two hours. You can get the clients do a lot of pre-work beforehand, you give a lot of homework. You just jump in there and really challenge their thinking and show a few examples of how things work.
Tristan Scifo: 00:12:49 So the cash flow was a second example, and then we just brainstorm like how many other modular sessions could you come up with? And eventually you start moving beyond a short session on ethical investments, and then, why don’t we educate clients on how to work out their own insurance needs?
Tristan Scifo: 00:13:08 It’s not really a vice because you’re not talking any products, you’re just educating them on each of the terms. You give them a bit of back information and then giving them the tools to do it themselves. Obviously there’s limits to them executing the advice process, and that’s a bit of a frustration for us. We want to give insurance coaching, not advice, but we feel a bit sad, I guess to leave the client with their own needs since they know where to go. They have to come back to us.
Tristan Scifo: 00:13:32 But eventually we stumbled our way into even relationship coaching, so let’s work with a couple on how do they talk about money, what role does it play in their relationship, but more importantly, how do they communicate? Harry and myself, both our own journey, we’re married and we both got bubs.
Tristan Scifo: 00:13:48 And it’s important that we’re developing these skills primarily so that we can offer something to our clients.
Harry Goldberg: 00:13:57 The way that I ended up seeing the value in coaching was when I was still in that boutique firm between Westpac and Purpose Advisory and I started asking clients for feedback. And typically, the feedback, which was coming back was, “No, everything’s great.” I was like, “Well, what can I improve on?” “No, nothing. We’re really happy with everything. Why are you asking me... Pushing? Why are you pushing us for this feedback, we just told you everything’s happy. The way happy and everything’s great.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:14:26 “Okay, that’s wonderful, but it doesn’t actually give me any constructive feedback as to what you’re really valuing and what are you as the client valuing most.” And so I’d start asking, “If in another 10 years, if you’re still my client and still such a raving fan in another 10 years time, what would I have done over the last 10 years? What’s required?”
Harry Goldberg: 00:14:51 And then I started getting some much better feedback. And the feedback started coming in in the form of... and this was an example of one verbatim was, “You’ve sorted out our insurances and you’ve helped us with our investments, and so we feel safe and we’re now building our wealth, so thank you. That’s officially the reason we’re paying you.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:15:11 “But the real reason we’re paying you is we walked in here expecting that we’re going to walk out still knowing nothing about our finances, but knowing that there’s someone that we trust with it. And when we walked out, we actually felt empowered to be able to look at our finances as something, which we can actually get more engaged with and can actually make decisions for ourselves.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:15:30 And got similar feedback from another client saying, “Here, look, you’ve helped me out with my insurances and my investments, and that’s great, and that’s officially why you’re my advisor.” It pretty much always started with that. “But the real reason you’re my advisors, we walked in here on completely different terms.” Husband and wife.
Harry Goldberg: 00:15:48 “We walked in here completely different terms and didn’t really know where we were heading and we just wanted more money because we figured that that would be solving the issue and that’s why we looked for a financial advisor in the first place. But when we walked out, we actually... Through our conversations about goals, you’ve actually helped us know where we’re heading and get ourselves onto the same page.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:16:11 And had similar feedback about cash flow and having in depth conversation with clients about cash flow. And so from this I started realizing, well, clients are paying me for one thing, which is they appreciate it, they’re paying me for that, but they’re valuing me for something completely different.
Harry Goldberg: 00:16:29 And so if they’re valuing me for the conversations, which I’m having about goals and cash flow and education, which is mostly challenging them on their ideas and asking some tough questions, which is mostly coaching, then they’re valuing the coaching, but paying for something else. So why would I be charging for something that they’re not valuing [crosstalk 00:16:50]-
Fraser Jack: 00:16:50 Yes. This is a really great point that you both raise actually around the idea of this feedback and asking, it’s very easy to ask for feedback on what we’ve done in the way of we helped you with your insurance and your investments in setting up your structures or whatever you do. And then you go, “How did we do in their thing?”
Fraser Jack: 00:17:06 But it’s the questions that it’s not about those questions, it’s about the questions that you said, “What didn’t we help you with? What was the part that we left you still unknowing?” And as you mentioned around the idea of asking the clients or asking from your client’s point of view, what are the things that they want to know that are not necessarily what we’ve already helped them with?
Fraser Jack: 00:17:26 And then to be able to create those in modules around is it property? Is it cash flow? Is it those sort of things?
Harry Goldberg: 00:17:34 I’d say that comes down to from the advisor’s perspective, a difference between a growth mindset and the fixed mindset. And a lot of advisors in the industry, whether it’s because of their age, their tenure, or how long they’ve been there, or just they’re focused on all of these other threats and frustrations, which they have outside of them and what’s happening with the industry, they tend to not so much focus on how they can grow, but more how they can survive.
Harry Goldberg: 00:18:00 And we’re much more focused on how can we make sure that we’re really empowering clients. And the only way you can do that is finding out what they’re really valuing and what’s most important to them.
Harry Goldberg: 00:18:10 So when you’re asking the difference between coaching versus advice, I’d say there’s a third coin there or a third piece, which we’ve got to incorporate, which is education. So advice, definitely what we’re most familiar with in the industry is here’s a situation and here’s kind of what you’re after and this is what you’ve said that you want.
Harry Goldberg: 00:18:32 Well, here are my recommendations. There’s some product advice, some strategy, and then this is what I recommend you to do. Here’s my advice and here are some alternatives and this is why it’s best for you and these are the risks.
Harry Goldberg: 00:18:45 The education piece is making sure that clients understand what’s happening before you implement it, but our approach to it is to educate them before we even recommend it so that they can basically choose their own strategy from that perspective of educate the client on the various strategies, which could be appropriate for them and then hear their feedback and what they’re going to be most comfortable with.
Harry Goldberg: 00:19:11 Because the only way that... Oh, the best way for any strategy to be successful is if it’s implemented. Only way it’s going to be implemented is if that’s actually put into place and if the client sees the value.
Tristan Scifo: 00:19:24 I mentioned that Harry and I both are parents, I’ve got an 11 month old, Harry is actually like one month away from the arrival of their number one. It’s really exciting. And so we’re early in this game, but I can see millions of parallels between what it’s like to be a parent and what to be an advisor.
Tristan Scifo: 00:19:40 I ran a session on this topic at our recent licensee conference and everyone in the room, oldies and young alike agree, but I would say that not many people are actually doing it, it’s interesting. You really want to identify the people that come to us, like kids. Financially when it comes to these areas, they’re just uneducated, unskilled, and they feel like victims. They really do.
Tristan Scifo: 00:20:00 And they also feel incapable. They feel like their hands aren’t even nimble enough, and so you’re helping to nurture them and to raise them, and a lot of the work we do is like that. It’s like helping a toddler become maybe a preteen, but we don’t want to keep our kids as preteens. That’d be horrible.
Tristan Scifo: 00:20:15 Parents want the empty nest eventually, and I’m a big believer in using that analogy for our clients. If five years into the piece, our clients are still as needy for our service as they were when they first... after the first year let’s say, after we got them all established, then we’re definitely missing something.
Tristan Scifo: 00:20:31 Either we’re a transaction only adviser or we’ve failed in what we’re meant to be doing. And I would extend the fiduciary responsibility for any ongoing adviser to nurturing and growing the client like a child into a fully grown adult who’s confident a victor, not a victim in their finances.
