<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=319290&amp;fmt=gif">

May Is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

41 min read

Make Simplicity Your Superpower

By NAIFA on 4/25/24 2:23 PM

Topics: Podcast
Richard Dobson

Richard Dobson is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) who strives to simplify communication between clients and financial advisors. As a keynote speaker, he has provided insurance and investment advice for over 40 years. Richard is the author of Make Simplicity Your Superpower! and The Trusted Professional. He is also a NAIFA member and has previously served as a former FINRA Broker Dealer Chief Compliance Officer (CCO).


Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Richard Dobson talks about Caitlin Clark’s impact on people and basketball
  • How Richard got into the financial services industry 
  • The origin of Make Simplicity Your Superpower!
  • Richard explains the value of simplifying financial advice for clients
  • Communication hacks every financial advisor should know 
  • The impetus for The Trusted Professional: How to Communicate so Clients Come Back
  • Richard’s involvement with NAIFA

In this episode…

Most high-net-worth individuals don’t care to understand their finances and prefer to leave the decision-making to their financial advisors. How can you become a trusted resource so your clients can secure their futures while focusing on their strengths?

According to Richard Dobson, a keynote speaker in the financial industry, high-net-worth clients look for three key traits in financial advisors: intelligence, empathy, and logic. Clients want reassurance that their financial advisors have adequate expertise in the space, the empathy to understand their unique needs and situations, and the logic to forecast the economy and make informed financial decisions. With simple strategies and communication tactics like explaining finance fundamentals in methods your clients resonate with, you can retain them long-term. 

In this episode of Advisor Today, Chris Gandy and Suzanne Carawan sit down with Richard Dobson, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), to discuss the value of simplicity in the financial services industry. Richard explains how he got into the financial services industry, the origin of Make Simplicity Your Superpower!, the importance of simplifying financial advice for clients, communication hacks every financial advisor should know, and the impetus for The Trusted Professional.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, or NAIFA, the #1 association for producers in financial services.

At NAIFA, we enhance professional skills, promote ethical conduct, and advocate for legislative and regulatory environments.

By joining NAIFA, you gain access to a partnership that elevates your performance while providing greater purpose to your professional work. NAIFA members are happier, make more money, and stay in the business longer.

Get in touch with NAIFA and learn more about how to join NAIFA by visiting NAIFA.org.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:02 

Welcome to NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series, where we focus on how financial advisors work, live and give to their local communities and our greater financial services industry. Now, let's get started with the show.

Chris Gandy 0:16

Hi, everyone, this is Chris Gandy. Longtime no see, it's been a while since I've been on the podcast, actually a couple of weeks. I am all the way I was all the way across the world in New Zealand, Suzanne, and back in NAIFA nation. And so welcome all of you to Advisor Today's podcast where we talk about the things that are happening that impact our business at a very high level. And this is the place where champions go to win. So I'm here with my co-host, Suzanne Carawan Hi, Suzanne, so great to see you.

Suzanne Carawan 0:53 

Good to see you. It has been a while.

Chris Gandy 0:55 

So I'm back. So time warp I went a whole day ahead. And um, a whole day back. So it's kind of interesting. I skipped the whole day. So I'm back living and we're super excited about having today's podcast, this is the day of the eclipse. And there's a lot of rhetoric, there's a lot of people riding around that this is the end of days. So we look forward to having a powerful and any any ecliptical podcast today.

Suzanne Carawan 1:27 

Yeah, goes like that.

Chris Gandy 1:30 

That shines the light well beyond darkness. So Richard, you that's your responsibility today. So we look forward to doing that. But we always have a sponsor. So Suzanne, who's our sponsor for today?

Suzanne Carawan 1:43 

Our sponsor today is Proud Mouth. If you haven't heard of proud mouth, it's brown proudmouth.com. Proud mouth is a new partner to NAIFA they have an awesome couple of things we're offering our members one, if you want yourself want to get your own podcasts, I can produce it for you, they'll take you from start to finish, NAIFA, members get a discount. But secondly, they also have a new library out. It's all about digital marketing and your brand building. And we'll talk about today with Dick about maybe pushing out his book a little bit further and how you can get more notoriety and more publicity for what you're doing. They themselves have two award winning podcasts, the Top Advisor Marketing and Be Your Own Loud is kind of their little tagline. And so we're happy to partner up with Matt Halloran and his crew there to talk about how we can get again, our NAIFA members to get more publicity. If they want to get on the podcast circuit, they want to go into more of their own self publish content, they can do so and we've got a great partner there to help train you up and get that out into the world. So thank you Proud Mouth.

Chris Gandy 2:46 

Thank you, Suzanne, for that. For those wonderful sponsors. You know, we can't do this without sponsorship, we can't do this without partners. We can't do this without willing people to come on this podcast and share the secrets. So with no further ado, the eclipse begins. So Suzanne, if you would please introduce our guests for today.

Suzanne Carawan 3:07 

So we're excited today to have Richard Dick Dobson in the house coming to us from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And prior to getting on the call, I tripped across your profile on a couple of things that because I saw that you had been speaking at E three over in California, that I tripped across your first book. And I thought, oh, that sounds really interesting. And then I found out you have to get another book out, etc. And he's a long term NAIFA member and also was quite involved with MDRT. And my understanding is you're ready to even give more back to NAIFA nation. We wanted to get you on the call. Talk to you about practice, and, and how and what we're doing here at NAIFA's. So that's exciting, too. Thanks for being here Dick. We're excited to have you.

