Deconstructing Alpha

Ep 13: What is Advisors Alpha? - Brandon Jansma of Prudential Securities

January 24, 2022 Geremy van Arkel, CFA® and Shannen Carroll Season 1 Episode 13
Deconstructing Alpha
Ep 13: What is Advisors Alpha? - Brandon Jansma of Prudential Securities
Show Notes Transcript

Can we deconstruct Advisors Alpha?  This is a first. We interview an investment advisor – Brandon Jansma. 

We figured that since most of our listeners are investment advisors, maybe we should interview one.

In this episode, we define Advisors Alpha with Brandon Jansma, whom we believe to be an all-around thought leader and contemplator of finer subjects. We ponder what it is to be an advisor today and venture into what the future of being an advisor looks like. We contemplate the value of time along the way. 

Grab your vacuum or your paintbrush and pop in your earbuds.  Let’s go to Laguna Beach, CA with Brandon Jansma.

Geremy: Welcome, everybody. Welcome back to the podcast deconstructing alpha, where we have unscripted interviews and sometimes random conversations with other investment managers in the industry. I am joined today in Sheridan, Wyoming by Shannon Caroll. 
Shannen: Hi, Geremy.
Geremy: How are you? 
Shannen: Good.
Geremy: Awesome. So we're going to transport ourselves. Like I want, I want you to close your eyes, Shannen. And I want you to think of sunshine. I want you to think of the Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, California, Southern California. We have a special edition today on the podcast, we're going to do a instead of interviewing an investment manager about a current topic in the market environment, we're going to interview an investment advisor. 
Shannen: Awesome. Who do we have today?
Geremy: We have a friend of mine, as well, as an investment advisor. I know that we work with a lot of investment advisors, we probably could have chosen from any number of cool investment advisors that we work with, we have some pretty awesome ones. I know that it's just great to work with good people, right. So there's a song lyric, it's like, I just wish the work. were honest. And the people were great, right. I mean, that's it's honest, work good people. So we're lucky. So this is our first interview with an investment advisor. And it's a slightly different topic. But I think it's really relevant, because I think most of the people listening this podcast are probably Investment Advisors. And so I think a lots gone on in the last couple years, in terms of what's going on the marketplace in terms of the COVID shutdown in terms of the new work environment, and how to contact clients and how to better use technology. And I think there's a lot of subjects that we can talk about on this podcast. But I think we're going to get to two questions, right. I try to try to keep it simple. In my long winded random interviews. So the two questions are. What is advisors alpha? And what is the future of advisory? So do you think we can get scratched somewhere the surface of those two questions. So I had a good time on this interview. It's with Brandon Jansma who's with Prudential securities. And he's in Southern California. And he's an all around kind of hip guy. And so let's transport ourselves to Southern California. And let's enjoy the ride. And I really appreciate everybody being on the podcast. And so ladies and gentlemen, Brandon Jansma
Geremy: Welcome to the podcast, Brandon, how you doing? 
Brandon: I'm doing good, man. How you doing? 
Geremy: I'm doing excellent. You know, you are my first non-portfolio manager type guest.
Brandon: I feel pretty honored. I told my sister I was gonna be on this. And she said I'm too dumb to do it. So we'll see how I do. 
Geremy: All right, Where does your sister live?
Brandon: She lives in Omaha, Nebraska.
Geremy: Okay, so that's a perfect answer. Because I love it on that Smartlist podcast when they they translate things for the people that are not in California, they have not been translate. So we might have to translate some of this for your sister in Omaha. Yeah, so Brandon, you're an investment advisor right. And this podcast is is really designed for and targeted to investment advisors for investment advisors to understand more about portfolio management and, more about sort of current events in the world. And this, podcast, I think, is going to be cool, because, you know, I think of you as a kind of forefront cutting edge type investment advisor. We've worked together for a while. And I think other investment advisors, you probably hear what you have to say about things you think that's probably true, maybe.
Brandon: I think so that sounds cool. I mean, I certainly try to be on the cutting edge. So yeah, so I hope so
Geremy: So we can probably talk about a lot of things. But we're going to answer two questions during this podcast. Okay. The first is what is advisors Alpha? And then the second is, you know, for clients and other advisors that are on this, you know, to better understand why a client should hire an investment advisor which is I feel something pretty I feel pretty strongly about that. So hopefully we can answer those so I I've learned you know, these are unscripted. We just have a conversation. But I've learned to sort of have a little bit of structure because we can go all over the place and we could take a lot of time. So anyway, so where are you located right now.
Brandon: Right now I'm in my office in Irvine. Just Southern California. Sponsor away from beach and some cool mountains.
Geremy: Yeah. So I love talking to you because whenever I talk to you, I have this little mental relaxation of say, Laguna Beach or something like that Eliseo beach, and I try to take myself on a little mental break. So do you have a beach report for me?
Braqndon: So we've had some really good surf so I guess I am very stereotypical Southern California. And after I'm done on this call, I'm going to go to a trial run at my favorite spot, this area called Crystal Cove State Park. It is inbetween Laguna Newport Beach. And it overlooks the ocean and does all of these things. The surf has been amazing, like, outlier abnormally really good. It's really high pressure system if you perfect weather. Yeah, big surf. Awesome. Southern California. Great place.