Fraser Jack: 00:20:51 I really love the idea of providing the education, the information... I completely agree with you on the idea of understanding the advice and then making an informed decision, which is what the process is supposed to be about.
Fraser Jack: 00:21:03 The client actually makes the decision that they want to go forth with the advice, not just, it was done to me type mentality, which is how it ends up in litigation at the other end because they don’t understand, but they’re providing that education piece up front I think is really important.
Fraser Jack: 00:21:19 I also see some of the stuff that you’re doing as stepping stones towards advice, as in somebody comes along, they’re not sure. Everybody’s fearful, there’s fear of being ripped off, fear of running out of money. There’s fear of having something done to you and all of the pieces that you’re doing with the workshops you’re doing and the education piece, and providing that coaching support. Is that the stepping stone towards advice?
Tristan Scifo: 00:21:48 That’s one way to see it. And given that it was built with the advice piece established and then bolting on these modules leading up to it, you could say yes, but we’re in the process now of flipping our perspective. Harry and I were both hoping we’d find a business partner who was able to cover the advice side so that we could individually become a Tony Robbins figure ourselves, live the life coaching dream, but we’re both on that side of the fence.
Tristan Scifo: 00:22:15 So practically speaking we’re actually in the process of looking for a third business partner who can really own the financial advice piece. Harry and I would both say that we believe the life coaching part is the... The most important part is actually the real service, and the advice part is the reason people mostly come to us at the moment, and that’s partly how we’ve been positioned.
Tristan Scifo: 00:22:36 It’s also a more I guess acknowledged or well reputed service industry, you pay just as much for life coach as you do for an advisor, but not amongst younger demographics, and it’s not an anticipated or expected thing. It’s still like, oh, they’re a bit flaky. Do they really have something to offer?
Tristan Scifo: 00:22:54 Whereas it makes sense to pay for an advisor if you see everyone else’s doing it, you know it’s a genuine industry to some degree. And eventually you know that your finances are something you need to sort out, there’s much more tangible outcome.
Tristan Scifo: 00:23:07 So sadly I would agree with you, it seems like we’re building this stepping stone path up to advice, but our intention is to make the stepping stones so valuable and so life transformational that some clients don’t even need the advice part at the end. And others will come to us just for that because they realize that’s a real value.
Harry Goldberg: 00:23:28 Just to add, when we’re talking about raising clients, the education and advice part, if you’re thinking about raising children and as you’re raising them, you just tell them, “This is the way the world works and this is what you should do.” Without focusing on the empowerment part, then you’re missing the real chance to be able to change their lives and empower them to be able to live their most fulfilled life and the purposeful life at that.
Harry Goldberg: 00:23:56 And so the advice piece, which comes into it is finding intelligent and compassionate ways to be able to challenge the client on the way they’re thinking, and the way that they’re viewing a particular approach.
Harry Goldberg: 00:24:11 And if you change their perspective, and you change the way they’re focusing on it, and you change the language, which they use around it, and you change the stories and the beliefs, which are all there and ultimately the emotions and then the thoughts and then the actions. And if you can change all of that, then everything else, everything, which you do become so much easier.
Harry Goldberg: 00:24:29 And so when you’re applying that to advice, you got cash flow coaching, so there are two ways, which I could imagine cash flow coaching really being done. On one side you’re telling, “Okay, so how much are you spending? Okay, well, you’re in deficit or you don’t have enough surplus. Let’s find ways that we can just cut back on the budget. Okay, cool. Here’s the new budget, let’s stick to it.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:24:52 Or you take the approach, which clearly from this conversation we believe much more strongly in, which is how much have you been spending? Is your spending in line with your values? Why do you spend the way you spend? And then how do you want to be spending?
Harry Goldberg: 00:25:10 What would an ideal life really look like if you were spending the income, which you have in a way that you’re really intentional about how you’re spending it and every dollar and every cent with your spending or saving is actually bringing you more joy in your life. So then let’s create that vision, which is a budget, and then let’s find a way that we can automate it and track it and actually stick to it.
Fraser Jack: 00:25:33 Yeah, I really loved that the numbers don’t exactly have the raw emotion that the values do and being able to use the values as the behavioral drivers and that people can actually then change their behavior and understand why they’re doing it.
Fraser Jack: 00:25:48 Now, I wanted to pick up on something that you said, Tristan earlier around the idea of relationships. And you said that a lot of the coaching you’re doing is actually around how different people come from different backgrounds with money, and they treat it differently, they see it differently.
Fraser Jack: 00:26:02 And then to be able to work with your clients in the aspect of well, you know what? We’re sitting with two very different people, we need to know, try and negotiate some way. Are these bringing these two ideals together?
Tristan Scifo: 00:26:16 Well, you’re speaking to two avid passionato personality people. Harry and I spend a lot of time to talking about everything but advice as he said. One of the main topics was personality, personality theory, different frameworks. In the last 12 months we both dive very deeply into one specific personality model.
Tristan Scifo: 00:26:34 It’s not a popular or a well known one, it’s actually still in development and we’re part of the research team of people who are helping to not just build a model, but... It’s mostly in place, but we’re now testing it.
Tristan Scifo: 00:26:44 We’re practicing it, we’re doing as many use cases and we’re trying to put together a more scientific proposition so we can say, “Hey, this is slightly objective. It’s not just some sort of mumbo jumbo, answer a few questions and get a tag one in 16.”
Tristan Scifo: 00:26:56 There’s 512 categories and there’s a lot of theory to it and it’s very profound. So we’ve integrated that into all of our practice, especially our coaching. However, we now offer separate personality coaching as a service.
Tristan Scifo: 00:27:10 We very much dovetail that into all our relationship style conversations and we bring insight to each of the individuals so they can not just understand who they are, but what makes them biased or slightly unique to their partner.
Tristan Scifo: 00:27:21 And most clients tend to know, but they haven’t been able to put good language to it. And when you have these conversations, it really elucidates things, even those who are very skeptical of personality theory as a whole love the insights we’re able to bring, and ultimately see their partner in a different light.
Tristan Scifo: 00:27:35 It brings a lot more empathy and ultimately a lot more love and affection as a result and you resolve issues because you have better communication. So we feel that that personality piece has been super key in our development to the stage and will eventually become a mainstay of our business and definitely of our lives individually.
Tristan Scifo: 00:27:52 And I would say of all the skills to develop, coaching for an advisor who’s never really dipped their toe in that pond does seem intimidating. And we know this from a lot of our friends who are wanting to do it and have asked us, “How did you start? What do you do?” I would say personality and getting to know your own and some of these frameworks is a really good place to start because at least there’s some models.
Tristan Scifo: 00:28:13 Repeated or not, there’s a lot of value in them, and when you find ones that worked for you and you find clients respond with, “Hey, that was actually worth my time. I’m glad we spent the 30 minutes chatting about it.” And you’re like, “Oh cool.” You feel that confidence. I’ve got a little tool in my tool kit now I can apply whenever it’s relevant. That’s one example I guess.
Fraser Jack: 00:28:32 Fantastic.
