Beyond TAMPS - Collaboration Bolsters Such Platforms

Always competitive and often cut-throat, the financial advisory sector has also embraced the spirit of collaboration. Joel Bruckenstein, CFP®, noted three years ago in an article for that the trend of financial advisors working together would likely continue far into the future.

And so far, it has.

Consider the relationship between Dean Zayed, founder of Registered Investment Advisor/Turnkey Asset Management Platform (TAMP) Brookstone Capital Management and Jason Glisczynski, CFP®, CAS®, co-founder of Silvertree an independent Investment Advisor Representative. Brookstone’s specialty is helping like-minded independent advisors build and grow their practice in a scalable way that makes it both enjoyable and profitable.

Such partnerships can mean mutual growth. Brookstone recently earned the top spot on Financial Advisor (FA) Magazine’s 2021 RIA Survey and Ranking. After ending the year with more than $7 billion Assets Under Management (AUM) and 137 percent growth, BCM captured the honor among the Top 50 Fastest-Growing Firms in the United States.

Likewise, Silvertree had one of its biggest years in 2020 in terms of bringing on new clients, a trend that has continued this year.

“We feel like we’re in a great spot,” Zayed told Advisors Magazine in a recent interview. “Brookstone is a leader in the industry, and we want to be the thought leader in the RIA/TAMPs space.”

Turnkey Asset Management Platform
The entrepreneurial idea fueling BCM sprang from Zayed’s own personal practice, which in addition to Silvertree’s Glisczynski, counts more than a thousand partnerships with some of today’s most innovative advisors who affiliate with BCM. BCM’s own investment expertise spans evaluating and implementing traditional and alternative vehicles, analyzing market trends and investment strategies, in addition to assisting advisors in launching and growing their businesses.

Dean head“I targeted like-minded advisors that would have a couple of things very much in common with my philosophy,” Zayed said. “Number one was to embrace the idea of being a fiduciary; that was important because Brookstone is an RIA. We are not a broker dealer.” Number two was to be independent and provide fee-based money management as part of the firm’s offerings.

“I had an epiphany, around 2007 or so, when I had met up with Brookstone Capital Management and had seen the option of working as an investment advisor representative versus as a broker and being able to help clients in a fiduciary capacity,” echoed Glisczynski in a separate interview. “And that was a real game changer for me; it completely transformed all of my client relationships and how I did business.”

It also spurred Glisczynski over the next few years to obtain his CFP designation and to focus sharply on holistic, complete financial planning.

Core values and shared client philosophies give such collaboration a big boost.

Glisczynski’s Silvertree does not require a minimum investment, but there are minimums for different levels of service.

“We have a very basic entry-level client who maybe is just starting out and doesn’t have a lot of money,” he explained. “Maybe they’re far from retirement, but they still need some guidance. So, we do have a service package that is available for them at an extremely low cost.”

Zayed, in targeting advisors, was not overly selective and also didn’t require a minimum. “A lot of our advisors came to us with very low AUM, but it was the idea that we had a cultural and philosophical fit in terms of growing our businesses in sync and doing it together.”

Client meeting JD
The key ideas behind the creation of Wheaton, Illinois-based Brookstone Capital Management were to make sure that clients are happy and that advisors were growing their practices. “Nobody would be captive or sell any proprietary products,” Zayed emphasized. “It was all about being an independent fiduciary with a hunger to build a personal practice in partnership with a platform, in this case, Brookstone.”

Zayed saw the win-win potential in creating BCM. “It was really that simple – advisors that were looking to be independent producers and looking for partners to help them build and grow and scale their own personal wealth management practice,” he added.

Of course, there is nothing stopping financial advisors from doing the same on their own, or with other partners.

“But my idea was that Brookstone would provide a turnkey asset management platform,” Zayed explained. “We would do all those things necessary to help them on the fee-based managed money part of their practice to free them up, to do those other things that we cannot do that they’re really, really good at – like building new client relationships, cultivating existing ones, and so on.”

Education is a critical shared value for the collaborating firms, and it’s at the core of how Brookstone works with clients – both when they’re prospects and after they decide to come on board.

But Brookstone also has developed extensive training for its advisor partners, especially to help them navigate client meetings and conversations, according to Zayed.

Professor Dean
An educational thread runs throughout Brookstone’s training, so much so that several advisors gave Zayed the nickname ‘Professor Dean.’

“It’s kind of funny, but it’s true,” he laughed. “Because I really do honor the idea of educating both advisors and clients in taking the high road and not really being a salesman per se.”

He added that there are not hard sales type people in the Brookstone organization because of the firm’s consultative and educational approach. “Being more educational gets us to the same result typically -- and that’s getting clients comfortable to hire us to help be their financial go-to person into their retirement years,” Zayed said.

Such training and lessons were not lost on Silvertree’s Glisczynski, who said that most clients discover the firm by attending one of many webinars or classes taught at the office in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Jason head“We’ll break down social security or health insurance, for example, or long-term care insurance or investments or taxes into these 30-to-60-minute classes that are easy to digest,” he said.

And then, when meeting with clients one-on-one, Glisczynski will lay out and explain maybe a half dozen financial planning options, elaborating on each one until the client fully understands them all.

