October 13

Episode 4 : Mark Friedenthal, Founder of Tolerisk


Welcome everyone to the essential financial advisor marketing podcast brought to you today by financial advisors.com. The consumer friendly advisor driven comprehensive marketing platform for the financial services industry. Today’s my guest is mark doll, founder of tolerance. Welcome. Thank you.

Appreciate you having me to McCann. It’s great to be here. Yeah, very good. I just like to begin out with a couple of basic questions for you, mark, with regards to first of all, how long have you been in the financial services industry? Number one. And can you tell our listeners, where are you located in the country?

Yeah. So I’m going to date myself a little bit. I, my first job in financial services, I was a. On the Philadelphia options exchange in 1991. So I’ve been in some form or another for a while. Obviously not always in Tolerisk, but but in around financial services as well we were based in Marlton New Jersey, which is about 10 miles east of Philadelphia as the Crow flies.

Okay. Okay. Let’s get right to it. Can you tell us Mark A. Little bit about what is tolerance? Yeah, so Tyler’s cause it risk tolerance, assessment tool for all kinds of financial advisors, investment advisors, it’s really designed. For the advisor to help the client make better decisions when it comes to risk and also have more confidence in the process so that they stick with the plan and frankly, the confident clients, the one that typically makes the referrals as well.

It’s also pretty darn supportive from a compliance perspective. So sometimes when I’m talking to somebody that’s in more of a corporate role compliance ends up being a big part of the focus. They want a process. That’s objective, that’s repeatable, documented. They want it to be consistent, not just from one client to the next and one year to the next but from one advisor to the next.
So that, that can be a big driver as well. We really, we cater specifically to [00:02:00] the fiduciary process. I think that’s a big aspect that elevates our exercise versus what advisors historically have typically done. We’ve taken what the sec describes for risk tolerance, which is really someone’s willingness to accept risk as well as their ability to take.

And we’ve given the advisors, the tools to measure both of those dimensions and show how their ability may be evolving mathematically over time which is the constraint. And at the same time, really validate the client’s premise so that everybody can be confident in the decisions that arise from that analysis.
Well, mark, you mentioned fiduciary. Let’s talk about that. What makes for a fiduciary caliber risk tolerance? Yeah. So that’s a great question. So in the U S actually risk tolerance is not mandatory the way it is in certain parts of Asia and Europe. We really looked at the sec, specifically, as I was mentioning, we look at what they described [00:03:00] qualitatively since it’s not a requirement.
Most firms have a very basic requirement for risk tolerance is often. Kind of a CYA, if and it’s not usually well appreciated by the advisor or the client, because most of the typical exercise historically has been nebulous is. Personality focused. It’s multiple choice questions that slots the client is moderate in most cases, sometimes aggressive or conservative, but it’s this sort of nebulous nomenclature.
That’s not necessarily so objective and clear or consistent from one advisor to the next or one client to the next. So we really started with what the sec describes, which is if someone’s willingness to accept risk and their ability to take risks, the former. The former has been done for awhile. And it’s been done by a lot of different tools from simple quizzes, just some other technology tools, some of them around longer than us, not too [00:04:00] many of them but some of them, but the big difference in what really makes for you.
Fiduciary experience, excuse me, I apologize is the measurement of somebody’s ability to take risks. And the way we go about it is to use traditional fixed income mathematics applied to household cash flows. So we much, the way you might look at a bond or a bond portfolio, and you could measure mathematic.
How sensitive the value is to changes in interest rates or credit spreads. We can use the same kinds of techniques to measure that kind of sensitivity to market risk for household cash flows. Now, household cash flows are more complex than your typical bond, right? Typical bond. If it’s a treasury pays coupon every six months principle at the end, pretty straightforward household cash flows.
As we know, can have irregular intervals, they can have money coming in and going out. They can be across more than one [00:05:00] tax status. So they’re more complex, but the principles are the same. And ultimately we can measure how sensitive they are to changes in market risk. We use an industry standard scale to make it all practical, to make it practical, to compare to what the client perhaps has used in the past or what the advisor might recommend.
So everything coming out of tolerance is calibrated to that broadly diversified stocks to bonds style benchmark ratio. So if you get a seven. Whether it’s your willingness or your ability, or ultimately your tolerance score, which is the constraint that 70 equates to a risk level. That’s about 70% in diversified growth assets, like equities or alternatives and things like that.
