Podcast – Episode 133 – How to Be an RIA With Paul Ashcraft

Podcast Transcript

Allen: All right, passive traders, we have a treat in store for you today. Many of you know about the option continuum, which is basically, you know, our levels of breakdown of where you are as an options trader, you start with level one, you don’t know anything. And then you get to level 10, maybe if you want to, which is option professional. And basically a professional means that you are so good at trading options, that you are now trading and managing other people’s money and you’re getting paid for it. Many of you have reached out to us in the past and said, Hey, I want more information on that. And we haven’t really put it out there because I am not doing it myself. Right now, as a professional, I don’t I’m not measuring anybody else’s money. And so, you know, I’m not the best person to talk to about that. But we keep getting people and be like, hey, you know, I want to learn, I want to learn. So one of our members, Paul Ashcraft, has volunteered to join us today. And I want to thank you, Paul, for coming and helping out. A few a couple of months ago, I think in one of our groups, I think it was a passive group, where I had put in there like, Hey, I’m thinking about starting a hedge fund. So I’m thinking about going professional, right? And he reached out and said, hey, you know, I’m already doing it if you want to, if you want to talk and I can answer your question. So we had an amazing conversation, I learned a lot. And I was like, You know what, this would be really helpful for everybody else. So I asked Paul, hey, could you do it again? And we can record it this time? It was like, Yeah, sure, no foul. And so he’s here, Paul, thank you. Thank you for being on thank you for taking the time to do this.

Paul: Thank you very much. Pleasure.

Allen: And you’re Paul is a member of our of a lot of our programs. So passive trading formula, the blank check, and now the credit spread mastery as well. So you know, it’s good to see that, hey, if you’re a money manager, then you’re continuously getting learning and learning new things to help out your students, or your clients, I guess. So. Well, tell me, why did you get into management? What was it that drawed you through that?

Paul: Well, I sort of got tricked into it. I had a, I’m a CPA by trade, and I had a client who was becoming an NFL player agent. And he trusted me and wanted me to help him manage his people’s NFL players money. So I started the licensing process at that time. And so that sort of tricked me into it. So that sort of fell apart. And then he wasn’t getting more leads for what he was doing. So I basically continued since then, so

Allen: Okay, so were you already trading on your own? Or before that? Or did you learn as you want to?

Paul: Yeah, I’ve been trading, you know, for quite a while. Off and on. So yeah, I’ve had some experience of trading.

Allen: Okay. So you are comfortable, you could do it?

Paul: I knew I needed to learn, I do need to learn some more. But yeah, I feel like I could I knew enough about the world to do that.

Allen: Okay. And so you are known as what is a RIA, a registered independent advisor?

Paul: Right. That’s correct.

Allen: So that’s one of the ways of managing money. What exactly is an RIA?

Paul: It’s basically a firm that is licensed by the FINRA basically, and you are licensed to where you can manage other people’s money.

Allen: And all RIAs, are fiduciaries, right?

Paul: That’s correct. Yeah.

Allen: Right. Because a lot of people don’t know the difference between a fiduciary and a non fiduciary. And so a fiduciary, if you don’t know you are legally bound to do what’s in the best interest of the client. A lot of these other companies that people think about when they’re talking about money management, or Wealth Advisors, retirement advisors, all these words that they use, they have no license, or maybe they do have a license, but they’re not a fiduciary. So they’re not required to do what’s best for the client. And so they can sell you a product that they get the highest commission on, even if it’s not really a good thing, a good fit for you. So that’s why..

Paul: Yeah one of the ways I deal with that fiduciary criteria is basically whatever I do for other people, I do for myself.

Allen: Okay. Okay, interesting. So, what does it take to open an RIA?

Paul: Well, if you want to legal structure and need, like, I have an LLC got a creative for that. And I have had to pass a serious 65 test, which you’d like an SEC test, and get to come up some kind of agreement you have with your clients that’s approved by FINRA to sign them on as clients. Those are the basics you have to do.

Allen: Okay, and like how long did it take you to go through all that? Remember?

Paul: I’m gonna say, basically of six to nine months.

Allen: Okay, and how long have you been? How long have you been an RIA?

Paul: Since 2014, so roughly eight years.

Allen: Awesome. Yep. Cool. And for those of you, you know, I’m going to repeat it later on, but Paul’s business website is Businessadvisors.Pro. So if you ever or if you need a good adviser, you know, please reach out to Paul. And I’ll repeat at the end, and we’ll put it in the show notes. I just wanted to get that out there.

Paul: And that’s mainly my CPA website, just so you know.

Allen: Very cool. BusinessAdvisors.Pro, there you go.

Paul: And then sort has been done about creating my Wealth Advisors website, because you’re so under scrutiny when you were you advertise things, so I just sort of steered away from that a little bit.

Allen: Interesting. Okay. So I guess there’s certain things you can say and certain things you cannot say.

Paul: Basically, anything you put out there to the public, you have to like, monitor it for five years, and they can question you about it anytime. So I just figured one way to get around that is just not to do it.

Allen: Okay. So then that leads me to my next question, like, how do you find clients if you’re not advertising?

Paul: Well, you know, I have CPA clients, probably like half the clients, I have my Wealth Advisors from CPA side. Other thing is like, from friends, and referrals from other people who use me.

Allen: Okay. So it takes time to build all that up?

Paul: Yes, yes. And I’m currently working on more. More advertising.

Allen: Okay. All right. So the advertising is possible. It’s not it’s not like it’s restricted. But you have to be careful of what you do and how you do it.

Paul: Yes, yes, yeah.

Allen: Now, what are your clients looking for? Because, you know, if somebody comes to you and says, Hey, you know, I’m looking to make more money, obviously, but they have so many, so many choices. They can do it themselves, it could go to like, like Fidelity and have them do it. They could go to they’re really rich, they can have their own private like, you know, Bank of America, has their own private wealth, people. So when they come to you, what do they tell you? Like? What are they looking for in terms of an advisor?

