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Michael Kitces' #FASuccess Podcast: Beth Jones' Method to Deepen Client Relationships

The co-founder of Third Eye Associates discusses the firm's financial planning process, including creating a personal vision statement to help clients truly understand what they need to do to align their money with their values.



Welcome back to the 257th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today's podcast is Beth Jones. Beth is the co-founder of Third Eye Associates, an independent RIA in the Hudson Valley of New York that oversees $125 million of assets under advisement for nearly 200 client households.

What's unique about Beth, though, is the way her firm goes deep in its financial planning process with clients, spanning a series of seven initial meetings that go deep into creating a personal vision statement to help clients truly understand what they need to do to align their money with their values.

In this episode, we talk in depth about Beth’s financial planning process with clients, including assessments like a wellness worksheet and a communication preferences tool that she uses to determine how best to work with new clients, how Beth leverages eMoney Advisor’s account aggregation to spark client conversations around their household cash flow, and why Beth still chooses to provide a physical financial plan deliverable to clients (even as she acknowledges that few open the plan again after it’s first delivered).

We also talk about how Beth structures her advisory fees with clients, the way she arranges an upfront multimonth retainer fee based on the initial complexity of the client and the number of meetings she anticipates it will take to cover all their issues, why Beth also charges an AUM fee to monitor client portfolios but has chosen to work with AssetMark as her TAMP of choice for clients to implement with, and how becoming known for her in-depth financial planning discovery process has led to a waiting list for her new clients after more than 15 years of growth.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Beth shares how the greatest challenge of scaling up her advisory firm has not been about continuing to find new clients but finding the new team members to serve them, how Beth ultimately made the decision to let go of 85 of her earliest clients after discovering that she was actually losing money on them, and how Beth navigated the challenging transition of finding out that her co-founder was ready to retire while Beth wanted to continue running the business and serving clients longer.

So whether you are interested in learning how Beth creates a safe space for her clients, how she helps her clients create a Life Vision, or how she overcomes the challenges of working with clients through major life transitions, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Beth Jones.

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