And the 30%, of course, in lower risk assets. So again, easy to compare to what they’ve experienced before or what the advisor might might be thinking about implementing. And I think that’s part of what makes it so practical. You can take off. Robust mathematics and still [00:06:00] express it to the client in something that’s easy to use, easy to understand.
And that’s, I think that’s why it’s so successful for advisors. I have no clients. Yeah. That’s really interesting. So how do you take risk tolerance and financial planning exercises? How do they. Great question. And some of what we do does intersect broad planning tools use a risk directive as an input.
So if Mr and Mrs. Smith have a 60 40 portfolio, that’s one of the inputs. There’s a certain set of assumptions sitting behind. A certain expected return, a certain standard deviation or variance of returns that is commensurate with that 60, 40 portfolio. And most often the user, the advisers allowed to calibrate that themselves, if they want to be more aggressive or more conservative they can reflect that.
With that basic assumption. There’s some user [00:07:00] defined end of the exercise like Mr or Mrs. Smith’s 90th birthday or something like that, that risk levels held constant unless it’s subjectively changed in the future. And what those exercises typically do is they use what’s called a single factor, Monte Carlo simulation.
So they, they take that capital markets assumption and they use it to create, let’s say a thousand or so different potential paths or. Portfolio returns in the future or maybe potential portfolio returns in the future. And then at the end of that exercise, when let’s say Jane Smith is 90 on her 90th birthday, they say, okay, how many of those thousand paths had money at the end versus had run out previous to that?
That’s the classic kind of exercise in a nutshell. One of the. One of the ways that we have intersected is we needed to provide the fiduciary, the functionality to validate the client’s premise at an [00:08:00] earlier stage in the process. If the, if they wait until they do that broad plan and they enter a risk level, that might not be commencing.
With someone’s ability to take risks. They have this inconsistency. So the better processes to do it really before they get to that point. Now those broad planning tools do an excellent job with detailed cashflow projection and tax projections, and they can do. Almost seemingly countless modules whether it’s taxing the state strategies and charitable giving strategies and all kinds of things, and they can then some of the produce a pretty in-depth lengthy report.
I It could be a hundred or more pages, so there’s a lot that could be done with those tools. We don’t get into that level of detail. So we certainly don’t replace tools like that, but we needed to be able to let that fiduciary advisor. Validate the client’s premise because the last thing they want to do as part of that fiduciary duty of care is [00:09:00] provided advice on something as important as a risk directive without the advisor and the client being confident in those underlying assumptions or that.
Yeah. And so that’s where, I’m sorry, go ahead. No, go ahead. Go ahead. I was going to say that’s where the intersection comes. So while we don’t get into that level of detail, we needed to get. A very robust but simple barometer for our users, for our advisors. And what we do is provide them the probability that the client.
And if there’s two, if it’s a, let’s say it’s a Jane and John DOE. So to speak the probability that Jane and Jane or John DOE or both would be alive after the month. And that might sound like the output from one of the broad planning tools, but there’s a couple of differences. I’ll draw your attention to one is we’re not tethered to the idea that today’s risk directive will be held constant for the rest of their lives and common sense.
And [00:10:00] frankly advisor experience. Leads them to the notion that, that makes it more realistic. If we’re able to measure their ability to take risks and we can measure mathematically how that’s likely to evolve as the client migrates towards and through their cash flows, that can be incorporated that custom glide path can be incorporated into the simulation that makes it more of a realistic reflection of what that.
May experience in the future rather than just saying we’ll just hold it constant. You got a 60 40, today. You’re 30 years old. We’ll just assume for the next 60 years that we’ll just keep it unchanged. So advisors and frankly, clients appreciate the fact that there might be a better assumption.
We may have more insight than just assuming it’s constant. So that’s one of the big advancements. Another one is how we handle it. The broad planning tools tend to focus very much on simulating potential portfolio returns with all those [00:11:00] detailed cash flows and tax modeling which is certainly can be helpful.
Usually it’s a single path or a single assumption for inflation. What we know and what advisors tell us that they know is that the best indication of financial longevity, how long someone’s money will last is the path of real returns that they end up expanding. And of course we don’t know what that path will be, but I draw your attention to the contrast of simply using the path of nominal returns.
