“My favorite part of the day is sitting down with clients.”Spencer Hall
Steve Hall, Senior Partner of Retirement Planning Services (RPS) in Knoxville, Tennessee, is one of the longest tenured Securities Service Network (SSN) advisors, having joined the firm just two years after its founding in 1983. When Hall decided to go independent, establishing RPS in 1985, he was attracted to SSN and Steve Coffey’s concept of high payouts with no tiers and fixed affiliation fees. Now, over thirty years later, that move was clearly a good one.
Steve now refers to himself as “the old man with gray hair in the room who occasionally nods in agreement,” and has turned over the reins to his managing partner and son, Spencer Hall. “Our practice is a family firm. We really focus on the financial planning process, and in everything that we do we try to help investors connect their wealth with their values. We help families think through their financial future and how they can best use their resources to achieve the goals that they have,” said Spencer.
In 2008, the economy was in the midst of a financial crisis, and Spencer Hall was attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying business. It was then that he began to envision a career like his father’s. “I had always seen my father in the business and talked with him about what he was up to. It wasn’t long after my time at Chapel Hill that I realized I wanted to partner with my father. I think it started to sink in that I would have the opportunity to sit down with clients on a day to day basis and help them achieve their financial goals and live the lives they’ve planned for. I looked forward to researching the different aspects of portfolio management and also having a great deal of flexibility in work/life balance.”
RPS serves about 300 families in the Knoxville area. Steve and Spencer, along with an incredible staff of three, split their days between portfolio management, investment research, and client meetings – sometimes holding as many as 5 in a day. And through an active coaching relationship with SSN’s top advisory firm, AdviceOne, Spencer is focused on developing the practice into an elite firm.
But running a firm doesn’t come without its obstacles. With the nature of relationships changing due to advances in technology, some fear that people are less likely to consult with a professional. The Halls, however, believe that they play a critical role in their clients’ lives, and technology actually increases their ability to focus and connect with their investors.
“My favorite part of the day is sitting down with clients,” said Spencer. “Three years ago, if I had three or four meetings in a day it was typically a 12-14 hour day. With the help of SSN and their advanced technology, I can have six meetings in a day and still be out of the office within 9 hours, which is remarkable. With our team continuing to grow stronger, I can spend more time with clients, see them at greater frequency and connect with them on a deeper level. Having those opportunities, along with aligning our client’s wealth with their values, is what will continue to help us grow and succeed in the financial planning business.”