“We might then say, ‘we think these are the three best suited for you,’ and then we’ll help the client make the very best decisions for themselves,” Glisczynski continued. “It’s not just a matter of us telling our clients what to do; it’s important for us to have the client involved in the decision-making process.”

The approach reflects Silvertree’s tagline, which is ‘Planning with a Purpose.’

“We do everything with a purpose,” Glisczynski stressed. “And it is very important for us to be independent, impartial, and to provide clear, concise, easy to understand answers to client questions.”

At Silvertree, where the focus is mainly on retirement planning, another central philosophy is to control risk.

“We’re not trying to beat the market,” Glisczynski noted. “We try to minimize downside losses as much as possible on the investment side, and then get hyper-efficient with managing taxes and cashflow so that we maximize the client’s potential for every financial aspect of their situation.”

His firm also handles estate planning in-house. “So, we can wrap it all up in a neat little bow by making sure that the estate planning is all tied together,” Glisczynski said, “their tax situation, their estate and legal position and their financial position. We get all of those singing from the same sheet of music.”

RAISE-ing the bar
In fact, when it comes to retirement planning, Silvertree and Brookstone are part of the same choir. Brookstone even trademarked its philosophy as RAISE.

“We liked the word raise, it’s a positive word, but RAISE as an acronym does stand for something,” Zayed explained, “It stands for risk appropriate investment strategy evaluation, and that’s trademarked to Brookstone.”

Dean vertical“RAISE truly is our philosophy,” he said. “This risk appropriate investment strategy evaluation leads us to make the right decisions and give the right advice to clients. And what goes hand-in-hand with RAISE is our investment platform. We have a very experienced chief investment officer and investment committee, but the platform is an open architecture platform in which we vet all of the funds, whether they’re mutual funds, ETFs, individual securities, and others.”

The open architecture allows advisor partners to customize and tailor portfolios using any number of investment options and tools that are allowed on the platform after being sanctioned by Brookstone’s investment committee.

“But this world has also gone more towards a model portfolio, a direction that allows us to scale things,” Zayed added. “So, we’ve built close to 10 different series of Brookstone-managed model portfolios, each of which has its own particular risk and reward profile and its own philosophy.”

RAISE 360°, for example, is just one group of select portfolio models designed to adhere to proper diversification and risk appropriate portfolio selection across market cycles.

Such portfolio models can serve the dual benefit of managing multiple clients, but still offering tailored financial planning solutions.

“What becomes really challenging is not so much the actual act of managing the client accounts properly,” Glisczynski said, “but rather helping the client understand that a lot of the things they were taught about how money works are now changing, particularly when it comes to investment strategy.”

Glisczynski remarked that during a typical person’s 20-30 year working life it’s mostly all about how much and what’s the rate of return. That’s an attitude that’s difficult to unwind.

“The mathematical reality is that the rate of return does not solve the retirement problem,” Glisczynski said. “In fact, clients with lower rates of return tend to have a higher probability of success in their retirement because of low volatility,” he added. “If you’re trying to chase higher returns, you end up with higher volatility, and the probability of running out of money increases dramatically.”

This is why he believes a primary effort is helping clients overcome the mindset that big returns automatically mean a life on easy street. “This is our biggest challenge, because our partnership with Brookstone Capital Management gives us a tremendous amount of behind-the-scenes technology that helps us take care of the actual account management part.”

Jason ConferenceGlisczynski adds: “And again, that all comes down to controlling volatility, controlling risk, still delivering a fair return, but giving the client the stability and the peace of mind in the knowledge that their money is going to be there and it’s going to last longer than they will.”

Zayed concurs and also notes that the media and the hyper-attention on the stock market and cryptocurrencies nowadays adds to the high rate-easy street mentality.

“Anything emphasizing these short-term gains or short-term wins is an issue for the financial advisory industry,” Zayed said. “It often distracts a client from their longer-term plan and goals, which is to build a solid retirement plan with a solid portfolio that matches their overall risk tolerance and their overall financial profile.”

Ongoing mission
As one of the leading turnkey asset management platforms in the United States, Zayed said Brookstone has no intent to slow down now.

“We feel like our mission is incomplete,” he said. “While Brookstone has helped tens of thousands of families all over the country achieve their retirement goals in a successful way, that’s very gratifying for us, but we remain focused on helping as many people and as many advisors as possible with an eye towards the markets being at all-time highs.”

That means staying on top of its platform, Brookstone’s risk management approach and its model portfolios. “We’re very careful to not want to incur any large losses,” Zayed said. “So for us, it’s an extra vigilant time over the next year or so.”

Zayed stressed that he is not predicting a market crash. “But given some of the valuations and maybe some headwinds we have coming up here, we are very much focused on making sure clients don’t get hurt—should there be a larger correction,” he said.

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Registered Investment Advisors and Investment Advisor Representatives act as fiduciaries for all of our investment management clients. We have an obligation to act in the best interests of our clients and to make full disclosure of any conflicts of interests, if any exist. For a complete description of investment risks, fees and services review the Brookstone Capital Management firm brochure (ADV Part 2) which is available at Investment Advisory Services are offered through Brookstone Capital Management, LLC, a Registered Investment Advisor.

Brookstone Capital Management, LLC and SilverTree Retirement Planning are independent of each other.




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