You may have heard the the expression sequence of return risk. That’s what simulation models that were designed to do it beats the predecessor, right? The old original financial plans. And I think some of us on this call might remember those. They were static. They had your cash flows in and out.
We assume your portfolio generates 6% returns. Inflation is X. And when did your money run out? And they didn’t capture that sequence of return risk. The fact that it’s not going to be 6% return. [00:12:00] Correct. So there were big advances in that regard, but what we actually now know is that it’s not the sequence of nominal returns.
That’s the very best driver, but the sequence of real world. It’s the path of real returns that someone experiences, because it’s not just how the portfolio performs, right? It’s how the portfolio performs relative to the pace at which someone draws from their portfolio. And we know the pace at which they draw their expenses are very much related to what inflation will be in the future.
So accounting for that uncertainty makes it a more realistic output and we find advisors and clients that resonates with. The client doesn’t respond to the long list of caveats and qualifications. We give you tons of detail and information. I’m being hyperbolic here. Assuming that your 60, 40 risk level stays constant and inflation is 3% of you both die on Jane’s 90th birthday.
We know [00:13:00] that’s not that realistic. So having a process that accounts for that variability, that uncertainty is important. I’ll tell you the other thing I want to mention, which I think is one of the coolest things that we develop and is a big advancement instead of having our users choose the end of the exercise.
Like Jane Doe’s 90th birthday. We actually build mortality probabilities year by spouse, directly into the simulation. And we even allowed them to be customized. If the client wants to identify gender, if they want to give an indication of health, lifestyle habits, family history, again, high-level, we’re not talking about real detail.
We’re saying, are you above average or below average? You will above average. We will shift that probability distribution to be commensurate with that. And when you’ve got two individuals, tolerance is actually smart enough to incorporate last survivor probability year by year. So second to die probability year by year, which is what most people care about.
They want to know how long they want to know that neither one [00:14:00] of them are going to run out of money. What is the likelihood of that kind of event? So by, by taking all that robust mathematics, but packaging it in this very. Short exercise and giving the advisor that, that easy barometer, not only are they providing better, more useful information to the client, but it becomes very easy to validate.
It becomes easy to validate the premise, the assumption. Imagine for a moment that the advisor and the client go through this exercise and the client has a high probability of running out of money. Let’s say it’s 53% just to make it. Neither the advisor nor the client are going to be comfortable with.
And so they’re not going to be comfortable relying on a measurement of somebody’s ability to take risks, knowing whether that’s the constraint or maybe their personalities, that constraint, if it’s based on an untenable set of assumptions. So the first thing the advisor is going to do as their coach, as their counselor, is help them figure out what is likely to change.
Are they going to plan to work with. Are they going to [00:15:00] trim what they spend now and save more between now and retirement? Are they going to downsize something else in the future? Maybe it’s some combination of these moving parts, but making those changes, setting more realistic assumptions may change their ability to take.
And it might even cause it to go above or below their willingness to accept risk. So you can imagine all these things need to be done concurrently. Can you ask how this integrates with the planning process? It’s all gotta be integrated together to have the most meaningful result. Yeah, absolutely.
Especially in the light. Now, when you read the paper that the inflation rate has been the highest on a quarterly basis in like 20 years or something like that. It’s just a, and everybody looks at that. I’m old, we’re old enough here to remember what the inflation was like in the 80 of the seventies.
And we were young, younger than. The last thing you want to do is be our age or older than we are and find out, oh, that purchasing power just [00:16:00] took another hit. Gosh I would’ve loved to actually have planned for that. It’s funny, you mentioned that we find a lot of advisors use tolerance as a wellness checkup.
Because it’s a concise exercise, very quick to update. So especially if you’ve done one, then it’s like any Microsoft product you open up the last one, you hit save as, and you can update whatever the current kind of information you still retiring. At this point, he’s still putting a kid through college, whatever is relevant.
And so you can measure if that probability running out of money is ticking in the wrong direction. Or if the right risk level, when measuring their ability if it’s a little different than it was before you can make those small adjustments, that small course correction. If I often think about it the way we think about healthcare.
