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Podcast Transcript

Episode 87, Season 1

GBA on tour at the FPA Congress 2019 with Phil Thompson


Phil Thompson: 00:09 Welcome to the Goals Based Advice podcast. Today I’ve got a special guest here. We have Fraser Jack here at the FBA Conference 2019.

Fraser Jack: 00:21 Thanks for having me, Phil.

Phil Thompson: 00:22 It’s even called the FBA Congress, actually.

Fraser Jack: 00:24 Congress? Yeah. Yeah. On tour.

Phil Thompson: 00:26 On tour. We’re in the back of the van with a surfboard table. So, what are you most looking forward to at this congress?

Fraser Jack: 00:34 Well, it’s been a pretty full-on getting ready for this congress. We had to bring the kombi in for the poddy, the podcast, and had a bit of trouble getting the door open actually.

Phil Thompson: 00:44 Did you?

Fraser Jack: 00:45 Bit of a malfunction went on behind the scenes with the good old kombi van. Didn’t want to let us into the back of it. So, it was a little bit of stress getting set up. But we’re here now. We’re all good.

Phil Thompson: 00:55 So, I know it’s an audio medium, but this thing is amazing. If you haven’t checked out the Facey page, the LinkedIn page of the Goals Based Advice podcast, you need to check it out just to have a look at this kombi van.

Fraser Jack: 01:09 Yes, we’ll throw some photos up. It is a cracker, isn’t it?

Phil Thompson: 01:13 Where’d you get it from?

Fraser Jack: 01:14 I hired it. Hired it from a wedding hire place where people do their wedding photos in the kombi van. And you don’t often walk around a financial advice conference and see a really old kombi van sitting there so, it’s a little bit different.

Phil Thompson: 01:14 That’s right.

Fraser Jack: 01:31 People are coming up and taking photos of it. So, it’s a bit of fun.

Phil Thompson: 01:32 It’s not the most comfortable. What is this seat doing? It’s angling forward.

Fraser Jack: 01:36 That’s a seat that I think probably turns into a bed. This is actually my accommodation for the week. I’m going to sleep in here.

Phil Thompson: 01:43 Fantastic. Wonderful. How’ve you been, Fraser?

Fraser Jack: 01:44 Mate, I’m really good. I’ve been really good.

Phil Thompson: 01:46 Give me your top three sessions you’re looking forward to joining.

Fraser Jack: 01:51 I think there’s a guy on tomorrow about midday doing a session on the future of SOAs. I think his name is oh, Fraser Jack, actually.

Phil Thompson: 01:58 Oh wow. He’ll be amazing.

Fraser Jack: 02:01 He’s doing a session so we might have to do a recap of that and chuck a poddy up.

Phil Thompson: 02:05 Better interview him.

Fraser Jack: 02:06 Yes. I should interview him actually. That’s a good idea. It’s a good idea. To be fair, the sessions look pretty good but I’m not actually going to get to get to many of them, but I am going to get to speak to a whole lot of the speakers and drag them off stage, drag them into the back of the kombi van.

Phil Thompson: 02:06 Invite them. Invite them back in.

Fraser Jack: 02:24 In the most politically correct way, yeah. Invite them into the back of the kombi van and have a chat. So, I’ll get to have the sneak preview, the shortened version of all the presentations and find out what’s going on.

Phil Thompson: 02:35 If I may, what is your favorite question to ask your podcast guests?

Fraser Jack: 02:41 Oh, well actually you know what the question I’m going to ask while we’re on tour down here is? I really want to know what the big changes are that planners have to think about for 2020. What are the things, what are the tangible things that they need to think about and do and change going forward?

Phil Thompson: 02:57 It’s a good question. How many advisors are you getting on the poddy?

Fraser Jack: 03:03 At the moment, last week we had about 1,000 downloads per week.

Phil Thompson: 03:07 How many guests, sorry.

Fraser Jack: 03:08 Oh, how many guests? We’ll probably get about 15 people coming through during this congress, yeah.

Phil Thompson: 03:15 And how many of them are advisors?

Fraser Jack: 03:17 At the moment we’re mostly going to be speakers, but I will drag a few advisors. Got a guy called Phil Thompson I’ve been trying to catch up.

Phil Thompson: 03:24 Amazing guy.

Fraser Jack: 03:24 Yeah, he’s a seasoned advisor.

Phil Thompson: 03:26 Amazing. Brilliant.

Fraser Jack: 03:27 Been trying to get him for over 12 months now.

Phil Thompson: 03:30 Yeah.