Geremy: Awesome. Awesome weather perfect waves. Everybody's having a great time. So, you know, normally I've kind of touched on COVID a little bit with people. So just kind of to get our audience like, you know, I think everybody's having sort of a slightly different experience about COVID. But I don't know, I'm kind of a little bit sick of talking about it. But so what's the COVID situation going on down there in Southern California?
Brandon: So I'll make it quick. I mean, if you live in Huntington Beach. I live in Huntington Beach, California. So if anyone wants to know Huntington Beach, like just Google, Huntington Beach, it's as if we are a city state, right. Like, Los Angeles, City County, is doing whatever it feels like doing. And what I have found is, it's almost like whatever city you live in, whatever the law enforcement of your city is, whatever they choose to enforce or not enforce. So where I live is pretty, pretty lacks, like, it's pretty good. Feels like pretty normal. I feel it feels like comfortable.
Geremy: Good. I think time enough time has passed that people should make their own decisions about it and choose to live the life way about it. And we you know, and so I'm glad that places are carrying on and and you know, you live in probably a very outdoorsy kind of environment.
Brandon: It is yeah, what it is. Yeah, for sure.
Geremy: So speaking of outdoorsy, I just got back from the dude ranch experience. And a couple of years ago, you came out to our dude ranch. And, during that time, when you were out there we we had a little conversation with all the advisors that were out there. And, we asked them, What was the one thing that they had recently done in their practice to that they think was very effective right. And so that was the first question we asked people and then and then we, we then asked people, like, how do you measure success. So I want you to answer those two questions. The first question is, what have you done lately in your business that's just one little standout thing you've done that you think has made a difference in your business. And then secondly, how do you measure your success?
Brandon: So I'm going to, I'm going to flip you around, because the measurement of success determines how we select what we do in the practice. And so this is like a very personal definition of success. And I remember that meeting. I think it might have even been Dan, I didn't volunteer, Dan asked me to say it. But my definition of success for me is time. And we measure that in my family. And when I first started this industry is 2008 2010, so that he took every Wednesday off my wife and I was the very first presidents conference we ever went to. And I just thought that was the most amazing thing ever. We didn't have kids yet until we decided to model that and so we said, Okay, we don't have kids or anything, how in the future would we be able to have the time we want to spend them and how we measure that. So I have like a spreadsheet, my goals have certain amount of days off a year and in those days to have some type of meaningful experience, whether it's, you know, going on a trail run or spending time my family going to my son's jujitsu tournament, being with my wife on a date, whatever it is, and I can track it I can specifically measure it and then I back everything else into that definition. So that's the outcome.
Geremy: Yeah, so that that was okay, so just for the audience picture 50-60 Investment Advisors in a Hall like a log cabin type Hall, in the beautiful mountains of Wyoming with dead animals all over the walls, the animal heads everywhere, right. And everybody was talking about their measure of success and most people said well, I want to bring in 10 new clients a year I wonder they always all monetary. And Brandon, when you answer that question with I measure my success by the amount of days off I take it was a mic drop moment the room was silent for literally 20 seconds. I mean, so I commend you for that. And, I've grabbed that now I don't know if I've been able to implement it. But it was something I thought was extremely unique. Right. SoI wanted to start with that, which kind of sets the stage for sort of, you know, different ways of looking at things, you know. 
Brandon: let me give you the next question. So there's barter, right. So then, then what do we do in our practice? So if, I value time, personal time, but I have this obligation to my clients to provide them an exceedingly better experience, then I must use all of the resources I have available. And so that goes from technology, we love the tool, money to third party managers, people like you. And that allows us to scale that we need to, not only fulfill, like our fiduciary responsibility to them, but to continually make their experience better, and then work on a team of people. So we don't need I don't physically like you, I don't physically need to be there all the time. Someone needs to be there to care for them in the manner that they are accustomed to plus more. And so that all begins with the definition of success. And then the tools we use to back into that. 
Geremy: I think that this, that starting with this point, is a really good point. So what I'm hearing you say, so this is what something I've thought about a lot, which is, you know, like, I feel like, each sort of decade maybe, or era or longer period of time is, is defined by different advancements. And, you know, and but it really feels like today, there's a lot of investment advisors, there's a lot of investment product, there's a lot of investment story, investors must be confused. Investment Advisors might even be overwhelmed with all the tools and all the resources and all the ways that they can deliver a better service. You know, I'm using my air quotes, like, because we're in the service business, you know, but I boil it down to I really think that, at least for me, when I look out into the world, and I access services myself. I think the future is something very simple. I think that the people that spend more time and more quality and provide the level of engagement with their clients that those clients deserve. I think that's the future. Right. It's not technology. It's not like these great reports and stuff, these whiz bang stories. It's just time. Right back to your time point.
Brandon: I couldn't agree with you more. Yeah, I mean, I think that's what makes what you guys do different. That's what makes what we do different. And so the time spent, you know.
Geremy: Time spent on yourself, time spent being engaged, time spent really listening to your clients time spent taking care of people, right. So let's start with the business we're in, in the business, we're in his people, and so Brandon back to business. You know, in my, in my one of my favorite movies, office space, which is full of all sorts of quotes from our generation, there's the quote. So Brandon, what is it you would say you do around here? So want to in your words, why don't you kind of encapsulate your role as an investment advisor? 
Brandon: Well, first of all, I don't physically take the reports down to the engineers, like my assistant does that. 