We talk about a wellness visit financially, right? W we all hopefully go to our doctors once a year and they put you on a scale, draw some blood, pick a few measurements, [00:17:00] hopefully we’re doing it when we feel great. Because if one of those numbers or something is ticking a little bit in the wrong direction, there’s usually a lot of options.
Maybe it’s we’ll watch it. Maybe it’s go on a diet or get some exercise. Maybe it’s take some pills. But we may have lots of choices if we wait to go to the doctor until we’re symptomatic. Heaven forbid we got stage four, something or other. There usually aren’t so many options at that point.
And financial planning is very much the same in that if we have an easy way to, to update that client’s sort of financial wellness and know if it’s headed in the wrong direction, we have an idea. Do we need to do it more frequently? Do we need to help them course? Correct. Do we need to just watch it a little.
But that’s such an important part. So we don’t wake up down the road and go, holy moly, inflation ended up being a lot higher than we thought, and we can’t sustain this lifestyle and now we’re in our seventies and we can’t go back to work or we don’t feel like we can. I’m sure some people can but maybe we don’t feel like we [00:18:00] can so it is much easier to make small course.
Correct. As early in, in the planning process as possible versus making draconian changes later in life that’s often very difficult for people. So if there’s a big life event change like you get a large inheritance or you lose your job or you decide to get divorced or something like that.
What do you recommend the use of tolerance for? That’s great. All great examples. All examples of when you want to apply. Your tolerance assessment, when you want to see how that changes, not only your ability to take risks, but also your financial longevity, right? Because those things can have an impact.
And those things might necessitate some course correction, and it could be an either direction or maybe that surprise inheritance means retiring earlier is quite practical, or maybe it’s a different quality of life in retirement. There’s often there’s more than one way that the. And [00:19:00] we provide a lot of companion analytics.
I talked about the main outputs which are designed to answer the most common questions. Advisors say their clients ask the two most common questions of course are what do we do now? And what’s the likelihood we run it. So that’s the dashboard on tolerance, but there’s a lot of other companion analytics, because number one, people learn in different ways, clients and advisors that we want to give them different tools, to be able to explain somewhat complex concepts like financial longevity.
That’s not always intuitive to every client. So we want to give them different ways of expressing it. Yes. Maybe for some that all encompassing you’ve got. 8% chance of you or your spouse outliving your money for many that sort of all encompassing metric. That simple one number. That’s the easiest, but not for everybody.
Some people need to see it graphically. Some people need to see we have one report. That’s a little newer for us. It came out earlier [00:20:00] this year that shows what percentage of somebody’s future expenses are already funded and how each successive year. They’re funding more and more of their future.
We show them very graphically visually when we expect them to reach 100% funded. And in fact, what’s nice about that is it’s also great illustration of what’s the trade off. Maybe we’ll retire a little bit earlier, but we’ll curtail our lives. So what is that trade off? Maybe we retire a few years earlier and it’s on 80 or 90% of our lifestyle, but you can see it visually and many people are visual.
And so being able to provide the advisors tools so that they can connect with their client, they can show their client how things are likely to evolve for them. That tends to engender that competence that drives that confident clients that see that this advisor’s process has been customized. That they’re going to be with this client through all of these different life events that this isn’t a one and done that it’s [00:21:00] not just a here are 12 questions and we’ll call you moderate.
When they see that it’s been tailored to. That drives that confidence. It helps the client exhibit better behavior. We know that clients that can stick with the plan have better outcomes. And again, from the advisors perspective, the confident clients are the ones that make the referrals. So it’s a very, even though this is all built for fiduciary standards and it’s built to support the compliance efforts and think most advisors who are client facing, they look to elevate this exercise for businesses.
They do it because they want to drive confidence for their clients. They want to impress their prospects because again, that’s how they get more conversion and those confident clients are the ones that make those referrals. So there is a big tie to business development. Yeah. So dovetailing off of that.
How would you use Tala risk to help an advisor market selves? Yeah, it’s a [00:22:00] great question. A lot of advisors use our landing pages. We provide them actually landing pages for different types of services. That’ll have their logo, it’ll have an embedded video a what’s in it for me kind of video.
They have to be very short. You don’t always know how much attention span you have from a prospect, but they can be used in social media. For example, advisers will put a maybe a little bit of a provocative statement, whether it’s Facebook or wherever, do you really know how long your money’s going to last?
