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Don’t Underestimate Simplicity: Matthew Jarvis on Streamlining Your Practice [Episode 9]

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Most financial planners thrive on helping people. In addition to having an affinity for numbers, many CFP’s share in common the desire to take in an innumerable amount of clients as a means for bringing more reassurance and financial security to the biggest pool of people as possible. Unfortunately though, there is only a finite amount of clients that one can possibly meet with. In addition, clients also have to bring in enough capital to sustain the entire practice. This means that tough decisions need to be made for the sustainability of the business itself. But how does one go about insulating one’s self from unprofitable clients or safeguard one’s time from borderline charitable acts instead of profit-driven endeavors? For managing and dealing with complicated circumstance like this, simplicity is key. Either refer unprofitable clients to other ventures who can help them or like guest Neil Rossiter implements in his own practice, send them to a junior advisor instead of another firm. Another way of looking at this is when Matthew states that he likes to give the analogy that some customers approach him looking for brain surgery instead of the heart surgery that his firm provides. And much like the many specialists who comprise the spectrum of the medical profession, so to the financial world is replete with specialists who have their own function. Matthew offers a simple solution to the problem.

In addition, this episode delves into the importance of streamlining the process from which clients can get ahold of the financial planner. Matthew states that instead of wasting time and being constantly interrupted, there is a simple but powerful solution for having too porous a barrier between client and advisor: what needs to be done is that unless in an emergency, the client will always be scheduled to talk to Matt or Neil usually by next day. And then once questioned if the nature of the call is administrative or financial advice, sometimes the admin can actually do the work and minimize the scheduled call from actually taking place. This strategy provides simplicity to what was potentially a convoluted process.

And last but not least, the one-page financial plan makes a reappearance for the sake of streamlining and simplicity. Matthew ends the episode by providing two action items: Don’t take incoming phone calls unless by emergency or appointment and start trying and practicing the Carl Richards, one-page financial plan that has been a staple of the Perfect RIA podcast.

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