"Working with a good CPA on adding value to their clients is a key to a successful relationship"

Robert Martinelli, Financial Advisor
Campbell, CA

"What a world of difference! To me as an advisor it's now very easy to reach any CPA with a message that is timely and important. The results have been fantastic!"

Transcript:

I started as a stockbroker in 1992 for a company called Painewebber. It's now a UBS and back then in the nineties it was very difficult, to mess up. The bull market was writing very strong and, you felt very successful and confident until of course 2000 hit and then you realized how vulnerable you are as an advisor. I am a baby boomer and I have the same concerns as any other baby boomer. So just by the natural love of who I am and my age, I migrated to working with people, preparing them for transition into retirement. Over the years I've tried to transition into working with CPAS and I never really had a compelling argument or reason for CPA to work with me. When I started in this industry twenty years ago, you meet with a CPA, you say - oh, I'm a great financial advisor and you're a great CPA.

 

Why don't we exchange our prospects and clients? And, of course, it sounds exciting, but it never really materialized into anything. So, over the years, very frankly, I gave up on working with CPAs. I found it very difficult and challenging. When you work with a CPA, they have their agenda, we have our agenda. They're risk averse. One of the big issues with CPAs is their whole life is living in the past. They do last year tax returns, last month's bookkeeping. So, they're not forward thinkers. They put very little money into marketing. They're probably not even considered good business people, but who they are, they are a trusted advisor for their clients and that's what makes them very valuable to work with. And if we can create that synergy, then definitely, you know, a good financial advisor working with a good CPA with the goal obviously of helping the client.

 

That is really the key to a successful relationship. So, I discovered the system of working with a CPA was a few years ago and uh, it was better than anything I ever saw, but it still felt like it was missing something. And then I discovered the "CPA Team Advisor Program" and I joined the program about eight months ago. What a world of difference! You guys have done the heavy lifting for us, you've created systems and processes, and, very frankly, you've made it very easy for me as an advisor to reach out to CPAs with a message that is timely and important, and the results have been fantastic. If I have to rate a "CPA Team Based Model" on a scale of one to five, I have to give it a five. You guys have done a great job in helping me understand the CPA, how they think, how they process information, what are the issues that are important to them.

 

And that's allowed me to look at the world, not from my side, but from the CPA side. And as a result of that, I'm a much more powerful advisor because I understand what they're going through and uh, that puts them at ease. It makes me feel more confident. And overall it leads to a very positive relationship. Certainly, finding a niche is really very, very important for all advisors who are in our practice. Working with the CPA is, I believe one of the most powerful alliances you can form. And the reason I say that is common sense says that tax rates are going to continue to rise. And, and if you go back to the fifties and sixties, the highest tax rate was in the seventieth percentile. So, will we ever get that high? I don't know, but we're certainly going to go higher than where we are.

 

So, working with a CPA and a client to reduce taxes, to minimize taxes, to have a holistic approach to their own personal lives is the most powerful thing we can bring. And for young advisor to grasp this, to realize how powerful this is. I wish I was thirty years old knowing what I know today. I could work probably real hard for ten years and never have to work a day in my life again. And so, I would urge any young person to really find a niche. And, certainly, I think the CPA niche is the most powerful and number one niche you can develop.

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