Wealth Podcast Post

Being a Good Steward with Brian Seay

George Grombacher November 24, 2022

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Being a Good Steward with Brian Seay

LifeBlood: We talked about being a good steward of your money, how to give people what they want and expect as a financial advisor, the value of a fiduciary and transparency, and how to get started, with Brian Seay, CFO and Founding Partner of the Capital Stewards.

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You can learn more about Brian at TheCapitalStewards.com, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.

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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Brian Seay

Episode Transcript

george grombacher 0:00
Hi I’m leopard. This is George G. And the time is right to welcome today’s guest strong and powerful Brian C. Brian, how you ready to do this? Let’s go. Let’s go. Brian is a CFA. He’s the founding partner of the capital stewards. He is the host of the six figure investor podcast. Brian, excited to have you on tell us a bit about your personal lives more about your work, why you do what you do.

Unknown Speaker 0:40
Dad, George, I’m excited to be here. Thanks for having me on. I am a husband, I have an amazing wife. She’s a business leader in her own right. I’m a dad, I have two daughters and a son or daughters are five and three years old, our son was just born last year is about 18 months. So he’s learning how to walk around and chase sisters, which is great. It’s a lively time in our house. We live in Huntsville, Alabama, which means I’m literally surrounded by rocket scientists who live on both sides of our house, they send things into space, I hope people invest. So it’s a fun dynamic, a quick plug, I guess, for Huntsville, it was named the number one place in America to live earlier this year. So it’s a great place to be really enjoy the community here at church, all this stuff, it’s really, really a great place to be. So I started capital stewards during the pandemic, because it’s way past time for everyone to have financial and investment advice that is dedicated to serving their best interest, I started my career work for big firms for more than a decade. And I thought at a college that, you know, this fiduciary model, really financial advice that was designed to help people out and not to sell things we would take off. And that would just be the way the industry would work. And and that is the way that it works. Today, if you have four or 5 million bucks, you can find great financial planning and investment advice from someone who’s going to help you and not sell you. But unfortunately, the market hasn’t moved down to everybody. And I happen to know a lot of people who don’t have $5 million. And so we created capital stewards to provide that high caliber professional advice to clients in a modern, intuitive way. We work with professionals and business owners every day who are saving for the long term, they have real issues, they have kids running around, they need to send them to private school, they didn’t just send them to college, maybe they want to start a business, they have aging parents, all kinds of complicated situations all interwoven in together, and we help them make smart financial decisions. And so that’s what we do every day. It’s been it’s been really great.

george grombacher 2:35
Nice. Well, I certainly appreciate, appreciate all that. And I’m a huge fan of of the term steward. And it seems like it is a little bit of an older term. But I think about all I think I think a lot about being a good steward of, of, certainly money and time and attention and energy. So I love the name of your company, Brian.

Unknown Speaker 2:58
Yeah, obviously, a lot of intentionality went into that. And it’s at its core, I believe that everything that that we have, we’ve been given to do something really amazing with all of our time, all of our personal resources. And that certainly includes the resources of our of our clients, as well. And so, investment management and and helping people make smart financial decisions, it really at its core is about stewardship, and how do we help people be good stewards of the things that they’ve been given so that they can do the stuff that they’re really passionate about doing. And so it goes a lot to who I am at, kind of, at my core and, and I think it’s something that a lot of our clients kind of really, really gravitate towards as well.

george grombacher 3:46
Love it. And so how do we do that in this modern intuitive way, embracing technology, you know, and, and, and changing the way that advice is, is delivered to make it more accessible and to make it more comfortable and to create a process that people are interested in engaging in. So that’s that’s that’s that that is what you are working to crack. Yeah, and

Unknown Speaker 4:13
I was I was with some folks last week and somebody said you know, going to going to meet a financial advisor is sort of a cross between going to math class, going to marriage therapy, and going to see the dentist because on the way out we like make an appointment for you to come back in six months and do it all over again. And it just shouldn’t feel that way. Right. It should be about empowerment, it should be about being a good steward and helping you get in life from where you are today to where you want to be whether that’s you know working a little less than in are in your regular job so that you can start a business whether that’s getting a lot of people obviously are thinking about retirement that’s great. But you know what, if you want to buy a house what if you want to move What if you wanted to be able to invest in your community and do things charitably, that that really changed folks lives? And, and so it’s about being able to do all of those things? And how do you do? How do you make good decisions, and that enable you to do some of those things that you’re really passionate about. That’s what it should be about. And so that’s the kind of the lens and the approach that we use. And that’s that’s how we work with clients every day, the technology piece really, is just about thinking about flexibility and engagement and how we work with. So the industry for a long time was about you know, you go and you sit down with somebody thick rimmed glasses on and they give you like an 80 page PDF, the individual, your eyes glaze over. And you never read that document again. And now, think thankfully, technology has enabled us to have conversations, right, that are more impactful with people that help move them towards what they’re trying to accomplish in life. And to do it in a way that is engaging, that’s up on a screen, it’s flexible, and it changes as your life changes, that PDF document never changes once it’s been created, right. But the reality is, as soon as people walk out of our office, something happens, their life changes. And we need to make a change, right? And so. So it enables us to do all of those things in a way that I think just helps people grapple with those issues more effectively and not feel like their financial planning appointment was like going to the dentist.

