The Values Based Mindset Experience

Season 2 - Episode 7 with Andy Panko, Owner & Partner Tenon Financial

October 12, 2021 Mike Garrison Season 2 Episode 0
The Values Based Mindset Experience
Season 2 - Episode 7 with Andy Panko, Owner & Partner Tenon Financial
Show Notes Transcript

Andy Panko was a fun and engaging guest that contributed fully to the financial planing community with his sharing on this episode.  Andy is a retirement planning & investment management aficionado | Creator of YouTube channel, "Retirement Planning Demystified" | Moderator of Facebook group, "Taxes in Retirement" | Author of monthly newsletter, "Retirement Planning Insights" | Originator of the acronym TERP...Tax-Efficient Retirement Planning

Transcript


Mike Garrison (00:00):

Here we go. Welcome to the values-based mindset experience, where if I do this well, you get to hear a lot from the guests, which will be interesting. Versus if I do it badly and talk about the values-based mindset system, because nobody cares. So what people care about are stories from professionals that are living a life of their own design and today's guests. I got to slow down. I'm really excited. I've gotten to know this guy, Andy Panko, from interacting on LinkedIn. I love all of his stuff, but I most love the way he comments. I love the way that he is social on a social platform. Yes, he's got his own point of view, but he's not out there and nuking people. And I also, haven't heard a little bit of his story, know that he's a values-based guy, meaning he's got thought and intention behind how he does this, his hand while he does business. So Andy, introduce yourself to the huge audience of like seven or eight,


Andy Panko (01:05):

Hello, seven or eight of you out there that love Mike Garrison and his words of wisdom. Yes, I am Andy Panko. Thank you for having me on Mike. I'm the founder and owner of a little financial planning firm called tenon financial based in touch in New Jersey, which I started in late 20, 19 after a 19 year career in corporate and institutional banking.


Mike Garrison (01:29):

That's cool. So what does tenon mean to me?


Andy Panko (01:34):

It's a woodworking term. So I have always been big into woodworking. And


Mike Garrison (01:42):

He's got all his fingers there. Also


Andy Panko (01:44):

There I do, I have a table saw called soft stop that if a skin touches it, the blade automatically stops. It's got this break in it. So that's part of the reason why I have my fingers otherwise. Yeah. One of them may have nabbed off by now. But yeah, I've always been a woodworker. And when I set out to start this company and try to come up with the name, which was frankly probably the hardest part and it started this thing was struggling to come up with the name. And to be honest, one of the biggest limiting factors was a website name availability. Yes. So trying to find something short and sweet that wasn't already taken was really what led me to play around with words that weren't likely used already. And I was like, let me come up with something kind of personal. So, so 10 and just sorta made sense. So


Mike Garrison (02:23):

What's 10 and me


Andy Panko (02:25):

And we're working since it is basically you have a square peg going into a square hole. The square peg is the tenant. It's a way to join two pieces of wood together. Now, if I wanted to give you this fluffy, like deep ineffective answer about why I called my firm tenant financial, I would say because the tenant represents simplicity yet stability and strength and blah, blah, blah. No, honestly it was, I needed to find a website that was short and sweet you know, a website name that wasn't taken, but yes, there are those other benefits to it. It's personal. To me, it has some con contextual meaning of, you know, simple and effective and strong and blah, blah, blah.


Mike Garrison (02:58):

Yeah, I, it, so


Andy Panko (03:00):

Let's go ahead and start with this, right? Yep. I'm going to read, as I did in our pre-show, I'm going to read to you my favorite part of your website. And I like it, but truth be told I sent it out to all my clients saying this is a great website, just because of that one sentence. I'm also, cause I knew it would be challenging. So here we go. You are ready to do it. Unlike many advisors, our ongoing fee is not tied solely to the amount of your investable assets. Andy, would it be fair to say that there are some values behind that statement? Yes. A confluence of values. So super quick background. I graduated college in 2000, went to school for finance, and wanted to be what I thought an advisor was. I wanted to help people make personal life financial decisions. I interviewed at a lot of the big places that were on campus, looking for young, fresh, eager recruits.


Andy Panko (03:57):

And it was the large brokerage and insurance companies. I quickly found out that they were all just looking to recruit salespeople that were mostly or solely commission compensation just to go sell insurance and commission mutual funds got disenfranchised and disgusted by that. And that just felt wrong. It had nothing to do with giving advice. It was just pushing products. So I gave up on the idea and  stumbled into an actuarial role at a large insurance company. I parlayed that into 19 years in various corporate investment banking, risk management roles, made good money, saw some cool things, met some great people, but it was never really self-fulfilling. I still had this itch to want to help people you know, with finances. So trying to speed this up. My mother was transitioning towards retirement. She was working with a traditional percent of assets manager who claimed he was full service charging one and a half percent cause he was full service and he wasn't able to help her get a definitive answer on her social security claiming strategy.


Andy Panko (04:57):

Now she's one of the more complicated ones divorced from my father of an age where she can still do the restricted application thing. But he wasn't able to, he knew enough to know he didn't know the answer. So I helped her dig in, not knowing much about it, helped her dig in, researched social security and got to the answer. And that's when, you know, the proverbial light went off over my head. It's like, wow, this is it. This is what I thought planning advice should be. Thankfully, you know, helping my own mother, this was 2016 from that point forward, it was just, yeah, this is what I want to do. Let me figure out how to actually give advice and get paid for giving advice, not selling products, not just gathering assets and charging them handsomely to over-complicate mutual fund allocations.


Andy Panko (05:37):

So it was a non-stop journey from that point forward to figure out what's the best way to do it. I knew I wanted to do it on my own, on my terms of services. I thought it made sense. And, and the rest was kind of history. It was a multi-year plan to intentionally build this business that I wanted, not just from a professional or from a personal perspective, that job with what I wanted my life to be and look like. And I set the date as 2019 when I leave the corporate world and sure enough, that's what I did. November 1st, 2019 was my last day on wall street. I walked out the door and started this and haven't looked back since.


Mike Garrison (06:13):

Awesome. I think what I would like people, if they're listening to hear from you, is that you can have a lot of different ways to make a decent living in financial services. And some of those will have you feeling good about yourself afterwards as well and yours is one of them. So when, when we look at that compensation model, one of my thoughts as I look at it is, like you've got a great website, 10 and financial Kennan, T E N O N financial.com. One of the things that I really like about how you're approaching this is from a sales management standpoint is it's very simple.


Andy Panko (07:02):

Thank you. That was intentionally simple. Yeah.


Mike Garrison (07:05):

I think I've said this before, but I, I think that so much of the profit in our industry, cause I coach predominantly financial advisors. I was one, I think so much of the profit in our industry and the huge amounts of income is predicated upon consumer ignorance. You know, and, and I, I understand the need to try and compete in a marketplace with people that are charging a lot and not delivering. I understand that at the same time, from a values based standpoint, I think that some of the anxiety that I see out in the broader industry is predicated upon this awareness that people are starting to figure this out. And what do I do? I just want to commend you on transitioning to where I believe the industry is going to be in five years.


Andy Panko (08:03):

I hope the industry will get more towards flat fees or even hourly to some extent. And it makes more sense than percent of assets and definitely heck more logical than commission-based . What I realize and appreciate is that people who have established practices or work at big firms, they're not going to be able to simply give up their percent of AUM business. If for nothing else, it's going to be hard. You're gonna have some clients that, Hey, guess what? I need to charge you more. You can have others with equally awkward conversations. We're going to say, Hey, you've been charged 30 grand a year. Well guess what? I'm gonna drop that to 10 grand. Now, neither of those conversations are gonna go well. So yeah, I, I, I fully, I truly think there's a lot of folks out there that agree with these thoughts I have and this approach I have and would like to do it if they could, but they're kind of hamstrung by their legacy business. I didn't have that. I started from true scratch, which was a tremendous benefit to me. And I realized not everyone is going to be able to do what I did, although I genuinely would like to see the industry get there at some point.


Mike Garrison (09:03):

Yeah. I I agree with you. Like, I didn't know that whole story. I think it's far easier. It's so much easier now than when I was an advisor to do what you're doing. Yeah. Right. Because there's just no support, no support. Yep. But what's, what's really interesting and this is the problem, right. I think, and I'm not, I'm going to throw it out here. You can tell me if you agree. So I think one of the values of financial advisers, AKA slash planners like yourself, is that one of the things that's important is that you manage your own finances appropriately. And I, I speculate that the trap that a lot of traditional advisors find themselves in is they're in this accrual mode, like, you know, their, their, their income is rising and then like just like a bad client. So is there a cost of living? Right. And a lot of them have CFPs too, which concerns me. I'm like, there's gotta be some work done to like, measure how well you're actually doing it yourself. Right?