Geremy: Yeah, so the TPS reports?
Brandon: Yeah, no, there's too many. I have like nine bosses. I don't know if you know that. I mean, what we do is really in its most simple form, I believe for our clients, we help them turn money into meaning. That's really what we do, how we do it, that might sound like, you know, easy tagline. But that's really the most simple form of what we do. How we do it, is, you know, I believe that's unique, and you hit on all of the things. So what is it that we do is we turn money into meaning how do we do it? I guess would be the next follow up question. The first thing we do we believe we are better at understanding people. So I've been doing this now 12 years, my partner Jules, new 25 years, Diana are the partners that nine years. So there's so much data, like you said, a million studies. But almost every study says the same thing. Every client wants to trust the person they work with number one in every study is trust first, every single study, then say well, how do you how do you build trust? It's not really I can't touch it, see it, hold it. It's through transparency. So we have a process that is ultra transparent. We listen. I think we listened better. Our questions are more specific to the people that we work with, and so we help them achieve the outcome they want. How do we do it, we use financial planning, which uses math, and then pretty pictures, right. It's like this combination, but the pictures for most people give them the behavioral outcome they're looking for. And most people make decisions for not as much as you and I were, like, more analytical, but that's not really what most people do on emotion. So what I need to show them is something that inspires the emotion. If it's confidence, then the math needs to support the confidence to achieve whatever the outcome is, no one walks in and says, Brandon, give me the best returns forever at the lowest cost. No one does that. They walk into some set of outcomes, confused, I'm concerned that I'm afraid, or I want to retire five years earlier. COVID made me crazy. I want to move to the mountains, because now I can I can zoom call from anywhere and I can work I want an outcome that is me focused. Fran, and Joelle, Diana, how do I get that? And this goes back to we help clients turn money into meaning we do it with math. And we use, we use the behavioral component that inspires confidence.
Geremy: Fantastic answer. So I've brought, my wife made me take all of my finance books out of my home office, and move them to my office office. And so I've lost like 400 square feet, probably with books, right. And, I don't really have a lot of marketing books, because I, believe I really kind of stopped on one. And so the one book that I'm going to reference here, which I think really says what you just said, and it says it's so well. And then this book, and I highly recommend it to anybody in the service business, it's called selling the invisible, it's a very simple book, it's about 90 pages, and it's an each page has a different concept. But the point of selling the invisible is that selling a service is different than selling a product, selling a product, you can touch and feel it you can shut the door, you can sit in it, you can turn it on, you can feel the quality, you know what you're going to get, you could see it, but when you're selling a service, it's invisible, that people don't know what they're gonna get. And, so they're making a different decision. And, or have different points that are important to them. And decision making in this. What this book says is, selling services is about two things. Trust and Safety. So first of all, they're, you know, people want to trust somebody, and we're all good people, everybody's a good person. But if you don't communicate well, and you don't differentiate well, and you don't actually do a good job for people, and you don't give them the time, they won't trust you. Right. So that's hard to build trust, and it's easy to let trust down. But the second thing is safety, which is gets to the point of what you just said, people choose the the the service that they believe is least likely to adversely affect them. As opposed to the service that looks like it's likely to be, quote unquote, the best because they can't tell the best. But they're so they revert to well, which ones least likely to adversely affect me. Which and I think a lot of people get confused about like, Well, how do I communicate that right. That's the hard part. So the subtext of that book, it literally says it and then when you open the book is why the cheapest and best services fail.
Brandon: I'll give you I'll give you a great example. When I go backpacking. We did a trip to Alaska last year, it looked just like that picture. It's amazing. I what I need is a rain jacket. That will keep me 100% Dry. that's what I need. I'd like it also to be light because I have to carry it with me a lot. I never said give me the most expensive or the cheapest I started with I don't want to be wet. My adverse effect is I don't want to be wet because I will then be cold. And I solved right. But people think like, I don't know, they just think differently, but you hit the nail on the head. My adverse effect is I don't want to be wet and cold. So then I write I don't want to lose money. For example. I don't want to work 10 extra years, for example. Help me solve. 
Geremy: And that's, that should be so I think we I think you hit the nail on the head. And I'm just kind of reiterating. And actually there was a book out there that people could get but it really so it's trust and safety. And it's not cheapest and best. cheapest and best is for products and services are different. So okay, so very human experience. You're providing people I think you're you're I think you're very authentic. I think you're like you know, people can't tell that from the podcast, but I think you're sort of a very honest and authentic and straightforward person. And I think it's probably easy for you to communicate to your clients that I'm going to spend more time energy and care on you. And then when when and when I know that I've done my best work with you without actually gonna have more free time for myself. Right. And so how do you how do you explain that to clients right. So, so I think a lot of times advisors, you know, there's a lot of advisors, you know, our database has 40,000 advisors in it, and each one of them might have a different differentiation. So how do you explain your differentiation, which is very human focused. How do you explain that to potential clients?
