Everyone seems to want a piece of Michael Kitces, the industry blogger and financial planning research director, and he's very happy to oblige, turning up at conferences, speaking engagements and webinars, stoking his social media presence and writing on his own blog “Nerd’s Eye View.” But now advisors who are part of Pinnacle Advisor Solutions, an outsourcing firm for RIAs, will be granted direct access to Kitces via “office hours.”
“There will be a set time on the calendar on a regular basis where [Pinnacle advisors] can dial in,” said Kitces, research director at Pinnacle. “Kind of like going to the professor’s office in college, the professor will be there during office hours; if you have a question you can come by during office hours and ask the professor whatever you want to ask or whatever you want to talk about. We’re applying that kind of model.”
Probably via conference call or video call, advisors will have the opportunity to ask any questions they have around financial planning.
“Maybe it’s something that they’ve been brainstorming about their business; maybe it’s a planning strategy they’re exploring; maybe it’s a particular client situation that they’re working on that they’re trying to figure out; maybe it’s a prospect client that has a unique situation.”
The offering is part of Pinnacle’s new financial planning dashboard, which will include access to Kitces’ financial planning newsletters and webinars available on Kitces.com as well as online financial planning quizzes that qualify for CE credit. The content has been available to advisors by subscription, but Pinnacle advisors will have access to it for free, in addition to the office hours.
Pinnacle, which has eight advisors on its platform, currently provides investment management, back-office support, marketing, strategic business consulting and succession planning help to independent advisors.
“For the advisor, the two key value propositions are financial planning and investment management,” said Peter McGratty, vice president of strategic partnerships. “And we happened to have Michael Kitces, who’s the guru of financial planning, as a partner in our firm.”
Pinnacle’s goal is to add three to four advisors a year, and to work with a select group of advisors—solo practitioners or small ensembles in particular. Advisors with between $20 million and $300 million in assets are the sweet spot.
Advisors can outsource the actual construction of a financial plan, but that’s not what Pinnacle is doing here.
“What we’re doing is making the technical resources available to them that will support what they’re doing,” McGratty said.
Kitces focuses on advanced financial planning topics, such as long-term care insurance, asset location strategies, the latest tax laws and estate planning.
“The topics right now are focused around asset location because that’s becoming an increasingly important topic as we see the new Medicare tax coming in, the new top capital gains and qualified dividend rates. So where you place investments amongst different types of accounts is becoming increasingly important.”
A lot of his content is currently focused on tax planning, with the onset of new Medicare taxes, new top rates for capital gains and qualified dividends, and new top tax brackets, which all kicked in last year.
“The tax code got a lot more complex in planning especially at moderate to high-net-worth levels and high income levels,” he said.