Richard Dobson 3:50 

Well, thank you, Suzanne and Chris, it's great to see you again. And welcome back to the States after some travel that took you to distant lands, but glad to be here. Glad to share my ideas. And certainly the content, the books is there. And I've got another one that's bouncing around in my head. So we've got to get some intros made there too. So probably be 2025 for that one. But yeah, I don't know where these are coming from, but they pop in my head. So I write them down and we get them out there. So love it.

Chris Gandy 4:24 

So the real question, Richard, so I have a question for you. I can call you can't call you Sure. Can I call you? Yeah. So here's the real question. The real question is, I recently watched a phenomenon happen and you're and I will watch a phenomenon happened out of Iowa by a young lady called Caitlin Clark, right. And I had a chance and we get to talk about this. We can't listen Suzanne, this is like real taxes. Yeah. So we have to talk about what impacts so the first question I have for you is what impact do you think that she made on people? And what impact do you think she made to the game of basketball.

Richard Dobson 5:03 

Well, I think it's substantial and long lasting on both fronts. And I viewed her as the, of course, we, the rest of the world kind of just noticed, Caitlin, we've been watching her for a couple years. And so we couldn't keep her to ourselves and that good is going to get out. But I really think that she's going to do for women's sports, generally, but certainly for bath women's basketball what Tiger Woods did for golf, I believe in its stick kind of takes that catalyst someone that people will turn to and look at. And she's not a flashy person, she lets her emotion speak on the floor. And it her dedication shines through. And I think that like with our NAIFA members, that clients pick up on that, too. We toil and work and, and we see our end results, our clients just see their own, but they don't see the multiplication that we had. Our ability to do good for people is nearly unlimited, is one of the things I like about our profession. And it's also an equal opportunity profession. And many women, I think we're approaching 15 to 20% of advisors are female, and I think that that number is going to continue to go up. They're natural educators. And they do very well in our industry. I've always thought that and we see it in our leadership, more and more females are assuming those positions and but I think Catlin is that type of person. Like the other icons we've seen in other sports that come along from time to time and, and people take notice. I think early on in my career, somebody told me, you go out and do whatever you want, doesn't matter where you're from. And I know, Chris, you're from South Central Illinois, Illinois, I'm from the Northeast Iowa. We're not the huge metropolitan centers, you know, we're not the Chicago's or the New York's or the LA's. But there's an awful lot that goes on. And the need is high where we exist. And to get to those folks is our number one priority. And they're needed, we're needed. We need them, they need us. And I think Caitlin is the one who, as we look back, not only for her own professional career that she's about to embark on, but for all the others, and I've seen the commentators say this, you know, we stayed in a lot of terrible hotels, and we made the extra effort. We went on the all these long bus rides, and they were building the foundation. And then when someone comes along this a catalyst like her as well, we're really proud of her, didn't make it in the national championship. But I don't think that takes away from her overall career. Both of those teams are champions in that on that court yesterday. And so, man, we got a big game coming up tonight.

Suzanne Carawan 8:23 

Yeah, we do. And how much did the insurance really play a part and this year is March Madness. I love that. Right. So I mean, you got Caitlin Clark with her State Farm, and I'll deal right and you've got Gilkey from Oakland and they're making fun of him saying like, next year, you'll be an insurance agent. But hey, you know what, if we could just wrap all that up, Greg, we know athletes do very well in financial services. So it's kind of our time to I think it's our time to shine and put that out there. It'd be great if Caitlyn decided to become a State Farm agent. That'd be great for all of us, right? So a lot of stuff there this year with insurance I just think is fascinating. Yeah.

Chris Gandy 8:58 

It is. So okay, let's get into and understand we you know, we've this is we're doing a roundabout right we're so we're starting with the light and we're going into the other parts of our Eclipse version of our podcasts. So tell us a little bit about your journey. We got a chance to hear it a little bit before we started but it started with a story when you were born, a someone having the courage to pick up the phone and do it the old school way. Can you tell us a little bit of can you reiterate that story and share it with NAIFA nation?

