Meet the RIA: Carson Group

07 mins 49 secs

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Hello and welcome to Meet The RIA. Joining us now is Erin Wood, senior vice president of Financial Planning and Advanced Solutions at Carson Group, which has been consistently ranked Barron's top 100 RIA. Erin, so great to have you with us.

Thanks for having me, Jenna

So, Erin, I'm sure many people are already familiar with Carson Group, but for those who aren't. Could you share a little bit more about the firm?

Absolutely. Carson Group was founded in 1983 by our founder and CEO, Ron Carson, who is still very active in the business today. We're headquartered here in Omaha, Nebraska, in Carson Group serve financial advisors and investors are really in three business lines. We have our Carson wealth, Carson coaching, and then Carson partners. This family of different companies all offers coaching and partnerships to advisors and clients across the nation and a very straight board financial advice and investment platform.

And what's your role at Carson Group, Erin?

Yeah. So as senior vice president, financial planning and Advanced Solutions team, I'm really responsible for all of our financial advice avenues. So what we do is we have put together financial planning insurance, trust, tax, and retirement plans all in one division called Advanced Solutions, where we focus on building streamlined advice both for our partners, our advisors, and for clients.

And I have the ability to help shape the direction of Carson's advice through not just those individuals on our team and our partners, but through our tech software to our whole platform of how we bring technical integrations to the different individuals.

So you wear quite a few hats, don't you?

I do a lot of hats, but it's great because we've taken this approach to look at financial advice different than most of the industry. You know, most of the industry looks at financial planning and they look at it as a financial plan or a product. And we really look at it as an on going advice relationship. And so with that, putting all of the advice avenues together, we've simplified that approach, both for the advisors and the clients.

We don't want any individual to be running around trying to talk to four or five different specialists, people who have knowledge and niches. And so we put them all together to streamline that advice and really bring simplified solutions to ultimately our clients and of course, through our advisors.

And how does this approach separate you from some of the other firms out there?

It adds, it absolutely is a different approach to how we deliver financial advice, how we look at financial advice as holistic and really looking at all five of those avenues that we talked about before. So planning isn't just financial planning. It's tax insurance, it's trust, it's retirement plans. And so bringing all of those opinions together in one department, we have 20 individuals on our team, which is very different than most financial firms out there.

Most financial planning firms, they'll have a backup as they maybe have two or three people on their Advanced Solutions team as having 20 is a lot and all of these individuals cross function between the different avenues. So they're able to make sure in tax season they might be working on filing taxes. But outside of tax season, they're helping build financial plans and deliver financial solutions to all of our advisors and clients and having all of them be client facing is very unique.

And most firms have their Advanced Solutions team, but they're not client base and therefore advisor resource. So right. And so all 20 of the individuals on my team then will jump on a zoom meeting, a phone call. They'll go face to face with the clients and advisors together. So all of our advisors have those additional resources at their fingertips to bring it to our client meeting any time they need.

They don't feel like they have to be the specialist or have a niche in any specific area that those people on our team have that offer them an internal extension of their office and their resources.

Now, Erin, what advice do you have for advisors who are considering moving to an advice driven compensation model? First, I.

Always want to tell people absolutely to look at pride. It's where the industry is growing, you know, 20 years ago, we would have talked about financial planning as as a product, as a deliverable. And that is not where the market is going, the industry. When you talk to clients, they're looking for financial advice and they're looking for advice and then much more meaningful way.

Then, you know, that's what we used to call the binder, the financial planning buy and binder. There was 120 pages of gold knowledge that the moment you walked out of an office was really old and outdated. In today's world or on demand, financial advice and clients want help were much more than just talking about retirement planning or just talking about, you know, funding their retirement home, their looking for things like how do I make better decision on my taxes today?

How do I know that I have the right property and casualty coverage? And so looking at that advice-driven environment, they absolutely should be looking for it as clients are willing to pay for that advice. And by having a client, it can help every single day on the things that are happening to them right now. They're more likely to come back to you over and over again.

I mean, they're only talking about something really far into the future that 20, 30 year retirement goal. It's too far out now. We can't see ourselves in the future. You know, none of us want to imagine ourselves 30 years in the future. But if you have clients who are coming to talk to you today about how do I for paying for daycare and putting money in my retirement plan, how do I afford buying that new car and helping my parents who are now I'm innocent sandwich situation by doing those types of things with the everyday focus and moving towards compensation around financial advice instead of just investment advice, my clients are much more likely to stay working for a really long time and it gives them the ability to bring in many more referrals when you're talking about more than just investments.

Anything else you'd like to leave with our viewers? Erin?

So where we're at right now, I always tell our advisors to think about those things that happen to clients on an ongoing basis every single year. Many firms, many advisors don't talk about those things. They don't talk about taxes and they don't talk about property and casualty. And I do think the reason they don't talk about them is they themselves don't bill competent and having those conversations.

But those are two really big ones. And if you are not having those conversations with your clients, someone else is. And so it may be a place where you don't have a specialty in them, but if you don't look to joining somewhere, who can give you those resources? And really expand your knowledge?

Well, Erin, thank you so much for joining us.

Thanks, Jenna.

And thank you for watching. Once again, that was Erin Wood, senior vice president of Financial Planning and Advanced Solutions at Carson group. I'm Jenna Dagenhart with Asset TV.



Erin Wood, CFP®, CRPC®, FBS®, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning & Advanced Solutions at Carson Group, shares more about the top RIA’s philosophy and how their approach differs from other firms.