Andy Panko (10:21):

Yeah. I have a funny, maybe not so funny, anecdotal story that kind of aligns with what you said. So there's another fellow I met on LinkedIn, a salesperson at a large insurance company. We've all heard of, he manages a team of a few dozen and one of my comments sparked something. And he first responded back to me kind of angrily about it because you know, my comments, although I write them professionally do touch a nerve sometimes. And we got to chatting offline and, you know, tempers cooled a little bit and we had this good rap back and forth. And he was intrigued in doing a fee only, you know, fee for service type advisory stuff and was asking about my model and what have you. And I, you know, I explained my model and did the numbers and told them how many clients I want. You can do the math of the revenue I get and whatever. And that's plenty good enough for me. And he's currently making, you know, personally making over a million dollars and we, you know, We ran through the numbers. It's like, yeah, you can easily do 400, $500,000. It's like, oh, that's, I can never do that. It's not enough for me. I'm paraphrasing. But those were his words, you know, I need to continue to make at least a million dollars. It's like, well, that just says it all right there. So 


Mike Garrison (11:32):

Yeah.


Andy Panko (11:32):

What do you really need a million dollars a year for? Who knows? Maybe he's got a massive amount of family he needs to support in far away countries. And I don't know, I didn't get that impression from him. He just seems like you know, loves to live the lifestyle kind of guy. But I don't, I don't know.


Mike Garrison (11:47):

Well, Andy, maybe you're not going to be able to have all those bespoke suits and stuff like that. You know, when is, are you gonna be okay,


Andy Panko (11:54):

Dude, I'm wearing old Navy shorts and like $5 under armor. T-Shirt I got on clearance somewhere. That's not me. I'm not showy.


Mike Garrison (12:03):

Well to you, I mean, your content is good though. Like, you know, it's professional and it's clean. It's well thought out, right?


Andy Panko (12:11):

Oh yeah. Thank you. Yeah. I mean, I, I, I know my stuff. I'm not, I'm not ashamed to admit I'm technically super strong. I know how to implement that. I know how to educate and explain it. That doesn't need that doesn't mean I need to look the part in a thousand dollars plus suit. I don't need to have a fancy German car. I mean, I could, if I wanted to, but that's not me. I got no value. I get no joy from that. Let my knowledge and my meanness shine through and let that be what people see and hire me for. Not because I have a fancy wood-paneled office or because they got a slick suit or a $40,000 watch that's not the person I want to be.


Mike Garrison (12:46):

Yeah. Like, you know, for me, for me, all of those things, like a really expensive car, they expensive suit and an expensive watch are just massive amounts of personal risk because anytime I've had any nice piece of clothing, I either rip it or stain it 80, like the only type of car I like the only type of car, like is a car that I paid cash for. Yeah. Pay cash for it. Out of my checking account.


Andy Panko (13:17):

There you go. It's yours. You own it. Yeah.


Mike Garrison (13:22):

Like it's just, it's always been insane for me. I don't like people that think that their home is an investment because it's not, you know? And so maybe that's probably why I was such a sorry, adviser in the traditional sense. But I have no regret. I literally have no regrets about, about what I did. So let's get to values. And I think it's, it's really interesting is we have this perception, which is accurate that the traditional financial advisors, a salesperson, and I would just modify that. Having been an outside sales before the average financial advisor is a bad salesperson. Sure. Right now, believe it or not, they've had almost no real professional sales training, which is the problem. Professional salespeople make selling, make buying fun, right? Like that's the difference and a market share. It is one of my favorite authors they ask you answer is it's one of the best books on marketing ever done because he's like, listen to what your client's questions are and then answer them.


Andy Panko (14:32):

You said easy illusionary. Imagine that. Right.


Mike Garrison (14:37):

But it's not as easy when you get down to it. Like he owns a pool company in Virginia, which is why I paid attention to her place from Virginia. It's gotta be great. But, but that th the concept being is I think that you were actually a great salesperson.


Andy Panko (14:52):

I, I struggle with that. I mean, I, I, I'm coming to the term that I do think I am good at sales in what I do and how I do it in, in selling notional sense. Right. And that's why I'm getting comfortable in saying I might be okay in sales. Actually, I know I suck at sales and that's why I never took one of those traditional sales jobs at the insurance brokerage places. I can't sit there and drum up interest and cold call and do these cold chicken dinner seminars and work a room. And pat people on the back, you know, that that's not me, but I realized there's value people, value, education, they value knowledge. They value not having to enter their email address to get some stupid piece of pre-canned marketing that you're putting out. So my approach was, let me be me.


Andy Panko (15:36):

I'm confident in me and what I know and I, and I know I can and will provide great value, great service, the best way for me to get that across without being salesy is just be me. Let, let me, let me do videos. Let me talk on Facebook, answer questions. Let me just share boatloads of my time and knowledge in the process. People will say, yeah, this dude seems to notice talking about. He does not seem salesy. He seems genuine. He seems honest. And that's, what's been happening. I've never once asked for a name or email from anyone. I mean, I do have a newsletter that has a, an opt-in, but I've never used that as a screen to share any of my content ever. People find me and it's working. So my sales approach of being not salesy has done tremendously. Well, I don't think everyone could replicate it. And just like, I would never be able to replicate a traditional sales approach, but I know what works for me and I'm sticking to it


Mike Garrison (16:27):

Well, and that, you know, so I've coached salespeople for almost 30 years now. I've written a book on referrals and stuff like that. And I think one of the values of your cooler talking about is transparency and authenticity clearly, you know, and I have this weird kind of story. I tell her this example about why it's important to be transparent. And so the best salespeople don't hide anything, right? Because they figured out that the name of the game is retention, not acquisition because really great salespeople look at everything for a time expenditure. And they don't look just daily. They look on a decade basis, like, cause they're always looking at how can I build a residual, but not, we're not talking to MLMs here, but how can I build an accruing residual type of relationship so that I spent less and less time to deliver the same value. And so that's what I think is beautiful about what you're doing is you're laying it exactly out there answering most of the big questions that prospective clients have so that they can focus on getting to know you and then they'll decide to buy you, which means that they paid for you. They're not going to have any, you know, buyers remorse. They're going to be like, this is Andy. This is what Andy does. This is great.


Andy Panko (17:53):

Yeah. It's especially in this virtual world post, you know, post pandemic or still in it, I guess, but of my 30 plus clients currently, my mother is the only one in New Jersey. Literally every other client is scattered throughout the country. And that's all from, from Facebook and to a lesser extent, YouTube. But to your point, they know me, they get comfortable with me. I'm out there, I'm open. There's so much of me, not just my technical knowledge, but how I look, how I sound, what I say in my mannerisms, my truthfulness about what I do. And don't know, there's so many different bits of content that are now out there forever circulating for people to see and get comfortable with me. So by the time they choose to reach out to me to set up an intro call, they feel like they know me. The sales process is in effect. Don they're asking me some clarification questions. That's really it. And it's worked out well. Cause again, I don't feel I'm selling at all. I'm just being me. And it's the best sales tool there is for me in how I approach things.


Mike Garrison (18:53):

I always, so I'm referral guy. I've always been a referral guy. And my question for people has been, is there anything more effortless in a sales world than an endorsed referral from a client? And the answer is always no. I said, well then why don't we focus on that? What I love about what we're talking about? Cause I'm also, I I'm also I'm with DLA. So we do the world's only three months, social selling and influence course where there's coaching and training. Right? We take people through a lot of the stuff that you've already done, the sweat equity, right? Aaron, all that kind of stuff. So this you're a bad prospect for that because I wouldn't sell it to you.


Andy Panko (19:42):

Oh, thank you. I got this compliment. I guess


Mike Garrison (19:44):

You've already, you're already doing it. Right? So like a whole bunch of training right now, what actually deep would increase the amount of friction for you to continue being virtual virtuous. You know, so, but the thing is, this is like right now, what I'm here for you is that a lot of your sales, even though you still got, I understand man, that the residue from bad sales is like, it's like plutonium, half eons, even though you've got that residue right now, sales is maybe wouldn't say fun, but maybe it's effortless. You know, your, your client acquisition process.


Andy Panko (20:22):

I I'd agree with that. And it is fun. I'm doing what I enjoy. I enjoy talking and teaching on these technical retirement and tax related matters that that comes second nature. To me, it comes effortlessly to me and I'm just out there putting myself to the world, capturing it online. So, you know, it can be recirculated across Facebook, YouTube, whatever. But yeah, I don't consider it selling and it's not work. I mean, there's a lot of buttload of time I put into it, but I don't consider this work


Mike Garrison (20:51):

Awesome. Me either. Like I freaking love social. And the reason I love social is the more clients that I get, understanding how to use social on purpose strategically in alignment with their values, the more time I get to spend with them and the more interest I get from other people, you know? And so, so I wanted to talk to you a little bit. Just, just, I don't want to, I'm not trying to look for any of the secrets, even though you're pretty, pretty transparent.