Richard Dobson 9:34 

Yeah, I'd be happy to, I was almost born into it. I was born into it. From the standpoint of when my birth announcement was in the paper in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. an enterprising young adviser named Howard Hogan, called my mother and said Congratulations on the birth of your son. Do you have any other children? Then he asked for an appointment today. discuss are her young children, my older sister 10 and a half months older than me. My parents only knew each other two months and got married. My dad was in the military and he got orders to ship out. And they had been set up on a blind date just a couple of months before that. But they both realized that if he left without her, that wasn't going to be good for him. And that night, they went and found a justice, the peace got married, and she shipped out with it. And that's when my story started the course. So after he got discharged, we ended up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. My mom was from Iowa City. My dad was from North Carolina. So he didn't know any. And she knew a few people. But when after the birth announcement was in the paper, and that phone call was made, she informed Howard Hogan. Well, I used to work in a Prudential office, she said I'd love to take a look at the family plan. And this was the late 1950s. And the family plan one policy insures the whole family for life insurance. You got the husband, the breadwinner in a typical 50s home, right. And the wife, so they call it wife insurance. And then the kids for smaller policies, all included in one. And he came out at the appointed time. And my dad had just been three months out of the military, and had a job working with his electronics training at a little company in Cedar Rapids called Collins radio. Now Collins radio would eventually become Rockwell Collins of a major department of defense contractor with the radar systems and all that. But he was in a room with no windows. And it was kind of driving him crazy. He didn't use to the Air Force where you're outside, you're working, you're in the sunshine and, and in fact, he was discharged out of homestead Air Force Base. So he was coming from the tropics. And here he is in Iowa in a room. But the Prudential guy, the Howard Hogan, we're in a brand new suit, shows up in a brand new car. My dad's looking him over thinking about the four miles he needs to feed. And he asked him, how's it gonna get in your business. And so, the manager Jack Jamison called my dad got him involved, he passed the Iowa test. By November 1, he was making phone calls out of the phonebook in Cedar Rapids prospecting for clients. And my dad just finished his 65/5 year as a NAIFA member. And I'm 40 years as a major member this year. So I know I'm sure Mr. Hogan had no idea he was just trying to make his week, maybe a month, these smaller policies for kids, he's probably trying to make his week a very simple idea. Had no idea he was launching the careers of two people into financial services when he did that. So we should never discount.

Suzanne Carawan 10:24 

The Firefly effect, right? So

Richard Dobson 11:41 

Made much difference to my family, I can't imagine where we'd be had that conversation. So it's not your normal, maybe way to get in the business. And but we're blessed because it happened.

Chris Gandy 13:28 

So tell us a little bit about your practice. So talk a little bit about your practice. And then tell us a little bit about your first book. You mentioned the fact that you've been able to share with us some great insight or some great insight on a book you were able to formulate and put together if you share with us the title and kind of the impetus behind the title and how that ties back into financial services in your practice.

Richard Dobson 13:59 

Oh, sure. Yeah, when I got in the business, I started working with educators. There, again, is a simple process. We know who those people are. We know their job. We know who pays them and approximately what they are. And so the 403 B market was built in my father had ventured into that market with hospitals and some schools. And so I entered that market was a kind of a natural market for him. But along the way, we started an RIA firm. We started a broker dealer. I was an officer in those firms. The RIA firm, the registered investment advisory firm was in 38 states. We grew it and my brother was involved. My father, we had an organization that company still exists. We no longer own it, but my book of business is still there. And so you know, with 40 years in the business, I'm not looking to supervise Is that the expansion like I once was, but I'm still involved with that company. My father is no longer working every day, but it'll be 90 at the end of May. And so we've had the broker dealer, we've also, I've now affiliated with a broker dealer. Although I'm no longer in that expansion growth mode, I now take care of the clients who I accumulated over many years. I sold an office building a downsized, I've got a good and certainly a nice office now, but I don't have the employees and all that that I had at one time. So we all have phases that we go through. Right now mine, of course, the book came out. And it was a result of the quarantine that we went through. I had already started it for some get a good start on it had a manuscript and but it gave me the time that I needed to focus on it. I was fortunate that I found an awesome publisher, my publishers in Pennsylvania, by the name of Sound Wisdom. They all also print the book Thinking Grow Rich and lots of other sales books, and I'm in great company with that publisher. But the Make Simplicity Your Superpower, my first book came about as a result of all the, the great. The great communication skills that I developed over the years, wasn't something that I came up with, you know, and I'm really no smarter than a lot of other people out there. We've got a lot of great people in the financial services industry. But I had accumulated from others lots of great ideas. And some of them I can't even remember where they came from. But I had a pretty thick file over the years. And I courses gave lots of presentations, I'm gonna CE provider. And when you give a presentation, you get ideas. You're not only the one giving ideas, but the conversations afterwards and meeting people. And sometimes I'll ask, who has been in a situation that they've used a hack or a comparison or some kind of analogy with the client that really resonated with you. And I'll pick up a few from the groups that I speak to as well. And so, but Make Simplicity Your Superpower really came about as me wanting to share these ideas with others. The ones that didn't work for me aren't in the book. Okay. So right away, it saves them some time, I maybe attached a little real world. Process to it. The ones, the ones that worked the best, of course, we talked about a lot.

Chris Gandy 17:56 

Wow. Okay, so make, I want to dive into the title of this Make Simplicity Your Superpower. Okay. So when you take a look at kind of that dialogue, simplicity, why make it simple? I mean, I think a lot of people get into our business, and they say, I'm gonna make it as complicated as possible. And we'd be the smartest person in the room and they forget about people don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care. And so why focus on the simple things versus the more complex things? Can you give us some insight on kind of the direction you took and why you took that direction?

Richard Dobson 18:40 

Yeah, that's a great question, Chris. And, you know, I think we've all had the clients that want, they want to do the deep dive. And, you know, they might be engineers, they might be they might be folks that maybe have a little bit higher than normal education when it comes to finance. And so they want to feel like they need that. But for the vast majority people, that's not the case. When they ask what time it is, they don't want to know how to build that clock. They just want to know what the what the time is. And so a lot of people with financial, they don't want to know what the correlation coefficient is, or the beta or the Sharpe ratios. They don't want to know that stuff. What they want to know is, does this person have the three things necessary for me to trust them? Do they have the intelligence? Do they have the empathy? Do they have the logic that I need to guide me and my family to where we need to go? And so if there's that trust there, then they don't need to know all that. And the vast majority of don't want to, and we've all had that interview where you look across the table and your clients wringing their hands, or their nursing look and they know there's going to be a decision to be made. And many times that's they're apprehensive about that. And I think it's up to the advisor to let them off the hook. If your clients squirming and uncomfortable, then the probably the wrong approach has been taken. Or, and so, when Steve Jobs said, you know, we have to work hard to make things simple.