Brandon: Yeah, I mean, I think that, I'll say it again, because it simplifies it. But then I come back into it like beginning, middle and end, we help people turn money into meaning, but the way that we do that is we have to discover what is meaningful to them. I really value time, someone else might want to grow their business and sell it in five years. I don't know what the meaning so we have to discover first. And so our differentiator, I love to show the profit. I think Marcus Lemonis does a great job of breaking down these three easy principles, people, process and product, right. So I think, yeah, so we start with people. So we have to first understand people and I believe that our, from all the data, all the other stuff I've done that I really enjoy doing. That takes me back to I have to understand people, and then I need them to trust me. So the differentiator is we listen, and we're client outcome focused. That might sound like that's what everyone does. But the truth is, they just don't. And so we start with the outcomes, we want to discover what the outcomes are. And then we want to find out the adverse outcomes they would like to avoid. And those are really meaningful, because, some people might, you know, feel comfortable driving in a car, cross country, 90 miles an hour, other people are going to not feel comfortable. And so we have a clear understanding of what they want as an outcome and what they don't want as an outcome. And then we then can use math to solve which is awesome, but it's really this combination of, I'm making it simple, but it's math and pictures. It is software money. There's all types of demons, whatever the one is, yeah. And so we can say, what if you have like, what if you get a disability? What if your portfolio does x or y? What if there is a reset? And then shows the outcomes right. Green is good, red is bad, we use red because red right to buy the blue, green, whatever. But the point is the same. What does it do that's different. Is we listen and work client at such a specific level, client outcome driven. And then we can solve, whether it's, you know, Frontier, or whatever else, whatever other strategy, third party manager, structured product, whatever the thing is that it can help them confidently backed by math with a picture that instills confidence selling visible, get them where they want to be. And we've already showed them in this adverse event that you didn't like you actually typed it in at the beginning. Because there's always pre canned ones that I don't want to run out of money, I don't want to like get sick, and whatever the thing is, we can show them the adverse outcome as well and how that adverse outcome was mitigated. And then they leave and like that you can see like the body posture change, you read the human element, the outcome for them, is they they got this confidence that they want it. So your question was, how do we differentiate effectively, what do we do differently? We listen to our client outcome focused, we use math and pictures to solve, we hope we give people a better experience.
Geremy: You know, a couple things I want to add onto there. The first is, the math and pictures. You said that like three or four times, and I think, I don't know if you've come to that based on research, or if you've come to that just based on life experience, but some people are data people, and some people are picture people, and very few people are both, right. So let's assume you know, you could say, well, 40% of people are data and 60%, are picture or something, we don't know those percentages, because once they come in your door, they could be completely biased in one direction or the other. And if you just said, 50% of people, you're either one or the other. So you don't know who you got coming in. So show them both. So I think that's really important. You have to help them visualize. And you have to show data to support this solidness of it, right. 
Brandon: Right come from the transparency. So the data gives the transparency which the outcome I'm looking for, is I need them to trust. The process is reliable, and I can show them visually. 
Geremy: And, you know, and as a point on that, like when we talk about trust and things like that, we're not trying to create an air of trust or anything. So now it's just a matter of communicating your best ideas to your clients and having them feel comfortable. So it's, you know, I often feel a little weird talking about trust, but it's Extremely important part of this process. And then the second thing is, is you talked about adverse outcomes. You know, Frontier a risk manager. And so we talk way too much about adverse outcomes. Of course, we want positive outcomes. And we love it when positive things happen. But we think about adverse outcomes. But I think a lot of times advisors don't talk about adverse outcomes with clients, because they believe it puts the clients in a bad place immediately in the meeting. But it actually doesn't. If you talk all about good stuff, they're likely less to believe it. And if you talk about bad things, you're alleviating the pain from them, that anxiety that they're carrying with them, because you're checking it off the box. What if this happened? So that's what you do once you're you have an advisor with the client in your office. So now, with 40,000 advisors out there in the world, and a client in Orange County. How do they find you? What do you do externally to help market or let people know that you're an expert at what you do And you would like to talk to them.
Brandon: Yeah, that's a good question. So in all, truth, I struggle with this a bit. I think we struggle with this a bit. So we have Sperry, one of my good buddies. He kind of says, like, with the way we run the practice is like, small minded, right. And he's, he's a good friend but I don't want to we don't want to have this really big complicated practice, right. We have five people who don't really want to, I mean, I can't say what the future is gonna hold. But at this point, now, what happens is everyone comes in through word of mouth, or even other advisors, bringing clients, you know that tends to happen a fair amount. But in the beginning, I was just doing old school hammering the phones, I guess we did in the beginning, but now it's, it's very organic. And we really go, we got a consultant, talk to us and say, instead of going a mile wide and an inch deep, why don't you go a mile deep and an inch wide with every single client, and so more business has come. So by trying to make the focus even more client centric, by going a mile wide and an inch deep. What's happened is our referrals have kind of grown organically, exponential to too big of a word, but it has grown at a pace that I haven't seen in my career over the last two years.
Geremy: Well, it might be because your practice is very, you know, everybody laughs at me around the office, because I use the word humans. You're very your practice sounds very human focused. And I think, yeah, and I think people just they feel like in this world of technology, and buttons and things on their phone, and all it just there's just, there's no like really human contact anymore. Right, especially during COVID. So, alright, that's great. I think also, the second point on that is, I think people who are like, I think it I don't know how to explain this, but it feels like to me, if you're an expert, and really drive to that 10,000 hours of the one thing you think you do better than other people, you're probably about people to begin with, because there's no, there's no reason why one person would spend so much time trying to help her solve one problem. If they didn't care about the person they're trying to solve the problem for, right. And so I think that goes hand in hand that kind of the more you become an expert, the more you're actually kind of focused on the people. And then the more that you are like that, the less you are sort of broad minded marketing, or, you know what I mean. I know that, I feel like the more I spend attention on micro elements, which in your case would be people with my case, maybe it's investment process, the less I have bandwidth, to think about these broad marketing concepts. And then the less I really care about them, you know, because I think when you do a great job for people, you're like, well, I don't really, do I nearly need a billboard.