Paul: Well, I mean, I had someone recently come to me, and, you know, we’re signing them up, or things that I’d say we, if we look, if we’re here a year later, what do you want to what your criteria are saying, I did a good job. And he wanted a 10% return, which has been difficult in this market. But that’s, that’s one thing. Another thing? I you know, most advisors out there, these basically are, they’re buying hold people, I mean, and they bid six things in a bucket, and don’t look at it too often. So I, I basically say that I’m actively working in their account, and I’m not sure I’m going to just put it there and not be looking at it.

Allen: So obviously, you probably tell them about your options experience and the different types of strategies you use.

Paul: Yeah, a lot of times just the casual person warnings on the manager money that, that if I tried to tell them all that it would go way over their head. Because, you know, it took me like two years talking about options to actually start doing it myself, you know, so I’m trying to be a little bit of conscientious about what they can and cannot handle information wise. I’ll be glad to talk about it, they want to, but I’m not gonna write too much about it.

Allen: And I bet that would that would set you apart, right? You know, it’s like, hey, you know, we can do plain vanilla stuff. Or we can do if you’re a little bit more aggressive than we can do this, and this and this. And then if it goes over there, that’s fine. But as long as they’re like, whoa, this guy knows.

Paul: Yeah, definitely. That’s certainly part because like, my CPA, well, I deal with investment advisors. And like, no one, no one that I know of is actually managing costs. I mean, like, you know, every week or things like that,

Allen: yeah, yeah, they just don’t I mean, part of it is they have, depending on where they are some of these guys that I know, they have broker dealers, and the broker basically tells them what they can do and what they can’t do. And trading is like, No, you’re not doing it. They just they can’t, they’re not allowed. And so, you know, we get we get clients that are financial advisors, they come in, they’re like, oh, yeah, I’m a financial advisor, like, oh, they shouldn’t, you know, all this stuff. And they’re like, oh, I don’t do any of this for my son. I don’t know, they don’t even teach us this stuff. In financial advisors. Cool. So it’s like, once I call again, I’m like, Oh, my God.

Paul: Yeah, most of them are just like, call themselves people. And it is this, they don’t necessarily know that much about investing. It’s more about they have relationships with people, and they train their people to be accustomed to five to 7% returns. So so don’t want you to do that as that’s, you know, not a hallmark.

Allen: Yeah, yeah. Like, you know, when I go to if I go to a dinner party, or whatever, and, you know, always comes up. So what do you do? It’s like, well, I teach people how to do this. And the first they’re like, really, is that, you know, what do you what do you mean? And then we tell them a little bit about it, and they go, Yeah, you know, we try to aim, you know, for 5% a month, and they’re like, what a month. Really? Oh, wow, I gotta learn about that. And then, you know, you explain a little bit and then they’re, like, bored and then they go talk to somebody else. Because, you know, it’s cool. They want, they want it. They just want to do the work. So that’s cool. Now as an advisor, how do you How do you charge? Like, what do you charge? How do you do it?

Paul: So I have what’s called a serious 65 license. So I’m able to charge a percentage of what assets are under management. Okay, so the basic generic, charged with as generally 1% of assets under management. Okay, that if I’m doing more as a some different strategies, things like that, I’m probably going to up the field more because it’s, it is active trading.

Allen: It takes more time. Yeah, yeah. Because I remember way back when I had a guy at America ice, and he was my advisor. And yeah, he would charge a minimum of 1% on assets every year. Every time you put money, you gave him money, they would take 5% off the top. And then every every mutual fund and every index fund or whatever that they put you in. And most of them were, you know, Ameriprise products. Each of those things would have a separate fee every year. So I mean, I got dealing left and right. I didn’t know what I was doing. At the time, I was thinking I am going to you know, I’m smart. I got an advisor. But yeah, he was the one getting rich. And so..

Paul: They made that money, whether they go down or go up it.

Allen: Yeah, I mean, they take the money right up front, 5% off the top. As soon as you make a deposit, it’s like, man, you haven’t done anything. Even if I turn around and ask for the money back, I just love fibers. Do you have like a lot of Is There a lot of overhead for being a advisor? You need a large staff?

Paul: Right now, it’s just me. And so I’m already have all my setup for my CPA business. So there’s not really that much more to do.

Allen: And you can run it from the same location. Yes, yes. Okay. So then who does the like the backend stuff, you know, statements, and compliance audits, all that stuff.

Paul: So we use Interactive Brokers as the broker dealer. So they basically, so all my clients have their own account set up with them, and it sort of goes underneath my master account. So so they take care about the then get a statement from there anytime they want to find out what their balances. And if they need to take up money, they can contact them and get the money taken out. So they saw him. So we’re doing a lot of the back office stuff.

Allen: Awesome. So you really don’t have to do anything. And they they opened the account themselves, the client opens the account themselves, they deposit the money themselves, they can take it out whenever they want, they can go and log in, see all the trades, see whatever is there. So you really don’t have a lot of customer service issues. And so you don’t have to send send out statements, because Interactive Brokers will do that. Right.

Paul: And one of my strategies is if someone is, I call it high maintenance, then I probably can’t handle that, you know, they probably need to find someone else because, you know, I got enough things to do is it is.

Allen: Awesome, cool. And then. So you don’t handle any of the money either. Because they just go straight to interactive. So you’re like a hands off, okay, I’ll do the trades, but I’m not touching your money. So you don’t have to worry about me taking your money and running away and flying to Bermuda or something.

Paul: Yeah, just like the Bernie Madoff deal where he was. He they call it having custody of the funds, and he had custody. And so they, they talked about that when you’re going through your testing and things like that, about having custody and not having custody and things like that. So yeah, it’s a big red flag.