Fraser Jack: 03:31 From the very first day we started the podcast we’ve been trying to get Phil on.

Phil Thompson: 03:34 I’ve actually heard rumors. All you need to do is ask and he will be here within a heartbeat. I mean that’s the rumor going around. All you need to do is say, just whisper and he’ll be in, he’ll be ready to go.

Fraser Jack: 03:49 You’d think so, but every time we try to get them all and he’s got some excuse up his sleeve as to ...

Phil Thompson: 03:54 Not too sure about that. I’ve heard, again whispers, rumors, he’s actually asked to be on about 1700 times and every single time apparently, I mean again rumors, you’ve been too busy for him.

Fraser Jack: 04:17 I wouldn’t believe that. Oh, that’s only a rumor.

Phil Thompson: 04:17 Just a rumor, okay. Just gossip.

Fraser Jack: 04:17 I wouldn’t believe that. Yeah. Yeah.

Phil Thompson: 04:17 Just gossip and slander?

Fraser Jack: 04:18 We’d be more than happy to have him on. Now, you’re here actually. But you’re also presenting at the ... not presenting your got some stuff you’re working with.

Phil Thompson: 04:23 Yeah, we’re doing some work with Steve Crawford and the Advice Movement. So, helping advisors get 2020 ready. So, not 2020 vision, my friends, getting 2020 advice ready. So, taking someone from a client referral and how to think about communicating the value that you provide just in that initial engagement. And then record a quick, simple video to engage that referral client and then talk about how do you start improving your business and being more efficient through the use of Calendly. So, calendar bookings, through the use of video and communicating your value in a really short, sharp way. So you can be 2020 already.

Fraser Jack: 05:08 So, this is a practical thing, right? Because you’re not just talking about it, you’re going to physically turn the camera on and hit record.

Phil Thompson: 05:16 We have Naomi Christopher, incredible expert about branding. She’s with Implemented Portfolios. She’s here to encourage people to talk about, think about ways that they can communicate their value, their ideal client, the client avatar. And then I help them out, sorry, Phil Thompson, I’ve heard, helps them out with the videos.

So, actually, we’d sit in front of a camera, we turn it on, not very daunting, literally just the laptop. They’re the only people who will see the video that they record and just help them talk about how to record a video, how to feel comfortable. And then they record the video and then they go from that and talk to Peter [inaudible 00:05:57]. If that’s how you say it.

Fraser Jack: 05:58 I don’t think so. That’s definitely not how you say it.

Phil Thompson: 06:02 [inaudible 00:06:03]. My good friend, Peter D, I think that’s why she shortened it to, Peter D.

Fraser Jack: 06:07 She’s going to stab you when you get out of this van.

Phil Thompson: 06:11 So, Peter D then talks to people about how to actually implement this in your business, how to make it more efficient. So, no back and forth email trying to book a meeting. Let’s just implement Calendly. Let’s just think about doing virtual meetings. So, really just super practical, let’s actually just get this set up. Let’s do some coaching around how to actually implement this stuff.

Fraser Jack: 06:32 I love the idea of getting super set up. I love the idea of practical implementation too. Just being able to say, “Just do this one thing or do these two things and then do those things.” And then so talk to me about the videos. If I’m sitting in front of you, what are you saying to me about doing video?

Phil Thompson: 06:47 So, Naomi’s gone through her script already by the time you get to me. So for me, you’ve already got a script on, this client referral and so it’s already on the computer ready to go. And all I do, no lights, nothing exciting, just my laptop. And we just set up a loom, so, the software’s loom. So, we set that up, set you up with an account and we hit record and then it’s all ready to go.

All you need to do is read your script and I’m just there coaching them to be more comfortable in front of the camera. Things to think about, how to frame the camera. Just super basic things.

Fraser Jack: 07:24 So, you set up the account for the planner?

Phil Thompson: 07:26 Yeah, that’s right. So, after we’ve done the video, we show them how we’d template that through Gmail. So, you just use a Gmail template.

Fraser Jack: 07:35 Is this a free software?

Phil Thompson: 07:36 Yeah. Free. It’s kind of a freemium, you know how they work.

Fraser Jack: 07:40 Yeah.

Phil Thompson: 07:40 Where it’s are free for a certain number of videos.

Fraser Jack: 07:43 Yeah.

Phil Thompson: 07:44 So, it’s already signed up when they get to me, I already signed them up and then we send them a follow-up email with their login and password, that we’ve already kind of just done a generic password and then they can go in and start implementing it in their business. They’ve come through, realize how easy it may be and then they can just start sending one or two a month and just slow implementation. Nothing exciting, no big changes to their whole system, just something really small and practical.

