I recently had the tremendous pleasure to appear on the "Hot Off the HYP" podcast hosted by Johannes Boot. This is the official podcast for the Holland/Zeeland Young Professionals or "HYP". I had a fantastic time speaking with Johannes and am very grateful for the opportunity to express the thoughts and ideas that we discuss with our clients every day! You can click here to listen to the full podcast (also on Spotify and Pandora) or you can read a few highlights below:
Johannes Boot: Do you guys specialize in any specific type of investment planning?
Alexander Overbeek: When we look at investment planning it's different for everyone. Our specialty is definitely helping people work through, not just what their investments are, or what type of insurance coverage they have, but how do you think about money. What is the plan? Or even more basic just to take it even a step back, what do you want money to do for you? Because everyone has a different answer to that question. For some people, it's just "I want to have time, I want to have freedom in my in my retirement years". You know I had someone tell me the other day, "I want to be able to live my life while my body will still let me". It sounds kind of cliché almost to say, "well what what are your goals for the future?", but everything kind of builds off of that. It's kind of like you know, I was reading a book the other day that made the example that to come to a financial advisor, without goals in mind, is kind of like going to a doctor and saying, "here are my symptoms", and they say, "Oh, here's a solution for you" without asking you any further questions just here it is, here's a prescription, right when you walk in the door. I been in that situation, I've worked with other professionals who do it that way and I just don't think this is the best way. So, we have to try to have meaningful conversations with people surrounding their money.
JB: You said that you launched Provisio a year ago and that was right in the middle of, when we were starting the pandemic. Speak to that a little bit.
AO: The traditional financial advisor model has been, come to my office, sit at my mahogany desk, sit here in my suit and tie and let's talk investments. That model was already starting to go away but the pandemic accelerated it dramatically.
...We found ourselves, and we still find ourselves, having a ton of zoom meetings. There were some clients that we brought on board last year that we got started on a plan and got their investments going and insurance and, we didn't even meet them in person until pretty much everything was done...
...One of the things that my dad and I will comment on frequently when we have meetings over Zoom, is body language. Even with the camera, especially when everyone's internet connections are different... it's really hard sometimes because some people are more expressive than others. And sometimes we wonder, okay, how is this meeting actually going? Because you can't necessarily tell by their by their body language or their tone of voice...There's been some clients that we've been able to meet in person now that things have opened up ...and it turns out they're really excited about the plan, and we maybe didn't necessarily [realize that]. I don't think in-person meetings will ever go away. I think there's some value to having an annual review in person, even if that means a couple we have a couple other meetings throughout the year that are over zoom or phone call...
JB: With young professionals, perhaps they may see an investment planner as somebody who's making the same guesses they're making in the market. Why would they need to pay a suit when they could do it themselves?
AO: When people ask me the question, "Well why would ever come to you if I can just do it myself". They're not necessarily wrong! There are situations where if I'm helping someone get started that it may not be super complicated. You could do it yourself but moving forward, the value of a financial advisor is not just what you're invested in. Probably the biggest thing that we do for people is we provide a sounding board. Some people will say well it's kind of like you're a gatekeeper and it's not a gatekeeper to your money, it's more like a saying we are like a screen door.
You have full access to your accounts, you can see everything that's in there and it's very transparent, you can get at it whenever you want. But you still have to open the screen door, you still have to talk to us. We can still talk through things with you, we have that collaboration. In this book I was just reading called "The One Page Financial Plan" by Carl Richards, he talks about the "Big Mistake". And the big mistake is buying high and selling low. That is, as a financial advisor, I don't think anything encapsulates what we do better than helping people from making the big mistake. And so, you know, yeah free investing apps and I can go on and on about those apps and the different pitfalls that are associated with them, but I think that's really the biggest thing is that we can help people when we talk about goals and we build a plan. It's one thing to have a plan, it's a completely different thing to stick to it. So really that's our biggest job for clients is let's help you stick to that plan and avoid making a big mistake.
JB: What would be some advice you're giving to young professionals specifically...[what would be] the boxes that you would be checking?
AO: [Getting started] doesn't always mean jumping in with both feet and putting all your savings into the market, usually it doesn't. I would talk to a financial advisor, I would find someone that you can trust, that you feel comfortable with that's going to give you the truth and treat you well. But [here are] a few general things:
Take out an index card and just write down the things that are most important to you, surrounding your money, you know, what is it that you want money to do for you as a tool. Then write down a few goals, some short term goals, medium goals, long term goals, and just start laying that out. That's really the best place to start because that's going to influence all of your financial decisions down the road. And once you have some of those things in place then look at, okay, what are my assets and my liabilities, what do I own and what do I owe.
Enjoy the interview and let me know what you think!