Allen: Yeah. Because I mean, like, I’ve been looking into starting my own hedge fund, you know, using the the passive trading strategies and such. And I looked at RIA first and then I looked at, you know, hedge fund as another way, and I think from what I’ve been able to find so far is that if you start a hedge fund, and you don’t charge any management fees, you don’t need the license, you can set it up in a way where you know, you get you only take a percentage of the profit. So if there’s a gain, you can get a percent, but you don’t get that yearly management fee. If you want the yearly management fee, then you do have to separate a separate Ria, to do the management of the fund. Okay, I didn’t know that. Yeah, so I thought that was pretty cool. So we’ve been looking at that as well, different things. So now, what percentage of your management is active? versus, you know, index funds, mutual funds, etc?

Paul: I’d say about half.

Allen: Okay, and all of the clients are okay with that, or do you do client by client?

Paul: I pretty much put everybody under the same model. Yeah. So

Allen: And so with interactive, how does that work, you have to go into each account to put a trade on or you just put one trade on and it just trickles..

Paul: There’s a master account and I can set up different  classification. So I could I could buy 1000 shares of IBM and have it spread it putting all the accounts did that.  So they have to watch out for is some of the accounts can trade certain things, some can’t, like RIAs cannot do you know, futures and naked options and things like that as far as, at least on the credit side.

Allen: Okay. All right. So can does that get confusing? If you want if you want like, Okay, I want like a say IBM, I want my IBM stock to be 5% of all of my everybody’s portfolio.

Paul: Yeah, that would be a different the different equation. So basically, like I did a trade today where I figured, you know, want to take a $10,000 risk. So divided by what that option was going for. And I bought that many contracts to take on that kind of risk. So not necessarily rebalancing everyone is usually trade by trade. So putting on a certain set of circumstances, set a step stop loss and things like that.

Allen: Okay, cool. So you can do it as easy or as simple as you want. Or you can make it as complicated as you want. Yeah, up to you. Yeah. Nice. So what types of what types of trades do you do?

Paul: Well, some of what you teach. So I do some swing trading. And of course, you know, credit spreads and things like that. And some, you know, some some of the dividend paying stocks and covered calls and things like that.

Allen: And do you do any any oil futures options?

Paul: Well, I’m not. I’m just at the point to get licensed for that.

Allen: It’s a separate license?

Paul: That’s as a separate license. Yes. So you have to you have to get licensed through the, Chicago Board of Trade, the NFA and National Futures Association.

Allen: Okay. Okay. And then will you be able to do it the same as everything else through Interactive Brokers?

Paul: Yes, I think so. Sometimes you don’t know to actually do it. So I think it’s pretty similar.

Allen: Sweet. Okay. Now, as a as an RIA, do you also advise your clients on other alternative investments, you know, real estate, crypto anything else? Or is it just stocks, bonds, options?

Paul: I’m always getting to ask questions, you know, because I’m in, you know, really, I’m gonna CPA world or the IRA world, I’m getting asked questions. So I will advise on that if I think I have a good opinion. You know, I’m not roll up on that rolled up on crypto

Allen: Right, right. Are you still bound by the same fiduciary type rules on that or?

Paul: You could come under some scrutiny. You know, you’d like an offsetting handed comment, and then someone does something crazy. And so you got to be a little careful.

Allen: Yeah. All right. And okay, so him now with the interactive account, or the broker dealer, is the software any different? Like, versus if you open a regular account by yourself? Is there anything you have to learn a new platform? Or is it basically the same thing?

Paul: It’s pretty much the same platform, you just have to understand how to do the trading, like I was telling you about, like, allocating between all the accounts, but the platform itself is basically the same. Okay. Cool. Yeah.

Allen: What do you see as the future of money management, because like, you know, they got these robo advisors now, and they got like Robin Hood, trying to get everybody to trade on their own. And so what do you see down the pike? You know, do you see like, your clients are like, yeah, rather just have you do it? Or are robots or whatever?

Paul: Yeah, I can see, you know, some of the robot picking up. But on average, most people out there don’t know, hardly anything about the investing world. My average client, so I think it’s going to be still a good field you know, way up currently doing it.

Allen: Okay, and who is like your average client?

Paul: They’re probably like 50 years old, that did 60. And probably, you know, got assets anywhere from, you know, 50 to 50,000 to over a million dollars, you know?

Allen: And do you have any limits on who can invest with you? And how much?

Paul: No, I mean, like, I’m not, I’m just gonna take on any account right now. It would need to be over a certain dollar amount for me to I just always have to keep that in mind about, you know, do I want to take on a five or $10,000 account? Because it’s gonna be extra work. Taking that versus the capital issue at– You don’t have to be you don’t have to comply with the day trading rules. You know, because because if you if you accidentally in and out three, three trades in a week, then your account gets shut down. You know, so you have to deal with that. So yeah, so I’m trying to gradually move up from like a minimum of 25,000 to 50,000, 200,000.

Allen: Okay. And then you also have a certain criteria like a certain person that you want right? Certain somebody they can handle the options and that Intertek can handle that because I mean, it does swing a little bit. So if they have a 5,000 to $10,000 account, they freak out if they lose $1,000, obviously, that’s not the right person for you anyway.

Paul: Right. But on that same note, I had a client the other day that, you know, they have, you know, an excess a half million dollars with me. And they want to know how they could put in more money since this market was down so they could capture, capture that now mark? I love that kind of client. expecting them to call you and tell you, why is my account down? Actually, that question is dead. They’re saying, How can we put more money in?

Allen: Yeah, that’s a smart, that’s a Smart Client. So that’s, that’s got to be your email, you know, going out, like, Hey, he’s trying to give me more now. double down on your investments. Okay. Now, How has being a money manager improved your own trading? Or hasn’t?

Paul: Well, I mean, it’s made me to seek out new avenues of investing. You know, because I’m looking out for my clients. By the same token, when I do that, I find things that I can use to, you know, like, I don’t know, if I would have found the old future options without that, you know, seeking out new new investment strategies, you know, so I could do a better job for my clients.

