Willing Wisdom Index with Tom Deans (Founder) | E95
In this 95th episode of Fintech Impact, Jason Pereira, award-winning financial planner, university lecturer, writer, and host welcomes Thomas William Deans, founder of the Willing Wisdom Index and author of Every Family’s Business, about how his tool helps both clients and advisors improve outcomes.
● 00:43: – The Willing Wisdom Index is a client advising tool used as a conversation starter.
● 01:34: – 80% of inherited money is taken to a new financial advisor because no one reaches out to the surviving family.
● 03:00: – His main message in his book Every Family’s Business is that you shouldn’t gift your family business to your kids; they should have to risk their own financial capital to buy it.
● 03:42: – Family business owners are less likely to have a will.
● 05:48: – Leaving your estate in disarray when you die can create so much future resentment from surviving family.
● 06:22: – Half of all financial advisors don’t have their own will, or financial succession planners without their own financial succession plan.
● 08:13: – Using the Willing Wisdom Index gives you a checklist to go through, and then provides you with your to-do list to work on with your financial advisor and takes about 8 minutes.
● 11:09: – The advisor should have copies of all the documents so that when a client gives instruction, you can make sure it isn’t conflicting or nullifying other documents.
● 11:53: – The risk of problems arising increases with older clients who may have some level of dementia, so not only do the clients need to be protected, but there are obvious business liability issues as well.
● 13:41: – Advisors get better results when there is transparency with the clients and they share their report from the Willing Wisdom Index with their clients.
● 14:30: – Using the tool isn’t about getting a perfect will immediately but about gaining confidence and comfort with the subject in order to be able to revisit it each year.
● 16:20: – The Index makes recommendations to increase your score, like ensuring the client has a lawyer, power of attorney documents, a healthcare directive, etc.
● 17:15: – Advisors should be having family meetings so they get to know the spouses and children money is being left to in wills.
● 18:02: – Even the children with average wealth who are seen as unprofitable clients are the future big ticket clients because they are the ones who will end up with the inherited wealth.
● 19:30: – The Index serves as a prospecting tool as well because you can simply share the link for those who are curious.
● 20:50: – When advisors say they’re looking for clients with high net worth, Tom asks what they’re doing to attract families.
● 23:06: – It is much harder to disregard someone’s wishes when they have told you directly, face-to-face, in a family meeting, than it is to ignore a piece of paper.
● 24:58: – Tom wishes more advisors had the confidence to do their own estate planning.
● 28:26: – Tom suspects that people with a will tend to live longer because of reduced stress, contradicting the superstition that it hastens death.
● 30:56: – Success in the industry tends to be measured by production not client outcome or retention.
3 Key Points
1. Client retention is achieved through referring family members, which will happen
organically through the process of estate planning.
2. Advisors can improve client relations through transparency and personal stories of
following their own advice.
3. Having difficult conversations now has massive payoff later when you’re dealing with the
death of a loved one.
● “I love the advisors who are in the business of succession planning with their clients yet they have no succession plan of their own. It’s like, do you go to a chef who doesn’t eat his own cooking?” –Tom Deans
● “It’s one thing to hear it on a piece of paper from a lawyer, it’s something else entirely for us to sit down and for them to hear from mom and dad directly. It’s a lot harder to disregard that wish when it’s told to you.” –Tom Deans
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