Harry Goldberg: 00:28:32 And so when anyone’s asking us, “Why can you call yourself a life coach? Do you have accreditation?” It’s like, “Well, no I haven’t done a one or two day course to get an accreditation. Here, look, I’m an NLP coach.” It’s purely based on our personal experience and our personal development and our personal growth.
Harry Goldberg: 00:28:51 And so we’ve each gone on this journey or come onto this journey from our own unique ways and from our own unique paths. Mine was very much diving into challenging every single belief system, which I have, and then having an unsatiable thirst for knowledge and for understanding new ways of doing things.
Harry Goldberg: 00:29:13 Why do people do what they do? Why am I doing what I’m doing? Why do I keep doing these same habits over and over again? And so I’d start focusing on different areas of my life that I really wanted to improve, so you can be looking at health, you can be talking about fitness and diet, you can be talking about relationships, you can be talking about influence.
Harry Goldberg: 00:29:34 You can be talking about just how happy you are, mindfulness, spirituality, exploring every single part of the world as we know it, and one of those core pieces was relationships. I’m very fortunate to have a beautiful wife who has been on a growth journey as well and we’ve both been on the journey.
Harry Goldberg: 00:29:53 We joke that even though we’ve been together for about 10 years, we both feel like we’ve been married three times because we’re both completely different people from the beginning. And that’s also as we’re both changing and both evolving, that’s presented some wonderful challenges as well. My wife and I are both very different personalities, and Tristan with his wife too.
Harry Goldberg: 00:30:14 And so we keep trying to find part of something, which we’re doing for ourselves personally is finding new techniques, new tools, new ways to be able to have better, more powerful, more empowering conversations with our spouses.
Harry Goldberg: 00:30:28 Now, when you focus on yourself and how you can improve yourself first and then how you can improve your relationship, you come up with all of these tools and all of these processes, and then it just becomes natural, if you’ve got the right personality and the aptitude for it, it becomes natural to just start using that conversation with clients too.
Harry Goldberg: 00:30:47 And so for myself personally, what made me realize that money in relationships is an actual coaching session. It’s something that we can actually be helping clients with is after I was in Purpose Advisory and one of the clients that I was engaging with, I was asking for feedback afterwards and he was just telling me how much he really loved it.
Harry Goldberg: 00:31:07 It was husband and wife and they’ve got three young kids, and they didn’t really have that much time for each other. And I said, “So, which part did you find most useful?” And he was talking about the cash flow side and creating a structure for their finances. I’m like, “So why was that so useful? Why? What was the emotion in that? Why are you getting emotional while you’re talking to me about it?”
Harry Goldberg: 00:31:33 And he started responding to me with tiers in his eyes that he and his wife never really spoke about finances because they had different views about it, and it would only end up either being in conflict or just something, which they felt like they weren’t able to handle either way or just a bit of a waste of time, and so they wouldn’t really communicate about it.
Harry Goldberg: 00:31:53 And part of what we did was help and set up a structure, and then an actual framework for how they’re having that conversation and how often they need to have the conversation. And his real feedback was, “Not only do we spend time together to work on our finances, but the time we’re spending together is really positive and we feel like we’re doing something together.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:32:18 “And it’s forcing us to actually step away from all the chaos of the world and kids and all that to really be able to focus on each other and spend time with each other. So we’re spending beautiful, practical and effective time together, and it’s just completely changed our lives.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:32:33 And then we realized, wow, the way that you talk about money as opposed to just saying, “Oh, we’ll go do an advisor and the advisor will just tell us what to do and then everything will be okay.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:32:42 Or, “We’ve got enough money for our expenses, we don’t have to talk about it. Let’s keep our head in the sand.” It’s how do we really communicate better about money? Because finances, money, assets, which you have, it’s the same as any resource. It’s a symptom, or if there’s an issue with it, it’s a symptom of whatever the underlying issue is, it’s never the actual problem itself.
Fraser Jack: 00:33:05 That’s a great story by the way. I love the idea that, it’s very easy to get an advisor, they just tell you what to do in the next bit. You’ll do that, it’s the whole logical front brain type thing, oh, it’s just logical, you can do that, but that’s not how humans work. We always had that why in the background and the values in the background that then take over the primitive side of what we do.
Fraser Jack: 00:33:23 And we always tend to follow that more than, even though we know it’s the wrong thing we can always go down that path. Do you have a system and process in place when you’re speaking to your clients to really draw that why out, to draw out those values? Is there any tools or things that you use in that way or is it just part of your conversation? How do you get [crosstalk 00:33:42]-
Tristan Scifo: 00:33:41 It’s a great question especially for, like I said, a lot of the people we speak with, friends and colleagues who want to do it, but they lack confidence, and they’ve tried, but they haven’t really felt they’ve hit it. Harry and I both have personalities and aptitudes to just dive in the deep end, whether we have a system or not.
Tristan Scifo: 00:34:00 So I want to put that preface out there, but I’m much more, I guess, a sucker for wanting to create a system, a structure, a plan, a process. Harry has this amazing inevitability just to be very present with people. He doesn’t let an opportunity pass. If someone says something that could be even partly an excuse, he’ll just challenge them on the spot and he comes with a real directness, but there’s I would say a genuine love.
Tristan Scifo: 00:34:23 I’ve felt that from him and I don’t say that lightly. I have a lot of respect for Harry and his ability and heart to really help people and he’s highly skilled. So in some ways there’s definitely a skill set for coaching, but not just for me, I’m building this process because we want to have a team of coaches.
Tristan Scifo: 00:34:40 We want to have... In my mind, I see 10 is the number. Maybe I’ll get to 10 and after cast the vision out a bit further, but I want to make sure that they all have at least confidence and obviously their own personal journey. But I want them to know that there’s a structure that we’re adhering to both for continuity, but also to help the client feel a bit more confident.
Tristan Scifo: 00:34:59 I’ve found that clients have regularly said things like, “Wow, I really like your graphics, I really like you systems, or I really appreciate that whole set of questions you did.” We have a pre-work survey before every meeting. They roughly are between 20 and 40 minutes of questions, mostly free form or multi-choice or how do you feel about, or how satisfied are you with and the whys, a lot of the whys.
Tristan Scifo: 00:35:21 And we’ll incorporate those answers into not just our conversation, but they often become I guess a result for the client. We have a document called a life plan worksheet, and at the end of our life plan coaching session, which is a two hour goals-focus coaching session, they don’t just have a record of their vision for the future. We capture that in lots of bite sized pieces.
Tristan Scifo: 00:35:43 They have a lot of soundbites of their response to, for example, what’s your life mission statement? What does success look like for you in life? What are the questions that most drive your behaviors? The questions under the surface, for example, in a negative sense, am I really good enough? Do I have what it takes?
Tristan Scifo: 00:36:00 That affects so many of us and even if we wouldn’t really be aware of it, we do stupid things to try and stand out and look good because we’re really asking this question, do I have what it takes? I don’t think so. I better try and prove to me and everyone else around me that I do. In other cases there’s the positive questions of how can I really value my wife in this situation?
Tristan Scifo: 00:36:18 And sometimes we do heaps of stuff like, why am I so stupidly crazily in love with this woman because I really want to show her love? And you know we have both positive and negative questions underneath the hood I guess and it’s great to be aware of what they are because some of them we actually want to change and replace, and others we want to feed and enhance.