Allen: Okay. Now, we’ve had a lot of volatility lately. And you’ve, you’ve alluded to it already. When stocks down about 20% or so right now, how do you deal with the investor concerns or expectations?

Paul: I’m continually learning that. The more, the more proactive you can be with that, I find that it’s better. Like, if you have a bad day or a bad trade that, you know, that affects it so much, and then maybe call and talk to them about it versus waiting for them to call you later, and they get their quarterly statements. And they call you know?

Allen: Right. So do you find that a large portion of your job is just talking to people and just calming them down? Or explaining certain things to them? Or educating them?

Paul: In the beginning? Yes. If someone’s with you for a while, and they haven’t gotten, understood your ways, and why you do what you do. And it would be generally in the first year of a client relationship, you indeed do that more, but there is sort of they get to know you, you you get to know them and sort of like a training curve there.

Allen: And now, most of your clients, are they either they know you or they were referred to you. Right. So there’s always there’s already that trust built in from the beginning. Most of them yes, yeah. So if you, you know, advertising, somebody comes in cold, they’re like, oh, yeah, I like what you’re doing here. You know, here’s $100,000, there’s gonna be a lot more back.

Paul: Yeah.

Allen: Okay. So how are you handling? How are you handling the volatility? Like when somebody calls up and says, Oh, my count is down. How do you? What do you do there?

Paul: Well, number one, what I did when I saw when I saw the market starting to tank, I basically, was going more into cash. So like, I the client won’t know why we aren’t investing. I said, Well, I’m waiting for the market to give me indication has, it’s found the bottom or, you know, it is headed back up. So I don’t want to, I’m not a bottom picker. But I don’t want to like, write it further down. You know. So that’s one way of dealing with it. And they seem to appreciate that quite a bit and understand that. So I don’t think that’s something you get out of a typical advisor.

Allen: So yeah, but what if somebody calls you and says, Oh, my God, you know, I’m down 10%? What am I going to do? I can’t handle this. How do you handle that? Have you ever had that happen?

Paul: Yeah. I tried to change up their strategies a little bit to get them a little more solid, or maybe not trade as much in their account. Just being a little more cautious.

Allen: Okay, so Okay, so you can actually choose, like, let’s say, we talked about that IBM thing. So if you’re like, Hey, I’m buying IBM, you could choose and say, okay, don’t put it in this account in this account, just because in all these other ones,. Yeah. All right. So you can actually tailor it because like, if somebody goes, Yeah, I just want to be long stocks, or I just want tech stocks. And I just want you know, credit spreads. So they you can, you can do that. Yeah, okay. Yep. So, do you have any shortcuts that you can share? You know, for somebody that’s thinking, hey, you know, this sounds like cool, I’m gonna I’m gonna get into this. RIA business, anything that you probably didn’t know, ahead of time that you would have liked to have known?

Paul: This is sort of like a unknown territory. Because, I mean, when I was doing it, I couldn’t get anybody to actually figure it out what like a serious 65 license would do. And I was sort of going into blindly a little bit. So I mean, I think the number one thing is maybe you know, then contact me. Shortcuts is, you know, I don’t know like I had to find a place to take the take the course for that. And then I hired a guy to tutor me some. And, you know, there’s, there’s these firms out there wanting you to sign up with them for them to do oh, you know, like your paperwork and so forth. And I just sort of like fumbled my way through it and plagiarized another agreement online affected us. And so another thing is to know if you’re in this world, you will get audited. Personally. Well, the your investment firm, right, yeah. Yeah. Like I’m in the CPA world, and I probably will never get out a different CPA world. But the investment side, I will get audited probably time and time again. So far, it’s only been once one step Florida, but yeah,

Allen: okay. Yeah. I mean, that’s a good thing. I guess, you know, that, that the advisors and like you said, you know, the Bernie Madoff, he keeps him at bay as much as he can a little bit. So some of that, I guess, from a consumer standpoint, and that’s a good thing to hear.

Paul: Yeah, but a lot of a lot of us, they don’t necessarily understand the world as much as you do. And it’s more like them checking a box somewhere in a city. They ask this question, or I did that, but they don’t really find that don’t really necessarily know exactly what they’re doing, you know,

Allen: Yeah. So but do you mean tax audited or audited by like the audit by

Paul: the state by the financial regulatory people for the state you’re in

Allen: The state regulatory? Okay, so every state has their own regulatory stuff that you have so far.

Paul: Yeah. So just just sort of background here. Usually, as you’re managing under $100 million, you’re managed by the state. But then once you hit $100 million in the SEC is basically is going to your watchdog, it’s gonna look over your shoulder.

Allen: Okay. All right. Cool. And you’re in Florida, right? Correct. But you can take clients from anywhere?

Paul: I can. But different states have different rules, most of them allow you to take five to 15 clients, and not really be registered with them. But then once you hit over that threshold, they want you to fully registered with them. But there are a few states that require you if you get one client, they want you to be registered. And Louisiana was one of those states.

Allen: So I guess, depending on how much capital the guy is gonna give you whether it’s worth it to register there..

Paul: Exactly, exactly, yeah. Okay. All right.

Allen: So would you knowing what you know, now, are you happy that you went this route?

Paul: Ask me again, in a few years.

Allen: Well, you’ve been doing already for like, eight years. So kind of got some kind of track record here.

Paul: Yeah, it’s been, you know, it’s been definitely a learning curve, you know, from the regulatory side. And then from the investment side, too, so? Yes, I’m glad I did it. But it’ had its rough moments.

Allen: Well, give me an example.

Paul: Well if you if you lose on a trade, you know, it can affect your account and other people’s account. So that’s probably the biggest things that has happened to me, you know? And then you got to figure out how am I gonna tell this person this?

