2020 has already gotten off to a busy start, and now is the perfect time to kick off our first showcase of the new year! As a part of our “Financial Advisor Website Showcase” series, we had the chance to chat with David Tobin J.D., CIMA®, founder and managing member at Tobin Investment Planning LLC. Keep reading to find out more about David and his firm!
Let’s get started with a little background on Tobin Investment Planning. Could you tell us more about your firm and what inspired you to start your financial planning business?
I started working in the investment and financial planning industry in law school and have spent my entire career advising high net worth families, corporate executives, legal professionals, retirees, trusts and small business owners. After spending twenty-five years in the Wealth Management industry, it became apparent that the large banks and investment companies focus on the client was wavering. I’ve had the fortunate experience to work at some of the industry’s top firms before opening Tobin Investment Planning in 2014. As an independent advisory firm, I was able to take the best practices from my prior experience and emphasize my core belief of always keeping the client educated while offering advice that is honest, transparent and in their best interest.
As a small business owner, we all know how important it is to have a presence on social media. We love that you’re using your new website as an opportunity to build links back to your social media profiles and notice that you are most active on Facebook. Tell us more about how you’ve implemented a social strategy on Facebook and elsewhere and how it’s benefited the growth of Tobin Investment Planning.
The business has traditionally grown from client referrals so when Tobin Investment Planning was founded, I did not initially plan to be very active or have much of a presence on social media. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts were more like yellow pages listing, a static online brochure. However, as my firm became more visible I began to get questions fielded through friends, neighbors and clients. Social media allows me to have direct interaction with the public and post useful articles and blogs. It also gives prospective clients an opportunity to get to know more about who we are and our values. This is definitely still a work in progress.
Blogging is essential to not only drive traffic to your site but show that you are a thought leader in your industry, so we love your Financial TIPS page and it looks like you have been blogging for quite some time! How do you feel that blogging has helped your overall marketing strategy and could we get a glimpse into how you tackle creating so much content?
My blog, Financial TIPs, often originates from what’s going on in the financial markets. Questions and concerns that my clients express are usually the starting point. Events such as an election, new laws, Federal Reserve action, market volatility and planning for life events have typically been a focus. I always welcome questions and feedback on my TIPs which can sometimes lead to a new topic of discussion. I have used a combination of sources to develop the material. Some are subscription services such as Twenty Over Ten’s Lead Pilot, others directly from trusted partners such as Dimensional and of course some are written in-house.
What does a typical day look like at your company?
The start of my day usually involves reviewing yesterday’s transactions, checking on any client communications and monitoring client accounts for rebalancing. I always try to slot some time for reading various articles and keeping updated on new strategies and techniques. While taking a look at the daily news, financial journals and markets, etc. I try and anticipate if any proactive client communication is necessary. The rest of my day is not really typical. I can have a quiet day or a day that I’m working with a client into the evening hours. My client’s needs typically dictate my work schedule.
As an example, when I established my firm I decided that I would meet my clients at their home or office. This allows them to have access to any personal papers as well as provides them a comfortable place to discuss their goals and objectives as well as details of their financial lives.
Another example, during the last presidential election, I remember talking to clients late into the night given the “media surprise”. Behavioral finance teaches us that our natural inclination is to panic given an unforeseen surprise; so we refocused our clients on their long term strategic plan and prevented clients from making any spur of the moment decisions that they would later regret. Early the next morning, I sent out a quick Financial TIPs: Post-Election Day Thoughts reinforcing our discussions.
What are three tools that you simply could not live without? These could be marketing related, everyday office necessities or just in your daily life!
My iPhone, unfortunately! I confess I miss the days when I was handed a roll of quarters and told- don’t forget to call the office (and yes that really happened). I meet with clients outside of the office, so having immediate access to email and phone messages is a must.
I remember the days when we created retirement plans prior to the computer programs of today. It would take hours to re-run an analysis if we changed just one input. My financial planning software is clearly a tool that makes my practice efficient and allows me to truly focus on the client’s goals. I have used many different planning software programs in my career, but today, the graphics and client’s ability to control the planning experience has truly allowed me to take the planning experience to the next level. Most importantly, the client can understand their plan and track their progress in real-time.
Lastly, my CRM program allows me to remain organized and proactive.
The entire team at Twenty Over Ten did a great job in helping me switch the focus of my website from all about me to — how I can help you. They made the process easy and their professionalism and ability to reframe the message was invaluable.
– David M Tobin J.D., CIMA®,Tobin investment planning
Driving leads through your website is the number one goal for any business owner or financial advisor. And in fact, our recent survey found that advisors who get 6-10 or 11+ clients per year had a calendar link right on their website. So we love to see that you’re leveraging our one-click integration with Calendly on your website. How has this integration made your life easier and what successes have you experienced since incorporating a meeting scheduling software on your website?
I just started using a calendar link with my new website, it’s something I learned from Twenty Over Ten. I have already experienced efficiency in scheduling meetings and follow-up calls that eliminated the back and forth and allowed both parties to schedule quickly and automate confirmations.
Riskalyze has become an incredibly popular tool for advisors to capture new leads and help determine the effectiveness of their client’s portfolios. So we’re excited to see you’re using this tool on your website! Could you tell us more about your decision to use Riskalyze and what successes you and your clients have seen since implementing it into your tech stack?
I believe portfolio construction is like a three-legged stool. One leg is the client’s risk tolerance, another is the client’s risk capacity and the final leg is based on the client’s objectives and financial plan. All three need to exist in harmony to create a strategic portfolio.
The client’s ability to understand risk, not academic theory but real dollar and cents, has been a true discussion starter. The easy to understand “risk number” and client-friendly graphics has helped focus the client conversation on setting clear expectations around potential portfolio volatility and not an abstract number. Additionally, the risk number has been a tool that helps me design portfolios that align the client’s expectations and portfolio results.
When you find yourself with some free time on your hands, what are things that you like to do outside of the office?
I love exploring Philadelphia and all it has to offer with my wife and daughters. There is so much history there and we’re always up for a good Flyers or Phillies game. I enjoy reading a good book and historical biographies are a favorite. In the summer, I enjoy spending downtime in the Adirondacks, canoeing and hiking, with the family and our golden doodle.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received either about marketing or running a business in general?
It’s about the client. Never lose focus on why you started the business in the first place.
What is the most important thing that you would share with other financial advisors who are looking to redesign their website?
My advice would be to stop procrastinating and just start the website redesign process. The entire team at Twenty Over Ten did a great job in helping me switch the focus of my website from all about me to — how I can help you. They made the process easy and their professionalism and ability to reframe the message was invaluable.
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