Andy Panko (21:19):

I'll tell you what everyone to know. It's like,


Mike Garrison (21:21):

It's already out there, but I want other like, look him up. It's out there. He tells you, but you just won't because you think that the, how you deliver value is having people come to a fancy building and a mahogany office. Like you don't have to do that. So here's the thing. So have you noticed a transition in how you approach social media comma in that maybe initially you might've been not a super fan of it? I don't know. But are you getting more engagement with your clients socially?


Andy Panko (22:01):

So I guess I can answer questions, you know, I think I know where to go on, but so when I first started from nothing, again, November, 2019, I, you know, I read all the books and listened to the podcasts about what advisor marketing is supposed to be. And to be fair, I knew it was like throwing spaghetti on the wall, see what sticks, different things work for different people. And I knew you had to have a social presence. So I had, I have a LinkedIn page. I had a, still have a Twitter page. I haven't been on in months. I have a Facebook business page and I would do the typical stuff of write some basic letter or, you know, whatever article posted up there. I would get myself quoted in some articles for U S news and stuff and share those. And I'll try to write engaging comments and whatever, but nothing really clicked. And I was slowly getting one or two followers and likes and whatever. What really changed the game for me, it was a Facebook group. Facebook business page is nothing more than a glorified contact us. Like yes, people comment. It's exactly, it's a brochure. A group on the other hand truly is a community. It takes a lot of work and effort to grow and cultivate and, and moderate out the knuckleheads and the political riff-raff and spammers and bots, which


Mike Garrison (23:13):

That's no different from real life people. I hate. That's true.


Andy Panko (23:17):

Yeah.


Mike Garrison (23:17):

Social is on and offline. It's this community thing you're talking about Andy. And like, I always say like, there's no one in your family. That's, that's a drunk, you know, no one, no one's ever gotten divorced or had an affair. I mean, you, you haven't seen anybody get drunk at an office party, even though we don't do those anymore. Right? Like really it's it's real life.


Andy Panko (23:39):

It is. So I started the group and I was posting comments and sharing articles and trying to elicit responses and engagement from folks doing all the stuff we're supposed to do. And slowly it built, it was a handful of people joining a week and then within a few months, so this was April 20 20th. Started it by the summer I hit, my goal is to hit a thousand people. By the end of the year, I hit a thousand some point in July of 2020. So three months in. And from that point, it just latched on and took off the, the organic growth people like the group recognized the value would share. It would recommend it to others. And it's just exploded. Now I'm getting two to 300 people a week joining. But it's that engagement. It was, it was the, you know, unfiltered unabated access to me.


Andy Panko (24:22):

People can post questions. I give detailed thoughtful responses. I don't give any advice, you know, right. These are all just random strangers. So I should caveat that there's no specific advice. It's just helpful hints and education, but boatloads of knowledge, that people couldn't get from their own advisors because you're either didn't know or, you know, they couldn't find online without having to get screened through some dumb, give me your email. So I'll send you this white paper. And I was like, forget that. I just come and ask me, I got nothing to hide. You know, I'm happy to share because I enjoy educating. And what happened was it ended up being the best marketing tool ever for getting me out there, getting people to know me building community, building sense of trust and, you know, reputation amongst the followers and the things just snowballing. And, and, and that's, that's, that's what worked for me socially. But then there's the traditional Facebook business page, LinkedIn page, Twitter page. I got really no traction out of those things.


Mike Garrison (25:18):

Most people don't, you know, it's interesting you and a couple other people, and then also being involved with DLA there's so much that we know that does work, but it's, but it's more about how you, how you behave and what activity you have, not necessarily content you share contents important content verifies, I think more than introduces. But I'm, I'm getting ready to launch a weekly live session


Andy Panko (25:49):

On Facebook, on 


Mike Garrison (25:51):

I think I'm gonna do on Facebook. I was doing, but I think Facebook's better personally, and I'm going to do a Facebook live and it's called ask me anything about growing your small business. Perfect. Cause that's literally what I do, you know, and the cool news is, is like, if I get stumped on a question I've got, cause I've been doing business for, I've got thousands of people I can refer to. So I'm hoping that this ends up being something that obviously helps my business, but I like doing things that potentially can amplify and bless other people that are smarter than me, because there's a lot of,


Andy Panko (26:33):

And, and it'll be paid over, you know, paid multiple times, paid back multiple times over, you know, if your goal is just to get clients, I don't know that that's the right way to go about it, but doesn't right. And, and giving genuine education and knowledge. Sure. 90 plus percent of the people in the group, probably more than that. 98, 90 9% will never reach out to you to engage you in a paid relationship. But if you get enough, depending on your businesses like me, I want 50 clients and I'm done. I know I'll get there. I'll probably get there next year. So I'm not desperate for business or growth. I'm still doing this because I genuinely enjoy doing it. And yes, love large numbers, you know, of a 16,000 person group. If only 50 of them reach out to me, you come clients. That's funny. You know, that, that, that works for me. The rest of it is just great. Everyone got some free education from me. Good for them. You know, I'm happy. I feel like I'm making a difference in the world because of it. So everybody wins.


Mike Garrison (27:24):

That's huge. I mean, that's why the guys based mindset experience communities can be free.


Andy Panko (27:30):

Great. That's perfect.


Mike Garrison (27:31):

I love it. I mean, honestly, as, as a Christian, I don't believe that there's anything original on our system. We've just organized it and we're passionate about how we communicate and coach around it, you know? Yeah. But like, you know, I can, I can look in lots of books in the Bible and I can say, okay, Mike, you didn't think of that.


Mike Garrison (27:51):

Jesus didn't copyright everything, you know? Right. So, so from my perspective, it's, it's been really encouraging. So I want to take yeah. Five more minutes. Yeah, of course. Let's take a little bit more time because like, I would have you on for like five episodes and I will bring you back. But I wanna like, so one thing you said, I think it's important for a value-based standpoint. You obviously care about your clients. You care very much about education. You you've established your ideal business at 50 clients. What, how are your values having you think about what happens after that? Because your going to continue to attract clients. Andy, I'm telling you this, you have an obligation because of what you're doing to those people that can't become clients.


Andy Panko (28:41):

So I have a few thoughts. I do truly want to stay a solo. So I am captain capacity. I know I'll hit my 50. Then what happens when additional people reach out? So


Mike Garrison (28:52):

Who are getting screwed?


Andy Panko (28:54):

I am. Are they? No. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Paying 30 grand to some round in the mill, 1% advisor down the road. It's like, you're getting robbed, but whatever, not whatever it's discussing.


Mike Garrison (29:04):

What are we rebalancing is very complicated.


Andy Panko (29:07):

It really is. I have to push two buttons instead of wanting to do it. It's it's insane. I am looking for folks that are that function kind of like I do to think like I do have the values I do if, and when I can find an advisor. So here's, what's unique about me. Retirement only focus. I won't work with anyone who's under, you know, shy of two years of retirement, let's say so I'm 43. I have no interest in working with people in my stage of life. All my clients are late fifties or older. So retirement decumulation focus very strong tax focused, vast majority advisors don't or explicitly can't discuss taxes and tax planning, which is ginormous disservice. Second one's


Mike Garrison (29:50):

More accurate.


Andy Panko (29:54):

So, so taxes, retirement and flat fee is very important to me. I have not yet found anyone who covers those three things to the same extent I do. If, and when I do, I I'm trying to tabulate a list of folks that I can refer people to. I've met one guy recently Mike Powers, CPA start up his own firm. He's in Richmond.


Mike Garrison (30:16):

Yeah. He's nearby. I want to connect with him and I'll be enrichment in a couple of weeks. I'm going to see if I can hook up with him.


Andy Panko (30:22):

Yeah. Reach out. So I took upon myself. I found out, you know, he reached out to me just to say, hi, whatever I found out, he was transitioning to flat fees, including AUM, including management of assets. I was like, oh my God, this is it. This is, this is one of the guys. So I voluntarily, you know, he didn't ask me to, he's not paying me to, I you know, told everyone in my Facebook group about him. I blasted him on LinkedIn in a good way. I was looking for advisors. This is the guy. Yeah.


Mike Garrison (30:47):

I know on that piece of content because I was so excited


Andy Panko (30:52):

And he will presumably get some clients that I otherwise could have had, but I'm okay with that. There's an abundance of clients out there. It doesn't need to be like the brokers where you fight and stab someone's eyes out for the next sale. There's plenty out there. We will all fill up on clients. I know I will. I know Mike will, let's share the wealth, let's support each other property to other up whatever. So, so that's my plan to find Mike and people like him when I do hit my 50, I want people that I can in good faith refer prospects to knowing that they'll get treated and served at least loosely similar to how they would have been treated and served by me. So my other plan down the road is succession planning for my own business. And to be honest, I haven't quite thought that through thoroughly enough.


