Join Brennan Hollenbeck, AIF®, Wealth Advisor, and Alex Helms, Wealth Advisor, for an in-depth discussion on Technology and the Wealth Management Space. In this episode, they share how the wealth management space, in general, has embraced technology and what Mueller Financial Services has done over the last couple of years to enhance its technology capabilities.
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Brennan Hollenbeck, AIF®
[00:00:00] Ashley: Hi, I'm Ashley and you're listening to “Managing Your Wealth, Your Vision, Our Guidance.” Today, we welcome two Mueller Financial Services professionals, Brennan Hollenbeck, and Alex Helms to talk about technology and the wealth management space. But before we get started, let's find out more about our guests.
[00:00:18] Ashley: Brennan is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® and Wealth Advisor who has almost 15 years of experience providing wealth planning and financial advisory services to high-net-worth individuals, multi-generational families, executives, entrepreneurs, and their closely held businesses.
[00:00:34] Ashley: Alex joined Mueller Financial Services as a Wealth advisor in early 2020. With over six years of experience in the mortgage banking, financial services and wealth management industries, Alex is able to help clients navigate all stages of their financial journey.
[00:00:48] Ashley: First off Brennan and Alex, thank you so much for joining us today.
[00:00:51] Brennan: Happy to be here.
[00:00:52] Alex: Thank you for having us!
[00:00:53] Ashley: As we enter 2022, I think it is pretty obvious technology is integrated into almost everyone's lives on a daily basis. Can you touch on how the wealth management space in general has embraced technology in recent year?
[00:01:04] Alex: Yeah, the industry as a whole has really embraced technology and markets are moving faster than they ever have before. I think you can see as a whole, the industry is really making a move away from paper, right? And what this allows our clients to do is not only have information access to their fingertips, not just like values, but more of a comprehensive data, such as performance activity, etc., anything that a client wants can now be at their fingertips at their phone or their computer.
[00:01:32] Alex: In addition, we're also able to use file sharing, cloud storage and things like that to store and share trust documents between clients and advisors.
[00:01:41] Ashley: As a follow-up to that what has Mueller Financial Services done over the last couple of years to enhance its technology capabilities?
[00:01:47] Brennan: So our firm has really embraced technology as a whole.
[00:01:50] Brennan: I would say one of the main things we've done is just streamlined our client onboarding process. So as Alex mentioned, the industry is really moving away from paper. So we use things like DocuSign for all of our account opening documents. Uh, even in the initial process, when we meet with a prospect, all of our data gathered forms are online.
[00:02:09] Brennan: You know, they're fillable. If clients are not comfortable because of the current environment of meeting in person, we absolutely can utilize things like Microsoft Teams to do a client meeting. This allows us to not only see their faces and how we're interacting with our clients, but also we can screen share with them so we can do full on virtual meetings anywhere with anybody across the country.
[00:02:30] Brennan: Uh, we also, as a firm are really making sure that our clients know that they have all of the tools and resources and just overall general investment guidance. If they want to read it, some clients don't want to others do. And so we send out things like key, weekly investment news, you know, anytime the markets might be reacting, we're giving our clients a summary and they're getting that data, you know, straight to their phones.
[00:02:55] Brennan: So. When somebody turns on the TV and they hear about, you know, some topic going on, usually they can reference one of our wealth management documents that we've recently sent out. And then I would say the two biggest things that we've done as a firm is we've integrated two major software programs that would be Money Guide Pro, which is an industry leading financial planning software that we use to actually help us guide our clients, create the blueprint of what their financial plan is going to be.
[00:03:25] Brennan: And then we give all of our clients access to what we call our Black Diamond Wealth reporting tool. So what Black Diamond allows our clients to have is have all of the technology at their fingertips for their account data. For things like Alex mentioned like performance or activity, it's got cloud storage capability, and this is all integrated with our Money Guide Pro software.
[00:03:48] Brennan: So those two big things are what we have, uh, given our clients access to just over the last couple of years.
[00:03:54] Ashley: Can you just talk briefly about the capabilities of Money Guide Pro/Elite and what it enables you to do for your clients and the benefits it adds when putting together a financial plan?
[00:04:03] Brennan: So we have Mueller Financial Services believe that the actual financial plan is the cornerstone of our recommendations and advice that we give to our clients. We feel like every client, no matter how small, how big, no matter how old or how young. Should be having a financial plan guide their investment decisions.
[00:04:25] Brennan: And if you think about it, you know, we like to use the anecdote of building a house. You don't just start out walking into Lowe's buying wood and building your house right off the bat. You've got to work with a contractor. Got to develop the blueprints. Uh, you know, there's a whole step in a process for what we do.
[00:04:40] Brennan: So Money Guide Pro is the hub of all of that. It is literally the central place where we place all of our financial planning recommendations. It's where we continuously monitor those financial planning recommendations. So when a client does come on board and we've built our initial recommendations, they then have subsequent meetings over the course of the year and years.
[00:05:02] Brennan: And it's, it's really a dynamic process. It's not static, you know, for instance, maybe they have another child or maybe they switched jobs. Maybe they want to move to another state. These are all different things that we can do, uh, and, and monitor and, and really tweak what we are doing on the, on the investment advice side for them.