george grombacher 6:23
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. It is nice to have a large leather bound book to put on your coffee table or your shelf, but not super functional, not super practical and immediately outdated, because our lives do change so quickly. So appreciate that. As it it’s it strikes me that everybody why wouldn’t want why wouldn’t somebody want this? And we resist because we don’t want to have an unpleasant experience. We recognize the need for all of this. And it’s it seems like once we start doing it, it’s probably easier to keep going it’s that whole momentum or or inertia thing. Is this something that everybody should do? And everybody can do?

Unknown Speaker 7:09
Yeah, I think so. The industry has an icky reputation, and it’s well deserved right? To many people for a long time, we’re just selling things under the banner of financial advice, hey, I’m gonna be a financial quote unquote, advisor. And now let me show you my latest and greatest thing that I need to sell you today regardless of whether you need that thing or not. And so I think people just for a long time have been kind of put off by that and rightfully so. But I think the reality is making, not stewarding your capital well cost too much over the over really long periods of time to not get it right. If that makes sense. If you don’t get these decisions, right, it’s ultimately going to cost you not just sort of money, right? And that can be hundreds of 1000s of dollars. But it might cost you a chance to start that business or to do the things in that community. You want to do the things that you feel really purpose, purposeful about in life, the things you feel really call to, you won’t be able to do those things. And so I think it’s worth it to get it right. I think it’s worth it now for for everyone I like I mentioned earlier, it’s not just reserved for folks that have some sort of level of assets that that makes you believe that you need, you know, Wealth Management, right, or some of these things that have been used in the past, everybody can get really good financial advice. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

george grombacher 8:35
Interesting, the making a bad financial mistake can be obviously a very, very, very bad thing, because money has time value. And the fear of making a bad mistake can also cause us to probably just do nothing, because they don’t want to make a bad mistake. Oh my goodness, I’m just not going to make it bad. I’m not going to make a decision. But that’s also just I mean, almost as risky.

Unknown Speaker 9:01
Yeah, I think there’s this there’s definitely, you know, this fear that that gets us to just stop, right? It’s like do do nothing, do no harm. What’s what’s really important is that you find a professional to work with, right, I think if you’re working with someone who is who truly is a fiduciary and we can talk about what that means. That’s a big finance word for somebody who is obligated to act in your best interest to actually help you and not sell you. What’s what’s funny is that we have to have a special word for that. You would think that would just be the standard, but it is not. If you find someone who’s a fiduciary and you find someone who has the right background and the right education, I think way, way, way, way way more often than not. You’re going to get really good advice. That’s that’s not going to lead you off down down a bad path. But I think finding the right professional to help is See? And if you do that, I think I think you should feel comfortable sort of taking the leap and sort of getting off the sofa and doing those things because I think the results can be can be really powerful.

george grombacher 10:09
Yeah, I certainly agree. And that fiduciary time, it’s been the I don’t know exactly what happened if somebody decided to hit us over the head with it, and then kept doing it for a while. And now it seems like it slowed down a little bit. But yeah, why wouldn’t everybody who’s working with your money be a fiduciary? Why wouldn’t they be legally obligated to act in the client’s best interest? That seems like a pretty obvious thing? So I appreciate that. Transparency is also something which is I think, important, but how is your experience with that? Because I know that you’re very transparent in what you charge. how interested are people in that?

Unknown Speaker 10:51
I think it’s it today, it’s table stakes. Honestly, I think you have to be transparent, I think the idea of, of, you know, the old world smoke and mirrors, one client sits across the table from another client, and they’re paying different things for the exact same set of services, I think that’s dead. I know, the way that we operate is we literally put our pricing structure online, and everybody pays the same thing. And if you ask for a discount, I just say sorry, because it’s I don’t think that’s fair to to the rest of our client base. So I think it is super important. And I think it’s it’s almost expected, right? I don’t think it’s, I don’t think it’s optional in today’s in today’s world.

george grombacher 11:34
Yeah, I appreciate that. I think that that’s a great way to think about it. It’s things we should expect works, work with a fiduciary work with somebody who is transparent in not only what they’re going to charge you, but also what what what it is that you’re going to get. I saw on your website that you have you offer financial planning workshops. A bit about that.