Andy Panko (31:35):

So I'm 43. Like I said, I plan on doing this until my body or mind don't permit. Across that bridge, when I get to it, you know, decade or two down the road. My, my assumption, my plan is to try to find someone who, again, looks, acts, thinks, operates like me, that I can refer people to that, Hey, if I get hit by a bus or need to retire tomorrow, this is the person I'd recommend you go to. But if not, you know, you're free to choose whatever. I don't want an in-house person per se. Maybe I'll change my mind at some point. But as of now, it's not my goal.


Mike Garrison (32:05):

Yeah. I mean, this is something that I have spent some time on succession planning. And I think I have one word for you apprentice.


Andy Panko (32:21):

When you


Mike Garrison (32:21):

Think about the way that you do business currently, and maybe hopefully over the next five years, things will be better. I mean, there's certainly better than it were 10 years ago. There are so much better, but they still suck really bad. I think the apprentice is the way you do it because what you do is really a trade it's a craft, right? And it's not something that you pass exams on and implement. You need to, you might watch a master at work just like we learned how to do blacksmithing. And so whenever you get to those moments, think about it from an apprentice apprenticeship kind of standpoint. And that's, that's, it's hard to convert somebody.


Andy Panko (33:14):

Yeah. I, I realize that that may need to be the answer. I, I, again, intentional values, whatever. I set out this business to have complete control and autonomy to do it by myself, to not have to oversee people, not just because I don't want to be a manager. I mean, I've been a manager prior jobs and don't quite enjoy it, but not just, I don't want to manage people, but also the compliance and, and you know, concerns around a business like we're in high risk. I don't want to have to manage them. Someone who does or says something stupid. And then that ends up causing me personally and professionally troubles and lawsuits. And what have you. So that's my concern. And, and maybe I'm overthinking, I know lots of small shops have apprentices or, you know, junior employees, but that's my hesitation against doing that. Right.


Mike Garrison (33:57):

Well, the thing is none of those shops have your business model. Like, so the apprenticeship program ironically works well with the AOM model because you've got a lot of surplus income.


Andy Panko (34:14):

Yeah. That makes


Mike Garrison (34:15):

Sense. Right. And so, so, so ironically, you know, apprenticing works really well in a traditional model. The challenge that I would see with your model would be, you know, compensation pay, how do you do that? You know, and how do you deviate from something that is so like, your model is so like, it would, it could appear to somebody Andy, that your model selfish and it's really not. It's like, how, how do you completely serve 50 households with exceptional service? And, and so I see the risk management philosophy and how you were valued, how you've evaluated different ways of running your business and said with me, with how I run, this gives me the least amount of risk to these 50 households. Yes. Right? Yeah. And there's a, there's a, also, there's a limiting of your income on purpose as a result. It doesn't mean you're not going to be okay. Right. You live in New Jersey. So like, that's like, if you like, we'd go out to eat every day. I've bet in New Jersey, I'm not sure, but one of my best buddies owns a place at ocean Grove, you know?


Andy Panko (35:26):

Yeah.


Mike Garrison (35:26):

It's great. The Methodist, they know how to do town planning. I'll give him that.


Andy Panko (35:32):

That's the problem, but


Mike Garrison (35:35):

Rakhi too, but that's a whole, you know, that's good. But I would just say that, that, that the big challenge you have is you've got such an exquisitely designed client experience. And a lot of advisors have been told that since you can't scale your income within that experience, that that's bad. And I would argue, it's not like so personally I would think that you would write a book, hint, hint, write a book. But there's lots of ways that you could, that you could do this. But I think for now, I wouldn't advise even worrying about it. Like, keep, keep doing your ma, keep doing your program, keep doing your thing, optimize it. But because you share because you are active socially there's going to be a lot opportunity for people that are inspired by this. And maybe somebody listening to this podcast where they can, they can kind of find their own way. And I know having experienced you, I know that you are approachable. I know that you're a giver. You know, I know that's one of your values because like, if you look at his website, it's clear if you follow any of your stuff, especially on Facebook, by the way, when our advisors get to figure out how good Facebook is for advisors,


Andy Panko (36:58):

I don't know I, to be fair, part of it is where your demographic is. So my, you know, my target client 50 plus they're on Facebook. If I was targeting gen Z, then definitely not. Right. It's, it's Instagram, it's Tik TOK. Although that I don't think that's allowed yet. And in places like that, but yeah, so it really depends go, go where your client is. And I guess that's sort of sales 1 0 1, right. Or marketing one-on-one


Mike Garrison (37:21):

Yeah. It's ironic. Like my, my strategy with my advisors on Facebook has nothing to do with financial products or services or advice, nothing new with it. So it's all personal. Interesting. Cool. Yeah, But I hate compliance. Like I told them I got my 24. I knew I was done.


Andy Panko (37:41):

That's it? Yeah. I don't want to be the supervisor of these folks. Right.


Mike Garrison (37:45):

Cool. So I want sausage, right. Get back to the factory and saw the sausage was made. I was like,


Andy Panko (37:52):

Oh my God, I don't think I like this.


Mike Garrison (37:54):

What have I been doing?


Andy Panko (37:56):

Right.


Mike Garrison (37:57):

The problem with that. Right. And we'll end on, this is, unfortunately, some clients still like buying sausage, you know,


Andy Panko (38:08):

I don't know if they like it or if they're just sold really well about the value proposition of said sausage, you know, that that's what concerns me.


Mike Garrison (38:16):

Yeah. It's like, I guess people buy diet Coke. I mean, it's an abomination, you know, anyways. So I always end with this. Right. I always end with, what did Mike forget to ask you about? Or what did you want to say that I cut you off? Like Andy, I'm going to give you a couple of minutes and you just close it out.


Andy Panko (38:36):

Ah, dude, I'm not good at that. I don't know. I'm sort of, one of my fundamental principles in my business is the importance of tax and tax planning. So I know this, this podcast is kind of about values and get yourself out there and do it in a value compliant way. But for the general financial advisor universe do more with taxes, learn more about taxes, get more involved in tax planning, tax planning doesn't mean having to do with someone's tax return, but you better be looking at the tax return for every one of your clients, because it tells a tremendous amount of information by looking at it. If you're not looking at a tremendous disservice. So that's my words of wisdom. Not very exciting, sorry. But,


Mike Garrison (39:15):

Well, it's usually exciting in a bad way. You know, I coach and I've been in the industry for a long, long time and I've got a freaking incredible CPA who unfortunately has had, has to at least once a month deal with clients that have been absolutely wrecked financially by financial advisors, did not understand tax planning. Yeah know, and I hate to say it like, if you, so you're ready. If you're encrypted, if somebody is actually making money from crypto, don't go to a traditional financial advisor. You need to go to somebody like Andy or my friend Adam. Sure. Who is actually an EA really understands this because you don't have an accumulation problem.


Andy Panko (40:01):

Problem.


Mike Garrison (40:03):

Exactly. And you have a relatively unique tax problem. That's not very defined right now. And so I've just done it out. There is you know, and, and he's only got a couple of slots left and if you're actually making money at crypto, you know, you might need a beg him


Andy Panko (40:18):

Though, if you are, you're probably under 50 and not really interested in working with you


Mike Garrison (40:23):

Retired.


Andy Panko (40:25):

Yeah. I don't know. I've had people like the fire movement reach out early forties, want to retire and yes, they're within a year or two of retirement, but I'm not quite comfortable with fire, at least my skillset and knowledge of fire. Sure. I, you know, I don't know how to plan decumulation for potentially 60 years. I don't know. I don't know the unknowns that I don't know in that scenario. They typically still have often young children, so they're still college planning. There's still a significant amount of insurable needs. Whereas my clients, they fifties early sixties often, not a lot of need for insurance at this point. So I don't know things like that, but


Mike Garrison (40:56):

Yeah, but that transparency probably makes you more attractive. This is the double-edged sword.


Andy Panko (41:02):

Yeah. Yeah. Probably I should. I should, I should just be more things to all people saying that facetiously, but yeah, I honestly it's good. And again, this is me. I'm not doing it to sell, but I realize me being honest. And so gosh, golly, gee does help my standing in people's minds I think. And that's, that's a good problem to have.