What. That would get a number of people to say maybe I’m interested in this. And then from there they might click a link that was provided that would take them to that landing page with that, that advisers logo and an embedded video, that would be like a minute or so. And then that video is designed to get them to think, yeah I want to go through this exercise.
I want this information. I want to know how long my money’s going to. Or at least what risk I have about living. And I want to know what I how much risk I should be taking along [00:23:00] the way. And so that’s what prompts them to want to engage with the advisor and we provide processes. So the advisor can capture that lead when they do that, or last for contact information and things like that.
So that’s one way we have a 401k tool. We have advisors. A number of them had shared over the years, that one of the challenges in that employer sponsored market 401ks at four, three BS and things like that. One of the challenges is that there might be a couple of executives in that plan, but most of the participants in that plan are pretty small.
And it’s difficult to serve the masses. Cost-effectively at least the way they want to serve them. So some say, I just don’t touch that market at all. Some say I only take on a plan because I have a relationship with the owner or the partner. And I can’t say that. And others say I serve at the plan level, but I don’t serve the participants.
So we hear all kinds of responses that are usually to deal with that [00:24:00] challenge. If you’ve got, if the. The median balance and the plan is 20 30, 40, $50,000. Right? Most of those participants are not generating enough per capita revenue to cover the kind of advisory time it takes to do custom planning, custom allocation, custom glide path.
It’s just not, it’s just not. We give them an architecture. It’s a different tool that comes with the subscription, but we provide an exercise called tolerance 401k then allows them to decide how they want to deliver that custom process, but do it through automation and technology build it. It takes them literally five minutes to set up a plan and tolerance, and we create automatically a website for all the participants in that.
And they can get everything. Self-serve everything from what’s the right risk level to how things might change to what’s the likelihood I outlive my money and what might need to change, how much longer do I need to work, or how much more do I need to save to make [00:25:00] that something I could live with.
We provide all of that. Self-serve and you were talking about business development, how to use it can. The reason that made me think of this particular exercise is we found advisors use it as a data collection. Because they’ll drop a file of all the participant data that they collected and they can query for who’s over 59, that might be a candidate, maybe for a rollover who has material assets outside of the plan that may benefit from other services that advisor provides. So it became an easy way. Very time efficient to identify those people. And I think they were otherwise missing them. So that, that can be an interesting way to to use it, to generate some leads and sales and things like that together.
Yeah, I CA I can recall when I was in the market as an advisor, working with companies that were I provided 400. Type of things. And I was always amazed at the D at the question I would ask the owner would ask me, he said [00:26:00] how much, how big is my account? That was number one.
And I started talking about highly compensated. Cut lowly compensated. And as soon as I got into those numbers then it was like how much is your administration? It was all, it’s all about what’s in it for me. I’m not sure if that’s changed, maybe it hasn’t over the years, but it’s always been from my point of view, how can we actually do work a 401k that will benefit the workers if you will, of the people in the plan.
And one of the other biggest things, the fact that. The IRS, I think Arista had established safe harbors to make sure that if anything went awry, there was a safety net. The advisors could crawl into and say, you know what? I don’t want to I didn’t tell Joe to invest in this. That’s not my fault and so forth.
So yeah. It looks like to me that you’ve come up with a way for, to solve all of those things I E on the cost of the administration, or what’s more those safe Harbor, or if an advisor can take that approach using your tool to say we’ve got you covered. We understand [00:27:00] what owners are looking for.
We want to benefit the whole of the company, including the lowly, not only the highly compensated, but more importantly, Lowly compensated. Yeah. So you’re right. There’s a lot that goes into some of the actuary work to protect the non highly compensated employee, the NHC CE all the labor laws are really built for that population.
So you’re absolutely right. In terms of safe Harbor, that’s actually not designed to protect an advisor. What it really does is it protects the plan and. And specifically, really the trustee that’s acting on behalf of the plan sponsor, which if you’re dealing with a small company, that’s probably the owner of the company or the managing partner of the company it’s designed to absolve them of some of the labor law.
So that if the, if they would otherwise have failed and a lot of it has to do with, how do you show how much benefit is going to those non-highly compensated versus the highly compensated. The executives are all highly motivated to put away as much money as [00:28:00] possible. They often are the ones that have the surplus cash.
