This episode is based on a LinkedIn post I saw recently from an owner of the Savannah Bananas. If you're not familiar, they are a baseball team in Savannah, Georgia. A husband and wife bought the team a handful of years ago, and they were basically broke. They focused on a different experience for fans, which quickly resonated and turned things around dramatically.
The Bananas play in a former minor league baseball stadium that seats around 4,000 people. Every game is sold out and they have a 6,000 person waiting list for season tickets. This is a team that is made up of college players. It is not a minor league affiliate or tied to a professional team. And it's all in a town with a population of roughly 140,000 people.
The post caught my attention because Jesse, an owner, mentioned things they don't have. Items like electric scoreboards, ads all across the outfield, $6 hot dogs, and $5 water bottles. It was just him talking about how they are different and I can relate to being different. I don't know any other purely flat fee CFPs in Ohio besides me and that makes my practice rather unique so I thought it would share how I, like the Bananas, provide a different experience.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...
Things I don’t have or do
I don't have an office in a glass building with lots of pictures of bulls, bears, or Wall Street. Nope. My office is my house. My walls are covered with whiteboards, Ohio State University stuff, an Ansel Adams photo my mom gave me years ago, and lots of family pictures.
I don't wear fancy clothes, at least not anymore. Unless you can consider jeans and sweaters fancy. I don't have a high-end car. Unfortunately, I had a breakdown and replaced my 12-year-old car recently. The new one is a 3-year-old used car. Cars are just transportation to me.
I don't have any full-time assistants. I do have support staff helping me behind the scenes, but I prefer to be hands-on with clients. I never want you to feel like you’ve been baited and switched by getting handed off to a jr advisor.
A few more things I don’t do
I don't do media interviews of any kind. I pursued this route when I first launched. Unfortunately, the worst clients I have ever had in my practice came as a result of some media interviews. It just doesn't bring in the type of clients I like to help.
I don't do any sort of paid advertising. I focus on marketing through my emails, podcast, and activity on LinkedIn.
I don't call clients cases. This is a term frequently used in my world and I can not stand it. The word case strikes me as a transactional relationship where the advisor's goal is to sell the client something that they may not need or want. I work with clients, not cases. I sell nothing.
I don't limit my practice to one geographical area. I have the ability to work with clients regardless of location. I've been a virtual advisor since I launched back in 2016. When COVID hit and everyone went virtual, nothing changed for me.
I don't do nights and weekends. The most important thing about money to me is that it allows me time to spend with my family. I lost both my dad and mom by my 20s. Nothing comes before my family. So weekends and evenings are for them.
This week’s FLASHBACK: The return of the mullet
I just became aware of a trend, it's a double-dipper too! Not sure if it’s new or I’m just noticing. I’ll confess that I go to a stylist. I used to go to a barbershop, but after COVID restrictions were lifted I could never get in. They didn't do appointments and there was always a huge line so I got frustrated and started going to the person who cuts my wife's hair so I could set an appointment. Great decision too because she is phenomenal. We were talking and I mentioned something about teenage boys and perms, and she said, it's a trend that has returned. I then asked if I was crazy because it seems like I'm seeing a lot of mullets as well. She assured me this is a trend that has returned for young men as well. I'm so disappointed. For all the things we as Gen X-ers could have passed down the new kids picked mullets and perms? I really don't know what to think.
I’m Dan Johnson, CFP®, founder of Forward Thinking Wealth Management. I run a flat-fee financial planning and investment management firm located in beautiful Akron, OH. Although I am in Akron, OH, I work with clients regardless of location. I cater to owners of equity compensation positions who are looking to organize their financial lives, keep more of what they make, and do the things they want in retirement and even now.