[00:05:22] Brennan: So when a client comes in, you know, they're setting their goals, we're talking about what they're currently doing with all their investments. We're talking about legacy planning, tax analysis, risk management, you know, if they might have long term care needs, maybe they're in their late fifties, early sixties.
[00:05:36] Brennan: And they're worried about the rising cost of healthcare, all of these different things that clients have on the top of their mind. MoneyGuide Pro allows us to not only quantify those, but then actually create the action steps to really make sure that all of either the risk side is mitigated to make sure we're being tax efficient in our investments.
[00:05:57] Brennan: And then it's continually and dynamically updating with market data. You know, we're factoring inflation and all of that, we tell our clients, they just have to dream. This tool allows us to take care of all the rest.
[00:06:09] Ashley: Alex, Brennan mentioned previously a software called Black Diamond. Can you provide us a little bit more details on what this tool is and what it's used for?
[00:06:16] Alex: yeah, certainly Black Diamond as our main client facing wealth platform. I think the biggest, advantage to having Black Diamond integrated with Money Guide Pro is a seamless integration with your financial plan.
[00:06:28] Alex: The money guide confidence meter that shows you're on track for your goals integrates directly into this portal. As Brennan mentioned, it's a living, breathing document that we'll be able to update on a daily, monthly annual basis. The client will have access to and allows them to have as much information at their fingertips as they would like or would not like.
[00:06:47] Alex: Like, as we had mentioned before, the app allows the clients have either view this on their phone or online access via the computer. It allows clients to see, for example, projected forecasted income, allows us as advisors to help with tax decisions such as gain losses, allows us to make investment allocation recommendations, and also look at the account activity as a whole, at the click of a button, if needed.
[00:07:10] Alex: In addition, the clients are able to view performance. Review balance sheets, review of their current liabilities and debts, also allow them to load outside accounts that will allow them to view their whole financial picture in one place.
[00:07:22] Alex: Another benefit is all of these accounts don't necessarily have to be viewed by the advisor. A lot of our clients like building in their checking and savings accounts, just so that they can view them in one central location for their holistic finances. Additionally, as mentioned before, Black Diamond also allows. Upload documents using the secure vault for sharing documents or just storing documents with clients for a digital record. This is a safe keeping place on a cloud that allows clients to share documents with their advisors, or also save them for safekeeping if needed.
[00:07:52] Ashley: What clients are you utilizing this technology for? Is it only your high net worth clients or planning clients, or does everyone have access to this?
[00:08:02] Alex: Yeah. So all clients are actually, regardless of their asset levels have continued the ongoing access to these technology tools. We utilize this planning software for our Genesis clients that are just starting out or our largest clients that are business owners.
[00:08:15] Alex: As Brennan had mentioned, planning is a cornerstone of our business and technology such as Black Diamond allows us to integrate Money Guide Pro into our holistic financial.
[00:08:25] Ashley: Security and data breaches are a hot topic today. Can you touch briefly on how these platforms are secure for client’s data?
[00:08:31] Brennan: We are Mueller Financial Services are very, very sensitive to our clients and their personal data and how we treat that. We understand that in this world, uh, it is really, really important that we keep all of that information secure and encrypted. Because of that, these two platforms that we're discussing specifically Money Guide Pro and Black Diamond, they do not store any of that.
[00:08:55] Brennan: Personal sensitive data. So things like birthdays or social security numbers or your addresses, those are not what we put into here for a client that would have access to Money Guide Pro and Black Diamond. Realistically, it is just their names that are out there along with a title of an account and then a value of that account.
[00:09:15] Brennan: All account numbers are completely masked. You only see the last three or four digits of that. So we really understand that in today's world, it's really important these types of things secure. And because of that, both of these systems are completely encrypted. They have multi-factor authentication that you can add to them as well as not just for you on, on the client side, but also when us, as the advisers are logging in.
[00:09:40] Brennan: And then lastly, I would say that these two technologies have been completely vetted and scoped by our broker dealer, LPL financial as being a secure, uh, two ways to, to keep our clients. In touch with their accounts, as well as our Mueller audit department has done a full audit on the, uh, processes and scopes and things that are involved with this.
[00:10:03] Ashley: Lots of great information about technology and the wealth management space. Thank you both for joining me on this episode.
[00:10:08] Ashley: And thank you for listening. If you're interested to learn more about technology in the wealth management space or about Mueller Financial Services in general, visit www.muellerfinancialsolutions.com, where you can find out more information about the firm's services and team members.
[00:10:24] Ashley: You can also follow the firm on LinkedIn at Mueller Financial Services, Inc. for more firm updates, insights, and upcoming events.
[00:10:32] Ashley: Securities offered through LPL Financial member, FINR/SIPC. Investment advice offered through IHT Wealth Management or registered investment advisor. IHT Wealth Management and Mueller financial services, Inc. Are separate entities from LPL Financial.
[00:10:58] Ashley: The opinions voiced in this podcast are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual to determine which strategies or investments may be suitable.
[00:11:09] Ashley: Consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.