Fred Hubler gets a little worked up when speaking about his business and the future of the financial advisory services industry, with good reason.

Hubler said he has thrived in the business and he wants others to follow in his path to success. He has seen his firm, Valley Forge, Pa.-based Creative Capital Wealth Management Group, double in the past three years and the average net worth of his clients is at least 10 times more.

“So, we have brought on more and bigger clients in the last two years than probably all 15 years before, and that’s remarkable,” said Hubler, who has been in business for 18 years. He added that at one point back in the day he had $50 million under management and now he has a client worth $50 million.

And all because Hubler or Mr. Retainer, as he refers to himself on his website, shifted his practice to a retainer-based advisory firm where clients get advice and are not obligated to move money to the firm or buy products. “The real interesting thing is I use to, like everyone else, give away advice hoping someone would bring money over to us to manage, hoping they would buy a product from us,’’ Hubler said.

It was three years ago while smoking a cigar that the idea of charging for advice hit Hubler. He said he was in pretense mode looking at himself as a six-figure executive with a seven-figure 401(k). “And I thought to myself, where would I go for financial advice because all my money would be in my 401(k) … I would have all the other things in life but I would have a job instead of running my own, and I realized that for executives and business owners, they really are not able to have someone who will give them good advice who doesn’t have an AUM requirement or a product that is able to be purchased.’’

“These people have high net worth but not a lot of investable assets, and I am right in Vanguard’s backyard so I am never going to be bigger or cheaper, so we went where they weren’t,” Hubler explained.

He took the idea to his executives and entrepreneur clients, and they immediately saw the value, he said. From there, referrals grew with the help of his circle of lawyers and CPAs. “And for new clients, that’s exactly what they wanted,” Hubler said.

Retainer-based model, Hubler explained, is focused on what he terms Milestone Clarification Process. “Basically, if someone hires us, we have an executive path and an entrepreneurial path and we walk them through modules that look at everything that someone in that position should be reviewed,” he said, explaining that a third party looks at all the legal matter and a financial planner is involved building out a portal for the client.

“Some of these people don’t know where some of their stuff is at because they are so busy building and so busy managing the stuff they have built so they have no real dashboard,” Hubler said.
Once the clients get a snapshot of where their money is located, the information is put online in one place for them so that they are able to get in on their iPhone and access it wherever they are. 

Hubler said in almost every case, the executives and entrepreneurs are big accredited investors, who interestingly enough have very little, if any, accredited investments. “They have their own business, their own real estate but they have no private equity. They have no private debt. They have none of the other asset classes that I would assume that someone worth, $11 million or $50 million would have,” Hubler said.

First « 1 2 3 » Next