Fraser Jack: 08:12 This is taking the first steps, isn’t it?

Phil Thompson: 08:14 That’s right.

Fraser Jack: 08:15 Getting the competence to take the second and third step.

Phil Thompson: 08:18 Yeah. Exactly. This sounds like more of an interview, Fraser, we got a bit too serious.

Fraser Jack: 08:20 Oh, sorry. You’re supposed to be interviewing me.

Phil Thompson: 08:22 Yeah.

Fraser Jack: 08:24 So, tell me about Phil Thompson. Everybody has been asking me what’s Phil been doing? And I’m like, “Ah. I just can’t get a hold of him.” But, what’s Phil been doing?

Phil Thompson: 08:32 I’ve been putting my head down, bum up and working hard is my view of the world actually, in terms of my financial planning business is just minimize the scope of advice that we provide to clients. So, my view of the world is you’ve got to do two things. You’ve got to either grow and scale and have individual advisors looking after individual areas of advice, or if you want to be a small business with a solo practitioner or one or two advisors in the business, you need to scope your advice.

You can’t be all things to everyone or you can’t even be all things to a niche area. You need to just really niche down into a area of advice because the compliance risk is far greater than it ever has been, as well as the complexity. The financial products aren’t getting less complex.

And so, therefore, my world view is we need to reduce the scope of advice. So, that’s what I’ve done this year, is really reducing my advice that I give to clients. So, predominantly doing insurance advice. So, I work with other financial planners and financial planners who want to get rid of the advice-

Fraser Jack: 09:47 Get rid of the insurance advice?

Phil Thompson: 09:50 Yeah. The insurance advice out of their business and outsource it. And so, I work with clients all around the country with other advisors and I preach to those clients how important advice is and holistic advice is important. But I can’t implement it because I don’t think I can be an expert in all things to all people. And it’s just about, head down, bum up.

Fraser Jack: 10:14 And because insurance is really important for moms and dads to have, critically important for them to have. With insurance commissions getting the bad end of the media and talk about them going and all those sorts of stuff. Have you thought about fee for service and if so, have you included any?

Phil Thompson: 10:37 My worldview is we need to become so much more efficient in our insurance advice process. There’s currently, in most traditional businesses, it takes a lot of time. But if we can use technology, we can be really efficient in that practice. You can still run a profitable risk only advice business just on commissions. If they go 100% like there’s no commissions at all, then yes, obviously we’ll need to go to fee for service model.

And I’ve thought about it, but my world view is I don’t ... we’ll see, the government can do what they want to do, but I would be extremely surprised if they’d go no commissions whatsoever. And we’re seeing the impact on our reduced commission rate. And it’s not every insurance company in Australia is losing money left, right and center, that’s not just because of lack of new business, it’s obviously IP claims is losing over a billion dollars a year. No one likes that. But I would be surprised if government come out and just say we’re canning insurance commissions completely.

Fraser Jack: 11:46 Yeah. Have you thought about offering both to your clients?

Phil Thompson: 11:50 Good question. No, I don’t. Not at this stage. I predominantly work with younger clients, so my average new business client is in their 20s, so late 20s is my average. And most of them don’t have the funds to pay fee for service advice. So, I personally don’t, I’ve had one person ask me about it, I communicate in a very first phone call that we get paid a commission and the structure.

So, we do do a commitment fee at a point in time where they need to make a commitment. And if I don’t go ahead, we charge them a fee. But it’s only charged once they don’t go ahead. So, I mean it’s not a fee for service, but it’s a hybrid. It’s just a point in time where they need to commit to going ahead.

Fraser Jack: 12:38 Yeah. Fantastic. Yeah. And last time I spoke to you, you were thinking about doing some travel.

Phil Thompson: 12:44 Yeah, that’s right. So, my personal and professional roadmap looks like in 2021 and I’m saying this on a podcast, so I better do it.

Fraser Jack: 12:56 It’s real now.

Phil Thompson: 12:58 I mean I’ve told enough people, but it is real now, is six months, 2021 take the family and let’s live abroad. So, we’re thinking Bali at this stage. So, that’s our plan. Live abroad, still give advice, still be in the business and still be working. But I’ve cut it down to three days a week and really just focus on being with the family, being with the girls. Our girls are still quite young and just having that time as a family, it’s super important to Kate and myself.

Fraser Jack: 13:28 So, that six month period you’ll run and maintain your existing business. Take on new clients as well?