Unknown Speaker 11:56
Yeah. So the reason we started this workshop model, and it’s been really it’s been really great is because I find that most people don’t want a financial plan, like No one wakes up in the morning. And they’re like, man, what I really want is a financial plan across all these different dimensions with like Markowitz mean, variance optimized portfolio, that would make me feel really good. When I go to bed. No one ever has that conversation, right? The conversation that they have is, hey, I have this like question, Am I on track to retire? Can I start a business? I want to move? Can I buy a house? Can I help my parents? Can we expand the house so my parents can visit? All these kinds of things where they have those questions. And so what we do in a financial planning workshop is just kind of scale the whole financial planning process down and address the specific issues that clients come to us with write, what is the issue today? Is it you know, are we on track for retirement? Or how should we invest? Is it in any of those kinds of things that I talked about? And we can handle 123 of those issues in one session, we charge a fee for that, and then we move on. If folks there are people out there that are like, hey, well, I want to keep going and fill out all those areas, you can build a whole financial plan and that model, and there’s nothing wrong with doing that over several sessions. But it’s just a way for the work to be more approachable and for and a way for folks to say, I have a question, I’m going to get an answer to that question. I know what I’m gonna pay to get that question answered. And I don’t have to go through, you know, appending my entire life to get an answer to one question.

george grombacher 13:22
Yeah. I love it. You know, certainly how we frame things is obviously, really, really important thing. And I think that that is a great way to sort of shift. And it’s not just the way you’re framing it, it is the way that you’re you’re delivering it and everything else. And that that that makes a ton of sense. What are some things are one thing that you wish that more people knew about money just in general.

Unknown Speaker 13:48
I think the thing that I wish people knew about money in general is that almost everything takes almost everything compounds over a long period of time. So I don’t think the idea of like compound interest is unique, you know, are all that new for for this particular audience. But I think one of the things that is maybe the tax ideas and tax planning, and some of the financial planning, things that we do are also things that compound over time, you may hear about, like Mega Roth’s and Roth conversions, and some of these kinds of tax strategies out there. And those aren’t one time things that you come in, and you do and, and are done. The value of those things accrues over years and years, and years, and years and years. And so, lots of things about finance and lots of things about money are about doing something now so that you’re set up for success down the road. And it’s a lot more than just the sort of, you know, traditional investing way that we think about compound interest. So, so think about good planning now, as something that compounds in a lot A lot of different ways over a long period of time.

george grombacher 15:02
Yeah, I think that that’s great. It’s easy, it’s easy for me to, to lose sight of the impact of little decisions that we make over the course of a day. But when you spread that over the course of a year, five years, 10 years, 20 years, 30 years of little decisions have have a huge impact. So same same thing goes with. So make good decisions, Brian, make good decisions,

Unknown Speaker 15:33
make good decisions, and don’t get caught up in the hype, right? It’s easy to get caught up in like the latest cool investing idea, crypto SPACs. In the 90s, it was Internet stocks, right? And all that stuff does well for short periods of time. And all of it fades. And when you’re in the middle of it, it seems like this is going to be the next wave, right? Two years ago, you know, crypto is going to change the world, right? And the reality is, and there’s nothing wrong with putting a little bit of money in, you know, in things that are that are betting on, you know, big returns in the future. But if you, but if you’re making significant investments in these things, you know, at the detriment to a longer term plan that you’re that you’re working on now, that’s unlikely to be successful over, you know, over the long term,

george grombacher 16:17
so well, so, Brian, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people learn more about you and how can they engage with you and capital stewards?

Unknown Speaker 16:26
Yeah, so the capital stewards.com with a th e in the front of it, we’re there you can find a link in the top right to schedule some time with us if you’d like to talk more. We also host our own podcast that six figure investor we talk more specifically about all things money for professionals and for business owners. So happy to have you there as well.

george grombacher 16:46
Excellent. If you enjoyed as much as I did, show, Brian, your appreciation and share today, share with a friend who also appreciates good ideas, go to the capital stewards.com and click on that link to schedule some time to chat. And find out if it’s a good fit for you. And fundamentally, now is the perfect time. It’s never gonna be better tomorrow, now is the perfect time. And check out the six figure investor podcast as well wherever you listen to your podcasts. Thanks again, Brian.

Unknown Speaker 17:17
Thanks, George.

george grombacher 17:20
And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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