They want the tax benefits and things. And so frequently the line level employees. Don’t always take advantage of those kinds of tax advantage contributions and without a safe Harbor designation. The plan runs the risk of going a foul where it doesn’t pass muster, according to labor laws where you either, if you really don’t do anything to remedy that the plan could lose its pension tax status, which is really what happens if it’s being monitored closely is they’ll actually send money back to the highly compensated employees because they’ll lower the benefits.
That’s reported to them so that the ratios come out and pass those standards. Let me tell you that can really piss off some of those highly compensated employees. And I’ve seen situations where just because of operational delays, those [00:29:00] highly compensated don’t find out until after they’ve filed their taxes.
Imagine how annoying that is to have to go back, amend your taxes, especially if you’re paying an accountant to do that. So yeah, they look you’re your. In my personal opinion a safe Harbor plan certainly is well worth consideration. For those reasons. What I find from advisors is they say the plan sponsor loves the idea of supporting all year round financial wellness and education, and providing for the participant.
As long as it doesn’t increase their costs. That’s very true. And so that’s where the solution shines because we don’t charge the advisor by plan or by participant, they pay a subscription for the software. In fact, it comes with their subscription. So if they primarily use it for their wealth management, And they have a few 401ks there’s zero incremental cost to them because that solution comes with [00:30:00] their software and they can roll it out to all the plans they have and all the participants they have, there is no incremental costs whatsoever.
So it becomes a very cost-effective way to elevate that experience for the participants. And I’ll tell you for the advisors that do want to develop more of that business, right? The ones that are trying to land more plans. We actually provide some marketing resources for that as well. Landing page and videos for perspective plan sponsors, because this exercise is a great way to differentiate.
It’s a great way for the advisor to say. Here’s what you get working with me. Who’s going to provide more support for your participants. More education, more financial wellness for your participants at no added cost whatsoever. That’s a pretty compelling value proposition and we make it really easy for them to do it with minimal time and no additional cost.
So mark let’s [00:31:00] talk a little bit about marketing for your business. What what challenges do you have, but also what are you, what do you do that you think works really well for you? Yeah we connect with advisors in a variety of different ways. One of the big, hot topics for advisors and thus for us and probably for any.
Integrations. So we have existing integrations with Orion black diamond red tail wealth. We have a number of other integrations in the pipeline. So really big, meaningful integrations that advisors have been more or less demanding. I’d say they’ve been requesting, but I’m going to say they’d been demanding it and we need to deliver on that.
And so we’re working feverously to bring to bring them to market as. Quickly and done well as possible. We have several others that are slated to rule out this year that we’re really excited about. So stay tuned. And if you’re an advisor listening to this, definitely let us know [00:32:00] what other integrations you want.
Some of them I’m pretty darn sure. Already underway, but others may not be and this is how we all prioritize. So you have to, if you want to see tolerance integrated with your favorite XYZ. Solution you gotta let us know. You gotta let them know, and this is how we all prioritize those things, but that’s a big focus for advisors make the process seamless, reduce time, reduce error make it a better experience either for the advisor or the end client or both.
And that’s what integrations really are about. So I that’s a big one for us. Good question. What about any marketing challenges? Have you run into anything for your business? Yeah, because it’s always a challenge. We have not at this point gone out and raised money the way some large players in our space have done.
So we haven’t had. The budget to spend on like [00:33:00] conferences and advertisements and things where they spend a ton of money, we’ve put our resources into the product itself. And so the product itself sings and the product itself is what drives advisers to use it. At some point we may need to invest more money in.
In the things just to have more of a presence I think that puts us at a competitive disadvantage just because we aren’t trafficking all those conferences. We’ve been to a few generally when they’ve invited me to come speak or when we’ve been nominated or won an award or something like that, which we have.
But we don’t do the conference circuit and that, so I think that’s one of the challenges and something we our debate. Especially now that we’ve put so much into the product where that’s really where we’re almost all of our resources have gone. And this is the live site for tolerance.
Cause the 56th, 57th release something around there. We have a next, our next release coming actually quite soon. But it may be time [00:34:00] to to all. Be spending on some of those other distribution kinds of channels. I think that’s always a factor how do you spend money on things like that, that already enhancing the advisor experience with your tool, but maybe needed just to reach.
