In A World Podcast – Brandy Branstetter – Beyond Wealth

 

From the Beyond Wealth website – I once read that to find the work you were meant to do, you must satisfy three things: doing something you’re good at, feeling appreciated, and believing your work is making people’s lives better. I can truly say that as a financial planner and co-founder of Beyond Wealth, I have found my calling. My mission as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is to empower my clients to take control of their financial lives by providing the guidance and education they need to make important financial decisions with confidence.

I started my career in finance in 2005 and over the course of the last 14 years have been dedicated to continually learning everything I can about ways to help my clients achieve amazing things with their money. Early in my career, I was discouraged by the lack of engagement with our female clients. I decided I wanted to do something about it! I am passionate about working with female professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs, giving them the opportunity to fully engage with a trusted advisor who is as enthusiastic as they are about achieving their goals. Together with Andrew, we are committed to forging a long-lasting relationship with you and walking with you on your journey toward financial independence.

When I’m not at the office, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Jon, and two kids, Alexa and Ethan. When we are not chauffeuring our children to sports and activities, my husband and I enjoy playing golf and love all forms of live entertainment—anything from rock concerts to Broadway musicals. I’m a major sport junky and especially love watching Oklahoma Sooner football along with our beloved Kanas City Chiefs. My lifelong dream is to live on the beach someday, but until then, I enjoy exploring new vacation destinations with my family whenever we can.

If you’re looking for a wealth advisor in Kansas City who will work collaboratively with you and leaves you excited about the possibilities of your future, I’m your woman! Reach out to me anytime.

https://www.beyond-wealth.com/

 

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-Transcript-

Brad Burrow:
Hello, and welcome to the In a World with Real Media podcast. I’m here with Brandy Branstetter. Brandy, let me just tell you a little bit about how we came to know each other, was through a group that we’re a part of called Introducing Awesome, and Mick, the father of the group, Mick kind of got everybody together and so I met you then. That was probably, what? Two or three years ago? Something like that? I’m trying to remember when. Maybe longer. I don’t know.

Brandy Branstetter:
At least two years ago, but possibly three, so let’s settle on two and a half.

Brad Burrow:
Two and a half. We’ll call it that. And I really liked that group. It was a great group of people, and we’ve all kind of stayed in touch and get together on Christmas and stuff like that, but really a neat deal where we would help each other. You know, as a small business person, you probably know that, I know I always need help. I’m happy to get help from other people if I can learn lessons from them and learn how to do something better. I’m all in.

Brandy Branstetter:
Exactly.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, so I wanted to have you on the podcast, and I’m really intrigued by some of the things that you do specifically, but you’re in a market that’s pretty… There’s a lot of competitors, and even people in our Introducing Awesome group, competitors.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yep.

Brad Burrow:
And I always wondered, that’s such a hard thing, but again, the market’s there probably that you can really grow, so tell me a little bit. How’d you get started? Are you from Gardener? Is that correct originally?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, yeah. I grew up around here.

Brad Burrow:
Okay, so you grew up in the Kansas City area. Tell me a little bit about your life before business. You ended up going to Tulsa, is that correct?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, so I grew up, born and raised in Gardener, and then-

Brad Burrow:
Back when it wasn’t very big probably.

Brandy Branstetter:
Back when it was tiny, and now I venture back that way, or if people hear that I’m from Gardener, they’re like, “Oh, do you know so-and-so? Or did you go to this?” And there’s 15 schools, and it’s crazy. It’s crazy how it’s exploded. So, no, after high school I went to the University of Tulsa, and so I was down in Tulsa hanging out, going to college down there. Always knew that I wanted to do something in finance, which is really odd for a high school kid.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, tell me about it. How did you know that? I mean, just who knows that? When I was in high school I had no idea. I wanted to play in a band full-time.

Brandy Branstetter:
Well, that’s kind of a cool thing to do, too.

Brad Burrow:
Well, it is when you’re in high school, but kind of hard to make a career out of that. But you knew you wanted to be a financial planner.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, maybe not a financial planner. I don’t know that I knew the exact route I was going to take at that point, but I had taken some accounting and bookkeeping classes in high school, and I was part of this really small group of people who took a lot of the business classes, and future business leaders of America. Hey, that worked out. Right. And a lot of things in that aspect, so when I went to college, I definitely wanted to do finance, and then as I was in college and kind of learning all the different things about finance and accounting, the investment side of things was really, really interesting to me. And so, early on in college, I had this idea that, “Well, maybe I would go to New York and be a Wall Street trader.” I had no intentions of staying in the Midwest, you know? I was a young girl with-

Brad Burrow:
So, that was your ticket out of the Midwest?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah. I had ambitions. I was going to go do things.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Brandy Branstetter:
You know, and then graduated, ended up staying in Tulsa for a few more years after that. Got some experience kind of in banking, and just all the things that you can do in finance. Definitely realized that I didn’t have any intentions of leaving the Midwest, and so at that point, I had met my husband at the time, and we-

Brad Burrow:
In Tulsa?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, yeah.