Mike Garrison (41:25):

I think it's amazing. Well, so once again, Andy, it's been an absolute honor to have you on a podcast to interact with you. You are, I thought you would be, which is one of the highest compliments I can give somebody like who you are socially is who you are live. And I look forward to checking in with you next time I'm headed up to OSHA growth. Maybe we can go have a drink or something. Yeah. I can introduce you to my crazy friends from Jersey. Cool. And we can have some fun, but once again, thank you so much. Where can they find you again in


Andy Panko (41:55):

The best place would be my business website, tenant financial.com. That's T E N O N financial.com. And for those of you on Facebook search up the group taxes in retirement. That's the one I moderate that is.


ker 1 (00:00):

As here we go. Welcome to the values-based mindset experience, where if I do this well, you get to hear a lot from the guests, which will be interesting. Versus if I do it badly and talk about the values-based mindset system, because nobody cares. So what people care about are stories from professionals that are living a life of their own design and today's guests. I got to slow down. I'm really excited. I've gotten to know this guy, Andy panko, from interacting on LinkedIn. I love all of his stuff, but I most love the way he comments. I love the way that he is social on a social platform. Yes, he's got his own point of view, but he's not out there and nuking people. And I also, haven't heard a little bit of his story, know that he's a values-based guy, meaning he's got thought and intention behind how he does this, his hand while he does business. So Andy, introduce yourself to the huge audience of like seven or eight,


Andy Panko (01:05):

Hello, seven or eight of you out there that loves Mike Garrison and his words of wisdom. Yes, I am Andy Panco. Thank you for having me on Mike. I, the I'm the founder and owner of a little financial planning firm called tenon financial based in touch in New Jersey, which I started in late 20, 19 after a 19 year career in corporate and institutional banking positive for now.


Mike Garrison (01:29):

That's cool. So what does tenon me?


Andy Panko (01:34):

It's a woodworking term. So I have always been big into woodworking. And


Mike Garrison (01:42):

He's got all his fingers there. Also


Andy Panko (01:44):

There I do, I have a table saw called soft stop that if a skin touches it, the blade automatically stops. It's got this break in it. So that's part of the reason why I have my fingers otherwise. Yeah. One of them may nabbed off by now. But yeah, I've always been a woodworker. And when I set out to start this company and try to come up with the name, which was frankly probably the hardest part and it started this thing was struggling to come up with the name. And to be honest, one of the biggest limiting factors was a website name availability. Yes. So trying to find something short and sweet that wasn't already taken was really what led me to play around with words that weren't likely used already. And I was like, let me come up with something kind of personal. So, so 10 and just sorta made sense. So


Mike Garrison (02:23):

What's 10 and me


Andy Panko (02:25):

And we're working since it is basically you have a square peg going into a square hole. The square peg is the tenant. It's a way to join two pieces of wood together. Now, if I wanted to give you this fluffy, like deep infective answer about why I called my firm tenant financial, I would say because tenant represents simplicity yet stability and strength and blah, blah, blah. No, honestly it was, I needed to find a website that was short and sweet you know, a website name that wasn't taken, but yes, there are those other benefits to it. It's personal. To me, it has some con contextual meaning of, you know, simple and effective and strong and blah, blah, blah.


Mike Garrison (02:58):

Yeah, I, it, so


Andy Panko (03:00):

Let's go ahead and start with this, right? Yep. I'm going to read, as I did in our pre-show, I'm going to read you my favorite part of your website. And I like, I, but truth be told I sent it out to all my clients saying this is a great website, just because of that one sentence. I'm also, cause I knew it would be challenging. So here we go. You ready do it. Unlike many advisors, our ongoing fee is not tied solely to the amount of your investible assets. Andy, would it be fair to say that there are some values behind that statement? Yes. A confluence of values. So super quick background. I graduated college in 2000, went to school for finance, wanted to be what I thought and advisor was. I wanted to help people make a personal life financial decisions. I interviewed at a lot of the big places that were on campus, looking for young, fresh, eager recruits.


Andy Panko (03:57):

And it was the large brokerage and insurance companies. I quickly found out that they were all just looking to recruit salespeople that were mostly or solely commission compensation just to go sell insurance and commission mutual funds got, got disenfranchised and disgusted by that. And that just felt wrong. It had nothing to do with giving advice. It was just pushing product. So I gave up on the idea of stumbled into an actuarial role at a large insurance company parlayed that into 19 years in various corporate investment banking, risk management roles made good money, saw some cool things, met some great people, but it was never really self-fulfilling. I still had this itch to want to help people you know, with finances. So trying to speed this up. My, my mother was transitioning towards retirement. She was working with a traditional percent of assets manager who claimed he was full service charging one and a half percent cause he was full service and he wasn't able to help her get a definitive answer on her social security claiming strategy.


Andy Panko (04:57):

Now she's one of the more complicated ones divorced from my father of an age where she can still do the restricted application thing. But he wasn't able to, he knew enough to know he didn't know the answer. So I helped her dig in, not knowing much about it, helped her dig in, researched social security and got to the answer. And that's when, you know, the proverbial light went off over my head. It's like, wow, this is it. This is what I thought planning advice should be. Thankfully, you know, helping my own mother, this was 2016 from that point forward, it was just, yeah, this is what I want to do. Let me figure out how to actually give advice and get paid for giving advice, not selling product, not just gathering assets and charge them handsomely charging handsomely to to over-complicate mutual fund allocations.


Andy Panko (05:37):

So it was a non-stop journey from that point forward to figure out what's the best way to do it. I knew I wanted to do it on my own, on my terms services. I thought made sense fees. I thought made sense. And, and the rest was kind of history. It was a multi-year plan to intentionally build this business that I wanted, not just from a professional or from a personal perspective, that job with what I wanted my life to be and look like. And I set the date as 2019 will be when I leave the corporate world and sure enough, that's what I did November 1st, 2019 was my last day on wall street. I walked out the door and started this and haven't looked back since.


Mike Garrison (06:13):

Awesome. I think what I would like people, if they're listening to hear from that is you can have a lot of different ways to make a decent living in financial services. And some of those will have you feeling good about yourself afterwards as well and yours is one of them. So when, when we look at that compensation model, one of my thoughts as I look at it, like you've got a great website, 10 and financial Kennan, T E N O N financial.com. One of the things that I really like about how you're approaching this is from a sales management standpoint is it's very simple.


Andy Panko (07:02):

Thank you. That that was intentionally simple. Yeah.


Mike Garrison (07:05):

I think I've said this before, but I, I think that so much of the profit in our industry, cause I coach predominantly financial advisors. I was one, I think so much of the profit in our industry and the huge amounts of income is predicated upon consumer ignorance. You know, and, and I, I understand the need to try and compete in a marketplace with people that are charging a lot and not delivering. I, I understand that at the same time, from a values based standpoint, I, I think that some of the anxiety that I see out in the broader industry is predicated upon this awareness that like people are starting to figure this out. And what do I do? I just want to commend you on transitioning to where I believe the industry is going to be in five years.


Andy Panko (08:03):

I hope the industry will get more towards flat fees or even hourly to some extent. And it makes more sense than percent of assets and definitely heck more logical than, than commission-based my, what I realize and appreciate is that people who have established practices or work at big firms, they're not going to be able to simply give up their percent of AUM business. If for nothing else, it's going to be hard. You're gonna have some clients that, Hey, guess what? I need to charge you more. You can have others with equally awkward conversations. We're going to say, Hey, you've been charged with 30 grand a year. Well guess what? I'm gonna drop that to 10 grand. Now, neither of those conversations are gonna go well. So yeah, I, I, I fully, I truly think there's a lot of folks out there that agree with these thoughts I have and this approach I have and would like to do it if they could, but they're kind of hamstrung by their, their legacy business. I didn't have that. I started from true scratch, which was a tremendous benefit to me. And I realized not everyone is going to be able to do what I did, although I do genuinely would like to see the industry get there at some point.


Mike Garrison (09:03):

Yeah. I I agree with you. Like, I didn't know that whole story. I think it's far easier. It's so much easier now than when I was an advisor to do what you're doing. Yeah. Right. Because there's just no support, no support. Yep. But what's, what's really interesting and this is the problem, right. I think, and I'm not, I'm going to throw it out here. You tell me if you agree. So I think one of the values of financial advisers, AKA slash planners like yourself, one of the things that's important is you manage your own finances appropriately. And I, I speculate that the trap that a lot of traditional advisors find themselves in is they're in this accrual mode, like, you know, their, their, their income is rising and then like just like a bad client. So is there a cost of living? Right. And and a lot of them have CFPs too, which concerns me that designation. I'm like, there's gotta be some work done to like, measure how well you're actually doing it yourself. Right?