Suzanne Carawan 20:25 


Richard Dobson 20:27 

it's not something that's done. And of course, an Einstein to, equals MC squared is a very simple, a bit of what went behind that is huge. And so, it's not easy. It's hard to get there when you deliver simple, receiving simples easy for everyone. And so our clients don't have to do anything except receive your message. But to be simple, coming in is a different matter.

Suzanne Carawan 20:58 

Well, and when I teach marketing, to your point, I say simplicity is complex systems and harmony. But it takes so much to get if you really, to really get to an awesome campaign or one little tagline the iterations it takes to get there, over and over and over, Simplicity's is the hardest thing to get to right to really boil it down and cut it down to one thing. And so you mentioned intelligence, empathy, and logic. Those are the three pieces that someone needs to have to trust us that party, the next booklet, the trusted professional, that piece of it.

Richard Dobson 21:33 

No, but that's in a presentation that I give when I speak about my book.

Suzanne Carawan 21:37 

So is there an order that you say to advisors, they need to do that? Is that in order intelligence, empathy, logic? Or is it however you can fit that into make sure you get all three?

Richard Dobson 21:50 

Well, those are the three things that could in according to the Harvard Business Review, that and they've got a, it's almost like the pyramid or the triangle that we've used the triangle club, and, you know, there's those three components are what, in their studies, we go back to marketing studies, and what makes people do what they do. And that those are the three components that have been identified as if one of them is missing, or one of them, the clients perception is that one of them isn't solid, then there's probably going to be an exit, right, that clients going to hit the exit. And so those are boxes to check. But it's easier to understand simple, it's easier to remember for sure. Because if we talked about inflation, and I showed you four charts, and said, This is the purchasing power of $1, over the last 100 years, or 200 years, or if I said, this is a bag of potato chips, this is what they cost here. And it took this many hours of work to get it or and today, it takes this much. Those are things you might remember the chips, because I reframed it. When I say we buy a bag of chips. Well, when you say that you're mean what you mean is all consumer products. And so, I have a hack from the book that I do with a can of tuna fish. And it's Nick Murray, and Nick Murray, you know, when he says the tuna fish is a $2 at the store. But if you went in the next week, and it said tuna fish $8 that can as a consumer, how do you respond to that? Well, you're probably thinking chicken, right? I mean, that's too expensive. It's four times what it usually is, we're not going to buy it. But if you went in the next week, and it said tuna fish, three cans for $1. That's a different proposition. And if you're a tuna fish consumer and the dates good, then you're probably going to stock up. But we don't treat stocks like that. We feel good when the price is high, when the price is low or touch. So this is what I use in equities to reframe for the client, how they should behave. When prices go down, how do we behave? Well we run, no, you don't stop. Right? It's not gonna stop if you're a buyer tuna fish. So it's just those simple things, but they're not simple. It took quite a bit. I've given that a million times. And that's just one of a dozen specific communication where I say look, this is for expected return. This is for inflation. This is for...

Chris Gandy 24:42 

Nothing Richard, you Eclipse yourself so yeah, it's like a chance to use my Eclipse version of the...

Richard Dobson 24:58 

It's funny because I one of my Favorite, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a wrote a, an essay. And it's called Compensation, where he talked about the duality of life, the male and female, but light and darkness. And he talks, it's only about a 20 page essay, but it's an 18th century language. So you have to reread it like five times to understand it, because it's English. But it's not what we're used to in English, but it's neat, because it's, you know, it's opposing forces. And one can't exist without the other. It like good and evil, you know, open in nature, we see it all the time. Where the colorful bird, that's beautiful. But the downside is, it's more of a target to its enemies. And Emerson says that for every benefit we receive in life, and in nature, a tax is levied, somehow, somewhere along the way. And so if we enjoy one thing a lot, and we think, oh, this is great, and it's free, probably not free. Right? There's something else it might not be monetary, but there'll be a cost of that benefit somewhere.

Chris Gandy 26:24 

Share with us so the first book, Make simplicity, your superpower, can we buy it on Amazon? Can we buy through NAIFA? How can we get this Isaiah audio book, talk to us as if hey, listen.

Richard Dobson 26:38 

I believe there is an audio book. I haven't listened to it. I believe there is. But I know, certainly digital copies on Barnes and Noble and Amazon both. And then in bulk as well, if through my website, and it's richarddobson.net.

Chris Gandy 26:57 

Okay, awesome. So Richard, I got I got a couple other questions for you, as we kind of weave through your world in your life. But you didn't say you stopped in one book. The word on the streets is if I'm looking at your desk to have piercing eyes here to looks like there's two on there. So share with us one, what prompted you to actually do a second one? And then tell us a little bit about the second one and the impetus for it?