Brad Burrow:
Oh, okay.

Brandy Branstetter:
In Tulsa, so it’s a funny story. I was waiting tables at a restaurant my senior year of college, and my now husband was actually my new manager at the restaurant that we had started working at together, and so that’s how we ended up meeting in the restaurant world.

Brad Burrow:
So, what was the restaurant? I got to know what that is.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, it was called Johnny Carino’s, it was a little chain Italian restaurant.

Brad Burrow:
Oh, okay.

Brandy Branstetter:
But that was fun, because he’s kept his career in food service and the restaurant world. He actually just this weekend was inaugurated as the president of the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association here.

Brad Burrow:
Wow. Awesome.

Brandy Branstetter:
Here in town, so he’s kept on that track. I, after college, was like, “I’m not waiting tables anymore. I’ve got my degree, I’m going to do finance, and I’m going to go get a big girl job.” So, that’s kind of what happened, and then just through the course of putting feelers out there, and I spent a little time working in the banking world and realized that that was not at all anything that I was interested in doing.

Brad Burrow:
Why? Why didn’t you like that? I’m just curious.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, it was definitely a sales role, and so as you’re well aware in owning a business now, so much of business is sales, but I don’t think when we get into business we realize that in order to do the thing that we really, really love to do, we also have to be good at sharing what we do with the world, so they come and buy our services, or our products, or whatever it is we’re offering.

Brad Burrow:
I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re starting a business. They don’t realize that they have to go out and sell something.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah. Even if it’s just yourself.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Brandy Branstetter:
I mean, and so I think that was kind of my first job in the banking world. I was a personal banker, and I just didn’t like having to pick the phone up and try to get people to open a checking account, or apply for this credit card. It really didn’t seem like the best use of my talents at the time, nor was it anything that I was really interested in. I was young, and 22, and it’s hard to do financial sales when you’re a young person right out of college.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, and relate with people, and get them to listen to you. Yeah, all of that. But you still do that probably some, right?

Brandy Branstetter:
Oh, absolutely. Sales is a huge part of my job now, but it just kind of… I had to take a different track to get here.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. So, you went from, that was Chase Bank. I’m just looking at your LinkedIn profile, by the way, so Chase Bank, and you’ve been MetLife for a while. I mean, all those experiences probably help you a lot now in what you do now, I would imagine. Right?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, so absolutely. I think the journey that I took to get where I’m at is so important into why I feel so confident in what it is that I do for a living, so after I left the bank, it was interesting. A gal that I worked with at the bank at that time went to go work for a financial advisor, and she was going to run the operations, and she was like, “Hey, Brandy, come along with me. This’ll be a great experience. Maybe you’ll learn a little bit more about this side of things on the financial planning and investment side of the world.” Because she’d known that I had kind of expressed an interest in that.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, I went and I did that with her for a little bit, and to tell you the truth, it was not a great work environment, and I vowed after working there for a year I was never going to work as a financial advisor. I was never going to work in the financial advising industry, just because of this experience that I had. Yeah, so that’s what led me over to MetLife, because I liked what I did. I at that point was helping this financial advisor understand the insurance annuities and life insurance and things like that that they were selling to their customers at that time, and so I enjoyed that. I learned about that. I really thought that it was interesting the way those products worked at that time, so I went and got a job at MetLife advising advisors on how to offer those products to their clients.

Brad Burrow:
Do you look back at your career? We don’t need to go through every step of what you’ve done, but the thing I think is really interesting is that the experiences that we have shape us for things that are going to happen to us later in life. So, now you look at where you are now, do you look at MetLife as something that differentiates you in a very crowded market a little bit? Or I’m just curious if some of those things helped you develop into the direction that you’ve gone.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, absolutely. I think if you can continually be learning along the way in every single job that you do, you learn, and really be open minded, and learn through the experience. Not just kind of drink the corporate Kool-Aid of what they say, “Here’s what we think.” And just turn around and regurgitate that. But just really kind of think through things, think through the process. I bring that up with the MetLife thing and the annuities and stuff like that. I got such a great education on how those products worked that now I can confidently advise clients on why they might not be the best products for them, or why they would be, and as a registered investment advisor, I earn no commission. I don’t even sell those products anymore.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Yeah.