Allen: Yeah. So how did you how did you deal with that?

Paul: I prayed a lot. Basically, if I knew the fact that someone so much, I would, I call them and talk to him about it. But in a certain situation, like, because it was spread over so many accounts, it didn’t really affect anyone that much. It wasn’t that big of a deal. Like, you know, if I’m managing $5 million of money, and I lose 20,000, you know, the most Someone’s probably gonna lose is maybe 2 or 3000. So the overall number is a big number. But you know, we spread between all the counts, it’s not that big of a number.

Allen: Interesting. Okay. Yeah, I mean, that’s that thing, right? There is like, the biggest thing that’s kept me out of it for all these years, you know, people have been asking me from the beginning, okay, can you take my money? I’m like, nope, nope, because I don’t know how I’m gonna handle the stress. I don’t know if, um, we will sleep, I can lose my own money, you know, market down 20% Okay, whatever, it’ll go back up, I got time, you know, but somebody else if I lose your money, and I don’t know, I don’t know how I’m gonna handle it. And so that’s the one thing that that’s really caused me to be hesitant up till now. And I agree what you said about not having that much information out there. You know, I mean, there are companies out there that will like if you want to be in RIA you type in how to be an RIA and there’s a company that hey, you if you give us like 30 grand, you know, we’ll do all the paperwork and we’ll file everything for you. So you Okay, but what do I actually get? You know, they’re like well you do the paperwork. Well what about after that? How do I get clients how do I do this how to do that they will help you at all and these two guys they had approached, they had talked that a because I’m you know Option Genius is in what’s called the financial publishing space that world, so we have our own little conventions and all the Guru’s come and hang out and talk marketing and stuff. And so there was there was these two guys who were speakers, and they were telling all of the financial publishers that hey, you guys need to get into the into the management business, because you guys already have all these clients? They already trust you? You know, and they probably have a lot of money because people coming to me, you know, they say, Hey, I want to learn how to trade options. Okay, cool, you know, and how large is your account? They’re like, Oh, 50,000. Okay, cool. And they trading options with 50,000. But they also have like, maybe a million dollar IRA, that they’re not touching, or their wife has $500,000 that is with some other financial advisor that she doesn’t want her husband to touch with options. So it’s like, yeah, everybody that comes in has a lot more money. So if you started an IRA or an advisor, then you know, they’ll give you that money as well. And you can make all this money. And I was like, Okay, that’s interesting. But, you know, what are the legalities and all that and they wanted, I don’t know, obtain $1,000 plus a percentage of the company to actually teach me all this stuff. And I’m finding a there’s a lot of secrecy, as you can say, you know, and Wall Street, I think puts it like that on purpose. Because they don’t want everybody to know what they’re doing and what they that they don’t know what they’re doing. Pretty much. So cool.

Paul: I don’t know, that’s intentional, but it just got I think there’s so few people who are looking to do it. And like, it’s not a widespread throughout the population thing. So you don’t find as much about it, you know.

Allen: Maybe okay, yeah, I’ll take that. Yeah. Because like, you know, even like, what is the difference between an RIA and a hedge fund? You know, I’ve been beating my head, like, which one? Which way? Do we go? Which way? Do we go? If we go this way? Or this? Or what are the pros? What are the cons, and there’s like, no one person that can that can tell me, if you want to go to a hedge fund, they got a little hedge fund world, and, you know, you got to you got to pay the dues to get in. If you want the RA world, then it’s more common, but it’s, it’s for the guys, you know, for people who are like, Yeah, you know, I just want to put everybody’s money in an index fund, you know, so it’s like, what you’re doing is totally different, like, I have not met any advisors that are actually, you know, trading that actively for people. So I mean, compared to the other guy, Joe Schmo that charges 1% a year, or 2% a year, just to put their money in an index fund compared to what you’re doing, you know, your value is just so much more. But it does seem like it’s very similar to a hedge fund where, you know, a hedge fund is a little bit different, where all the money is pooled into one spot. And then, you know, the, the trader controls it, you’re doing kind of similar, where you can look at it and be like, Okay, I got, you know, $10 million under management, how am I going to split that up into different trades? And it just happens to be in different people’s accounts? So have you ever thought about increasing your rates because like a hedge fund, they can charge a percentage of the gains? An RIA can’t? Can they do that?

Paul: They can do that on their certains particulars criteria? I think like you have to have an investor who’s has at least $2 million in investable assets. They have at least $1 million invested with you. And then you can have certain arrangements where you say, Well, if I make whatever percentage I’ll make about what the s&p does, you’ll split it with me, or something like that, you know? Okay, so again, it’s very, it’s has a lot of criteria to it can’t be done, though. Okay. Yeah. Because I wouldn’t say the hedge fund world is based on what you’re telling me is, cuz you’re basically commingling all the funds. Right? So you got to do like a statement for each person or something. Yeah. And so I think the advantage is, you can just commingle it all and then do whatever you need to do. And then at the end of the day, you somehow allocated?

Allen: Right, so the thing with the hedge fund is that all the investors have to be accredited. Okay, so accredited, as you know, probably, you know, you basically you have a million dollar net worth not putting your house, or you’re making upwards of 300,000 a year. So, you know, basically, so at least

Paul: They have to tell you, they’re accredited. Right?

Allen: I think we would actually want them to be proof, you know, give me proof otherwise, we’re not letting you in.