Brandon: You feel like guilt or something, because it's like, if you do a really good job, the definition of success would be you're supposed to self promote, or firm, promote, or tell everyone what a great job you're doing. But then it feels like, by default, if you're telling people you're doing a good job, they're like, are you really doing a good job, why do you need to talk about it? Can't I see it on my own? 
Geremy: I know. I know. And so I think people like self promotion is a very hard thing I think for for people, and it might be a good sign for those potential clients out there, that if, the firm is not necessarily good at say, marketing or advertising, they might actually be really good at the thing they do. And vice versa. Just you just like any other business, or at least on the services side, you know, I think I just think the experts are not very good at everything. And you just want to hire them at the one thing, right. Yeah, great. So let's, let's switch gears here. Let's talk about the concept. So this podcast is called deconstructing alpha, where I normally break down investment processes that other people use and sort of uncover what's going on in the world through the eyes of their process. So in terms of investment advisory, I've heard a lot lately this concept called advisors alpha. So what is advisors Alpha?
Brandon: Yeah, so I mean, first of all, I mean, I think people the term alpha, right is the amount of added value bring over and above some other index, most people think of alpha s&p. So the advisors alpha, I still think it has to be unique. It should be client by client, you bring some outcome, and you deliver it to them in a better way. But that's, that's really not measurable right. So how is it measured? How can I say to someone in the spirit of transparency, what do we actually bring? And so now I'm going to go back to the data, right, I can show them pictures, which I have, the data suggest, depending on who you listen to, I'm going to use a Vanguard study. But Russell has a study, everyone has these studies that says, I like Vanguard, because there seems to be the least amount of advisor alpha, and everyone thinks of Vanguard as like a DIY shop. So Vanguard study says or suggests that an advisors alpha is pretty close to 3% better than if a person who is not a professional were to do it on their own. And so I'll put that into numbers, I'll use a million dollars, because it's a nice round number. It sounds like a bigger thing than 100,000. So if that is actually correct, and I'm going to do it on my own, so so we charge about 1%, right, so if the alpha is 3%, I'm gonna subtract out my 1% and really then the alphas 2%, let's say, fair, if a person does it on their own, they will, according to the study, if it's consistent with the study, they will make $20,000 Less every year. So in this case, the alpha is very measurable, in this case, a million dollars is $20,000. So if you would like to have 20,000 more dollars, then in this instance, if the study is accurate, then you should hire an advisor, if you don't care to do that, and you're not a pro, you won't get that it's your choice to do that. The alpha is outcomes. It's measurable with math. But to my point earlier, I might want to drive across country 70, I'll make sure I help my clients do that. But they're going to get there in the safest possible way with the least amount of adverse events. And it's measurable. So the advisors alpha is better outcomes with less adverse effects.
Geremy: Yeah, and it's measurable, and several firms have studied this. And I think an important thing is, is you broke out the expense there, right. So if there's added value, on average, to going to an investment advisor to the client, you can actually measure that put in a number. And if it's, say, 2%, higher than the fee they're paying, then there, they have a million dollars. They're making $20,000 more a year for simply going to an investment advisor. And it's not that they're making that a year. Because of you know, any clairvoyance, it's just avoiding the common mistakes or pitfalls for people. Right, avoiding the adverse effects.
Brandon: The behavior is the biggest one in the study that the study cites. The retail person makes poor decisions at poor times. And if you can remove that, that a lot of the added value, it's like having a coach versus not having a coach. And so there's tax and there's this and all these other things that kind of get into the weeds. But yeah, real part is huge right up front.
Geremy: I think the major thing about this behavioral part is, you know, markets go through these long cycles of performance, right. It's not a mystery why it happens is a reason why the stock market might go up for say, 12 years, right. And we can talk all about that. But if the stock market did go straight up for 12 years, at that point in time investors feel very lackadaisical about risk and adverse outcomes. They feel like they want to keep up, they feel like they should invest all their money in the stock market. The banks paying him zero, the bond market looks abysmal. So let's just put all our money in stocks, and they're making that decision at the top right. And they're making that decision when they have the most money they've ever had. Adverse outcome, the potential adverse outcome is it's at its max. And so you know, in the, analyzing mutual fund space, we can analyze the dollar returns of mutual funds, which would be when investors put their money into funds and when they get them out, then don't get the same return as the fund. Because the investors don't get into the fund in the beginning and then get out at the end, they tend to buy high and sell low. And that's the hardest, most first point to kind of avoid. The second I believe is all this just sort of the labor side of things, that the trading, the taxes, the you know, the ability to lower their costs and things that are really control what you can control. And, in our business, we have to be experts at controlling what you can control, because you can't control everything.