Brandy Branstetter:
And that’s not something we do, but it was interesting to go through that process, because I feel like I’m a true subject matter expert on it, and can definitely understand the pros and cons, and the reasons why it would work, versus the reasons why it wouldn’t, instead of just being a salesperson maybe, and just regurgitating the pros.

Brad Burrow:
Is that unique in your industry? Your background in that are? Or are there other people like you that do know what the real deal is, I guess, in those areas?

Brandy Branstetter:
Man, Brad, it’s really, really hard to say, and I think probably the reason why is because there’s so many different, there’s so many financial advisors out there, right?

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Brandy Branstetter:
But we’re all very different in what it is that we do, and I think it’s interesting, and this industry is the only industry where we all call ourselves the same things, but we might do… There’s 10 different kinds of financial advisors that you can have. So, I know our industry’s working on trying to figure out how to regulate that. We’ve been going through a lot of things right now, but to be the kind of advisor I am, I learned along the way kind of having my hand in all the different pieces of it. And there’s so many people that get into this business, and maybe they only do insurance, and that’s the thing that they like to do, or they only sell mutual funds, and that’s the thing that they like to do, or maybe they work for a firm that has one philosophy on how to do things, and just because that’s the way they’ve been taught, that’s the way they continue to do things all the time.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Tell me about Beyond Wealth, okay? So, you’ve recently merged your previous firm with another firm, correct? Tell me if I’m saying that right.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, yeah. So, I’ll just kind of explain, since the beginning of how this happened is that just in 2017, another solo financial adviser practitioner and I have been part of a peer-advisory group with one another for a while, and just we were both solo practitioners, both had our own businesses. He’s very, very smart on the investment side of things. Came from the institutional asset management world. I had had this experience going through and working with retail clients, face-to-face financial plans, everyday people like you and me.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, it was just interesting as we were both getting to a point in our individual practices where we were growing quickly, and just realizing the need to find help, find support, and we were leaning on each other as a resource, but not in an official manner whatsoever, so it was in 2017 that we decided, “Okay, how are we going to try to figure out how to work together?” I’m a certified financial planning professional. He’s a certified financial analyst, so our strengths and skills really complement one and other, so we were wondering, how do we make this happen? And so, from 2017 until just a few months ago, we took a two-year time period to really, really figure out how we were going to merge our practices into one practice, and really get our processes, get our target client, who do we really love working with, how are we going to help these people, and how are we going to be the best at helping these specific individuals in our area?

Brandy Branstetter:
And that is where Beyond Wealth came from, and the creation of that company, where we kicked off the new name and new logo and all that fun stuff just in November of 2019.

Brad Burrow:
So, just a few months ago, really.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
And taking two years to figure that out, that’s unique. You don’t see that happen that often, I wouldn’t think. I don’t know if your industry makes that easier to do that, but I don’t know too many startups that you could call a startup that can take two months to figure out target audience, processes, how are we going to sell, how are we going to work together. That’s pretty cool that you were able to take that much time.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, so I think it’s unique in that we did take as much time as we did in order to make sure that we were vetting out exactly how this was going to work, because I don’t think either one of us were interested in rushing into a relationship in the business, and then figuring out it wasn’t going to work.

Brad Burrow:
That’s the worst. I’ve gone through that.

Brandy Branstetter:
It is! So, it’s funny. I equate it to people, when people tell me, I’m like, “Well, this business was a lot like a personal relationship.” We kind of dated for a little bit, quote unquote, where we were getting to know each other and figure those things out, and then we moved in together, we were sharing office space, sharing ideas, sharing resources, and we did that for a while, and then we officially, quote unquote, got married by signing our operating agreement just a few months ago and then here we are.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, in that aspect, I feel like it really makes sense to do it that way, but I think a lot of the times business owners, we get a really good idea, or we’re entrepreneurial spirited, and so we’re really quick to move fast, move fast, move fast, and sometimes it doesn’t work out. And so, I’m glad we took our time. We vetted out a lot of the hard things right there in the very beginning of our working relationship, and now it’s just smooth sailing and we’re ready to move forward.