Richard Dobson 27:25 

Yeah, it's not really a sequel Make Simplicity Your Superpower, but the trusted professionals, what we're talking about the trusted professional, and the subtitle is How to Communicate So Clients Come Back. And this was an adaptation of simplicity, makes simplicity, your superpower with the subtitle communication hacks, every financial advisor should know. And so that's specifically for financial advisors. In my publisher, Sound Wisdom, they're in Pennsylvania, Sound Wisdom, said, look, you know, there's a whole lot more advisors out there who aren't financial advisors. But they're CPAs and attorneys and, and there's, there's architects, people that work with clients, in a profession that maybe they didn't get a lot of communication, education in school, and it's a ketchup form, they're highly technical. But unlike financial services, where typically we start by making personal appointments with clients that come in, and we interview, and accountants and attorneys tend to focus on client problems right out of the chute. And so they don't know their clients like we do by the time they get around to doing real business with them. And so that's what the most of professional is an adaptation of things that we do that maybe they're not going to know quite as well in those professions. But then there's a third one in the works for as far as a book goes,

Chris Gandy 29:12 

So I just want to talk about that subtitle there. So How Clients Come Back. So many people, believe it or not, I don't I'm not talking to someone who doesn't believe. But many of our clients think because they refer us to a person that they're automatically the other person is doing business with us. I mean, it's this mythological creature that exists that everybody who gets referred a becomes a client, right. Their clients actually believe that our clients believe we make billions of dollars off of a mutual fund, and we are capable of doing XYZ. So are you saying that clients because you serve them, they don't have the boomerang effect. They don't just automatically come back. So what is the app It is for them. So have you share with us a hack? Sure. So like the Cliff's Notes version? Why do they come back? Why do clients come back?

Richard Dobson 30:05 

They come back because they feel good. They come back because those three elements of trust are there. And they come back in many times, because you communicated with them to the point where they believe that they're doing the best thing they possibly can do for their family. And part of the plus of the hacks, these ideas that we share with our clients to simplify the fundamentals of our business, you know, the inflation and the investments and how do you invest? Well, there's only two ways we can loan your money, or you can own something. Well, that's pretty simple. But there are 1000s of categories literally under each of those. But what I'm doing for the client is at the beginning of our journey, I'm saying, look, these are the two main branches. Now, usually, there's a combination of this, folks, but you may have a little more in equity than viewed and fixed. Why? Well, I show him why. Because since 1802, equities have outshine the best money machine we've ever created for man. But there are some problems. Problems is the volatility is a problem. If we go 200 years, yeah, everybody makes money. If we go two years, maybe not. Probably 20 is okay. That's long enough that the risk reduces to almost zero. But what we know and what we can say to clients are two different things as well. So we've got compliance always overhang. We can't just go in and say, well, look, forget about all that. Forget about the risk, because over time, no one loses money. Can't say that. But there's lots of things we can say. And mine is mostly show and tell. You know that I've got something I want to communicate, like inflation, inflation, I use stamps, postage stamps, postage stamp from 50 years ago is nine cents, almost 70 cents today. Is four and a half percent inflation on stamps. The Consumer Price Index 3.89%. Close enough, right? I mean, postal inflation is running a little hotter. But I don't have an icon, I can show him. No, I can show him a moon landing stamp from 1968 or 71. Or they had a couple of different versions. And now we've got a forever stamp, because prices are forever what going up, right? But it's we can't really blame the post office, they're not really any worse than any other consumer product or price increase item that we would care to single out look at. And so, but I like to say where do you suppose postage rates are going to be in the future? And what's your plan to pay for that. And so we know that these are going to march on, and the last 50 years is probably going to be a mirror what the next 50 are, as in terms of prices. So we can expect, the government right now is trying to get to 2% inflation. I say why 50 years says four percents closer to what we've experienced. So why do we pick 2%? It's harder to get to, because we've already passed our 50 year inflation point. We're already there. And so if the government came out tomorrow and said, oh, yeah, well, we're gonna increase our target a little bit, because lo and behold, we look back and we see that the inflation rates really about 4% or four and a half even if we look at our postage stamps. If that happened tomorrow, do you do you know what would happen to the prices of equities? Yeah, there you go through the roof. Because the government just said, yeah, it would go through the roof. Even if inflation was twice as much, because the government's acknowledging what looks like to be something that they've underestimated. But I call them they haven't called me back. I'm trying to get that word to him. To the next meeting, Chris, if you can help get us in? They need some help.

Chris Gandy 30:55 

Actually sat in the financial meeting. What was that Suzanne? About a month ago? Yeah. Pretty interesting, pretty interesting dynamic of the things that was true to me that seems to be the fact is that they take a small piece of reality and make it fit into the narratives of different accusations of our business, and it doesn't quite fit. So example is fees, specifically commissions are tagged in the same conversation as junk fees for airlines, it's in the same conversation is junk fees for Ubers. And those types of things. So, you say you called, the best thing we can do is show up in that hearing, I sat there and I was the only NAIFA Nathan members and hearing with over 200 seats available. And we weren't there. So you know, we can show up. And this is to all NAIFA's. Members, we can show up, tell NAIFA we're going to Capitol Hill, during the hearing, they published the hearings, we can show up at the finance committee to make sure people are seeing that we care about what happens to our industry. That's a nebulous call, not only to all of us, but to those who have an interest in changing the narrative and changing story and hearing story making stories heard. But let's talk about your affiliation with NAIFA. I don't know if there's a naval white jacket. Or if there's like the green jacket, like the masters or something. Suzanne, I don't know what we got. But tell us a little bit about your role in naifa. And why you've stayed so committed for so long, because you mentioned the fact that you were on the RIA side during the broker dealer side. And from what I heard, history shows that NAIFA has been only for insurance advisors. Now that I've graduated, because we have both, but I've heard that so how do we dispel that de-myth that that onus that we have on us as naifa, as NAIFA's Association, as advisors, tell us why you decided to engage and be a part of NAIFA so strongly for such a long period of time.