Paul: That was actually in so my testing I just did is like, yeah, you want this criteria? But are you actually gonna go go check it? No. So

Allen: Interesting. Okay. Because I mean, you know, the government says that the hedge funds, you know, if you’re an accredited investor, you should be smarter than the average bear. And so, if you lose money, it’s not that big a deal. Like you are smart enough to get into it. You know, somebody with $5,000 or $10,000. That’s my life savings. No, sorry, you can’t invest in this. Even though the hedge fund might be like doing 1,000,000% a year, you can’t invest because you’re not accredited. Ras can take basically everybody, so that was one of the things okay, somebody comes in with 50,000 as an RIA, you might just take it because it’s not that much paperwork. It’s not extra for you. But for a hedge fund. Yeah, no, I can’t do it. Because I gotta, I gotta pay the auditing company. I gotta pay the statement company. I got to pay the customer. You know, whoever’s doing customer service and answering the phone and doing all that, and salespeople and all that. So 50,000 is not going to cut it, you know, the limit is a lot higher. For sure. Okay. Yeah. So yeah, that, in that sense, totally different world. But very similar from what I’m seeing is that, you know, you’re doing probably what we’re gonna be doing, you know, similar.

Paul: So you probably can’t take qualified money like IRAs and things like that.

Allen: I think they can. Yeah, yeah, I think they can, as long as a person is accredited. And so there’s different regulations, 5063 C, or six, C, five, or six D, they’ll those tell you, you know, if you can take accredited and non accredited, and then can you advertise or not, I’m still learning all this, it’s all different, because like, if you start a Real Estate Fund, different from if you’re doing a hedge fund, versus a private equity fund, so some of the rules apply to everything. Some of the rules are just separate. So I’m still learning all that. But I know that the Interactive Brokers, people, they’ve done webinars in the past with attorneys. So if anybody wants to start a hedge fund, you can still use the Interactive Brokers platform. And they have they actually have a separate portal, I think, for hedge funds. Yeah, I’ve seen that. You’ve seen that too? Where you can actually see what other people are doing. And what are the trades that they’re making?

Paul: I didn’t know about that. I just knew that they had some kind of hedge fund portion of what they’re doing. I didn’t know exactly what it meant.

Allen: Yeah. So So what they said was that, you know, the attorney was like, you know, it’ll take several, you know, maybe $30,000, to set up your hedge fund, you can probably do it with a smaller amount, if you want to start an incubator fund, which is like, you know, if you have your own money, and you put in and say $300,000, and you trade it as if it’s a fund, and you don’t maybe that that paperwork might be like 7000, and you set that up, you treat it as a fun, you build up your track record, and be like, Oh, hey, look, you know, I was trading for six months, I got this, that or not, and then you can start advertising it, and you convert it to a full fund. And then you can say, well, look at my track record, this is what I did. And then people can come in for the full fund. So that was one of the things that they were they were talking about. But so yeah, we were we were looking at an interactive, but the one thing that interacted with their software is a little bit more clunky or less user friendly than some of the most user friendly software. Yeah, it was my personal accounts. Now. So when, do you still trade on on your own on the side? Or is all of your money in the big?

Paul: I have some money still in the in the huge fund? And then, you know, I have some I have an account on the side, right?

Allen: So that separate account, did that change it all after you got licensed? Because they always, you know, when you open an account, they always ask you, are you licensed? And then they’re I don’t know why they do that. Is there to change anything on? You’re not gonna recall?

Paul: Yeah. So, there’s, there’s occasions where you can link up an account with the master fund, and you can D link the account. So I think at one time I had, it’s actually my 401k account for my accounting firm attached to the IRA account, but then I detached it. One of the main reasons was for futures. Okay, because I knew I wasn’t qualified to do futures for the whole fun. But I could on a mountain account.

Allen: Ah, okay. So you have to keep it separate to do the futures options. Yeah. Until you get licensed by them. And is that like a lengthy process as well? The futures options? License? Yeah.

Paul: I took a series three exam back a month or so ago. So I’d studied for two or three months, and again, got a tutor. Yeah. Okay.

Allen: All right. How many clients do you have right now?

Paul: I’d say about 20-25.

Allen: Okay. All right. Cool. And so, from a financial standpoint, has it been worth it?

Paul: Yeah, it’s been really good. I might, my intention when I know that, you know, once I got into it, my intention was over the years, you know, retirement age, is at my incomes shift for my CPA business or to my investment business. So I could do that, say two hours a day and retirement versus, you know, doing tax seasons and all that. CPA visits.

Allen: Okay. Is that still the plan? Yes. Still plan. Awesome. Cool. So yeah, I mean, handling managing millions of dollars of assets in two hours a day. That sounds pretty good to me.

Paul: That might be a pipe dream. But that’s what I had in mind.

Allen: I think you could do it your own way. You’re on your way. Cool. Awesome. So is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you think like, oh, yeah, people need to know this.

Paul: I could probably sit here and think about a few things. Not on every call. No, no, no, no. I mean, one thing you have to like for instance, a you have to have a like an email account that you Gotta add to retain all your emails for at least like five years. That’s one thing to keep in mind. And like I have to send a like a balance sheet and income statement to the state of Florida every year and get someone to notarize it. You have to upload information to the FINRA site at least once a year. And that’s where you pay your like on license Louisiana along Florida and things like that. So I pay my fees for those licensing booth vendors website.

Allen: And that you had told me that the fee that you charge for management that comes out Interactive Brokers basically pays you every quarter, your fixed asset if I had to build it, right, yeah.

Paul: Okay. So, so they do it automatically. But when I got audited, the state wanted me to actually create invoices. So the answer your question is, I’m not sure what the real requirement is. So far, I guess I met that criteria then. So I’m not actually grading him. What’s the reporter right now? Okay.

Allen: Yeah, I mean, because like, I mentioned, those two consultants that I had talked to, they had told me that I would have to bill everybody invoice, everybody, every quarter. And those people would have to pay me directly. So it wouldn’t be taken out of their account, it would be sent directly to me that they would have to write a check every quarter. And I’m like, that’s a pain in the butt. You know, that’s pretty cumbersome. Yeah, if a customer has to pay, you know, a big check every quarter for management fees. And then especially if you have a down year, he’s like, What am I paying for it? I don’t pay for this anymore. And you don’t get paid. So I was like, Okay, that’s a big red flag. But I’m glad that that’s not true. Cool. Okay.