Brad Burrow:
So, I wanted to ask you a few things. I wanted to talk about what you do a little bit more, and how can somebody engage with you? I guess that’s not really my question. It’s like somebody like me, as an example, I’ve owned my business for 20 years. I’ve put everything I have back into the business, and I haven’t really even… Investing or planning has never been something that’s been on my radar. It’s all been how can I grow this business, what resources do I need to put back into the business to grow it, whether it’s equipment, whatever it might be, and it’s just in the last probably few years that we’ve had really great years that we could do some things with. And I’m mid-50s, maybe a little past there, and I’m thinking, “Okay, I need to be thinking about retirement now.” But is it too late?

Brandy Branstetter:
You know what, Brad? It’s never too late to start. Everybody’s situation, and ideas, and what they want to have for themselves is unique, and so I think in creating Beyond Wealth, what we were really striving for is we’re doing things a little different than a lot of financial advisors out there, and the reason why is because we are really, really focusing on working with these clients that are probably in 30 to 50-year-old age range, and trying to get them started on a path towards financial independence, and just even thinking about financial planning, and thinking about how things are going to work out for themselves significantly earlier than the majority of people really do start working with a financial advisor.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, in a lot of my experience in the past, and with a lot of financial planning companies out there, their target client is somebody who’s probably late-50s, early-60s, maybe they’re getting ready to retire or they’ve retired, and so their demographic of clientele is significantly older than the people that we work with.

Brad Burrow:
But you can’t do anything at that point. I mean as much, yeah-

Brandy Branstetter:
What’s done is-

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, right?

Brandy Branstetter:
What’s done is done, and I think it’s a tragedy that our industry is geared towards that, because it’s the way that financial advisors are able to get paid on the work that they do. So many advisors out there will only advise their clients based off of charging them fees for managing their investments, so how do we help people who maybe aren’t in a place where they’ve accumulated a million dollars of investment assets, that truly need financial planning, and can get to that million-dollar mark significantly faster than if they were to try to figure it out and do it on their own, and then turn 60 and say, “All right, I’m ready to hire a financial advisor because now I’ve got some money, and now let’s work on some strategies for retirement.”

Brad Burrow:
You’re exactly right, so what, how do you solve that problem?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, so what we’ve done is we’ve really focused on being so clear with our clients that there are two very specific services that we offer. The first one is investment management. We love managing investments for our clients, but we understand that where a lot of our clients are at, whether they’re mid-career professionals, or they’re business owners, or what have you, the majority of their assets are tied up probably in their corporate retirement plans as they probably should be. Those are the easiest vehicles people have available to them to start saving and accumulating money for retirement.

Brad Burrow:
Right.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, things outside of that, though, that we can help them manage, and while we put together these stellar investment portfolio strategies for our clients, that’s one way we can help them, and that’s one way we can get paid for our service. But the other part that not a lot of people are doing, and there’s a big trend in our industry kind of shifting towards this, so I’m happy to be a part of it, is that we charge for financial planning services. And financial planning services is working with somebody on all aspects of their financial life, from everything to cashflow and budgeting, to tax planning strategies, how to save efficiently, how to help them set goals for themselves and their families.

Brandy Branstetter:
Like I said, a lot of our clients are probably younger, maybe in their 20s and 30s. They got a long time before they’re worried about making sure they have enough saved for retirement, so it’s what else do you want to do? What do you want your life to look like? And how do we use money to make sure that you’re giving yourself the opportunity to live the life that you want to live?

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, so that’s really amazing. I wish I would have had that when I was 20, 25 years old, you know? Even saving a little bit of money.

Brandy Branstetter:
Right, right.

Brad Burrow:
There were no programs out there at all for somebody like that to really learn how to build wealth. How to save money. What that could turn into, I guess you could say. Yeah, we had nothing like that.

Brandy Branstetter:
Right.

Brad Burrow:
I don’t remember having it, anyway.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, I mean it’s hard to come by, because I’ll tell you, it’s a lot of work to sit down with somebody and go through all of their finances. And I’ll tell you, sometimes there’s a big barrier for clients to want to go through that process, because finances can be embarrassing sometimes. You know, all of us feel like we should have, would have, could have done things a lot better, right?

Brad Burrow:
That is true. Yeah.

Brandy Branstetter:
Right? And so, sometimes it’s hard for people to want to come in and have to lay it all out there, and trust somebody like me enough to make sure that they don’t feel like they’re being judged for past actions, or mistakes, or things they did or didn’t do. And one thing I try to always explain to clients is it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, because there’s nothing we can do to fix it, right? All we can do is focus on today and move forward in the right direction in order to make things better.