Tristan Scifo: 00:36:34 And so these are the things that you can ask a client to answer in their own time before they meet with you, especially if you’ve done the work yourself, and then you can bring up the chat. And to be honest, 60% of the work is done by the client actually engaging with it and becoming aware, because awareness is always not just the first step, but the most important step.
Tristan Scifo: 00:36:53 It then does take a certain level of skill to go, okay, now we’re aware of what’s going on, how do we bring some help or next step to it. You don’t even need to do more than a single next step. If you can give them a taste of progress in an area that they’ve always felt like a victim, that might be the tipping point to switch in their mind for them to go, “Oh, I can do this.”
Tristan Scifo: 00:37:16 Whether with a coach, or with my mate, or with my pastor, or with a paid psychologist, who cares? I can actually grow as a person. And you’ve just shown it to me. Firstly, you exampled it, so thanks for being an authentic, genuine expression of what you’re talking about, but you actually stepped me along. You are my guide and we held hands and took this step together, and I know that I took the step, and I feel epic.
Tristan Scifo: 00:37:38 And a lot of our clients leave our meetings with just that sense, maybe one or two little wins, but I believe a much deeper and more profound revelation that they can actually change who they are and grow as a person as a result.
Harry Goldberg: 00:37:50 And I’d say that to add to it, we’ve got... There are a few components where we’re talking about how you do that coaching piece. The most important part of course is how you’re actually having the conversation with the client and your ability to do that in a loving, empowering, and empathetic way, which Tristan does brilliantly as well, exceptionally.
Harry Goldberg: 00:38:11 And the next part of course is what type of structure do we have around it? Is it just an open conversation about something or is it much more structured and much more focused? Okay, here are the elements, which we’re going to be running through, here are some questions and this will start some of the conversation.
Harry Goldberg: 00:38:28 And some clients prefer one over the other and some advisors, coaches, the way that they’re engaging will prefer one over the other, just depends on dynamics. And the final, which is also exceptionally important is what are the resources for the client after they leave? So it’s all well and good to challenge someone’s psychology and say, “Well, your belief system says this, but that’s not really congruent with these goals, which you have over these objectives or with this vision, which you have for the future.”
Harry Goldberg: 00:38:59 And it’s another thing to say, “Here’s how we’re having the conversation.” But if you let them leave without actually giving them a new pattern or a new empowering way to be viewing life or a new way to be doing things or to keep the momentum going, then at best case the momentum will be lost, and at worst case, they’ll come up with another behavior or go back to where they were before.
Fraser Jack: 00:39:23 Now, give us a quick overview of your, if you’ve got a new client coming in, then maybe they’ve been to one of your group coaching sessions and seen or heard you. They’ve come in, you mentioned that you do the two hour values and goals type conversation meeting. I’ll ask a little bit more about that, but what is the overall process with after that?
Fraser Jack: 00:39:44 Then as you mentioned, you’ve got to give some something back and then create some resources off the back of that. Create I think you called it the worksheet, the life plan work sheet. So give us an overview of how that looks all the way through to the advice.
Tristan Scifo: 00:40:02 We’ve got a complex myriad of services that we’re still trying to make as clear as possible, but ultimately we have an onboarding process, which is pretty simple. Intro call, 20 minutes, ideally face to face over Zoom or on the phone, and then followed up with a discovery meeting. More and more, we’re doing everything online.
Tristan Scifo: 00:40:17 I spent five months in Europe with my family, we just recently got back about four weeks ago. It was fantastic. I had to do everything online. It worked so well that I’m now going to do it 100% of the time if possible with a few exceptions. Harry still has a few meetings in person. It’s really a gift I think for an advisor to do that when we can do it so well online because you can get some additional value in person, but it definitely streamlines things to be purely online.
Tristan Scifo: 00:40:41 You can also record the whole conversation, which we’re now doing from the very first meeting. So if they sign up and let’s say that they don’t pick just a modular service, some people would just want insurance, some people just want a coaching session, but the majority of our clients will sign up for the flagship service, which we call the fulfillment plan. And we have three main coaching sessions, very scoped.
Tristan Scifo: 00:40:59 The first one is the life coaching session. It’s two hours, life plan coaching session, and I explained a little bit about that, but ultimately the objective is to get clear on who you are. We do a lot of work on strengths, weaknesses, personality, values and I guess belief systems.
Tristan Scifo: 00:41:14 We’d start challenging their belief systems and that’s the first real taste they get of our ability as coaches to dig deep into their soul. It’s a little bit overwhelming for them at first, but they get really excited about it. And before the session ends, we then tack and we go big picture vision, we go, “Where do you want to be?” And we do a 10 year picture and we get them to talk it for about half an hour. They get really excited.
Tristan Scifo: 00:41:35 Some people will find that difficult at first and they’ve always found it a bit gimmicky, those activities, but if you can get good at facilitating that conversation and you just capture... And so, we’ll capture it by writing, but we’ll also record the whole thing. Not only did they get a great result of their habit written down, but they get in the slipstream and they start picturing things, especially if they’re visual.
Tristan Scifo: 00:41:53 They’ll see a movie in their head and you just encourage them to talk it out, and eventually they see a picture of who they actually want to be, even though it’s 10 years in the future. It’s actually where they want to be today. And one of the most powerful bits is when they talk about their morning routine.
Tristan Scifo: 00:42:06 You get them to describe in detail from 6:20 AM, what do you do bit by bit, and what they’re really telling you is what they wish they did this morning. And it makes them at the end of it go, “Oh, what can I change now?” All these things start panning out, but you leave that with the client.
Tristan Scifo: 00:42:20 And what we do is we then peel back from the 10 year to a math of milestones and we map out on a little graph, this is all an Excel for now. We’d love to build a Java based app eventually or maybe you have a platform that can help us? You know he’s Fraser, we’ll see what could happen.
Fraser Jack: 00:42:38 Working on it.
Tristan Scifo: 00:42:38 Working on it. We identify what are the timeframes, for example, buying a home, what’s the soonest you can imagine it? What’s the latest that would be still a success for you. And then what’s the cash that you would need?
Tristan Scifo: 00:42:51 This one particular activity for my most recent client, we got to the end of building out the milestones and it comes up with a sum of all the goals you want to achieve in the next 15 years. This is how much capital you’ll need for it including all the deposits and upgrades and things.
Tristan Scifo: 00:43:06 And she was like, “That’s so simple and that’s less than I thought. And I was totally financially insecure, but all I need is $370,000. I can do that in like four years. Wow, wow, thank you.” Because she already had a bit of savings already. But you just put it on the paper and then from that we peel it back a step further and we go, “Okay, so what are your short term goals? What are we going to really do in these next 12 months?”
Tristan Scifo: 00:43:29 And in the time that we spend with them from there on, we really focus on those 12 month goals, but we use the milestones as a backdrop for the advice that we eventually do. Moving quickly, that’s the end of that life plan coaching session. We’ll then do a coaching check-in just a week later to make sure that they’ve implemented some of the homework because there’s a lot of activities they can do on the back of that session.
Tristan Scifo: 00:43:51 But just to see how they’re doing and make sure we have a bit more of a coaching conversation. And then we’ll lock in the next full agenda session, which is a cash flow coaching session. And we’ve got a more detailed processes. Again, a pre-work survey, we talk through a visual map of how the finance finances run.