Brandon: So, let me I want to add to that. And then the adverse outcome that you mentioned was like, the buy high sell low, which you lose money, but but really what it might be for the clients who you know, that client is, maybe that person had to work three extra years, but their wife's already been retired for five years. Really, eight years of them. So that's the adverse outcome. Like, I want the jacket to keep me dry, but now it had a hole in it so now I'm wet. And that's really the adverse outcome. Yeah, I mean, you brought up another good point. So people don't know what they don't know. Here's an example we use tax, if I receive a seemingly popular investment theme is I want to be an income investor, I take my dividends and reinvest them. I do all really great. And so that's really cool. And all except for the fact that you pay taxes on money that you don't need. And so that's something that people don't think about. That's really, really easy. Yeah. But for you guys, if I go even at a deeper level, what type of income do I really want? Do I want ordinary dividends? Don't preferred, what's the difference? Don't free income, taxable income, did the yields matter? And all of a sudden, class lost the leads, which is where they should be they have other things to go do. Geremy you figure it out and then Brandon, you make sure you understand what Geremy is doing and then tell them stop worrying about their investment profile because a bunch of pros have it. And, go to the outcome that you wanted to the reason you came to me in the first place.
Geremy: So we have a theme here, right, which is we're just I love how you started with creating time. Right, so you're creating time, so in avoiding adverse outcomes for your clients, in theory, you're avoiding their extra time working. And the ability for you to spend the time and energy on each client that they deserve. relies on you managing time. Which relies on you probably outsourcing a lot of the pieces of the work that you do. Yeah, who knew? Hey, did we scratch on something? 
Brandon: I mean, we may have.
Geremy: Yeah, let's, make this whole thing. But I didn't think this thing would end with time. But I think we just, I think this, this is a this is a, this is an interesting twist for me. So I know, it should be almost a foregone conclusion now about why a client should hire an investment advisor. But you know, is there just sort of a short statement on that or is it just because I would be terrible at explaining that would be like, Hey, you got 30 minutes? You know what I mean, so is there sort of something you want to comment on that about?
Brandon: I mean, why should someone hire an investment advisor? I think, you know, we said all of the things we gave all of the reasons why. I guess the the easiest one, I'm just gonna use it again, like people help. Investor advisor can help you turn money into meaning with less risk. I mean, that's really it. And that's because there's so many concepts that that go behind that really, if you start going further down the rabbit hole, but, that's another thing you brought up, though, like, we kind of talked about it, outsourcing. So my wife, Michelle, and I, we, we have to do this thing constantly. So one of the things that we never try to outsource, like, we never want to outsource parenting, right, that's like the most we have a five year old and a seven year old. So yeah, so we try to never outsource that. And so we, you know, we didn't really grow up with money, either one of us very much. But so now we have like, we're thankful we're grateful. We have like a housekeeper, we have a lawn person, right. And yeah, those those things are something we're both physically capable of doing. But it will take time away from the activity of parenting, right. So we choose to outsource that. So if I take that into our practice, like our practice management side, so we've chosen to outsource the investment management, so that we can get back to what we would do really well just spend time with clients and give them the outcomes they want and help them avoid the adverse outcomes they don't. But if we don't have investment management, third party investor management, then we can't do all of these other things, its not possible time is so finite. That's right. It's like our CRM software and then our financial planning software, we have to utilize as much technology to create as many efficiencies as we can, so that we can make sure you spend the appropriate amount of time with people so that we can give them the outcome and whatever. So now I'm like beating a dead horse.
Geremy: No, I think it's really important because I think, you know, I just really am on this, I have this belief that the future is going to be meaningful time with people. And, you know, if we come out of COVID, and we say, I mean, obviously, something has happened in the world with COVID, right. It's not just COVID, right. People are coming out of this different people. And you know, people are quitting their jobs, droves, and they just, you know, that they're not going to sit in traffic anymore, they're probably not going to get on airplanes as much, because we have sacrifice the time with the, you know, we've sacrificed our time for decades. And it's like boiling a frog, it's like, it's like, we've spent so much time sitting in traffic, so much time in airports, so much time traveling. And it to the point where it was a breaking point. And then COVID hit. And now everybody's emerging from that differently. And I just think, mindfulness, I know that that's an overused term, but I think mindfulness, attention, one on one, like meaningful relationships are going to be sort of the future. Like, I think that's going to define our post COVID environment.
Brandon: A benchamark or a standard.
Geremy: Yeah. And I think that was sort of lost, because everybody, nobody had any time. You know. So anyway, those are probably my final comments. I love how this thing whole thing just circled around the time, the theme is time. Is there anything you know, and maybe the theme is also, you know, I really, trust and safety. I really believe in that. And, I believe that statement should always be had the subtext, which is why the cheapest and best services are likely not to perform that well. And so, is there anything you want to leave the audience with. That's my, those are my comments, I always dominate the conversation, I'm going to turn it back to you, Brandon, anything you want to leave the audience with here, we're probably running out of our allowable time.
Brandon: Yeah, I'd say. If, if anyone left with anything, I would say, try to define personal success and drown out all the other noise. So for me, mine is clear, like time that I measured those other things. And I since I like to trail run, and like hike, I'll use this as an example. But very rarely does someone go on a hike or trail run, and they get to the top, and then they come back down. Very rarely does someone miss all of the things on the trail on the way up in the way down. You see all the things while you're walking or running, you might see a flowers and bushes, dear hawks, I mean, you might see all those things in that part of it, even though maybe hard because you're going up is still enjoyable. And then when you get the break at the top and you need your lunch or whatever it is, that's really enjoy, then you come down and that can be enjoyable, too. I feel like sometimes people get so lost, they forget that the path on the way to the outcome is just as enjoyable as the outcome. Yes, the blinders come on, like you didn't see like the bunny rabbit or the deer, or you didn't you didn't notice that the sun was shining and then foggy for the last 17 days. So that's an analogy for the the noise all around a person. Because people forgotten to define what success is for them. They keep accepting the definitions of success. Other people give them write offs, and they can't even enjoy the day to day and I feel like, I feel sad for them.