Andy Panko (10:21):

Yeah. I have a funny, maybe not. So funny, anecdotal story kind of aligns with what you said. So there's another fellow I met on LinkedIn, a salesperson at a large insurance company. We've all heard of, he manages a team of a few dozen and one of my comments sparked something. And he first responded back to me kind of angrily about it because you know, my comments, although I write them professionally do do touch a nerve sometimes. And we got to chatting offline and, you know, tempers cooled a little bit and we had this good rap back and forth. And he was intrigued in doing fee only, you know, fee for service type advisory stuff and was asking about my model and in what have you. And I, you know, I explained my model and did the numbers and told them how many clients I want. You can do the math of the revenue I get and whatever. And that's plenty good enough for me. And he he's currently making, you know, personally making over a million dollars and we, you know, We ran through the numbers. It's like, yeah, you can easily do 400, $500,000. It's like, oh, that's, I can never do that. It's not enough for me. I'm paraphrasing. But those were his words, you know, I need to continue to make at least a million dollars. It's like, well, that just says it all right there. So 


Mike Garrison (11:32):

Yeah.


Andy Panko (11:32):

What do you really need a million dollars a year for it? Who knows? Maybe he's got a massive amount of family he needs to support in far away countries. And I don't know, I didn't get that impression from him. He just seems like you know, loves to live the lifestyle kind of guy. But I don't, I don't know.


Mike Garrison (11:47):

Well, Andy, maybe you're not going to be able to have all those bespoke suits and stuff like that. You know, when is, are you gonna be okay,


Andy Panko (11:54):

Dude, I'm wearing old Navy shorts and like a $5 under armor. T-Shirt I got on clearance somewhere. That's not me. I'm not showy.


Mike Garrison (12:03):

Well to your, I mean, your contents good though. Like, you know, it's professional and it's clean. It's well thought out, right?


Andy Panko (12:11):

Oh yeah. Thank you. Yeah. I mean, I, I, I know my stuff. I'm not, I'm not ashamed to admit I I'm technically super strong. I know how to implement that. I know how to educate and explain it. That doesn't need that doesn't mean I need to look the part in where a thousand dollars plus suit. I don't need to have a fancy German car. I mean, I could, if I wanted to, but that's not me. I got no value. I get no joy from that. Let my knowledge and my meanness shine through and let that be what people see and hire me for. Not because I have a fancy wood-paneled office or because they got a slick suit or a $40,000 watch that that's not the person I want to be.


Mike Garrison (12:46):

Yeah. Like, you know, for me, for me, all of those things, like a really expensive car, they expensive suit and an expensive watch are just massive amounts of personal risk because anytime I've had any nice piece of clothing, I either rip it or stain it 80, like the only type of car I like the only type of car, like is a car that I paid cash for. Yeah. Pay cash for it. Out of my checking account.


Andy Panko (13:17):

There you go. It's yours. You own it. Yeah.


Mike Garrison (13:22):

Like it's just, it's always been insane for me. I don't like people that think that their home is an investment because it's not, you know? And so maybe that's probably why I was such a sorry, adviser in the traditional sense. But I have no regret. I literally have no regrets about, about what I did. So let's get to values. And I think it's, it's really interesting is we have this perception, which is accurate that the traditional financial advisors, a salesperson, and I would just modify that. Having been an outside sales before the average financial advisor is a bad salesperson. Sure. Right now, believe it or not, they've had almost no real professional sales training, which is the problem. Professional salespeople make selling, make buying fun, right? Like that's the difference and a market share. It is one of my favorite authors they ask you answer is it's one of the best books on marketing ever done because he's like, listen to what your client's questions are and then answer them.


Andy Panko (14:32):

You said easy illusionary. Imagine that. Right.


Mike Garrison (14:37):

But it's not as easy when you get down to it. Like he owns a pool company in Virginia, which is why I paid attention to her place from Virginia. It's gotta be great. But, but that th the concept being is I think that you were actually a great salesperson.


Andy Panko (14:52):

I, I struggle with that. I mean, I, I, I'm coming to the term that I do think I am good at sales in what I do and how I do it in, in selling notional sense. Right. And that's why I'm getting comfortable in saying I might be okay in sales. Actually, I know I suck at sales and that's why I never took one of those traditional sales jobs at the insurance brokerage places. I can't sit there and drum up interest and cold call and do these cold chicken dinner seminars and work a room. And pat people on the back, you know, that that's not me, but I realized there's value people, value, education, they value knowledge. They value not having to enter their email address to get some stupid piece of pre-canned marketing that you're putting out. So my approach was, let me be me.


Andy Panko (15:36):

I'm confident in me and what I know and I, and I know I can and will provide great value, great service, the best way for me to get that across without being salesy is just be me. Let, let me, let me do videos. Let me talk on Facebook, answer questions. Let me just share boatloads of my time and knowledge in the process. People will say, yeah, this dude seems to notice talking about. He does not seem salesy. He seems genuine. He seems honest. And that's, what's been happening. I've never once asked for a name or email from anyone. I mean, I do have a newsletter that has a, an opt-in, but I've never used that as a screen to share any of my content ever. People find me and it's working. So my sales approach of being not salesy has done tremendously. Well, I don't think everyone could replicate it. And just like, I would never be able to replicate a traditional sales approach, but I know what works for me and I'm sticking to it


Mike Garrison (16:27):

Well, and that, you know, so I've coached salespeople for almost 30 years now. I've written a book on referrals and stuff like that. And I think one of the values of your cooler talking about is transparency and authenticity clearly, you know, and I have this weird kind of story. I tell her this example about why it's important to be transparent. And so the best salespeople don't hide anything, right? Because they figured out that the name of the game is retention, not acquisition because really great salespeople look at everything for a time expenditure. And they don't look just daily. They look on a decade basis, like, cause they're always looking at how can I build a residual, but not, we're not talking to MLMs here, but how can I build an accruing residual type of relationship so that I spent less and less time to deliver the same value. And so that's what I think is beautiful about what you're doing is you're laying it exactly out there answering most of the big questions that prospective clients have so that they can focus on getting to know you and then they'll decide to buy you, which means that they paid for you. They're not going to have any, you know, buyers remorse. They're going to be like, this is Andy. This is what Andy does. This is great.


Andy Panko (17:53):

Yeah. It's especially in this virtual world post, you know, post pandemic or still in it, I guess, but of my 30 plus clients currently, my mother is the only one in New Jersey. Literally every other client is scattered throughout the country. And that's all from, from Facebook and to a lesser extent, YouTube. But to your point, they know me, they get comfortable with me. I'm out there, I'm open. There's so much of me, not just my technical knowledge, but how I look, how I sound, what I say in my mannerisms, my truthfulness about what I do. And don't know, there's so many different bits of content that are now out there forever circulating for people to see and get comfortable with me. So by the time they choose to reach out to me to set up an intro call, they feel like they know me. The sales process is in effect. Don they're asking me some clarification questions. That's really it. And it's worked out well. Cause again, I don't feel I'm selling at all. I'm just being me. And it's the best sales tool there is for me in how I approach things.


Mike Garrison (18:53):

I always, so I'm referral guy. I've always been a referral guy. And my question for people has been, is there anything more effortless in a sales world than an endorsed referral from a client? And the answer is always no. I said, well then why don't we focus on that? What I love about what we're talking about? Cause I'm also, I I'm also I'm with DLA. So we do the world's only three months, social selling and influence course where there's coaching and training. Right? We take people through a lot of the stuff that you've already done, the sweat equity, right? Aaron, all that kind of stuff. So this you're a bad prospect for that because I wouldn't sell it to you.


Andy Panko (19:42):

Oh, thank you. I got this compliment. I guess


Mike Garrison (19:44):

You've already, you're already doing it. Right? So like a whole bunch of training right now, what actually deep would increase the amount of friction for you to continue being virtual virtuous. You know, so, but the thing is, this is like right now, what I'm here for you is that a lot of your sales, even though you still got, I understand man, that the residue from bad sales is like, it's like plutonium, half eons, even though you've got that residue right now, sales is maybe wouldn't say fun, but maybe it's effortless. You know, your, your client acquisition process.


Andy Panko (20:22):

I I'd agree with that. And it is fun. I'm doing what I enjoy. I enjoy talking and teaching on these technical retirement and tax related matters that that comes second nature. To me, it comes effortlessly to me and I'm just out there putting myself to the world, capturing it online. So, you know, it can be recirculated across Facebook, YouTube, whatever. But yeah, I don't consider it selling and it's not work. I mean, there's a lot of buttload of time I put into it, but I don't consider this work


Mike Garrison (20:51):

Awesome. Me either. Like I freaking love social. And the reason I love social is the more clients that I get, understanding how to use social on purpose strategically in alignment with their values, the more time I get to spend with them and the more interest I get from other people, you know? And so, so I wanted to talk to you a little bit. Just, just, I don't want to, I'm not trying to look for any of the secrets, even though you're pretty, pretty transparent.


