On the heels of the organization hitting, and now surpassing, 1,000 members, XY Planning Network (XYPN) kicked off its annual advisor conference in St. Louis by announcing that it was adding sales, marketing, tax preparation and financial planning support to the list of services it provides its members.
The expanded support programs come as co-founders Michael Kitces and Alan Moore said they are pushing back against a perception that the organization, now five years old, is just for financial advisors new to the industry.
Beginning in October, the organization is adding two sales courses, a basic three-week course, and a more advanced program for firm owners. Both programs are being led by BB Webb, XYPN’s sales coach and the three-week course is included with membership in the organization. On the marketing front, the organization also remodeled its digital real estate, making it easier for potential clients to find advisors using the XYPN website, which averaged 1,900 searches per week.
The organization is also adding a tax preparation service and a staff of CPAs to complement the existing in-house turnkey asset management program (TAMP) solution offered by XYPN. Called XY Tax Solutions, the white-labeled tax service came in response to advisor demand and is expected to complete around 1,000 tax returns and will employ four CPAs, said Moore. Advisors who offered tax services had to shift between growing their businesses for eight months of the year, while operating in tax preparation mode for four months, he said. The new service is intended to give new advisors one more service to offer clients, while providing a way for advisors already offering tax preparation a means to offload the responsibility while maintaining the service.
XYPN is also endeavoring to help advisors enhance their financial planning capabilities through a “combination of group coaching, workshops, and one-on-one consulting to create and refine scalable processes.” The news comes as more technology providers are entering the financial planning arena.
Kitces and Moore are eager to dispel the notion that XYPN is just for new advisors. Moore noted that 56% of the group’s new members this year were starting from scratch, while 21% needed to set up their own RIA and already had some clients transitioning from a previous firm.
“Historically we didn’t do the best job of helping these folks jump the implementing phase,” he said. “We weren’t very good about jumping phases.” Another 19% were existing firms joining the network.
While there are different pricing levels for international and multimember firms, a standard single advisor membership to the network costs $421 per month.
The Evolution Continues
Just as XYPN looks different today than it did five years ago, its co-founders expect the organization will continue to evolve. The first years of the network saw a number of advisors joining from RIAs that had either failed, or weak, succession plans, said Moore.
As the network brings new tools and services like AdvicePay and XY Tax Solutions to its members, however, it expects membership uptake from wirehouse breakaways and independent broker/dealers, he said.
“One of the misnomers is actually that the [independent broker-dealers] aren't doing planning. They actually are. And they're actually building a lot more (fee-based business) than we ever realized,” said Moore.
As for services offered, XYPN will be turning its attention to marketing and guiding owners in making the right hiring decisions, said Moore. And there’s incentive to get it right. “Our membership guarantee is you can leave at any time with 100% of your business, 100% of your clients and 100% of your revenue,” he said. “That's our commitment because it keeps us on our toes.”