Every once in a while I find myself reading, watching, or listening to an extraordinary piece of media, that’s really just right for me — it can feel like it was custom-built just for me.

This Michael Kitces’ Podcast, episode 131, is one of those.

The entire transcript is linked above so I won’t belabor too many points. Here are my big takeaways.

  • A solo advisor can be extraordinarily, tremendously productive.

This podcast changed my benchmark of what is possible. Dan serves nearly 300 clients and almost a billion dollars of assets under management. My goodness. Dan’s answer to this is that technology has really, really levered up the possibilities of what can be accomplished by an advisor who can outsource in a clever way.

  • A consistent philosophical core to your investment advice is the bedrock of a successful advisor.

Dan has been working with Dimensional Fund Advisors for about as long as I’ve been alive, and he hasn’t changed or fired them or moved on. DFA is special in their commitment to advisor education (some might call it indoctrination — I’ll leave that can of worms closed for now), and Dan discusses the translation of that education to his clients as a critical piece of his relationships. The power of this can’t be overstated — your clients need to know you aren’t changing with the weather or chasing fads. As an advisor you need to know this yourself as well.

  • “Systems” can be overrated.

Kitces really pushes this line of questioning around what exactly Dan delivers to his clients. The answer is that it’s flexible! Clients, believe it or not, actually have a pretty good idea of what they need. They are highly invested in their own outcomes, so a collaborative effort in every way, which is what Dan pursues, doesn’t necessitate four meetings per year. I suspect that any of Dan’s 300-ish clients could get a phone call with him within a day, and a meeting within 3-4 days. That level of access & responsiveness is much more important than any system we can build.

  • Relentlessly prioritizing client outcomes will carry an advisory practice to the promised land.

Simple, seemingly obvious, but my goodness — incredibly powerful. Keep caring. It works.

Anyone remotely interested in the financial advisory business should listen to this interview. To call Dan Goldie “cool as a cucumber” is to understate the temperature of cucumbers. I hope I can shake his hand one day, and I’m so grateful he shared.

Robinson Crawford