The purpose of NAIFA is to advocate for, educate, and differentiate its members in the industry. NAIFA Arizona member Thomas Shultz understands the need for an advisor to differentiate themselves in the marketplace. From the way he prospects for clients, the name he has given his practice, and the credentials he has pursued, Shultz takes every opportunity to stand out in the industry.
Shultz has set up his firm as Medicare specialists who help clients with Medicare supplement plans, a prescription drug plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan and then, as appropriate, transition them to a broader financial planning client. All his clients come through Medicare marketing. He says his experience shows, “If you do a good job servicing that book of business, you’re able to get to a lot of assets.”
After heading out on his own in 2017, Shultz quickly built his firm to more than 30 producers. He credits the name of his firm, Lyfebeast, LLC., as one of the ways he was able to set the tone and attract a new generation of advisors. “One of the major challenges of this industry is we don’t have a lot of young people coming into it,” notes Shultz. “It’s tough to attract new people to an old stuffy environment.” Before launching his firm, he focus-grouped a few names and found that Lyfebeast resonated the most with those between the ages of 21 and 32.
It was no surprise Shultz was immediately successful running his own firm because he had established a solid track record in management from when he first entered the industry in 2007. Prior to becoming a financial advisor, Shultz was a successful real estate broker in Southern California in the early 2000’s. When the bottom fell out of the real estate market in the middle of the decade, Shultz and his partners decided to temporarily step back from their real estate practice and explore other avenues. Shultz chose financial services.
Coincidentally, one of the first managers with whom he interviewed had recently bought a boat and was in the market for a new waterfront home where he could keep it. Always one to recognize an opportunity, Shultz continued to cultivate the relationship figuring, even if he didn’t join the firm, he could at least sell the manager a home. Ultimately, he did sell him a house, and then he sold him on the idea of Shultz coming on board as his righthand man. Shultz would learn the industry and take on the management of the firm freeing up time for the manager to enjoy his new boat. A successful career in management was launched that day.
Eventually, Shultz was recruited to head up a firm in Scottsdale. After about seven years at that firm, he decided to go out on his own. Shultz has always loved training and developing new talent, but, after a while, the burdens of management wore on him. One of the main challenges he faced was the difficulty of finding advisors with the same creativity and drive that he has. “I was always wanting things more than the people that I was bringing on board,” Shultz says. That is when he decided to focus on personal production.
When Shultz first moved to Arizona, he did not know a lot of people. It was then he was introduced to NAIFA. Presented with the chance to join the association, he thought “Let me jump in there so I can get a foothold and understand what’s going on here. And I met a lot of great people.”
His involvement with NAIFA is how Shultz learned about the Life and Annuity Certified Professional (LACP) certification. “When NAIFA said we’re going to pioneer this designation for the life and annuity certified professional, I was all about that,” he says. Shultz recognizes the LACP certification is one more way to stand out to his clients and prospects. He also praises the credential as a cost-effective and time-saving way to earn an accredited credential. Because the LACP is an exam-based certification that tests an advisor’s knowledge acquired throughout their career, there is no extended course to pay for or complete.
Shultz has always believed in being himself and doing things to stand out. Being able to display his LACP credential, Shultz says, “It’s good for me. It’s good for our clients.”
Ready to take the LACP exam? June 15 is the deadline to register for the July 2022 testing period. Apply today!