Geremy: Yeah, it would be if you went down to what is it called again, Crystal Cove, I've driven by it. I feel remiss that I didn't stop. But I have I have hiked up that other mountain over there. My Word, there's that's it what is the top of the world of the world. I hiked up to that thing and like down up the road. It was hard and it didn't feel like the journey that you're explaining. Because I just wanted to get to the top. And I felt like well, I got to the top of this thing. But I don't feel like I enjoyed the journey. And I think you're exactly right. And that maybe that is a new realization here with with time being more you know, creating more quality time and then maybe creating more quality experience enjoying enjoying the journey. 
Brandon: In fairness you guys have one of my favorite companies in Wyoming is called Teton gravity research. I love them. I love Jeremy Jones. And he has like a saying the journey is the destination and I'm kind of stealing that from him but I don't know Love saying. Like, I love watching the experiences they go through on the way to their thing. So like, yeah, it's all like original thought. But yeah, I think that's important.
Geremy: I think those are great points. And then, you know, since since you said Teton, gravity research and skiing is it's just something that's near and dear to me. And I don't know if our listeners are really starting to care about this stuff and are starting to care about what we're talking about. A little off subject, but I'll keep going anyway. So when I lived in Denver, and I moved to Atlanta, I had a four wheel drive car, and it was kind of a, it was a really kind of special, cool Audi. And I put an ad in the paper. And this guy said, I'm coming from Utah, and I'm coming to get your car. And I was like, Do you he's like, don't sell it to anybody. And I said, Are you sure? And he goes, Yeah, I'm coming. He drove through the middle of the night, showed up at like, five in the morning, sat out front of my house with a friend of his another car until like, seven until I got up, which is probably really nine. And you're on a quick drive. And he handed me I mean, this is such a funny story. I thought, he handed me all this money. It was $8,000. And he handed to me in like, 20s. I was like, Who is this guy? And then he goes, I've got like, 7400. But it's here. Here's the money. It was like, it was literally like a cartoon bag sack full of money. And, and he goes, I've got more stuff for you. And we go to the back of the car, he opens it up. It's full of ski gear, brand new and boxes, Oakleys and Goggles and helmets and all this. And he goes, What do you want? And I'm like, Are you kidding did you just rob a sports store? And he goes, No. I'm a professional skier for Teton gravity research. Yeah, I can't remember his name was like 15 years ago, he bought my car. And he drove off back to Utah, left me with a bunch of ski gear and a bunch of 20s.
Brandon: I love that story. Yeah, that's a great story.
Geremy: So anyway, we've got it, we've got it, we could probably talk all day. And for the listeners, we actually talked for like an hour even before this. So I'm is Brandon, thank you so much. Thank you for being the first advisor interview. Thank you for being honest. telling me what you really think, for being a real person. And I'll leave you with, with my quote from Billy Pilgrim. May your work be honest. And your customers human. 
Brandon: Thank you. Thanks, Geremy. Appreciate it. 
Geremy: Thanks, Brandon. We'll talk to you soon. Thank you very much. 
Shannen: I just love that jingle every time.
Geremy: I know I'm sitting here watching your face, as they as we played in the background is just, it's just it's just great and catchy. I'm still I'm still I really just want Scott Iverson who, for those who don't know, you probably know by now. But he works at Frontier. And he is I think he's cornered the market on investment folk singing.
Shannen: You can't listen to that and not be happy.
Geremy: I know. I know. It's just a great one. 
Shannen: Well, that was a fun twist on something different from our normal routine of interviewing fund companies. 
Geremy: Yeah, I thought it was really interesting. I thought it was a fun interview. And I thought Brandon's is like a breath of fresh air. 
Shannen: And it was cool to you know, do something a little different and see how he measured you know, success in his own eyes.
Geremy: Oh, I just It's, I mean, hopefully we're gonna you're gonna ask me about that, because I just think it's it just it almost changed my life the first time I heard it.
Shannen: One thing that I really enjoyed was when he was talking about enjoying the way up and the way down because it's so true. We just get so busy in our you know, everyday life and work and we just forget what's going on around us. 
Geremy: Yeah, I mean, is it the journey or is it the result? And like in and, and I think, you know, obviously investment advisors are in the business of working with clients and helping clients and all investment advisors would like to have a thriving practice and all that really from you know, this this had such a human angle to it.
Shannen: Absolutely. So not many people probably would say that measuring success, you know, by how many days off a year you get, not many people would say that but I thought that was really great.