Paul: One thing I have figured out there is, like, there’s an account I was going to take from someone from one advisors to me, and they had all their fees, like totally hidden with all these mutual funds and things like that. And so like, you know, that account, I was gonna charge 3.3%. But we weren’t able to ever get to the bottom of what the other advisor was charging. So, even though they have a lot of disclosures and things like that, I think we could have pressed the issue if we really wanted to. But, um, but you know, I ended up losing that account.

Allen: So did that customer realize that, that he’s being charged all these things?

Paul: No, no, no clue. No, I mean, whenever I sort of parted ways, and I said, you guys at least need to figure out what they’re charging you. You’d be surprised at the amount of inept that’s out there and people who are actually hiring advisors, like, yeah, most people do not keep like their annual statements. They couldn’t tell me how much they made last year. You know, because really, when I’m taking on an account, I want to know, what their track record has been sort of what I would need to beat to make them happy. You know, a lot of them are not that attuned to that.

Allen: That’s crazy. Yeah. I mean, people, they work their entire lives to save up money and invest it so they can retire. But then they don’t pay any attention to the money. Oh, boy..

Paul: I think it’s because they don’t know that much about it. So they wouldn’t know what to do if it was not what they wanted, you know?

Allen: Yeah. I mean, you gotta you gotta take a little bit of time to at least read the statements and figure out where’s the money going? And it could be better disclosed, you know, the statements could be easier to read that that’s definitely sure. That’s, yeah. But it is what it is for now.

Paul: Like, I have this account right now, I’m probably going pick up another six to nine or 1000. And I asked them to get their annual statements ready. Because I wanted to see what they have been. have been doing, you know, so, you know, so they didn’t know if there’ll be they’ll find those. So let me guess. It’s like, it’s weird.

Allen: Okay, they just like asked her her advisor.

Paul: Oh, that might be red flag fight flight to them. And they are looking so yeah. Wow. Okay. All right. seem bizarre.

Allen: So if somebody was thinking about starting their own advisory firm, what would you say? They would need in terms of like, what are the minimums, okay, you should have been in the market for, you know, five years, you know, or you got to know XYZ, is there anything that you would say that, you know, if you don’t, if you can’t even do this, and this is not for you?

Paul: Well, they’re planning on doing what I’m doing, they probably need at least three to five years, you know, their own market experience. But, you know, that being said, like, I just met with someone the other day, and I could put all my funds through their strategies, and just sit and coast. You know, really, they charge an extra 1% or whatever, so I’ll back off of my fee a little bit. You know, so you can you can play the game different ways. Wow. So you could do like I can see a new person and starting that and just have these other you know, because they have what’s called sub managers or something like that. I don’t know the exact term. Basically, you’re hiring other money managers to manage the money you have for your clients. Right, like sub advisors, maybe is what it’s called. Okay. So I’m not saying it will totally preclude them that they didn’t have three to five years. But, you know, hopefully they’re drawing on someone’s experience to help hold their handle that

Allen: Right. And do you know how much it costs to get it up and running?

Paul: I would say three to five grand. Wow, that’s not much. I mean, the hardware, these firms are brought in to charge you five times that?

Allen: Yeah. Okay. So well, the sub accounts. Yeah, actually, I do remember those consultants talking to me about that.

Paul: They they call it sub advisors?

Allen: Yeah, I think that’s what it is. And it’s like, yeah, you know, if you don’t want to do it yourself, you can put your money, you can put your your clients money into different buckets, and then they just do it for you, and they charge and then you split the fees or whatever, or something like that. So, and then each broker, each broker dealer has different ones. So like Fidelity or Schwab will have different sub accounts versus what you could put your stuff in. But interesting, I just Just curious the ones that you had talked to what what strategies were they were using,

Paul: They’re using free cash flow to is their criteria for who they’re investing in. So they have like international, they call a cash cow c-o-w. So they’ve international domestic, and things like that. So they have a different definition of free cash flow. So they’re they’re fearing that’s the best value, their way of determining value out there, like sort of like a value fund, but their own definition of what value is.

Allen: Okay, so they’re investing in stocks.

Paul: Yes, international and domestic.


Allen: And they handle the ins and outs. And so you could put a portion of your client’s money in there, you put it all in there. So it’s like, it’s like an ETF. So basically, you can say I want 20% of my money to go on this domestic one 20% International. And I might, I’m in talks with them. So I might end up doing some more money that way. But so they’re coming up with different sample portfolios that I can use their funds for.

Allen: Okay, interesting. And so that must be a much larger company.

Paul: Yeah, I’m not sure how big they are. But they’re, you know, big enough to where they had like a representative here in central Florida and some of their back office helping them out. Awesome. I’m not sure their size yet.

Allen: Yeah. So I mean, this rabbit hole is pretty big. You can dive in there and spend a lot of time figuring all this stuff out.

Paul: Yeah, yeah. So I can see a way I could sit and close more. But you’re only doing it two hours a day anyway.

Allen: Cool. All right.

Paul: Well, maybe we’re gonna get into my retirement years, a certain amount of years. I’ll just put it there and just coast. The zero hours a day. Yep.

Allen: Yeah, my, my neighbor in the office next door, he’s a financial adviser. He’s been doing it for, I think, 25 years now. So he’s built up, you know, a sizable clientele. And so now he’s at the point where he wants to retire. But he doesn’t know what to do with the firm. He’s like, you know, he makes probably a good 500,000 a year income from it. And he’s like, I want one of my kids to take over. But the kids are not really willing, and not interested. He’s like, I don’t know what to do. So he’s still there.

So there’s been periods of times or, you know, like, I sit on the CPA world deal with other investment advisors, where it’s been a quite a lucrative market to get bought your practice bought out by bigger, let’s say Merrill Lynch or something like that, you know, they pay some pretty big bucks to buy those books of business.