Andy Panko (21:19):

I'll tell you what everyone to know. It's like,


Mike Garrison (21:21):

It's already out there, but I want other like, look him up. It's out there. He tells you, but you just won't because you think that the, how you deliver value is having people come to a fancy building and a mahogany office. Like you don't have to do that. So here's the thing. So have you noticed a transition in how you approach social media comma in that maybe initially you might've been not a super fan of it? I don't know. But are you getting more engagement with your clients socially?


Andy Panko (22:01):

So I guess I can answer questions, you know, I think I know where to go on, but so when I first started from nothing, again, November, 2019, I, you know, I read all the books and listened to the podcasts about what advisor marketing is supposed to be. And to be fair, I knew it was like throwing spaghetti on the wall, see what sticks, different things work for different people. And I knew you had to have a social presence. So I had, I have a LinkedIn page. I had a, still have a Twitter page. I haven't been on in months. I have a Facebook business page and I would do the typical stuff of write some basic letter or, you know, whatever article posted up there. I would get myself quoted in some articles for U S news and stuff and share those. And I'll try to write engaging comments and whatever, but nothing really clicked. And I was slowly getting one or two followers and likes and whatever. What really changed the game for me, it was a Facebook group. Facebook business page is nothing more than a glorified contact us. Like yes, people comment. It's exactly, it's a brochure. A group on the other hand truly is a community. It takes a lot of work and effort to grow and cultivate and, and moderate out the knuckleheads and the political riff-raff and spammers and bots, which


Mike Garrison (23:13):

That's no different from real life people. I hate. That's true.


Andy Panko (23:17):

Yeah.


Mike Garrison (23:17):

Social is on and offline. It's this community thing you're talking about Andy. And like, I always say like, there's no one in your family. That's, that's a drunk, you know, no one, no one's ever gotten divorced or had an affair. I mean, you, you haven't seen anybody get drunk at an office party, even though we don't do those anymore. Right? Like really it's it's real life.


Andy Panko (23:39):

It is. So I started the group and I was posting comments and sharing articles and trying to elicit responses and engagement from folks doing all the stuff we're supposed to do. And slowly it built, it was a handful of people joining a week and then within a few months, so this was April 20 20th. Started it by the summer I hit, my goal is to hit a thousand people. By the end of the year, I hit a thousand some point in July of 2020. So three months in. And from that point, it just latched on and took off the, the organic growth people like the group recognized the value would share. It would recommend it to others. And it's just exploded. Now I'm getting two to 300 people a week joining. But it's that engagement. It was, it was the, you know, unfiltered unabated access to me.


Andy Panko (24:22):

People can post questions. I give detailed thoughtful responses. I don't give any advice, you know, right. These are all just random strangers. So I should caveat that there's no specific advice. It's just helpful hints and education, but boatloads of knowledge, that people couldn't get from their own advisors because you're either didn't know or, you know, they couldn't find online without having to get screened through some dumb, give me your email. So I'll send you this white paper. And I was like, forget that. I just come and ask me, I got nothing to hide. You know, I'm happy to share because I enjoy educating. And what happened was it ended up being the best marketing tool ever for getting me out there, getting people to know me building community, building sense of trust and, you know, reputation amongst the followers and the things just snowballing. And, and, and that's, that's, that's what worked for me socially. But then there's the traditional Facebook business page, LinkedIn page, Twitter page. I got really no traction out of those things.


Mike Garrison (25:18):

Most people don't, you know, it's interesting you and a couple other people, and then also being involved with DLA there's so much that we know that does work, but it's, but it's more about how you, how you behave and what activity you have, not necessarily content you share contents important content verifies, I think more than introduces. But I'm, I'm getting ready to launch a weekly live session


Andy Panko (25:49):

On Facebook, on 


Mike Garrison (25:51):

I think I'm gonna do on Facebook. I was doing, but I think Facebook's better personally, and I'm going to do a Facebook live and it's called ask me anything about growing your small business. Perfect. Cause that's literally what I do, you know, and the cool news is, is like, if I get stumped on a question I've got, cause I've been doing business for, I've got thousands of people I can refer to. So I'm hoping that this ends up being something that obviously helps my business, but I like doing things that potentially can amplify and bless other people that are smarter than me, because there's a lot of,


Andy Panko (26:33):

And, and it'll be paid over, you know, paid multiple times, paid back multiple times over, you know, if your goal is just to get clients, I don't know that that's the right way to go about it, but doesn't right. And, and giving genuine education and knowledge. Sure. 90 plus percent of the people in the group, probably more than that. 98, 90 9% will never reach out to you to engage you in a paid relationship. But if you get enough, depending on your businesses like me, I want 50 clients and I'm done. I know I'll get there. I'll probably get there next year. So I'm not desperate for business or growth. I'm still doing this because I genuinely enjoy doing it. And yes, love large numbers, you know, of a 16,000 person group. If only 50 of them reach out to me, you come clients. That's funny. You know, that, that, that works for me. The rest of it is just great. Everyone got some free education from me. Good for them. You know, I'm happy. I feel like I'm making a difference in the world because of it. So everybody wins.


Mike Garrison (27:24):

That's huge. I mean, that's why the guys based mindset experience communities can be free.


Andy Panko (27:30):

Great. That's perfect.


Mike Garrison (27:31):

I love it. I mean, honestly, as, as a Christian, I don't believe that there's anything original on our system. We've just organized it and we're passionate about how we communicate and coach around it, you know? Yeah. But like, you know, I can, I can look in lots of books in the Bible and I can say, okay, Mike, you didn't think of that.


Mike Garrison (27:51):

Jesus didn't copyright everything, you know? Right. So, so from my perspective, it's, it's been really encouraging. So I want to take yeah. Five more minutes. Yeah, of course. Let's take a little bit more time because like, I would have you on for like five episodes and I will bring you back. But I wanna like, so one thing you said, I think it's important for a value-based standpoint. You obviously care about your clients. You care very much about education. You you've established your ideal business at 50 clients. What, how are your values having you think about what happens after that? Because your going to continue to attract clients. Andy, I'm telling you this, you have an obligation because of what you're doing to those people that can't become clients.


Andy Panko (28:41):

So I have a few thoughts. I do truly want to stay a solo. So I am captain capacity. I know I'll hit my 50. Then what happens when additional people reach out? So


Mike Garrison (28:52):

Who are getting screwed?


Andy Panko (28:54):

I am. Are they? No. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Paying 30 grand to some round in the mill, 1% advisor down the road. It's like, you're getting robbed, but whatever, not whatever it's discussing.


Mike Garrison (29:04):

What are we rebalancing is very complicated.


Andy Panko (29:07):

It really is. I have to push two buttons instead of wanting to do it. It's it's insane. I am looking for folks that are that function kind of like I do to think like I do have the values I do if, and when I can find an advisor. So here's, what's unique about me. Retirement only focus. I won't work with anyone who's under, you know, shy of two years of retirement, let's say so I'm 43. I have no interest in working with people in my stage of life. All my clients are late fifties or older. So retirement decumulation focus very strong tax focused, vast majority advisors don't or explicitly can't discuss taxes and tax planning, which is ginormous disservice. Second one's


Mike Garrison (29:50):

More accurate.


Andy Panko (29:54):

So, so taxes, retirement and flat fee is very important to me. I have not yet found anyone who covers those three things to the same extent I do. If, and when I do, I I'm trying to tabulate a list of folks that I can refer people to. I've met one guy recently Mike Powers, CPA start up his own firm. He's in Richmond.


Mike Garrison (30:16):

Yeah. He's nearby. I want to connect with him and I'll be enrichment in a couple of weeks. I'm going to see if I can hook up with him.


Andy Panko (30:22):

Yeah. Reach out. So I took upon myself. I found out, you know, he reached out to me just to say, hi, whatever I found out, he was transitioning to flat fees, including AUM, including management of assets. I was like, oh my God, this is it. This is, this is one of the guys. So I voluntarily, you know, he didn't ask me to, he's not paying me to, I you know, told everyone in my Facebook group about him. I blasted him on LinkedIn in a good way. I was looking for advisors. This is the guy. Yeah.


Mike Garrison (30:47):

I know on that piece of content because I was so excited


Andy Panko (30:52):

And he will presumably get some clients that I otherwise could have had, but I'm okay with that. There's an abundance of clients out there. It doesn't need to be like the brokers where you fight and stab someone's eyes out for the next sale. There's plenty out there. We will all fill up on clients. I know I will. I know Mike will, let's share the wealth, let's support each other property to other up whatever. So, so that's my plan to find Mike and people like him when I do hit my 50, I want people that I can in good faith refer prospects to knowing that they'll get treated and served at least loosely similar to how they would have been treated and served by me. So my other plan down the road is succession planning for my own business. And to be honest, I haven't quite thought that through thoroughly enough.