Exactly. Yeah. I think there, there are probably a lot of digital marketing things that you could do to take advantage of this one example is being a guest on a podcast is a great way to get that out there, shameless, but it’s the absolute truth. Another thing that comes to my mind.
And do you have a, do you have any relationships with any channels any distributor and maybe a distributor in a loose sense of the term in the sense that when you, when somebody. Another product, they also help to introduce your product. Sure. We have a partners program and we have a lot of big names in the industry that are chosen to be in our partners program.
Most of them [00:35:00] choose to be featured on our website. There are a few that for whatever reason, they don’t want their logo up on another on a vendor’s website most do most want the extra marketing attention and value that that comes with that. And they range from other technologies.
Like some of the partners, I, as like some of the integrations, I mentioned the big custodians couple of regionals trade organizations the FPA NAPFA, things like that. Some in the compliance kind of arena, the compliance folks love tolerance. So having folks like our inbox in there make a lot of sense.
And these are all entities that, that show. To join again, whether it’s Schwab fidelity, TD Ryan, black diamond, red tail wealth box and some of the big trade organizations. So yeah, but those were, as they start, they. Make it available to their users. In some cases, there are integrations that make the process even better as [00:36:00] well, but they’re not selling it for us.
They’ll have to provide and connect with their members or their users or their advisors, however it’s structured. So it’s still challenges. Yeah. But that can still be a great Excel. Sure. Yeah, absolutely. So do you do much you talked about, you don’t have the opportunity to get out to the trade shows and things like that.
What about other traditional things like either direct mail or it sounds to me like you’ve gotta be generating a really strong referral base of business as well. No, it’s not so much referral. Interesting. We get. No, you had our member advisors who find really cool tools. Don’t want to give it to their competitors.
It’s a little different. We do get some, we do get some, and there are some advisors who are friendly, obviously with other advisors and don’t feel threatened, but no, a lot of advisors want to, they want to keep the cool stuff. That’s so innovative to themselves, interestingly, but no, we reach advisors through email direct email, not so much direct [00:37:00] mail.
Maybe we should, but I guess as a technology company we’re we think to do a digital. There’s probably more we could do with social media. I’m glad that your podcast will be on social media and things like that. There’s probably more that we could do there but advisors we place really well in the big surveys T3 is inside information WelTec surveys.
We get people that read about us and see that we’ve been published in a lot of places and picked up in media as such. Sometimes they’re finding us like that. I don’t know if that’s, I guess when you said referral, I was thinking from other users, other advisors whereas they’re more likely reading about us someplace and coming to us that way.
And it’s usually because they are already fiduciaries or they, or most of their businesses as a fiduciary, they don’t have to be. In fact, one of the regional broker dealers was kind enough to send us their FINRA review letter because there are plenty of advisors that are dual registered or some of them, they call themselves a high.
[00:38:00] Yeah, they do RI business and they do some brokerage business. Most of the ones that come to us say that their focus is the advisory business. That’s what I find. But again, having a FINRA review letter is helpful because some of them need that and sometimes he the brokers just want to elevate this process.
And so they’re really operating like fiduciaries even though maybe technically. They’re not held to that or considered fiduciary. Again we cater to anybody that wants to elevate this exercise. It it is geared towards the yeah. Okay. Yeah, that is last time I checked Mr.
Various is still holding his insight forum. Is that next month or zap? You knew he he is wonderful for the industry. I, I don’t know the date off hand, so I don’t cause he’s last time I checked as I got an email from him as the fact that a lot of things are T3 had to re be rescheduled to the next.[00:39:00]
Yeah. We don’t have a formal podcast like you guys, which I’m thrilled to be a part of, but I did have the unique opportunity. To actually interview Bob verus. Yeah. And that was a treat and we got a great response from advisors and that I Bob has interviewed me a few times before, over the years and and he was very gracious and amenable to let me flip the tables on him.
And and so that was really a treat that was a few months ago, but we had quite a nice turnout from advisors that signed in to hear that. And and Bob was a great sport and I think it was informative has, as all of his speeches are, but it was just a different format. It allowed me to ask him the questions and make it much more impromptu than something that may have been otherwise a planned speech.
Good. Let’s this has been a lot of great information, mark. It’s I think it’s going to benefit all [00:40:00] of us with regards to our, as I said, this is our second broadcast of. Essential financial advisor marketing. And in what we’ve just talked about is our essentials. If you’re working as an advisor and you’re working with consulting with people, I’m like, there’s two questions.