Richard Dobson 37:15 

Yeah, I think all of us owe a little bit back to the business that we've done so well with, I think that that's part of it, I think that NAIFA has a great foothold they have for many, many years, and my father got me involved. I found many friends in NAIFA, and people that in our state association, you know, I was ahead of has a pretty strong NAIFA group here. We've known each other a long time, we've got a lot of new blood involved. I was over at our Day on the Hill about a month ago. And we had a great showing at I think 30 plus people there and the legislators in Iowa know us, they know that we'll be back. They know that we are asking questions on behalf of our clients. And in that manner, we are very much like them and not that we're elected, but we represent their interests in a similar fashion. And we will go to bat for him because of that. And the products that we use in our recommendations. So NAIFA represents to me that professional association that promotes our industry that promotes our profession. I have done quite a bit of insurance. I think it's been as far as life insurance goes at least a few cases a year but the vast majority of my work is in retirement income plan and annuities in variable plans and investments. But we serve our clients in the ways that they need to be served. If there's an insurance requirement, then we fill that out. If it's another requirement, then then we feel that too. And I think you know, it used to be back to 150 years ago, there was a butcher a baker and a candlestick maker and as a euphemism for we've got we had stockbrokers we had insurance people we had bankers, we hit investment bankers. Now all the lines have been blurred. And one person like myself, I've got five or six securities licenses and long term care and health insurance and life. And I'm so your CFP and you're multifaceted. We no longer have the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker in our industry. We have most stockbrokers have insurance licenses. Most life insurance people have securities licenses. So the lines certainly have been blurred, but I think at the end of the day, it's the NAIFA member who go out and sit at someone's kitchen table. Chris, I'm sure you've done that we'd like to have our clients come into our offices, but some clients can't. And I have clients I've never met in other states. One of my biggest clients was a made off victim. Really, he came to me through another NAIFA member who knew I did a lot in investments in insurance and the annuities. And he was more of an insurance person. And he brought me in on that. And this was 20 boom ever made off was that it was 20 some years ago, 22 years ago. And he was taking income from made off. So he was subject to clawback, he had to pay money back in. But that created an opportunity that we had to we had no idea existed, then we refiled his taxes, he received income, that was Phantom, it wasn't true income, we got a 20 $250,000 tax refund for that client. Because of that. And so, you never know where it takes you. But it's these, it's the other folks in the business, the professionals that I've known in NAIFA are some of the finest people I've ever met, not just within our industry. So you certainly have a profile of a of an average member and, and that's what are our clients. There's a need for that. And they pursue it, just like they pursue simple, the advertising firm, Siegel and Gale as a simplicity index. And they're a division of omnicar. Big huge advertising agency Siegel And Gale is a branding company. And they put together the 10 simplest brands, and there's an index of their stock. And their performance, it's 16 100% higher than our stock averages. People pursue simple, they seek it out and the reward simple as evidenced by that index. So I like to share that I think, we have tons of technical knowledge. And many of us have four year degrees, and even those that don't have to study to make up for that. My father didn't have a four year degree, the volume of books alone that he consumed, to make up for that deficit in his early education. And of course, far exceeded that. I put him up against almost anyone with a four year degree, right? Because that's all education. That's not a specifically about our industry, even a finance degree, you're not equipped coming out of college, to sit down and talk to our clients. And to know what we need to know. Because a lot of its interpersonal skills. It's not being asked to leave. That's the first part. And of course, that would have to be an egregious some kind of reduced behavior to have that happen. But it can be as simple as just, conversation, how do you make conversation with some look around the room and in find something they like, if you're in their home or their office, they're going to have something that they care about. And it's going to be on that shelf or it's going to be obvious, oh, these are your grandkids? Oh. And that's usually all it takes. You know, but we learn those kinds of things and are a lot of the, the professionals out there that are legal or accounting, they don't get that they don't get that kind of an apprentice education from someone that's maybe they're acting in that mentor relationship with someone. If they're following around a CPA, then that person if they've been around a long time, he's probably going to tell this is how we counted step bedside manner. Right. Right. It's so important, the brilliant doctor who can't carry on a conversation. Well, that's the one I want cutting off. Right, right.

Suzanne Carawan 44:45 

Yeah, that's your anesthesiologist. That's right. They don't need to talk to you.

Richard Dobson 44:52 

We understand they have a high degree of education and we have some incompetence. But beyond that, they need more. Yeah. And I think our industry gets that in spades that a lot of times others don't get it at all.