Yeah, yeah. Because I mean, one of the things that the consultants told me is that once you get you get a client, that turnover, meaning the fact that they’re going to leave you is not very high, they’re gonna stay with you for years and years. So you can count on that money coming in, you know, that fee money coming in for a long period of time, unless you unless you totally screw it up, and then they’re gonna leave.

Paul: If you play the play smart. You know, if you’re dealing with someone 50 years old, right now, you know, another 10 or 20 years, you’re gonna pick up their kids and things like that when they need investment advice and stuff. It’s, it’d be a self perpetuating thing.

Allen: Yeah, yeah. And I do like the fact that there’s always going to be somebody there willing to buy you, your company. You know, because a lot of times in smaller companies if you’re the only person or if you got one or two employees, nobody really wants to buy the company even if it’s successful. Nobody wants to buy it because they would without you there they’re basically buying a job for themselves, right? It’s not running on its own you’re the one doing all the work in this case. Yeah, you’re the one doing all the work but they don’t need you. They can just, you know, have their own advisors take over. So you still get a pretty decent multiple when you sell so that’s really cool too. Right?

Paul: Also, I met a.. in my travels on this world. I’ve met the company and actually finance you if you want to buy on someone else’s practice in the financial visor word world.

Allen: Hmm.. So have you looked into that?

Paul: I had a conversation or two with them, but I haven’t really pursued it further. Yeah. Because I didn’t know if I wanted to buy a larger practice. Right? Yeah. Because generally, that is a seven year payout to do that. So, you know, seven years, you’d be free and clear.

Allen: That’ll be interesting. Yeah. So a lot of ways to skin this cat. So you would I mean, I’m assuming that if anybody asked you, Hey, should I do this? Probably the answer is yes.

Paul: Yeah, I mean, just mean, talk to people who have done it, and sort of figure out if it’s a good fit for you, you know? Yeah. It’s definitely can be pretty lucrative.

Allen: Right? And I like the fact that it’s like, for you at least it’s more localized, you know, so you’re not competing with somebody in California or Canada, or whatever. It’s like, yeah, you guys get your clients over there. I’ll have my clients over here. You know, they love me, they trust me. We hang out maybe. And sometimes. So it’s not like a competitive situation. So, right. Awesome. Are you in any? Are there any, like, associations or memberships for advisors?

Paul: No, I’m not.

Allen: No, but obviously, they probably have them?

Paul: Yeah, I’m just not familiar. Very familiar with that. I have another advisor to hang out with suddenly sort of share some ideas. That’s, that’s all I have right now.

Allen: And they’re also private. Like on their own?

Paul: Now, one of the reasons I didn’t cover this in the beginning, like when I started looking into this whole thing, I didn’t want to get clients and then share my fees with other people. That’s why I didn’t latch on to a bigger firm and start building my clients from there. So that’s why I started my own Ra. So they will be my clients. And I get all the fees for them. And no one else had had rights to him. So that’s, that’s one of the reasons I did the way I did it.

Allen: Okay. Okay. So what would be the benefits of going with a larger firm just to name recognition?

Paul: Well, they have, one of the biggest things is called compliance. So like, right now, I’m my own compliance officer for my firm, okay, and larger firm like that they have whole departments that take care of compliance, for you to make sure you don’t get in trouble, the regulators and so forth. So, like this other advisor, I had, he joined another firm, just so you could have that compliance piece to it. But in his firm, he can’t trade options. Right?

Allen: Because they’re very limited. Yeah, exactly.

Paul: It’s taught me to join his is up, like can’t trade options.

Allen: Because compliance says no.

Paul: It was on the client’s officer.

Allen: Right. So that’s why when you said you were thinking about advertising, it’s the risk is on you because you’re the compliance officer. So you got to know exactly what can be done and what can’t be done. Right. Right. Interesting, cool. Is there anything else because  I’m out of questions.

Paul: One of the things, one of the things I tell you, I looked into going with other companies, other inactive brokers when I started, okay, and like Charles Schwab wanted you to have $7 million you’re managing before you could go with them.

Allen: Whoa, okay. And they’re the biggest right right now, I think.

Paul: I think so. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s one reasons with Interactive Brokers, because they didn’t have the minimums like that. I didn’t really check too much rather than other people.

Allen: So and how’s your customer service at Interactive Brokers, because they for personal accounts, they don’t have a good reputation.

Paul: Yeah, they have a separate line, you can call as a professional advisor. So it’s, I get pretty quick attention. Usually, you know, it’s not it’s not perfect, but you know, it’s decent. Yeah, but you’re happy. Yeah, I’m not saying that. I’m sure other companies have better customer service but you know, for right now, they, you know, I might need to call him a few times, but I get what I needed if I need need to..

Allen: And how are their margins and Commissions?

Paul: Commission’s are pretty low. I don’t have the exact numbers I just know less than like $1 per 100 shares.

Allen: And who comes out of the customers account? Obviously.

Paul: Each person like when you do a trade display something all the counselee they pick up their own fees.

Allen: Cool. All right. Well, thank you Paul. You know, Paul’s website is again BusinessAdvisors.Pro. Paul said that he could reach out you know, you guys can reach out to him if you have any questions. And Paul is also in our other memberships are other programs as well past trading formula blank check and credit spread. So if you guys are members of those, you can reach out to him there. You’ll find him in the group. And he’s been very gracious with his time. So I do want to thank you and And he’s very active in the group and you know you’ve been helping a lot of newer people as well they’re so appreciate you there. Interesting place, interesting world and as I dive in I’m probably going to reach out to you more.

Paul: Sounds great, I appreciate it.

Allen: Thank you thank you so much and we’ll talk to you soon


JOIN OUR FREE PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP: https://optiongenius.com/alliance

Like our show? Please leave us a review here – even one sentence helps. Thank you!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.