Episode 18: Quality Versus Quantity When It Comes To Your Financial Planner

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this episode of the Build Your Life Podcast with Financial Expert John Browning, we're discussing why John still believes in building personal relationships when it comes to working with his clients in the digital age.

Everyone has a choice when it comes to their financial planning. You can choose from a variety of sizes and types of advisors and firms. John still believes that having a one on one relationship with your client allows you to customize and personalize their planning in a way that is full of incomparable value. Listen in for details on just how John does it all.

For more information, visit www.GuardianRockWealth.com to learn more about what John can do for you. Or, give us a call at (312) 372-5000.

Welcome to the building your life podcast with John Browning. Building your life is a relaxed and unedited conversation with financial expert John Browning. John's the founder of Guardian Rock Wealth in Lake Forest, Illinois. He's also the author of the Book Build Your Life, not a portfolio, a guide to your financial future based on your personal values. Now you can purchase John's book on Amazon, or you can stay around to the end of today show and I'll tell you how to get a free copy milk right to your door. I'm Michael Lawn, your host for the next few minutes as we chat with financial expert, business owner and author John Brownie. Well, John, how are you today? Oh, hellohop sir, hello to you. I'm doing it fine. Thank you. That's that's the limit of my Hawaii vocabulary, just so you know. Well, it's but you don't have to say after having been here for a few months, I'm starting to get the hang of it. And and there is along with that language, there's a whole culture that I love. It's a lot of fun here. That's great. Maybe we know an episode of you just expositing Hawaii culture and just the differences of it, because it's so there. I've never been there. I'd love to come sometime and but you can tell us a little bit about the Hawaiian culture and what's the different about that versus what Chicago might a couple things right, couple things different? Well, you know, yeah, it's definitely a couple things different than and having spent time, spend time in New York on Wall Street and Chicago Trading and downtown there and the suburbs, and then spending some time on the west coast and even some time in the Texas area and down South, I can tell you that all the differences in nuance is of great people we've got in the United States and it's really fascinating, very cool. That will be an that'll be an awesome episode. I look forward to it and hopefully with new didn't person because I'm coming your way, Dude. Anyway, we're not here to talk about that. We are here talking about different, different philosophies. I'm that's how I'm crazing. It's different philosophies of investing and how we ...

...live life, terming that quality versus quantity, and talk to us about that. How from a financial standpoint, you know, we all talked about and in you share this with me before you'll drive through or big companies that do volume versus other companies that that really are more Boutique Ish, I would say, in work with individual clints. Talk to us just a little bit from a financial standpoint, the difference between quality and quantity operation. Sure. Well, like I said, there's there's the walmarks, there's the targets, there's a McDonald's, there's there's all these companies in the reason that the volume game is so popular is because it works right. You're lowering your overall cost. You can make everything exactly the same and your cost go down and your margins go up. So the business model works really well. Around here in Hawaii you see that most that are many of the houses are very custom you know. It's like every house is just a little bit different, which is it's fun to watch. In shoot this Chicago suburbs, many of the houses are exactly the same and even like downtown Chicago, you have the row houses which are all exactly the same. There round stone may be different, inside of the exactly the same. And that's the idea of just, you know, making a volume of things, as opposed to the customization, and the way that works in financial terms is when you walk into some of the larger companies, you often are faced with the with some very competent folks that have been told by their company this is what you're going to do, and they give you extenaire and based on the answer to those question you're very quantitative. You get placed in a box one through five, one through three, whatever.

Based on your answers to those questions, we're going to put you in box number one and you're going to get this portfolio, and this port polleons everybody in that one category. We view things differently after spending thirty years doing this and we think it's so important that the individuals are so different, that you're not a box, so don't try and fit yourself into one, and we don't fit our clients into that box. Rather, we create a custom portfolio based on indepth conversation where we determ and what their values are and why their values are there, and we believe that comes up with a much better result. In addition to that, you know we don't usually use we don't use very many packaged products like mutual funds or things like that, because with that added expense. We used to make those. So we've made portfolios for the past thirty years. Okay, we cut out that expense and make it very customized to the individual. Okay, all right, so that's that's very spend so I again, I I'm want to use that term a boutique approach, because I think of a boutique is it's more personal, customize. That might not be the right word, but it's not definitely volume. And the downside of being put into a box based on a number is that box doesn't fit my story that we talked about on the last episode. And what you're doing is asking questions to dig out my story to go how can we custom craft a portfolio for you? Right, that's what you're really experts at doing. That's right. Yeah, we want to keep the experience matched up with your life rather than matched up with your life. And you know seven hundred other people just your they're not like me. Good thing, right, good thing.

