How eMoney Flexibility Supports Non-traditional Clients
Creative Capital Wealth successfully serves a small number of extraordinary clients under a retainer fee compensation model with eMoney.
When Frederick Hubler founded Creative Capital Wealth Management Group (CCWMG), it was because he wanted to do something different.
“My first day as a financial advisor was on 9/11 so I experienced market volatility from day one in my career. After a couple of years at a full-service investment firm, I knew I wanted to be able to offer clients the creative solutions you don’t get from traditional investing. Within two years I founded Creative Capital Wealth Management Group.”
This business model called for a flexible technology solution. Hubler began using eMoney immediately at his new firm. As an office that caters to accredited investors, he needed to be able to see the full picture of his clients’ financial lives—including those alternative investments. The eMoney aggregation tool makes this possible.
I know I’m getting an up-to-date picture of my clients’ financial lives. I don’t have to cobble it together from three-month-old account statements that are already out of date.”
Adjusting Fee Structure to Serve a Niche Client Base
Hubler realized he wanted to expand his base beyond traditional AUM clients. He knew there was a pool of high-earning individuals who could benefit from his expertise. The challenge was that they had their money tied up in their businesses or 401(k) plans.
But providing this type of advice wasn’t growing Hubler’s business from an AUM perspective and thus he was not generating additional income. With a desire to continue doing this type of consulting for these niche clients and still grow revenue, Hubler launched a retainer fee compensation model. Depending on the complexity of the services, Hubler charges a retainer anywhere from $5,000 to $25K per year.
The firm’s AUM-only clients, which number above 100, get a full suite of asset management analysis and investment review, including risk and asset allocation, retirement goal setting, annual investment rebalancing, and financial objective review. Retainer-based clients, which make up a smaller share of the business, are offered a broader range of services, depending on whether they are executives or entrepreneurs, that includes accredited investments, legacy and estate planning, trusts, and tax reduction planning.
It’s a model that’s working. Hubler says his retainer-based business has increased revenue by 100 percent since he introduced it four years ago. It has also brought in more clients with more money to advise than those who are part of the AUM-based fee business. And the eMoney platform is the best way for him to model the financial planning he does for all his clients.
Because of his retainer-based business, Hubler feels he is better able to act in the best interest of his clients.
“They may come to me and say, ‘I have $7 million I want to invest, what do you recommend?’ And I can look at where they currently have those funds invested and the answer might be that it already is where it should be.”
He uses eMoney to monitor those accounts all in one platform to ensure the client is getting the best return. If it turns out those funds would be better managed by his firm, he’ll bring them in and move that aspect of the client’s relationship to the AUM fee model. He adds, “The retainer compensation allows me to be agnostic about where those assets go.”
Hubler feels he couldn’t do this without eMoney. Acting as a mirror to how high-net-worth investors want to be treated, eMoney is a gateway to get them what they want. It’s a departure from the way many investment firms operate. Their model requires clients to hand over their money first and then they’ll get the advice. Using eMoney and charging a retainer helps ensure he has the full picture of the client’s wealth while placing that wealth where it’s best for the client—something he is very passionate about.
Hubler also finds that clients are much more likely to actively work on their plans when they can use eMoney to do the grunt work. For example, when it comes to budgeting, he concedes that it’s not a task clients enjoy.
“Just like no one wants to go on a diet, no one really wants to sit down and create a budget. But if we connect a financial planning client’s credit cards and bank accounts in eMoney and then just watch the categorization of expenses for a few months, we can get an overall picture of what they’re spending and then work from there.”
He also says that his retainer clients are more likely to be actively managing their accounts in eMoney than his clients who are strictly in the AUM part of the business.
“For retainer clients, eMoney is itemized as one of the services they are paying for, and they are looking at it sometimes multiple times a day. Clients want to make the most of a service if they are paying for it.” – Frederick Hubler
When clients come to him and don’t realize their investments could be performing better, eMoney gives Hubler the opportunity to show them the benefits of the suggested changes before they take place. Hubler believes there’s big money to be made for his clients outside traditional investment markets which many investors—even accredited ones—lack access to. With eMoney, he can model those non-traditional options to paint a picture of that improved performance.
Creative Capital Wealth Management Group is known for solving for solutions you can’t get at an average investment firm. eMoney understands this and gives an advisor like Hubler the technology tool needed to track and model these non-traditional investments for his clients.
“I’ve always been a fan of technology and use it to work with clients all over the U.S. I love that there aren’t any geographical limitations on who we can work with. Coupling my retainer fee model with eMoney means all my clients are getting the same high level of service and visibility they would be if they did come into our offices.” – Frederick Hubler
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