Tristan Scifo: 00:44:07 We’ve built another spreadsheet, which really assists with the process, but ultimately we tailor the result back. There’s no one size fits all for cash flow for the advisors out there who are doing it well, and there’s some great advisors that do probably better than us, they’ve learned the same.
Tristan Scifo: 00:44:19 You really have to tailor your approach to the client’s preferences and their beliefs as well. And then similarly at the end of that, we do a catch up session or a check-in, and then book in the next session, which is a bit more education oriented and it’s about building an investment philosophy.
Tristan Scifo: 00:44:35 Before we do the advice we’ll identify... We’ll include the risk profile in that conversation because it fits in. We’ll educate the client on what it means, but then we’ll talk about ethical investments, what’s available, what their preferences are.
Tristan Scifo: 00:44:46 We’ll talk about rules of thumb for debt, make sure they’re familiar with a whole range of terms that might be used so that they really have a stack of education in place that we’ve walked them through before we have the advice conversation.
Tristan Scifo: 00:44:58 And in that we actually come up with I guess, it’s like a table of I intend to invest X percent in these sorts of assets and I’ll never aim to have more than X percent, let’s say 20% in cash at any one time in my investment pot. I’ll always have an emergency fund of X. So we make sure we pin all those numbers down, and this is like a rule sheet for the client no matter what opportunity comes up.
Tristan Scifo: 00:45:20 They don’t even have to talk with us because they’ve come up with their own personal investment philosophy that they have agreed to. We’re not advising them on it, we just have a template really. And then that will obviously inform our advice for them as well. And that means that they’re a powerful player in the conversation.
Tristan Scifo: 00:45:34 We’re consulting them as the CEO of their life to be their CFO. Following that, we don’t have a check-in, we go straight to the strategy session. So there’s three solid coaching sessions with a few check-ins before we even get to super insurance advice and investments obviously.
Tristan Scifo: 00:45:51 So then obviously you do your strategy, the SOA implementation. And then we also have an add on at the end and we’ll have one last coaching session, and there’s a few options the client can pick, but we try and prompt them towards a wealth creation method, which doesn’t just require passive outsourced.
Tristan Scifo: 00:46:06 So it could be property development, could be shared trading, it could be starting a business. We obviously focus probably more on encourage them to start a business and that sort of thing because it’s just more powerful and it more aligns with their personal brand and their purpose.
Tristan Scifo: 00:46:19 But we want them to step in to really have, I’d say within three years, every client that’s working with an advisor should have their own strategy that they’re putting their passion and their skills towards. Because I’m a firm believer, you can’t really do better than 10% or you can’t expect to do that in 10% in an outsourced investment even if it’s leveraged, even if it’s good.
Tristan Scifo: 00:46:37 Sometimes, if you invested in Sydney in the last 40 years, you may be got a good effective 15%, maybe better, but I’d say 10% is probably the cap. If you want to do better than that, you got to put your brains to it, you got to be in control, and that’s what we try and do with our clients to empower them to be the real source of their wealth creation.
Fraser Jack: 00:46:55 Compared to your old world, it’s a very long process.
Tristan Scifo: 00:46:59 It is. It takes about four months to do that. Sometimes longer if clients are a bit dilly-dally, so-
Harry Goldberg: 00:47:04 Or if clients are really focused, really want to get through it as quickly as possible, it’s maybe two and a half months.
Fraser Jack: 00:47:10 So it’s almost like the three month financial plan or the four month financial plan. You end up with a plan at the end of it, not after one appointment type thing?
Tristan Scifo: 00:47:17 No. You can like if you... After our onboarding process, you just want insurance advice, we get you to do an online module. So if it’s advice only, we’ve built a number of online modules. We use a platform called Thinkific and we’ve also just hosted a few documents on to read through, so they come slightly educated, but then we’ll go straight to the strategy meeting.
Tristan Scifo: 00:47:36 Is just possible and we always want to have that capacity because horses for courses, but we will always encourage people to go through the real flagship process because that’s what we’re putting our heart and soul into.
Fraser Jack: 00:47:46 Now I want to loop back a little bit. We mentioned the group courses and obviously you created these courses based on consumers questions and answering those questions and where they... and you keep mentioning the word helping, which is great. I love you’re there to help people.
Harry Goldberg: 00:48:00 Empowering.
Fraser Jack: 00:48:01 Yeah. So tell us about the courses, from a practical sense, how do you run them? How do you put them on? How do you get people there?
Harry Goldberg: 00:48:09 There are two types of events, which we do. The first one is one, which we’ve been doing for ages. Tristan was doing it before I came along with Purpose Advisory as well, which is it’s under the banner of Purpose Academy, and it’s two to two and a half hour event once a month in the city on Thursday nights or Thursday evenings. And it could be about different topics.
Harry Goldberg: 00:48:34 Design the life you love, financial freedom is a possible, money in relationships. Our next one, which is going to be in December is personalities, know your personality. And so it’s a lot of fun more for us to just throw ideas out there and see how people are responding to it and also just enjoy the interaction with others and presenting.
Harry Goldberg: 00:48:56 The other type is a much newer creation. Tristan and I were having a chat about this process really takes so long. And we even started having the conversation, maybe do we set up a curriculum and a regimen for clients once they decide to go onto fulfillment package, which is the process that Tristan was describing is called, and say, okay, so every two weeks, there’s a meeting.
Harry Goldberg: 00:49:22 And then you’d get through it within about one and a half months, almost two months. And then that would be a whole lot quicker, and a lot of people like to have results immediately. Now one part of that is obviously results come from each of the sessions at the end of it, but the other part is how do we make it quicker to go through the entire process to empower the clients.
Harry Goldberg: 00:49:43 Now the longest... One of the big stumbling box with doing this with more clients and doing it more regularly is the amount of time it takes to create an SOA. And there’s no way around that unfortunately. Well, technology’s getting better, thank you, but we haven’t yet found a way that it can just be exceptionally quick to just do the SOA and have it done and mark off all the compliance and the research and the product recommendations, all of it.
Harry Goldberg: 00:50:11 And so we started exploring, what if we could do this as group sessions because we want to empower as many people as we possibly can and make sure that this knowledge and this education is much more affordable and accessible. So the way we started brainstorming is how do we do this with a group of people?
Harry Goldberg: 00:50:32 If each of us can be presenting to groups of up to 30 quite comfortably about topics we’re confident with, and we’ve created these tools and systems to run clients through a one-on-one or one-on-two, there’s nothing stopping the two of us with the group of six, eight, 10, 12, maybe 16 clients who are really hungry and thirsty for that knowledge and that empowerment to be able to do it themselves and have access to all our tools while they go through it.
Harry Goldberg: 00:51:00 And so we decided to create an event, which we call The Purpose Experience, which runs over two consecutive Saturdays. The first day is about life planning, which is everything, which Tristan was talking about from the coaching side.
Harry Goldberg: 00:51:15 And the second is with regards to wealth strategy, which is wealth education and understanding different types of products without actually mentioning specific products or recommending them to any particular provider, but more so that they can look at their super statement and actually feel like they’re able to say, “Hmm, am I paying too much here?”