Suzanne Carawan 45:10 

That's a good point. It's not really translated well, and even the mistake I see being made to try to get people come into this industry that I finally learned through watching all of you is you first, are you a people person? Okay, then let's start applying. Let's start with that. Let's start with the intelligence, empathy and logic, because that really is the basis, right? You've got to have the discipline to work hard. But I see so many people like to your point, and they're coming in like, you're like, no, maybe you should go the actuary path, right? Or whatever it means. It's not it's not the finance degree, you can do the equation on arbitrage that's going to do it to really successfully handle clients. It's the servant attitude. Right? And then it's those I love that you've got these communication hacks. I think everybody, a true NAIFA member always improving, always trying to education, just junkies love to get better self-improvement junkies. That's what I call it all of you. Yeah.

Richard Dobson 46:05 

That's right. Well, you know, what I noticed was that in I came to simplicity, because I live early in my career, I was struggling, you know, I thought, Oh, great. Here's a client coming in. I can tell them everything I know. You don't want to know everything I know. They want to know that I'm competent. And then they want me to solve the problem, or help them to increase a comfort level? Or to help a relative. So that's the technical is great. But that isn't how we gain cloths.

Suzanne Carawan 46:43 

circling back to the top your story, you know, the new mother wants to talk about her new baby. That's what they're interested in. 

Richard Dobson 46:51 

Right in this simplicity. And we can't we can't let any self-imposed limitation of our own prevent us from making contact with that person. Right. And not have your own way. Call reluctance cost more than anything.

Chris Gandy 47:10 

Yeah, so very expensive, very expensive behavior.

Richard Dobson 47:14 

Clients are going to call you. If I had a whole room full of brand new people, I say, look, clients aren't going to call you, you got to pick up the phone and call.

Chris Gandy 47:25 

Is a very, very expensive habit. You don't want to you don't want to pick up.

Suzanne Carawan 47:31 

Call reluctance. I love that.

Richard Dobson 47:33 

But that's why I like to hack because with a hack, it's like having a new suit. You want people to see, well, I've got a new hack. I got to try this out. I want to make 20 appointments. I'm going to try this out all week. And so as fun because, and I like to say look, you got to keep it simple, make it memorable, and have fun with it. Those are my three pillars of my platform. So we keep it simple, we make it memorable, and we have fun with it. But the fun is that my investment guys talking to me about tuna fish. A lot of people they're gonna they're gonna say I can't wait to show my neighbor this he thinks he knows so much or whatever. Let your kid take it to show and tell your 12 year old can do this. And so we're taking something that is complicated. And then when the client calls oh, did you see the market drop? Okay, yeah, you know what I'm saying back to him.

Suzanne Carawan 48:29 

Right remember the tuna fish? Right?

Richard Dobson 48:31 

Yeah, that's right. I should be buying when can you tell me?

Chris Gandy 48:33 

Send me some money? Correct. On sale, thank you for reminding me.

Richard Dobson 48:41 

All right.

Suzanne Carawan 48:43 

Considering Yeah, we got to go to the lightning round because

Chris Gandy 48:48 

Okay, so you have to go to the, I was joking today and I was like, this has got to be us.

Richard Dobson 48:59 

Are you in Illinois, Chris. Are you at home or? I'm going to Illinois. So are you in the new in the past?

Chris Gandy 49:08 

Suzanne is in the is in...

Suzanne Carawan 49:11 


Chris Gandy 49:13 

99% is gonna go completely dark over there. So Suzanne stay in the safe side.

Suzanne Carawan 49:18 

Yeah, family shelter in place.

Chris Gandy 49:23 

Shelter in place, right.

Richard Dobson 49:26 

82% here I think we're.

Chris Gandy 49:28 

Yeah, yeah. Scene one scene the ball. Let's, let's move to the lightning round. We're calling it the Eclipse round today because today is the day of the eclipse and that. So, Richard? I don't know if you've watched the podcast if you have it. Then you're required to be on the podcast, you're required to go back and watch every single one of them and give us a cliff note. On the top three, right. But no, the goal of this round is just so people may know you didn't make Will you after this and say, Okay, well what about this guy, but it's a kind of a fun, light hearted round where we get to kind of know you get to know kind of what's important to you and, and have a little bit of fun. Now I will tell you what we'll do this e-comm on a warning sign Suzanne, this has been this the part that people actually get emotional. I don't know why, but it's kind of happened. And because I believe that this is the time where people can just be their truest authentic version of themselves, they can just kind of say, Okay, so here's what I think. Right? And it's like us having just sitting down having a conversation. So with that being said, Richard, we're not going to ask you really hard questions. He just thinks just to kind of get so NAIFA nation gets to know you. So when they see you? Well, first of all, will you be a congressional conference? That will be great. So when you see Richard at congressional conference, go up to him, tell him hi, tell him thank you for his service, and continue to support our fellow NAIFA's members with their their knowledge that they continuously share with everyone. So Richard, I'm asking you some questions. And you're on a Budweiser hot seat, so good. Just answer them the best you possibly can. So I'll give you What's your dad's name?

Richard Dobson 51:13 

Richard Dobson senior.

Chris Gandy 51:15 

Dubson seniors. You knew the answer to that. So with that being said, talk to me a little bit about I know you're not from Chicago, but if you had to choose the Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox, which would you choose?

Richard Dobson 51:30 

On the sell side?