Phil Thompson: 13:34 Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

Fraser Jack: 13:36 Fantastic. That sounds like an amazing thing. We have to follow this now. We’ll have to get you back on the podcast and talk about how it’s going.

Phil Thompson: 13:43 Well, I mean It’s taken me 18 months to get on for the first time so-

Fraser Jack: 13:46 We’ll book you in now because I know you’re really hard to get.

Phil Thompson: 13:49 Yeah. I mean, on average I’ve asked 1700 times.

Fraser Jack: 13:54 2021 I think we might be able to fit you in actually.

Phil Thompson: 13:56 Yeah. Okay. Fantastic.

Fraser Jack: 13:59 And what are you looking forward to most in the conference?

Phil Thompson: 13:59 Well, the congress.

Fraser Jack: 13:59 Congress.

Phil Thompson: 14:06 I, same with you, I won’t get heaps of time in the sessions. So, I mean, the thing I love about conferences and congresses is that I just love meeting other advisors and other people in the industry. These are people we’re going to be doing ... I plan to be in this industry for a long, long time and I know lots of people in this congress and conference are going to be around for a long time.

So, building those relationships, meeting people who will be head of life companies, head of wealth companies in the next 20 years and just building those relationships now. So, that’s what’s really important to me and I always put a high value on building relationships.

Fraser Jack: 14:43 Yeah. And some of the best parts of the congresses or conferences are these moments, right? Standing around in the expo, chatting to people or finding out what they’re doing in their practices or dragging them into the back of a kombi and having chats with them.

Phil Thompson: 14:54 That’s right. Or inviting. Inviting.

Fraser Jack: 14:58 Which tends to happen a lot of conferences, right?

Phil Thompson: 14:59 That’s right. Too many conferences I’ve been to, I’ve been dragged in the back of a kombi.

Fraser Jack: 15:06 Fantastic, Mr. Phil Thompson.

Phil Thompson: 15:09 No. Thank you.

Fraser Jack: 15:09 Oh, no. Hang on, you’re hosting.

Phil Thompson: 15:10 Yeah. No. Well fantastic, Mr. Fraser Jack.

Fraser Jack: 15:13 Oh, thank you.

Phil Thompson: 15:13 Just a last final question. What is the most surprising thing that’s happened to you in the last 12 months?

Fraser Jack: 15:21 Most surprising thing?

Phil Thompson: 15:22 Yeah.

Fraser Jack: 15:24 I would-

Phil Thompson: 15:25 I thought about that question on the flight.

Fraser Jack: 15:27 It felt rehearsed. I have to say, I’m really surprised with the podcast. The people that have come up to me today and say, “Oh yeah, I listen to it, I listen to it. It’s great.” And it’s just an amazing thing because I know it’s not necessarily an amazing interview or we have a bit of fun or these things, but just that regular consistency of putting them out, has just seen it grow and grow.

And anybody thinking of doing videos, podcasts, whatever it be, my suggestion would be just to commit to it and just keep doing it. Whatever you feel comfortable with. I’d make no secret of the fact that I used to write a lot of blogs and never published them because I wasn’t comfortable with the end result or I was nervous about it, or had the imposter syndrome. But to me this is a great medium for me, for you it’s video, everyone finds their thing and I would say that my encouragement is you find your thing and just keep doing it and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Phil Thompson: 16:24 Yeah. No. Good. Great answer, mate. And I mean, one of the things is practice makes progress. We say that to our girls all the time. You’re never going to start a podcast and be amazing. You’re not going to be the best interviewer. I’ve listened to your first few, they were horrible. As a mate, I can say that.

Fraser Jack: 16:42 I appeared dumb and [crosstalk 00:16:43] the first one. So, be careful.

Phil Thompson: 16:47 Yeah. It was you not her.

Fraser Jack: 16:48 She’ll stab you twice.

Phil Thompson: 16:50 But yeah, practice makes progress and your interviews definitely getting better and more comfortable and yeah, it’s a great podcast. Thanks for joining, mate.

Fraser Jack: 16:58 Thanks for finally coming on.

Phil Thompson: 16:59 Yeah, appreciate being ... I hijacked your set again. So, thank you for letting me do that.

Fraser Jack: 17:04 Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Goals Based Advice Podcast. That was Mr. Phil Thompson, the legend.

Also big things to Oh My Podcast editing people for editing these podcasts and to Advice Intelligence for powering the podcast. Have a great day.

Phil Thompson: 17:21 Bye-bye.

Fraser Jack: 17:23 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.