That's a good thing. Worrying Right that day, John, if the world had a lot of Michaels in the world, it would be a really wacky world. So talk about you focus, as you talked with clients on these clarifying questions that you have talked to us about. Just a few clarifying questions that somebody could ask themselves because, as we talked on I think it was the last episode, if you want different answers, are better answers, you need to ask better questions. So some clarifying questions that you might ask, some examples of those. Yeah, so what we what we like to do? We start out with almost every conversation is is the question what does money mean to you? That's our first question and from there all other questions start. But that usually throws people for a bit of a loop. There that they want, what do you mean? Well, money means I could buy things like security. Are All sorts of different answers, more different than you might expect from from everyone, and from those answers you will you, I mean talked a little bit about this before on a previous episode. Is they'll give you any answer and when you say it back to them, like you phrase it as a statement back to them, I'll say well, no, let's that's not exactly what I said or or, more importantly, not what I meant. And so the n you cliar. Then you get a clarifying statement back from them. That tells you at least get too closer. And then you again, do it again, you say, and if it's not the question why, which we ask all the time, we're like, you know, the two or three year old when they go through that stage and I always ask why. That's US when we get to be get to be a little annoying until but we explain why, why we're asking why,...

...and and eventually you get different, deeper and deeper and deeper. The more time to ask the question why and then stay to clarifying, give a clearif find statement and have them clarify it back to you or tell you that you're correct, the further you get to the truth of that. Individuals real difference, real perspective on how they view the world, and from there we can build the best portfolio to support their life. That's that's great, John, and that we talked in the last episode of how you are kind of a pseudo marriage counselor sometimes in dealing with things. When I've done, when Jell and I, my wife, have done some marriage counseling, I tell the people were working with, I say I'll ask why, usually five times for the same question because I want to get to the root and in you're right, you're very wise to do that over and over, because our first two answers don't get to the why. And when you find when you find that why answer the true one, it really opens up the the underlying values in the system to go oh well, that's why it's important, that's what money means to me. Good. How do we now use that to help you build a portfolio to support your life? Right, and it's a important thing about it as well is that it's and sometimes we have to get people over this because you can you can tell based on the question as well. I know I would answer this way because that's the socially acceptable way that I should answer. And we just encourage people that. Hey, there's nobody else in this room, nobody else is going to hear all confidential. Now, why is that really and you know, and and then we get some fairly selfish answers once we get to the you know, hey, you know what, because I like it, I think I enjoy it. Or well, why do you enjoy it? Well, because you know. And then we get further and then when they begin to get more comfortably comfortable being honest with us...

...and then we can again give them a better experience then with their with their money and with their portfolio, and build that life for them that they're looking for. Yeah, and that's good and that and that's something that is really important that there are no wrong answers, they're just answers and we're all wired differently and we have different backgrounds with money and and at the end of the day, money is just a tool to allow us to do other things, but we put a lot of in ootional connections to money and it's important just to say, well, this is how I think or feel or believe about money. That helps out a lot, right, when you're when you're putting together that portfolio. That's right. That's right, and I assume that's easier to do in person, right. So talk to us a little bit about about how you interact with people in person, because it right now, in the midst of this pandemic, that's a little difficult. So talk about that aspect of in person meetings and how are you doing it now and what do you like best? Well, we're doing a lot of zoom meetings and will also do facetime. You know, if that works for the number of people that we have in all that and these facebook is actually just introduce something that I haven't learned yet, but I'm going to figure it out where you can have multiple people, just like zoom. So will adapt to the course of their skype, which we don't like it as well, but we're doing it that way and we the for the pandemic. We really preferred in person meetings because you miss so much over the phone. You you you only have one sense that you are working with and that's your sense appearing. When you're in person, all type senses are involved. You see, see more than then you hear right, and we communicate all through our body language. Even in answering a question, you can see how somebody might shift or an expression or something that you don't get if they're on the phone or email or something right. Definitely. It isnt a lot of studies done on this. About a...

...they different numbers for different studies, but it roughly speaking, it's about thirty three percent of communication is done through audio and voice. So two thirds of real solid communication is done through body language and facial experissions and what you're doing at the time. And if your guy like me, like speak with my hands and and I move around a lot because I got a lot of energy and I just kind of do that. But there's some communication there. Yeah, I'm excited about what I'm doing and I don't know if that comes through over just a phone conversation and and with our clients. It's really easy to hide when they're a little bit uncomfortable over the phone, but if I can see a little boy a little grimace or went to the eye or, you know, they put their hands you know, they start to sit on their hands, I know they're in comfortable and we got to figure that out because that's the last thing you want them to be is uncomfortable. That's right. Well, especially when you're dealing with it was, let's say, a husband and wife situation. On the phone, they could be pausing and look at each other and whispering, but on a zoom call or in person you'll get to see that look and go, await a minute, what's going on there? Let me get because you're not understanding the whole story that we talked about on last episode and there's something else there. So that's really, really important and I'm glad that we have the technology like zooming in all these other ones to really dig down so that you can have personal conversations with people, even if you know you're in Hawaiian there in Chicago. That's right. Yeah, we just I just talk to somebody in Chicago just earlier today, and to do it almost every day because we have a lot of clients in Chicago. We've got clients and Rhode Island, New York, Virginia and North Carolina, we've got clients all over and we talk to him just like this all the time. Yeah, and I don't know about you, but I've learned in...