Chris Gandy 51:32 

Okay, so you choose the Sox? So you simple stuff. Okay. So, first question is, if you started in the industry today with AI and all the crazy stuff that's going on the distribution channels changing the insurance world changing and the financial world kind of shrinking? What advice, would you give an advisor starting today?

Richard Dobson 51:58 

I would tell them that all these things that are taking place around you will fall where they may, but your future is sitting across the table. And whatever happens out there. If this is strong, that won't matter.

Good. Richard, your favorite food?

I'm sorry,

Chris Gandy 52:25 

you favorite food?

Richard Dobson 52:28 

I guess I would have to start by saying that five years ago, I was diagnosed celiac. So prior to that I had different foods that I liked. And now that's a gluten. I can't have gluten. And it's an autoimmune disease. I didn't know that. But it causes my body to attack itself when I gluten and so now I'd have to say although we've got these gas stations in Iowa and around the Midwest cold case that you said no, you got them over there. And they make awesome pizza. They sell more pizza than pizza. If you knew that, it's just they sell breakfast.

Suzanne Carawan 53:10 

The Iowans with their breakfast.

Richard Dobson 53:12 

Don't eat pizza for breakfast, but they have a gluten free pizza. And I got to say that it's pretty good. So from gas station pizza, I guess isn't the highbrow answer? Maybe you're looking for.

Chris Gandy 53:27 

We have to try that. We have to try the gas station pizza. It's good. Yeah. NAIFA members are out there listening to you today. What would be from your book series? What would be the one lesson that you hope that they would gain by reading your knowledge through your book?

Richard Dobson 53:48 

We set it briefly but simple cells and simple cells because people aren't as you know, if they don't understand what you're saying. Sometimes that's a strategy. Unscrupulous advisors could use that to confuse someone lead them in down a path that maybe wasn't in their best interests. And so I think that transparency and simplicity are cousins. And if we can get those cousins in the same room, we'll do better with our clients.

Chris Gandy 54:22 

Wonderful. Last couple questions here. Your proudest moment in the financial service business. One moment you're the proudest of you're just like man, I can't believe it.

Richard Dobson 54:33 

I was in this has to do with charity. In 2017, I was president of the MDRT Foundation. And of course the MDRT was spawned from NAIFA. It was a group omelet in 1926. Just a handful 15 or 20 members from naifa said hey, you know we've got such a great practices we should get together form a study group. And from that acorn here both organizations, of course, have been so phenomenal in my life. But I went out and gave a speech on the main platform of the MDRT. For my presidential year as MDRT Foundation President, at that year, we gave away over a million dollars in grants. Today, that same foundation, 1.8 million, it was the things that we were doing then that paved the way so that they could increase that those donations to chair. But also one of my with NAIFA, we got to we sponsored some legislation. That was six years ago. And it was the first time that Iowa NAIFA, had ever sponsored a piece of legislation. It was passed. And it was a project that I had been working on for some time with our with our, our group, our pick and our pack chairs. In ironically enough in 1968, when my father was president of Iowa, at the time, I will live on directors, he formed the PAC, the political action committee as his presidential emphasis that year. And so it's funny that we came full circle. And we actually got some legislation passed at that through the state of Iowa. Can you get a nice object I gave Dad the pan that they gave us from the governor? Would they give away a number of pens and the governor signs their name? Like we're each letter, they have this big pile of pens, so I gave the pen to him.

Chris Gandy 56:51 

Last Last question. You could go back in history. You can go back to history and or today and have dinner with one person and have a conversation. Who would it be and why?

Richard Dobson 57:01 

Maybe it would be the Thinking Grow Rich guy.

Suzanne Carawan 57:11 

And Napoleon Hill.

Richard Dobson 57:12 

Napoleon Hill.

That'd be an interesting dinner. Yeah.

Yeah, that would be an interesting dinner. Because he, you know, he had so much about the positive side effects. And that's a great way to be I don't know any other way to be. So I'd love to have dinner with Napoleon Hill and pick his brain.

Suzanne Carawan 57:34 

Yeah, awesome answer.

Chris Gandy 57:36 

Richard, thank you so much for being on Advisor Today podcast. Suzanne, do you have anything before I close this out?

Suzanne Carawan 57:42 

Everybody have a happy solar eclipse. Yeah, thanks.

Chris Gandy 57:47 

Richard do you have anything else before I Eclipse us out?

Richard Dobson 57:51 

And no, it's Chris. It's great to see you again. And I'll see you soon.

Chris Gandy 57:55 

We'll see you. We'll see all of you, hopefully in DC. And if we don't see you in DC, we'll see you at APEX get signed up for APEX it's going to be a phenomenal roster, where we're going to transcend our knowledge and grow our practices collectively together. So thank you for tuning in to Advisor Today podcast what we heard today about intelligence, empathy, and also logic and tying it all in together, and how to become better not only humans, but also better for us in our work for yourself and your clients. So thank you all for tuning into advisor day podcast. We'll see you in the same week. Next week, same week, same time, same channel, and the eclipse.

Outro 58:42 

Thanks for joining us for NAIFA's Advisor Today podcast series. Make sure to subscribe to get future episodes. And if you're interested in coming on the show, let us know.



AT Podcast Ad
LECP Blog Ad





NAIFA-FSP-LH with tagline - AT blog email ad (300 x 250 px)
2024 Congressional Conference (728 x 89 px)