Welcome back to the 307th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Stacey Hyde. Stacey is the President of Envision Financial Planning, an independent RIA based in Memphis, Tennessee, that oversees nearly $200 million in assets under management for 206 client households.
What’s unique about Stacey, though, is how, to gain more flexibility and independence for her firm, she and her partner decided to drop their FINRA licenses and launch their own RIA… while continuing their relationship with Commonwealth as their now-former broker-dealer platform.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about why Stacey and her partner decided to drop their broker-dealer licenses, and drop out of the corporate RIA structure, transitioning instead to fully owning their own independent RIA while remaining affiliated to their now-former broker-dealer so that they could keep the benefits of having back-office, tech, and investment support, why Stacey wanted to create her own investment advisory agreement for her firm from scratch so that she could simplify language for clients and help them better understand the firm’s offerings and the nature of their relationship, and why Stacey and her firm implement a fee schedule where the tiers are not graduated but instead have hard breakpoints where after a certain threshold, clients can see an outright drop in their fees… which makes it easier for Stacey to communicate the fee schedule to clients, while also incentivizing them to add funds and consolidate their accounts with Stacey to reap the benefits of those reduced fees breakpoints.
We also talk about how Stacey and her firm built their client base by leveraging both client referrals and an advisor network that has a long-standing relationship with a national steel company where Stacey is one of the advisors in a niche service offering that provides the company’s employees advice on their benefits packages (and, eventually, their retirement rollovers), how throughout most of Stacey’s career, she struggled to find the right position that fit her desire to help clients, and eventually decided that she would have to hang her own shingle as an independent to be able to serve clients exactly the way that she wanted, and how, even though it was difficult to transition away from her most recent employer, Stacey found comfort in the fact that clients ultimately rallied around her and offered support… which made her realize she had a greater impact in her clients’ lives and wasn’t seen as just their “advisor.”
And be certain to listen to the end, where Stacey shares how, even though she loves to travel to Colorado, she was afraid of taking more personal trips as she didn’t want to be seen as an inattentive advisor, but as more clients are embracing virtual and asynchronous meetings, she has realized she can do more of what she loves and be her authentic self while still staying connected with clients, why Stacey wishes she could have gone independent much sooner and attributes the delay to her internalization of societal messages that she believes reinforces a lack of confidence in women and makes them question their abilities to build a career on their own (which took her years to overcome for herself), and why Stacey believes that it is important that advisors show clients that they truly care and are not motivated purely by compensation as it creates better alignment, trust, and overall a more successful career.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about how Stacey can better serve her clients because she dropped her FINRA licenses, why going independent but still affiliating with her former broker-dealer helps Stacey and her partners clarify their brand, or why implementing breakpoints in fee schedules helps Stacey to better communicate fees and keep them fair for all clients, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Stacey Hyde.