Brad Burrow:
I would think trust has got to be the hardest thing for you to build. I mean, once you have somebody’s trust, and they… Yes, I can share the situation with you now. That’s got to be the skillset that you have to have.

Brandy Branstetter:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And that’s why I think maybe it takes a long time for people to even get up enough courage to want to even hire a financial professional, let alone go through the vetting process and making sure that they’re working with the person that they truly trust, that is looking at things on a comprehensive basis, they’re looking at everything for them. Not just somebody who’s going to help them open up their Roth IRA and invest those funds, because that is important, but that is only just a small piece of your overall financial picture.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. You want to be there through the whole process, right? You want to be top of mind.

Brandy Branstetter:
Oh, yeah.

Brad Burrow:
So, that’s got to be a challenge from a marketing standpoint, right? How do I stay top of mind with a 25-year-old all the way through their career, potentially?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, absolutely. I will say that by engaging clients in the financial planning process, I love to say clients are sticky. Once they’ve already been through this process with me, there’s no reason really to go and have somebody else go through the same process again. So, I’ll say one of our biggest, one of our favorite things is like when a client gets a big bonus at work, and they immediately call us and say, “I got this big check! What am I supposed to do with it?” You know? Or they call us from the car dealership lot, “Hey, does this sound like a good interest rate on this car? Because you know, we’ve talked about buying a new car, or should I take the cash discount, maybe pay a higher interest rate?” These are the things that we love that our clients rely on us, because sometimes it’s about crunching the numbers, and not everybody loves to do that, but luckily we do.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. A lot of education that needs to happen, isn’t there? We don’t know a lot of things.

Brandy Branstetter:
A lot of education, and not everybody should have to know all these things. We work with a lot of really, really smart people. Doctors, lawyers, business owners, top salespeople, CEOs, they’re great at their jobs. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they know every single thing that there is to know about personal financial management. There’s a lot to keep up with.

Brad Burrow:
One of the things that I wanted to ask you about, we’re in a very unique time right now. You look at the stock market, what’s happening with the stock market, it fluctuates so much. Up 500, down 600, and it’s still kind of trending upwards. What do you say to people when they say, “Oh my gosh! The stock market just went down 500 points. What do I do? What do I do?” Do you get asked those questions a lot?

Brandy Branstetter:
Well, I will say because the majority of our focus is on an entire comprehensive financial plan, that our clients aren’t focused on the daily volatility or fluctuation of their investment portfolio.

Brad Burrow:
I see. Yeah.

Brandy Branstetter:
Because what we do is we go through and we make sure that they have the education they need to understand the back testing, the probability testing, all these scenarios that we’re throwing in to make sure that their financial plan is really going to work out for them, and none of it has to do with, “Well, if the Dow goes down by 500 points, then that means we have to change everything.” No. We just stick to the same strategy. As long as they’re saving what they know that they need to be saving, and they’re making the right steps towards what it is they need to be doing, it kind of alleviates a lot of that stress that maybe somebody who doesn’t have the plan, doesn’t have the roadmap in front of them, and all they see is their accounts fluctuating on a daily basis, might have a lot more anxiety over how is this going to affect me? How do I turn this money that’s going up and down every single day into a solid retirement income stream for myself in the future?

Brandy Branstetter:
And so, a lot of it just comes from education, and understanding kind of what the end goal is.

Brad Burrow:
Boy, you could be stressed out watching the stock market these days. I mean, it’s just crazy.

Brandy Branstetter:
It can. It can be stressful.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Well, I want to kind of shift gears just a little bit and talk about one of the niches that you work in.

Brandy Branstetter:
Okay.

Brad Burrow:
So, we have a friend, we won’t mention names, that I referred to you, that went through a divorce, and you kind of have a niche of working with divorcees, right? Is that correct in saying that right?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah, that is correct, so it inadvertently happened, so I’m really, really passionate about working with successful women. I love it. It’s really empowering to see women feeling confident about the financial decisions and choices that they’re making in life. I’m working with a lot of women who are either the breadwinner or their family, or maybe they’re the main financial decision maker in their family, but inadvertently a lot of women, as men do, but a lot of women start to seek out advice as they’re going through the divorce process. So, after a lot of reps, yeah, that is a specialty of mine. That’s a niche of these people that I’m working with, because there’s a lot of different things. There’s a lot of interesting things in the tax code that you need to know when you’re getting divorced, and just a lot of things that these women who are going through a divorce need to know so they can stand up for themselves as well, too, as they’re going through the divorce process in making sure that they’re getting what it is that they need going through this traumatic time in their lives.