Andy Panko (31:35):

So I'm 43. Like I said, I plan on doing this until my body or mind don't permit. Across that bridge, when I get to it, you know, decade or two down the road. My, my assumption, my plan is to try to find someone who, again, looks, acts, thinks, operates like me, that I can refer people to that, Hey, if I get hit by a bus or need to retire tomorrow, this is the person I'd recommend you go to. But if not, you know, you're free to choose whatever. I don't want an in-house person per se. Maybe I'll change my mind at some point. But as of now, it's not my goal.


Mike Garrison (32:05):

Yeah. I mean, this is something that I have spent some time on succession planning. And I think I have one word for you apprentice.


Andy Panko (32:21):

When you


Mike Garrison (32:21):

Think about the way that you do business currently, and maybe hopefully over the next five years, things will be better. I mean, there's certainly better than it were 10 years ago. There are so much better, but they still suck really bad. I think the apprentice is the way you do it because what you do is really a trade it's a craft, right? And it's not something that you pass exams on and implement. You need to, you might watch a master at work just like we learned how to do blacksmithing. And so whenever you get to those moments, think about it from an apprentice apprenticeship kind of standpoint. And that's, that's, it's hard to convert somebody.


Andy Panko (33:14):

Yeah. I, I realize that that may need to be the answer. I, I, again, intentional values, whatever. I set out this business to have complete control and autonomy to do it by myself, to not have to oversee people, not just because I don't want to be a manager. I mean, I've been a manager prior jobs and don't quite enjoy it, but not just, I don't want to manage people, but also the compliance and, and you know, concerns around a business like we're in high risk. I don't want to have to manage them. Someone who does or says something stupid. And then that ends up causing me personally and professionally troubles and lawsuits. And what have you. So that's my concern. And, and maybe I'm overthinking, I know lots of small shops have apprentices or, you know, junior employees, but that's my hesitation against doing that. Right.


Mike Garrison (33:57):

Well, the thing is none of those shops have your business model. Like, so the apprenticeship program ironically works well with the AOM model because you've got a lot of surplus income.


Andy Panko (34:14):

Yeah. That makes


Mike Garrison (34:15):

Sense. Right. And so, so, so ironically, you know, apprenticing works really well in a traditional model. The challenge that I would see with your model would be, you know, compensation pay, how do you do that? You know, and how do you deviate from something that is so like, your model is so like, it would, it could appear to somebody Andy, that your model selfish and it's really not. It's like, how, how do you completely serve 50 households with exceptional service? And, and so I see the risk management philosophy and how you were valued, how you've evaluated different ways of running your business and said with me, with how I run, this gives me the least amount of risk to these 50 households. Yes. Right? Yeah. And there's a, there's a, also, there's a limiting of your income on purpose as a result. It doesn't mean you're not going to be okay. Right. You live in New Jersey. So like, that's like, if you like, we'd go out to eat every day. I've bet in New Jersey, I'm not sure, but one of my best buddies owns a place at ocean Grove, you know?


Andy Panko (35:26):

Yeah.


Mike Garrison (35:26):

It's great. The Methodist, they know how to do town planning. I'll give him that.


Andy Panko (35:32):

That's the problem, but


Mike Garrison (35:35):

Rakhi too, but that's a whole, you know, that's good. But I would just say that, that, that the big challenge you have is you've got such an exquisitely designed client experience. And a lot of advisors have been told that since you can't scale your income within that experience, that that's bad. And I would argue, it's not like so personally I would think that you would write a book, hint, hint, write a book. But there's lots of ways that you could, that you could do this. But I think for now, I wouldn't advise even worrying about it. Like, keep, keep doing your ma, keep doing your program, keep doing your thing, optimize it. But because you share because you are active socially there's going to be a lot opportunity for people that are inspired by this. And maybe somebody listening to this podcast where they can, they can kind of find their own way. And I know having experienced you, I know that you are approachable. I know that you're a giver. You know, I know that's one of your values because like, if you look at his website, it's clear if you follow any of your stuff, especially on Facebook, by the way, when our advisors get to figure out how good Facebook is for advisors,


Andy Panko (36:58):

I don't know I, to be fair, part of it is where your demographic is. So my, you know, my target client 50 plus they're on Facebook. If I was targeting gen Z, then definitely not. Right. It's, it's Instagram, it's Tik TOK. Although that I don't think that's allowed yet. And in places like that, but yeah, so it really depends go, go where your client is. And I guess that's sort of sales 1 0 1, right. Or marketing one-on-one


Mike Garrison (37:21):

Yeah. It's ironic. Like my, my strategy with my advisors on Facebook has nothing to do with financial products or services or advice, nothing new with it. So it's all personal. Interesting. Cool. Yeah, But I hate compliance. Like I told them I got my 24. I knew I was done.


Andy Panko (37:41):

That's it? Yeah. I don't want to be the supervisor of these folks. Right.


Mike Garrison (37:45):

Cool. So I want sausage, right. Get back to the factory and saw the sausage was made. I was like,


Andy Panko (37:52):

Oh my God, I don't think I like this.


Mike Garrison (37:54):

What have I been doing?


Andy Panko (37:56):

Right.


Mike Garrison (37:57):

The problem with that. Right. And we'll end on, this is, unfortunately, some clients still like buying sausage, you know,


Andy Panko (38:08):

I don't know if they like it or if they're just sold really well about the value proposition of said sausage, you know, that that's what concerns me.


Mike Garrison (38:16):

Yeah. It's like, I guess people buy diet Coke. I mean, it's an abomination, you know, anyways. So I always end with this. Right. I always end with, what did Mike forget to ask you about? Or what did you want to say that I cut you off? Like Andy, I'm going to give you a couple of minutes and you just close it out.


Andy Panko (38:36):

Ah, dude, I'm not good at that. I don't know. I'm sort of, one of my fundamental principles in my business is the importance of tax and tax planning. So I know this, this podcast is kind of about values and get yourself out there and do it in a value compliant way. But for the general financial advisor universe do more with taxes, learn more about taxes, get more involved in tax planning, tax planning doesn't mean having to do with someone's tax return, but you better be looking at the tax return for every one of your clients, because it tells a tremendous amount of information by looking at it. If you're not looking at a tremendous disservice. So that's my words of wisdom. Not very exciting, sorry. But,


Mike Garrison (39:15):

Well, it's usually exciting in a bad way. You know, I coach and I've been in the industry for a long, long time and I've got a freaking incredible CPA who unfortunately has had, has to at least once a month deal with clients that have been absolutely wrecked financially by financial advisors, did not understand tax planning. Yeah know, and I hate to say it like, if you, so you're ready. If you're encrypted, if somebody is actually making money from crypto, don't go to a traditional financial advisor. You need to go to somebody like Andy or my friend Adam. Sure. Who is actually an EA really understands this because you don't have an accumulation problem.


Andy Panko (40:01):

Problem.


Mike Garrison (40:03):

Exactly. And you have a relatively unique tax problem. That's not very defined right now. And so I've just done it out. There is you know, and, and he's only got a couple of slots left and if you're actually making money at crypto, you know, you might need a beg him


Andy Panko (40:18):

Though, if you are, you're probably under 50 and not really interested in working with you


Mike Garrison (40:23):

Retired.


Andy Panko (40:25):

Yeah. I don't know. I've had people like the fire movement reach out early forties, want to retire and yes, they're within a year or two of retirement, but I'm not quite comfortable with fire, at least my skillset and knowledge of fire. Sure. I, you know, I don't know how to plan decumulation for potentially 60 years. I don't know. I don't know the unknowns that I don't know in that scenario. They typically still have often young children, so they're still college planning. There's still a significant amount of insurable needs. Whereas my clients, they fifties early sixties often, not a lot of need for insurance at this point. So I don't know things like that, but


Mike Garrison (40:56):

Yeah, but that transparency probably makes you more attractive. This is the double-edged sword.


Andy Panko (41:02):

Yeah. Yeah. Probably I should. I should, I should just say more things to all people saying that facetiously, but yeah, honestly it's good. And again, this is me. I'm not doing it to sell, but I realize me being honest. And so gosh, golly, gee does help my standing in people's minds I think. And that's a good problem to have.


Mike Garrison (41:25):

I think it's amazing. Well, so once again, Andy, it's been an absolute honor to have you on a podcast to interact with you. You are, I thought you would be, which is one of the highest compliments I can give somebody like who you are socially is who you are. And I look forward to checking in with you next time I'm headed up to OSHA growth. Maybe we can go have a drink or something. Yeah. I can introduce you to my crazy friends from Jersey. Cool. And we can have some fun, but once again, thank you so much. Where can they find you again in


Andy Panko (41:55):

The best place would be my business website, tenant financial.com. That's T E N O N financial.com. And for those of you on Facebook search up the group taxes in retirement. That's the one I moderate that is.