Coming to us with almost 30 years in the advising industry, Jason Grantz has a wealth of knowledge to share. In our conversation, we discussed the future of the retirement industry, how his practice has changed over the past three years (and how it hasn’t), and his advice for new entrants to the field. The following transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.
Like most pension professionals, I found the industry by accident. I started at a large recordkeeper, and moved along to a mutual fund company, but in their retirement operations area. After that, I got into retirement plan wholesaling and management. The natural next step was to hang a shingle and start advising on plans!
Understand that there is no such thing as a “game changer.” The industry is in constant motion and fads, new services, new models are always occurring and you should too, instead of getting amped up about the newest shiny object. That lesson would have been good to know 15-20 years ago.
Learn the words. Vocabulary is incredibly important in our space and, sadly, we spend a lot of time reeducating clients on misinformation and more.
My advice would be to find an excellent partner and mentor to work with. There’s no shame in it and no need to be a ‘party of one’ when there’s plenty of opportunity out there to join with others and become part of an even stronger whole.
It really hasn’t changed. I think that the industry is mature and will always have changes happening, but change is opportunity. How should you respond to this? As a practitioner, it’s all in the name: practice, practice, practice.
We’ve migrated largely to a Zoom-based process for meetings and presentations. It’s increased our efficiency by three to four times. Frankly, it’s taken us from a mostly northeast regional firm to a national firm now in nearly 30 states.
Retirement plan specialization has been happening for some time and will continue. We’re seeing more and more advisors look to partner with us to handle the plan, while they manage the relationship with the business owners and higher paid employees. This allows us to do what we do well, which is the plan work, and it allows them to do what they do well, which is all of the rest.
We get almost all of our leads via referral sources, centers of influence, and other advisor relationships we’ve developed over the years.
I have many mantras, but the one that I live by is “We’re only ever in one business and that’s the Relationship Business”.
Most days I’m up early, do a short workout, get my kids off to school and head up to my office. From there, it’s a series of meetings within and outside of my organization, consisting of either managing someone or selling something.
We’re not a ‘feature’- based advisory shop. Really what I like about the platform is that it’s relatively simple to explain, has clear pricing, and flexible investments.