How does it work? And am I going to live out, ran out of money? I can recall as an advisor years ago, we built a pamphlet and the name of the pamphlet is how can I not run out of money or something to that? And that was like 25 years ago, you were having. I don’t think anything’s changed so much.
I think if now it’s probably getting more and more together with all these different types of alternative investments. You’ve got the crypto corner, you get the coins you got. There’s just a plethora of things you can get into and people are just confused. That’s one of the reasons why we used to do.
Come to financial advisers.com and choose a real advisor. Not someone’s going to sell you products, but an advisor let’s not forget. Financial advisors.com is [00:41:00] in our partners program too. So each one of your member advisors. Gets a discount on their tolerance subscription. And they’ll have to go to your website.
And I believe you have a repository where you provide this sort of advantageous pricing for technology, whether tolerance score or. Vendors as well where you are, your members do get a beneficial price. So I think they have to come to your website to get that special code. But once they have that, if they’re subscribing to tolerance, they enter that referral code and they’ll get a reduced price.
So it’s a great benefit that you provide advices. Who who can procure technology at a preferred price. And I know it’s not just tolerance, but yeah, but we’re actually hitting that focus right now. We’re, we’ve actually we started working with with Ken just about a couple of weeks ago and what he brings to the table is all the the marketing tools, because most advisors out there that we’re working with [00:42:00] regards to their profiles.
And what we now can provide to them are tools that are, but likes to their their branding, their content, their, any type of marketing that they need can now be handle all or one roof of financial advisors.com through the expertise of CA of Ken. I’ll let Ken address that a little bit.
Yeah. Yeah. Really whether it’s building a sales funnel and have automated to, to nurture people. Because most people when they’re. Exploring. They’re not ready to talk to anybody, but they are looking for ways to start to build trust, and so if they need to download an ebook or watch a webinar or something like that, to help start that journey of building that trust then you need to nurture them along to the point where they’re like, they’re ready to raise their hand and say, okay, I’m ready for another.
And creating the automated booking calendars is a really important modern thing that needs to be added to every website. [00:43:00] A web text widget is what my preference is instead of a web chat widget web text widget gives you the ability to start a two way SMS conversations. Whereas a web chat widget, which you can continue on after somebody leaves that website, whereas a a web chat widget, you can only talk while they’re on that website.
And automated lead capture. Anytime somebody fills out a form or they call it. Or submits one of these web text widget capturing all of that and notifying everybody generating all of the the triggered follow-ups that you can build for for engaging with people.
And the world has changed for advisors now. The rules have been relaxed around reviews around allowing social media comments. And so there are a whole they can actually start to market themselves more like other professionals now. And so it’s a perfect time to be able to take advantage of.
Very good. Good points. Yeah. [00:44:00] Oh listen, it’s a, it’s been great chatting with you mr. Mark, three enthroned CEO of fan, founder of tolerance. We’ve all learned a lot this morning as it relates to a risk assessment. That’s what everybody wants to know. And I really enjoyed. Your inference, the fact that these are not static types of assessments they incorporate real live information, especially as it relates to inflation and it’s as we come into a situation where we’re going to add even more trillions to our negative balanced budget, it just foretells.
What will that rate. And yeah one cannot project into the future. Anything of one it’s going to be 1%. No, I think if you’re an advisor, if you’re a company you’re looking at, is that I’m going to deal with a professor that really understands that inflationary, the inflationary draw against my future dollars is really.
And I want to be kept on it. I’m going to be kept a [00:45:00] date every single year that I meet with you or six months or whatever the case may be to know that what my plan is a living document, not something I put on the shelf, but something has living document that you, as an advisor, much like my doctor, eye doctor, or any type of fresh, still consult with me on a timely basis to make sure we’re on that path.
So that. Yup. Excellent information. The one constant of course has changed. Yes. Correctly. That’s one thing we can always rely on listening. This has been a pleasure. I appreciate you having me on. And I I wish you all the best of success and I look forward to continuing a great relationship.
Yeah. Thanks. Just one last thing, mark. How can people find out about your business tolerant? Real easy. All right. Perfect. Okay. Very good. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. Thank you, mark. Bye. Bye.


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