“When I left the wirehouse, I lost 80% of my largest clients. 80%! But my second paycheck was the second largest I had ever received in the business – even with losing those large accounts – so I never looked back.”Rick Phillips
According to Rick Phillips, the move from cold calling to long term relationship building has not delayed the sense of satisfaction from helping clients build security through proper planning. “That allows me to continue to do what I do and wake up in the morning to dive in with both feet. It’s extremely rewarding,” Rick says.
It was a very different type of reward that led Rick to the financial services industry. As a child, he was attracted by the image of Wall Street projected by television advertisements. “They showed a stock broker getting out of a helicopter on his gigantic cell phone, and I said, ‘Man, if you can make that kind of money, that is what I want to do.” When, at the age of 16, Rick won a stock picking competition at his high school, his observation seemed prophetic.
After graduating from college, Phillips started at a brokerage firm making 375 calls a day with a goal of generating 10 leads and opening 3 new accounts per week. “But the problem with that is you were fully transaction oriented,” Rick observes. “They were very focused on production, commissions, and pushing proprietary product. I did not particularly care for that.”
So, in 1995, Rick and his partner decided to go independent. With a $7,000 loan from his mom, they rented office space and launched their practice with a focus on more holistic planning and investment management for clients with whom they could build long term relationships. “When I left the wirehouse, I lost 80% of my largest clients. 80%! But my second paycheck was the second largest I had ever received in the business – even with losing those large accounts – so I never looked back.” And his mom was paid back in three months.
Now, twenty years later, Evesham Asset Management, is a hybrid Registered Investment Advisory firm, registered with SSN and managing a total of four licensed reps and three assistants. In addition, there is an employee benefits division which generates a diverse income stream and a number of their mass affluent planning clients. The goal for the firm is slow and steady growth, and one of the important strategies toward that end is the use of additional technology.
“I am starting to use technology more and more for portfolio allocation, trading, research…everything. SSN provides the technology that we can embrace as a time saving and money saving tool. eSignature, for example – look at the paper that it saves, the postage that it saves, the overnight expense that it saves, the time assistants have to spend on the computer. Technology has meant instantaneous savings to our practice with eSignature and everything else that is coming. I think it’s a game changer.”
But make no mistake, Rick remains devoted to this as a people business, and technology is a tool that frees time to pursue the human interaction that makes the career so rewarding. He and his partner give a great deal of their time, talents, and assets to the community. “I believe it is extremely important to help those who may not be able to help themselves at this particular point in time.”
Background image courtesy of Mike Peters, Montclair State University