Harry Goldberg: 00:51:35 “Are these investments in line with the way that I actually want to be building my wealth? I’ve got insurance in this. Do I actually want to keep it or do I need to look for something else somewhere else?” And our hope is that most clients will be able to finish that without actually needing to get advice from us afterwards.
Harry Goldberg: 00:51:53 But then if they want to continue with financial advice, then obviously that would be available, discounted.
Tristan Scifo: 00:51:59 And the hope is really that we can tap among many other objectives, we want to tap the market who just skirt along the edge of advice and never really take it up. And you’re probably familiar with these people, they might be friends of yours. They typically have friends who are financial advisors, they’re always asking, picking up questions, but they’ll never go see an advisor because they don’t want someone to tell them what to do.
Tristan Scifo: 00:52:16 They don’t trust the industry, they probably don’t even trust super generally, but they ultimately want to be in control and that’s why they neglect their finances because they don’t feel in control. We want this to be a solution for particularly that sort of person and anyone who would at least fit into a similar mold where we can empower them to at least be in the best position possible to have a crack themselves.
Tristan Scifo: 00:52:34 And if it prompts them to do more and maybe even fail along the way, then if they really need it, they’ll come back to us. And we always have the door open obviously for financial advice at the end, then we offer discounts and services accordingly. But I believe that market is bigger than any of us know.
Tristan Scifo: 00:52:52 And psychologically a lot of people fall into it even if it’s just for certain times of their lives, especially younger people. And our business focuses on 24 to 44, so we’re always focusing on the younger demographic.
Tristan Scifo: 00:53:02 Obviously, there’s other people who just like to learn in a group and want to be in a cohort experience, and then the last demographic for this event would just be people who see our price point and go, “Wow, how much service you’re offering, that’s probably a really fair price, but it’s still more than I was expecting to pay. Do you have something cheaper?”
Tristan Scifo: 00:53:19 “Well, yeah, we do. Do you want to do it in a group and have pretty much half price if not better.” “Wow. Really? Okay.” That’s the logic there.
Fraser Jack: 00:53:26 It does sound very logical. Now, I want to quickly go back to the Academy, the group sessions that you’re running on a Thursday night in the city here in Sydney. How do you get to below? Do you charge for it? Is it a free event?
Tristan Scifo: 00:53:42 Yeah, we charge five or $10, so big price at the door. To be honest, getting people along is the bane of my life. I find it really hard. Harry is better at it than I, and we have a fantastic marketing friend who helps with that part of the business, but it’s all the parts of the business, is the part that drains me almost the most because both Harry and myself love the experience.
Tristan Scifo: 00:54:03 We love being there, we’re both natural educators and connectors. And I’m very natural as a teacher as well, but filling the seats takes a lot of energy. We pay a bit on Facebook marketing, we always have the event on Eventbrite and Facebook and we always plug it on Meetup as well.
Tristan Scifo: 00:54:20 We’re always getting friends to come along and always inviting them to bring others. We invite our business partners to bring people and you tend to get somewhere between eight and 20 people. When you get eight in the room, initially you feel a bit deflated and I’ve learned to just be used to it and make the most of it and then learn that sometimes eight is the best size, you can actually get more done.
Tristan Scifo: 00:54:39 But at the same time you want a growing crowd, you really do want to see more and more people come along and see people come back. And it’s an inconvenience to come along to a wealth event in the city and people don’t really know what they’re getting themselves into before they come.
Tristan Scifo: 00:54:51 And to be honest although we’ve put a lot of energy in, our marketing isn’t as sharp as it could be, so where we’re still growing in that regards and hopefully as our team grows, we’ll get the right skill to really own that. We’ve got an intern starting next month and her role is going to primarily be to market the December event and she’s only around for nine days.
Tristan Scifo: 00:55:09 So we’re testing things like this because when I see something like that that drains at least my own energy, I want to find a fix for the business so that we can really thrive in the area.
Fraser Jack: 00:55:18 It seems weird, doesn’t it? That you know that they walk out with so much value-
Tristan Scifo: 00:55:22 Oh, yeah.
Fraser Jack: 00:55:23 ... for their five or 10 parts, and yet it’s still hard to fill seat.
Tristan Scifo: 00:55:27 It is and it makes sense. If I was in their situation and didn’t have the interest I had, I’d probably be the same. My life is always so full with stuff I’m passionate about and people have their own reasons, but compared to doing online webinars, which we’ve flirted with the idea, I think being in the room with people is such a fresh experience.
Tristan Scifo: 00:55:44 And for those that do walk out, you can offer so much value that... That’s probably the best way to scalp a value from Harry and I. And we have a couple of people like this, they come along to like seven or eight of these sessions. They’d probably get the equivalent of the whole multi-thousand dollar package just by asking questions and sticking around, credit to them.
Tristan Scifo: 00:56:03 I remember when Opal cards came out in Sydney, it might be different states, but the mayor said, “We’ve come up with a game. If you do eight trips it becomes free after that.” And there’s a few other things like that. Use the system like a game and get the most value out of it. And a couple of people within months realized that you could start a business where you tap on and tap off like eight times on Monday because the system starts on Monday.
Tristan Scifo: 00:56:26 The card’s already maxed out, and then you can sell this card to someone who travels from 20, 30 kilometers out of the city into the city every day for about 40 bucks because they’re spending 50 anyway. So it became a racket and they shut it down, which is a shame, but I very much see it like that.
Tristan Scifo: 00:56:42 We want to create a model, which is complex enough that people can gamify it. Now, if you’re going to take advantage of us a little bit for your personal development, go for it man, value us in the meantime, respect us, give credit where credit’s due, but we want to make as much resource available to help people on their various journey. That’s my thoughts there.
Fraser Jack: 00:57:01 I do like the freemium model in a sense where you say, “You know what, you can get some great value for a very low cost and you can go off and do it.” But those people tend to then... You say to those people, “Can you bring more people to the events next time?” And then the friends of theirs might end up being the clients. There’s value in your business in providing and having somebody fill that seat.
Tristan Scifo: 00:57:21 Given you a seat.
Harry Goldberg: 00:57:23 And the other side of, when you’re talking about longer term marketing, naturally as we have more people come along to the events and we know the types of people who are coming and the types of people who are there, from a marketing perspective, we have a more specific and more specified database to be targeting those prospects who could be coming along.
Harry Goldberg: 00:57:44 And so we haven’t actually been treating these events or these Purpose Academy events as a marketing platform. It’s really just we love adding value and just going out and doing it and we explore the ideas together and we have fun presenting, and it’s all really good fun.
Harry Goldberg: 00:58:01 But we’re starting to realize that this is actually a wonderful marketing platform and we may start using in the future as more of an induction for people who want to get a feel for what we do and what we’re about to come and check us out first, try before you buy per se.
Harry Goldberg: 00:58:19 But the core of it still will always be how can we keep having fun, test out new concepts, and before we officially charge for it, how can we trial it with others and see where people are really gaining the value from?
Fraser Jack: 00:58:34 Now, I wanted to talk to you about goals. You mentioned before that you do a lot of work in both the discovery session and the session that you have around the life planning, and then you at that point you’re getting them tell their goals.
Fraser Jack: 00:58:47 A lot of people struggle with this goals conversation to be able to say, “I ask the client what their goals are and they don’t really know and they don’t really know how to go deeper than that.” Are you finding that goals are coming out a lot very easy now that you’re getting-
Tristan Scifo: 00:58:58 Super easy.