Brad Burrow:
Can you talk about any of those things? I mean, I think it’s great. I think it’s awesome that there’s a resource that somebody can go to and learn things that they don’t know about their situation. I bet there’s a lot of peace in just knowing that the way you think it is might be different than the way it actually is.

Brandy Branstetter:
Absolutely. I’ll say a couple things that come up that are really, really important for a lot of these women are they’re going through a divorce is if you’re not used to managing the family household finances, if you’re not on a budget, if you’re not the one paying the bills, and you’re going through a divorce, to try to figure out what your maintenance support payment should be, what your child support payment should be, and the judge is asking you to fill out all of these budgets and financial information, I find that the majority of the time, the women sell themselves short. And they say, “Oh, well, it only costs $100 a month to do this,” and it might be a lot more than that.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, really what I do is I kind of help them go through the process of starting from the very beginning. Understanding what kind of, what money do you need to live your current lifestyle, and that doesn’t include probably saving and all the things that they should be doing, but just making sure that they’re going into negotiations with their soon-to-be-ex spouse with a clear expectation of what it is that they have to have just to live their everyday life. Just like you’d go into a job interview, right? You’d go into a job interview, you wouldn’t accept a salary just because that’s what the first offer is if it was $20,000 less than what you need to even pay your bills every month.

Brandy Branstetter:
And so, without that information and that knowledge, is a lot of the times through the divorce negotiations, once it’s done, it’s done. And that’s another thing that I try to make sure that these women understand and are very clear about, is that just because you’re going through divorce negotiations, and it is what it is, and you settle on a payment, a lot of the times they say, “Well, but he said as long as we sign this that says he’ll give me 2,000 a month, he told me that he would actually probably give me more, give me this.” But I’m like, “If it’s not in writing.”

Brad Burrow:
Not going to happen, is it?

Brandy Branstetter:
It might happen, but-

Brad Burrow:
Probably not though, huh?

Brandy Branstetter:
But I try to make sure that they understand in 10 years from now, what if you guys are both remarried? What if you both have families? It’s hard for us to even know what our life’s going to look like six months from now, let alone 10 years from now. Are we really going to be able to honor those same promises when our lives are completely different and things have completely changed? Probably not. That’s why we get a judge involved. That’s why we go through the negotiation and sign the agreements, have them done, so you can separate yourself and go live your own life, right?

Brad Burrow:
Do you find light bulbs coming on in some of those conversations, like, “Really? This? This?” Seems like that would happen.

Brandy Branstetter:
A lot of that, and a lot of I didn’t even know to think about that. Those are kind of the things that happen.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, right.

Brandy Branstetter:
I didn’t even know to ask about that. There’s been a huge, significant change in our tax law as of late that people going through divorce, before when they were getting maintenance support payments, it was tax deductible to the payor, and then the divorcee, the person receiving was going to have to pay taxes on that like income. Just last year the new tax law flip flopped and it changed to now where people receiving the income don’t have to pay taxes on it, so with the tax calculation, we might be able to get more or less. They don’t even know to ask for, “Wait, I have to pay taxes on this.” Or, “I need more money, then, because once taxes come out it’s not enough for me to live on.”

Brad Burrow:
It’s a big net difference, potentially.

Brandy Branstetter:
It’s a huge difference, for sure.

Brad Burrow:
So, you have to figure that in. Knowing their tax situation’s probably different for each person, right?

Brandy Branstetter:
Absolutely.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. We wouldn’t think about things like that. We think about life.

Brandy Branstetter:
Right. Well, and you go from a two-person household, and then you go to two people living in two separate places. Well, that’s double rent, double utilities, double things that maybe the monthly budget doesn’t stretch as far as it used to.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. All right, so let’s switch gears again. Want to talk a little bit about family.

Brandy Branstetter:
Okay. Great.

Brad Burrow:
Because obviously you and your husband are both professionals, both have careers, you have kids. Beautiful kids.

Brandy Branstetter:
Absolutely.