...at least of the pandemic my my zoom meetees have gone through the roof. They've zoomed out there. But it's really been cool because I really feel like I know people better this way then if we be even in this podcast, you know, we could do this on the phone, but it's not nearly as fun as it is just being facetoface like this and having the video aspect of it. So I'm sure your clients get to know you better and you get to know them as well. That's right, exactly right. So in person is that that next level that is so important. And now the cool thing, I guess about this pandemic is most everybody has used zoom or facebook or some you know something. We're more used to it now, and so it'll be interesting as we come out of the pandemic. Are we going to default back to telephone or were going to stay zoom because it's just so simple and the communication is so much better because you get to see the whole person, not just a third of what they're saying. That's right. And and you know, I wonder, and this struck me the other day as I went into the bank. Okay, the bank, and you're wearing a mask. Let me see you do that. Huh? Everybody in the bank is wearing a mask now. Not More than two months ago, there's a big sign on the bank door that says please remove your hat and your sunglasses there because they want to see your pigs. Now they require that you wear a mask. So if we give we get to that point. See, I'm talking to the bank or you know, we we had a whole discussion right, and I wish he could see that I was smiling, yes, and he can't through the mask. you smile with your eyes a little bit, but they're really smiling only for howling. You know what what is going on. And still, if we have to have our in person meanings with masks, frankly I'd rather have it over for zoom. That is a great that. Yeah, I hadn't really thought about that aspect of it. So, John, you just gave me a new business idea that we can go together...

...on clear masks. Okay, minutes, we got to figure it out. Yeah, that's the mass be a screen. I'm sure here some tech guy has that figured out right, right, well, but that that's so true, because facial expression is number one. Are just huge. But the rest of the body language and everything of just understanding the story the person, how they're feeling. Did I just say something that caused you to be uneasy? What's going on there? And that's all part of their story. That, that was the entire last episode of the PODCAST, is the story how important that is and the beauty of in person meetings. And now, since we can't be together, doing them on zoom or something like this, it's just it's just really, really critical for both sides of that equation. When you're when you're working with the client, they need to be able to trust you and see your body language. At the same time, you need to be able to see there's so that you have great communication, because you're always take a note, you told us, in order to really help them build that life, that that you talked about in your book, build a life, not a portfolio. Let me just recommend once again people get a copy of this. Can Buy it on Amazon. It's an Amazon best selling book that John wrote, build a life, not a portfolio, and you can get an Amazon you can you can go to John's website, Guardian rockwealthcom, and you can get a copy there. You can get all kinds of video and information to understand and you can start a meeting with with John from that website. You can email them, you can pick up the phone and call him his phone. Never let me see if I get a John Three, one, two, three, seven to five thousand right. That's it. That's that's the old fashioned one. That's the old fashioned telephone, but I'm sure that after that you could set his zoom meeting with Johnny, get to know who he is, because he's really a great guy who has a superheart and really wants to help you build that life that you're all about and does it in a variety of ways. That is personal. I call it that boutique approach to personal financial planning and he's been doing it for thirty some on years, been all over the country, a great expert. So, John,...

...thanks for thanks for just sharing with us the idea that we started this whole concept out, this whole episode about a quality versus quantity. You're not in that business of churning through clients, assigning them a number, putting them in a box and saying, okay, that's your port probably that your portfolio. You want to design specific portfolios for each individual client, right. That's right. So not quantity but quality so that you can help people have that life that they that they really dream about having, and I appreciate that about you, sir. Thanks for thanks for taking another episode to unpack that and help us understand a little bit more about who you are, what you do, how you help people and how you like to communicate in a digital age, using zoom and and other online technologies where you can actually see people and the importance of that. So thanks for thanks for doing that again. All right. Well, I start, we started this by saying Aloha. So that that means is that hello and goodbye. What is it is and then mahallows is. Thank you, so mahallow. Okay. So, John Mahallow, for being on your podcast today and a lowhall until next time. With it. There we go. I'm learning, all right. We'll talk to you later. All right. So thanks for listening to the building your life podcast with John Browning. Be Sure to subscribe to this podcast so each new episode will be sent to you automatically when it is released. Have a terrific day.

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