Geremy: I'm just gonna recap that story right because it can be said again, right so we all we all know we go to work to make money. We go and not every day at work is a breath of fresh air. Not every day at work is a breezy walk on a Southern California beach right. But I know that and I know that Brandon works very hard. And but you know, he came out to the dude ranch for our dude ranch event. And for those of you don't know, we hold an annual dude ranch event for investment advisors out here in Sheridan, Wyoming. And it's just me talking about a breath of fresh air. That is such a great spot and, we hold it at Eaton Dude Ranch, what a great place. And, you know, so we asked all advisors, what is the you know, we asked him a simple question, you know, we asked him, you know, what is the what is the thing that you think is important in your life that you've kind of instituted in the last year, and we had, like, 45 advisors in the room, and everybody stood up and said things about how they, you know, their practices were better how they, you know, just things they did in their business. And Brandon's stood up in front of all these people. And he said, the thing that I've instituted in my life in the last year, that's made a huge difference is I now measure my success by the amount of days off, I take. And then before he sat down, he said, I've taken 45 days off this year. I still remember the number 45. And it was September. It was incredible. And, not to take anything away from from the work ethic, you know, we all work hard. But we need to keep perspective on life. And, I think in this podcast, but so cool, is we draw that into like, well, that actually can apply to your clients too. If you, you can create a culture that helps you create clients create a better culture for themselves.
Shannen: One, when you're at your best, you know, that time with your clients is going to be even better.
Geremy: I think so I think, you know, burnout is probably a silent. silent epidemic.
Shannen: Absolutely. Yeah. So let's talk about the statement when he said turn money into meaning. Everyone's meaning is different. So, I think that's, you know, really great that he takes the time to figure out their meaning and what they're saving for. 
Geremy: Yeah, I think so. Yeah. So so, you know, for wealthy people. I mean, a lot of people don't spend all their money. So what do they need it all For? Why are we, you know, once you have a certain amount, why are you fighting so hard to get more? And, what are your choices is going to be with that money. And, you know, helping people make choices that maybe you know, from a different perspective, say like, well, it's not all about just getting the most amount of money. So how do you want to use it? Having that conversation.
Shannen: Right, yeah. Because some people say money for the kids. Some people donate it. Some people, you know, all have a different meaning.
Geremy: Absolutely. And every I imagine a lot of people have, there's not a universal, no answer. 
Shannen: No, there's not. That's why you have advisors figure that out. Help, you figure that out.
Geremy: I know. I know. It's like I'd like is some part of having an advisor, like almost I mean, I hate to belittle that, or use this term is not the right term. But it's just sort of like financial therapy. Right? It's like, we all have money. We all worry about money. We all go to work for money. Who do you talk to?
Shannen: Yep. Awesome. Well, one thing that really stood out to me when he was talking about, you know, taking the days off, he said to keep track of them. So I think that's one thing that I'm going to implement is, you know, keep track of your days off and what you do and see if you, you know, really take advantage of those days, or how you can improve them.
Geremy: Yeah, it's almost like you need a calendar on the wall instead of a calendar. That is a calendar of all your work things you have to do. Like we all open our calendar. And you know, I don't know about you, but sometimes I open my calendar go Oh, no. But what if you had a special color on your calendar that was like I took this day off, and you actually made clear notes about what you did. So you can remind yourself as you go through the years like I remember that great day. That was the day I went mountain biking the DuPont forest in Brevard, North Carolina, and it was a wonderful day. Like, just make a note of it.
Shannen: Yeah, I think it I think is very beneficial. So for my final remark, I thought it was really interesting. You know, how small the world really is when he talked about the meeting the the guy that bought your car.
Geremy: Oh, I know, that was really a small world and in an obscure space, like how many people follow ski movies, right. By Teton gravity research, right. There's like, there's probably not a big audience for that. And just the fact that we circled down on that that was completely random. That was like this is an unscripted podcast, completely random. And one of the great stories of like, I just, you know, really one of those. That was just a moment that I just never forget that selling that car, and finding out that the person I sold it to was one of the stars of this weird genre of movies that I actually love.
Shannen: Yeah, no small world moments are the best they are.
Geremy: They're absolutely and I could go about those, but I don't think everybody needs to hear all my small moments.
Shannen: All right, was there anything you wanted to discuss about the time with Brandon that we haven't had time to.
Geremy: I just want to emphasize, like, in this interview, there really was an unfolding of sort of a revelation to me like so, you know, we're just before this podcast we were talking about, you know, what is, you know, what this worker shortage, and people are unhappy with the jobs and walking out. And, it's sort of feels like, you know, we're sort of not going to go back to 2019. And for me, like 2019, represented a lot of travel, a lot of sitting in traffic, a lot of busyness and a lot of like, you know, almost like burnout, you know, and we all had a break we all had now, we all have perspective, and I'm not really sure the world has changed or anything like that. 
Shannen: I think it has, in a way.
Geremy: I think it has a way to. I think there was a revelation in there, and how has it changed? Like what changed? You know, and we sort of boiled it down to like, there's two things that are kind of different, like we all want to make time either for ourselves, have better quality time, either for ourselves or for our clients. Help them make time. And we would all like to have better relationships. Yeah, all pay more attention. And if we weren't so busy, we could pay more attention.
Shannen: You know, there's something to be said about simple life.
Geremy: Yeah, I think so or just just a little bit slower. Enjoy the journey, pay more attention, create more time, more quality time. And that's not an anti work thing. No, I find that if I slow down and take time, I'm doing better work.
Shannen: Yep. And you look around when you're going up your journey and down your journey.
Geremy: Enjoy it. Yeah, enjoy your direction. So great to see you again, Shannen. I appreciate everybody listening to this. I had such a great time on this podcast. And we'll be back with more. Thank you so much.
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