Brad Burrow:
We see them on Facebook. And you’re juggling a lot. I mean, how do you do that? What advice would you give to people listening to the podcast about how you guys approach that aspect of your life? And of course, you got to tell us about your kids.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah. Well, so I would say right now, I have a nine-year-old daughter, her name’s Alexa, and I have a five-year-old son named Ethan who will be starting kindergarten this fall, so we’re very excited to get out of the preschool world. But I would just say really, having a supportive spouse is 100% the reason why both of us can be successful in our career and be successful at home. It truly is 50/50 responsibility sharing when it comes to the family, and I will give my husband credit. It’s probably more 70/30, 70 him, 30 me. He’s an awesome, he’s a super dad, he’s a super husband. So, it’s just having the ability to communicate with one another. We don’t have a set who picks kids up from school every day, who drops them off, it’s every day is he’s going to an event this evening, so I’m going to make sure that I get home and get dinner ready, but then when I have to be late, he’s doing that.

Brad Burrow:
Which is a big part of your job, right? I mean, networking, and-

Brandy Branstetter:
Absolutely.

Brad Burrow:
You have to be out around people, talking, I mean that’s got to be marketing 101 for you.

Brandy Branstetter:
It is. Yeah. Being out and about. So, just having that support, and having that open communication, and just really being on a team with one another, knowing that we’re both all-in to make sure that we’re supporting all the efforts that either one of us need to be successful in our career.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, that’s awesome. So, tell me about the future. I want to talk generally about the future of financial planning. What do you see out there? How is it going to change? Have you thought about that at all? Even from a business model standpoint, five years from now, how do we engage with you? How are things different?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah. I’ll say just even from the industry perspective of things, I’ve been really, really excited. There’s a huge group called the XY Planning Network. XY Planning Network stands for Generation X, Generation Y. It’s an entire association of financial advisors around the country who are looking to shake things up in the financial advising industry. Where we’re really trying to focus on how do we really set up that next generation, Generation X, Generation Y, in being successful? And then from a business model perspective, how do we best serve them? And really, they’re kind of the pioneers of offering fee-for-planning service payments, being available for my clients to be able to pay me on a monthly basis for their annual planning fee, and really making it to where financial planning isn’t just for people who are already wealthy, but making it accessible to people who want to learn the right way to become extremely wealthy and probably before they would if they were left to their own devices to try to figure it out on their own.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. So, learning how to work with those generations is completely different, right?

Brandy Branstetter:
Absolutely.

Brad Burrow:
They learn differently. They don’t read. Most of them don’t read as much as the older generation does. You better be able to connect with them on a phone.

Brandy Branstetter:
Absolutely. Technology is a huge piece of the things that are I think just streamlining all businesses and all industries, but especially for us. Being able to communicate with our clients via our app, where all their financial information is on one app, in one place, really makes it nice to be able to do that. Even scheduling meetings, using virtual meetings, programs like Zoom to do video conferences, because a lot of the people that we’re working with are working full-time, or they’re running businesses, and they’ve got families at home, and they can’t take off in the middle of the day and come into the office for a meeting.

Brandy Branstetter:
So, being able to utilize technology in that front to work with a lot more people, and also work with people who aren’t necessarily just local to Kansas City, so my partner and I both went to the University of Tulsa, and so we-

Brad Burrow:
Is that right?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah!

Brad Burrow:
How did that happen? Did you know each other back then?

Brandy Branstetter:
We didn’t know each other back then.

Brad Burrow:
That’s crazy.

Brandy Branstetter:
It’s so crazy, but that is actually the reason how we met, is because when he was starting this peer advisory group through LinkedIn, saw that we had both attended the same university, we were both in the same field, and so that’s how I got invited to the advisory group in the first place.

Brad Burrow:
It was fate.

Brandy Branstetter:
It was fate. It was meant to happen.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah.

Brandy Branstetter:
But yeah, just we work with a lot of people all through the Midwest. We have a lot of clients out in California that makes it possible just with technology, and being able to communicate.

Brad Burrow:
More than ever before, right? I mean-

Brandy Branstetter:
Absolutely.

Brad Burrow:
There’s no barriers now. You can work with anybody, anywhere in the world almost probably now.

Brandy Branstetter:
Right. Right. It’s so true. It’s so true.

Brad Burrow:
So, embracing that, is that part of your plan from a marketing standpoint, is we really need to embrace technology, really become good at connecting, communicating, all of those things? I would think that’s probably not happening with a lot of your competitors.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah. Embracing technology is absolutely important, and that is a strategy for growth. But to tell you the truth, there’s so many people out there that need the help that we provide, that it’s just relying on our friends, family, colleagues, current clients to be our biggest resource for getting the word out. The best new client is always a referral from a current client, or someone like you, Brad, who’s gotten to taken the time to get to know me, get to know my business, get to know how we really work for our clients, because it’s one thing to say you care about people, and that you say you’re going to do these things, but to have that experience to share, that’s a really, really important thing.