Fraser Jack: 00:58:59 Super easy now that you getting into the values, you’ve done that for them?
Tristan Scifo: 00:59:02 You can’t get away from... If you go to the sessions, you will get a fully described map of what you want. And unless you’re lying to yourself and to your adviser, it’ll be powerful no matter what.
Tristan Scifo: 00:59:12 And if people are finding it hard to create that process or to have the experience, it’s really simple solution. I say this to the advisor, “Go pay a coach to help you dig out your personal goals deeper than you’ve ever done before.” Because for me, that’s been the number one life transformation point to feel confident, to deliver what I’m delivering and also to have material that I know makes a difference because I pay for it for myself.
Tristan Scifo: 00:59:37 I went through the journey myself and subconsciously, it gave me the permission to start really believing that I can charge for this sort of thing because I’ve also paid someone even more for the same thing and it’s changed my life. And now I can be an example and it’s authentic.
Tristan Scifo: 00:59:53 And more than that, the people that I initially paid become not just friends, but father figures and mentors and are now backing our business in many ways and championing, and they’re my board of advisors who I go to for questions and things like that.
Fraser Jack: 01:00:08 Fantastic. Now, let’s look at the near future. How do you see it? There’s a lot of change going on within the industry, becoming a profession, there’s a lot of education happening in bits and pieces, all these moving things. There’s advisors dropping out of the official advice system, maybe moving towards coaching. How do you see the future planning out?
Harry Goldberg: 01:00:26 When you’re talking about the near future of the industry, I think that the industry has tremendous potential, tremendous, but the core part, which Tristan and I believe needs to happen in order to be able to move in that direction is for advisers to stop charging based on product.
Harry Goldberg: 01:00:50 I’m not just talking about insurance commission, which will always, and I’ll say every single time will influence the outcome of the conversation for the client, but also-
Tristan Scifo: 01:01:02 No matter how fantastic and well-intended you think you are, this is a pure behavioral psychology point that underlying incentives always influence the result. And there’s so much research on this out of the financial advice space. I don’t know why no one’s done a research project on the impact of commissions on advice.
Tristan Scifo: 01:01:21 It’s a very simple research project to do, doesn’t take much funding and I’m certain of what the result will be. Maybe that’s the reason why no one’s done it for the others.
Harry Goldberg: 01:01:30 There’s no money in doing it and not great for-
Tristan Scifo: 01:01:33 It’s not good for the insurance.
Harry Goldberg: 01:01:36 ... the insurance companies or for the industry as a whole when you’re talking about a loss of revenue as something, which is scary. And even if you’re saying “No, I just stick very religiously to my insurance philosophy, which I’ve created, well, have a look at your insurance philosophy. How’s that comparing based on if you’re being paid commissions versus if you’re not.” And it just ends up being a very different conversation hugely.
Harry Goldberg: 01:01:58 And the other side is charging based on funds under management. So charging a percentage or tier the amount based on how much money your client’s investing is an old model, it’s very product focused. And until we move away from being paid for the product and start focusing on being paid for a service, then it changes the entire conversation that we’re having with the client.
Harry Goldberg: 01:02:22 And until we do that, the industry is going to struggle to move forward and it’s going to struggle in our opinion to improve its own reputation as well.
Fraser Jack: 01:02:29 Now moving towards that independent word, the independent word. How are you guys tracking it? What are your goals around that?
Tristan Scifo: 01:02:39 I’ve got baggage, let’s call it. When I moved down in my previous business, I purchased 42 of my existing clients. I left all the profitable ones behind and took on my young dudes and girls, which was awesome because I would say 80% of them were my best mates to be honest, family and friends.
Tristan Scifo: 01:02:53 But I wanted to respect my business partner and made sure I paid for that, and most of them were on... Well, they are all on percentage based fund and a commission. I had attempted when I first worked in that practice to argue for no commission. I was given the concession of I have to have commission, but I can do it level most of the time, so most of them are on level.
Tristan Scifo: 01:03:16 But they’re also like 30,000 in super, or 100,000 in super, so even though we were capping out our previous services at six grand, a lot of them were paying about 800, 1200, maybe $200 a year. I bought them at a low price, but it means that most of them, they’re still on the same arrangement because it’s actually less than our lowest tier price.
Tristan Scifo: 01:03:37 They’re still getting pretty good service. They don’t get our full flagship ongoing service package until they upgrade, but they’re getting it like half price. So as a result, there’s still commission coming in and there’s still a percentage based fee.
Tristan Scifo: 01:03:48 My intention with those clients, and maybe this will work for other practices in a similar position is at whichever point they choose to switch, then immediately we rebate all their commissions. That’s what we offer any way to new clients. We actually dial down commissions to zero because I just find it simpler.
Tristan Scifo: 01:04:02 I know there’s marginal benefit in keeping the commission and paying it to the client, but just a whole stack of admin that someone has to pay for, so the clients will end up getting that commission back and then we’ll switch from the percentage to the flat fee. All the new clients paying flat fee, no questions asked, and we’ve got enough tiers that you can pick the level that suited to you. That’s kind of my story.
Harry Goldberg: 01:04:21 A lot of new clients... We’re talking about where we’re going moving forward. Obviously we’re changing all existing clients as we’re able to across to a fixed fee and flat and based on the packages and the services they’re receiving. A lot of the insurance providers now are giving you the option to just have all insurance premiums just rebated to the client without [inaudible 01:04:45] the need to go to the advisor at all. I love that.
Harry Goldberg: 01:04:47 It just makes the cost of insurance so much cheaper for the clients and avoids us having to have the administration nightmare with it. And a lot of clients, even though they can pay for the advice fees through super, they respect the super and respect the cost of the advice, and they’re just like, “No, just invoice it to me, and I’ll just pay it. I’d rather do that.”
Harry Goldberg: 01:05:08 Now this is obviously something that should be much more ideal once advice fees are deductible for clients, and then sole purpose test all those sorts of things when they come into play. But the shift in mindset for clients of, no, I actually really value this, stop charging my super because I value that as well, just charge me.
Harry Goldberg: 01:05:30 Just send me an invoice, and I’ll pay for it. I really like these services, and I really appreciate the service. That’s a shift, which I don’t believe would be possible if we’re still charging a percentage based on how much is or tiered based, based on how much is actually in the client’s portfolio.
Harry Goldberg: 01:05:47 What got me thinking on this was when I realized I had a client with 1.3 mill farm and another client with 600 K farm and I was as recognized and I was doing very similar service for the both of them, but I was charging one almost double than the other. How does that make sense?
Harry Goldberg: 01:06:04 And typically when we challenge other advisors on that, they’ll start saying, “No, well, we charge the other one’s more than that, it justifies the way that we’re able to charge the other ones less.”
Tristan Scifo: 01:06:14 And don’t forget the PI insurance.
Harry Goldberg: 01:06:15 Yeah. Don’t forget that PI insurance and all these costs, and I’ve got to do more education. And the question that we asked back is, have you told that to your client who you’re charging more to? Or how does the client who you are charging more to feel about the fact that they’re subsidizing the one who can’t pay as much?
Fraser Jack: 01:06:35 It’s an interesting system, isn’t it? Reflects our tech a little bit in a way there in a way too, doesn’t it? Somebody will [crosstalk 01:06:41]-
Harry Goldberg: 01:06:41 They need solutions.
Fraser Jack: 01:06:44 Thank you for that. We’ve run a bit out of time here. Tell me if you’re speaking to somebody that you’ve just met that’s thinking about getting advice, a consumer, what tips do you tell us consumers?
Harry Goldberg: 01:06:57 As in how to find an advisor?
Fraser Jack: 01:07:00 Yeah. What should they be doing?
Harry Goldberg: 01:07:04 There are few things around this. First, very strongly I would say, find an advisor who you really align with, one who you can relate to and you feel that they understand you. Find one who’s done a lot of that personal development themselves to be able to show you... Well, basically whenever they’re looking at your finances, in their mind they’re thinking, “Okay, these finances are supposed to support you loving life. It’s not the other way around.”
Harry Goldberg: 01:07:32 The goal is not to have as much money as possible, but to be able to enjoy life as much as possible then reach your goals. Also I would say find an advisor who’s not conflicted in any way, and so the easiest way to do that is just how they’re actually charging. Are they receiving insurance commission? Are they charging based on funds under management?
Harry Goldberg: 01:07:54 Are they or is it purely a flat fee just for an SOA no matter what it includes or is it modularized based on what’s actually being received? And then of course, make sure that you’re going to be getting more value than what you could possibly receive otherwise. If you’re not paying for something upfront or if you’re promising to pay for something later, then it usually ends up being more expensive.
Harry Goldberg: 01:08:16 And so when you’re finding someone, find someone who’s relatable, someone who has confidence in what they’re doing, you can tell their conviction, you can tell that they’re competent, and you can tell they’re authentic and loving as well. And if they’ve got the same values as you, then it really helps in finding a way to really connect with them.
Fraser Jack: 01:08:33 Fantastic. And if you’re chatting to other advisors out and if they’re trying to get into more of the coaching side, what tips do you give to those advisors?
Tristan Scifo: 01:08:44 A similar piece of advice. Harry jumped straight to finding an advisor. We could give you tips of get a budget, but we focused on building a relationship with someone who’s going to take you to the next level, and I would say the same thing to the advisor.
Tristan Scifo: 01:08:55 I’ve said it already, get a coach yourself to work out your goals, but my marriage is seven and a bit years old and we’ve got the most beautiful little 11 month old girl, and Renee, she’s my wife and myself have a really fantastic life with heaps of pain on a regular basis and in our past as well that we’re working through because there’s a lot we need to work on.
Tristan Scifo: 01:09:14 And our marriage would have ended 50 times over if it wasn’t for three specific people who have had to be intentional about pursuing. One of them I pay... Or two of them I paid at least once. One of them I paid for a while, and the other one and a half have just been those amazing mentor figures that played through.
Tristan Scifo: 01:09:28 And it wasn’t a one off encounter, these are relationships who I see regularly and who sadly we have to call regularly. One of these couples, we’d go to their place when it gets the worst and the darkest, and that’s someone that both my wife and myself know. They can call us out on things and they’ll tell us things to do and we’ll both do it.
Tristan Scifo: 01:09:46 And that’s in terms of relationships, and I eagerly seek those type of roles for all parts of my life, including for our business, for my health, and for my personal finances, and especially for the work that we do.
Tristan Scifo: 01:09:59 But I would say for another advisor, who are your mentors? And who have you paid for life coaching? Who have you paid for financial advice? I’m a big believer in looking for advice or someone at least who can be a sounding board, a dashboard.
Tristan Scifo: 01:10:14 And then for the parts of your life that are the darkest where you actually feel like a victim, who have you garnered on your, we call it the dream team? We’re a big believer in building a dream team around you. Who can be an example to you of how to live?
Tristan Scifo: 01:10:26 And then lastly, who do you watch, read, and listen to? Who do you love to consume? I’m a big fan of a guy called Jordan Peterson, if you’re familiar with him and a handful of others as well, but in the last 18 months, I’ve absorbed more of his life than any other individual on the planet and it’s left me a much bigger person as a result.
Fraser Jack: 01:10:46 Fantastic. Now, if you go back in time and give yourself some tips and advice, where would you go? What would you do?
Harry Goldberg: 01:10:52 The tips as an advisor that would change my career?
Fraser Jack: 01:10:55 Well, if you get back in time and give yourself some advice, what would you say?
Harry Goldberg: 01:10:58 How far back are we talking about?
Fraser Jack: 01:10:59 Anything.
Harry Goldberg: 01:10:59 Anything, all right. I’d look back to myself when I was in my teens and I’d challenge myself on whether or not I was being authentic with what I was doing. How much am I focused on what other people think of me, or how I’m impressing others, or where I stand in the community, or in the society, or whatever it is, and focus a whole lot more on how can I be more of myself, and if I don’t like myself, be honest with it, be honest about that and find ways to improve and grow.
Harry Goldberg: 01:11:34 And man, I wish I started that journey earlier because waiting until I was 25, 26, 27, until actually starting that journey was tough.
Fraser Jack: 01:11:45 But at least you did it.
Harry Goldberg: 01:11:46 Yes.
Tristan Scifo: 01:11:47 I would go back to age 10. I’m a bit scared of this because my life is panned out the way it has because of the decisions I made, but I know in hindsight that I made this decision, this inner oath that I was my own man and I didn’t need anyone. And it drove me to push myself really hard to achieve stuff, which on the surface looks decent, looks pretty good.
Tristan Scifo: 01:12:08 But I would have hung out with myself for about three years and just been like that father figure that I felt I didn’t have and help myself to be able to love myself and really value connection, desire connection more to push for it, and to realize there’s much more that can be achieved together. We’re better together, than can be achieved on your own.
Fraser Jack: 01:12:29 Fantastic. Gentlemen, thank you for coming and sharing your stories. I really appreciate it. How can people get hold of you or catch up with you who want to continue the conversation?
Harry Goldberg: 01:12:37 Reach out to Purpose Advisory, can find us on our website, you can book in for a call. It’s fine. We’re happy to have a chat.
Tristan Scifo: 01:12:43 Yeah, you can find our calendar online. Just spook right in and make an intro call. And whether you’re another advisor or a potential client or someone who just wants to chat and connect, we can have a zoom conference straight away and get going.
Harry Goldberg: 01:12:56 Purpose Advisory on Facebook or either of us or Purpose Advisory on LinkedIn probably easiest places to start.
Fraser Jack: 01:13:01 Fantastic. Thank you so much. Really appreciate you sharing. It’s been fantastic. There’s some great nuggets I’ve gotten here for people that... for most advisors actually are wanting to look at coaching in their business, so thank you.
Tristan Scifo: 01:13:12 Fraser, thanks so much for the opportunity. This is a really fresh conversation. Knowing you personally only opens up all the more, but you got a really sharp hunger for what is setting the trend in our industry and what’s going to take us to the next level, and we need more people like you to be voices and champions for us advisors.
Fraser Jack: 01:13:29 Thank you.
Harry Goldberg: 01:13:29 Thank you, Fraser.
Fraser Jack: 01:13:30 Thank you.
Harry Goldberg: 01:13:30 I appreciate it.
Fraser Jack: 01:13:30 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.