Brandy Branstetter:
And so, we’re really lucky that we love to market, we love to educate, and that’s how we do our marketing is through a lot of education, a lot of just going out and meeting people, talking about what we do and how it is a little bit different, but we have to rely on the people that know us the best and have been through the process to really share those experiences with others. And it’s worked for us so far.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. A referral and a testimonial are so powerful. I mean, you can’t really pay for that kind of marketing.

Brandy Branstetter:
You can’t.

Brad Burrow:
You know, “This person helped me so much, and they did so much for me, and we’ve had this result from it. You need to talk to him.” Well, if I like you, why wouldn’t I?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
You know? I’ve always thought how can we incentivize people to do that more? What can we do to really, “Hey, go out and tell people about us.”

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s probably the hardest nut to crack, is just figuring out how do you build a strategy around that without being annoying and telling people, “Hey, go tell people about me.” Right?

Brad Burrow:
There are annoying people in the industry, too.

Brandy Branstetter:
There are. There are. You know what, Brad? It’s like every industry. There are really great people that do really great work, and there are just as many people who don’t do well for them, and it’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. All right, so I want to close up, but tell me how do we engage? How can we engage with you? You know, if somebody’s hearing the podcast and they say, “I need to talk to Brandy. I need some help.” What do we do?

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah. Well, we would love for you to go and check out our website. It’s www.beyond-wealth.com. And on that website, you can learn all about all the services it is that we offer. You can really get to know the type of clientele that we work with and how we can work with them, and through our website you can book a discovery call right there on my calendar, or you can email me directly. It’s on the website, as well. You can just click through and it’ll come right through. And get in touch with us, and we love to just sit down and have a quick 30-minute phone call and just see what it is you’re trying to accomplish, and if it’s a great fit for us, and how we might be able to help you through that process.

Brad Burrow:
So, what kind of information would they need to have for that call? That’s the question I would have. Obviously, discovery call, you’re going to want to know their financial situation, but do they need to have documentation of things, or is it more just kind of 30,000-foot discussion?

Brandy Branstetter:
It absolutely is. I’ll tell you. It’s a lot more casual than probably a customer intake form would be, so really what I’m going to do is I’m going to get a little bit of information about them and their family, and really just try to dive into what made them want to reach out to a financial planner and why now, because a lot of the times in our industry, there’s something. There’s something going on.

Brad Burrow:
An event that happened or something.

Brandy Branstetter:
Or they’ve been meaning to do it for a long time and maybe they heard this podcast, or they’re really focusing on trying to get out of debt this year, and so they need some professional help to help them figure out how to make that happen for them. And so, a lot of it is just that one thing. What’s that one thing? And then we kind of branch out from there as to what are all these other things that we could also be helping you do? Or help you focus on, or what are these other goals and things that you want to achieve for yourself, your family, your life, and figure out a path forward on that.

Brad Burrow:
It’s got to be the last thing. It’s got to be, feel pretty good to help people achieve goals like that, right? I mean, that’s got to be fulfilling.

Brandy Branstetter:
I love it! I’ll say that Andrew and I’s favorite part of our job is celebrating successes with our client, and so, I mean truly celebrating successes, so when somebody pays something off, or they get a raise at work. I mean, we are just as excited and enthusiastic for them as they probably are for themselves, because we get to watch them kind of grow and blossom through all of this.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah. Like your family, almost.

Brandy Branstetter:
Yeah.

Brad Burrow:
Pretty cool.

Brandy Branstetter:
It’s awesome.

Brad Burrow:
Well, thank you so much, Brandy, for being on here. This is awesome. I feel like I’m going to go click on the little calendar thing. I need to get one of my discovery calls, on one of your discoveries. So, awesome information. Feel free to… We’ll have contact information on the podcast page if that’s okay.

Brandy Branstetter:
Sounds good. That’s perfect.

Brad Burrow:
Yeah, so people can contact you. Oh, you know we can’t end without having you do the In a World with Real Media.

Brandy Branstetter:
This is the In a World with Real Media podcast. I don’t-

Brad Burrow:
That might be one of the best ones ever!

Brandy Branstetter:
I don’t think I did it well. Not as good as the movie voice Brad.

Brad Burrow:
I like it, though. I like it. So, thank you for being on. If you’re listening, please feel free to subscribe, share it with people, share it with people that might need this information. We want this to help people, so thank you for listening and we’ll see you next time.

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