Interview with a full services planning firm Walnut Hill Advisors

Author: Peter Matasek

Estimated read time: 3 minutes

Publication date: 14th Apr 2020 14:23 GMT+1

Can you explain what Walnut Hill Advisors, LLC is doing and its mission?

We are a full services planning and service firm for a small number of families, and we like it that way. We serve 21 families and are looking to add 5 family clients this year. 


Can you give an example of who your customer is?

Our client decision maker is typically a sandwich generation client with parents and kids to think about. They are typically the go to financial resource in their family, tend to be very busy and fit well with us as they delegate day to day financial decisions to our team. 


How many people work with you?

I have one assistant and a core team of 6 deliverables subject matter experts. And an extended deliverables team of another 8-10 pros. 


The labor market has been difficult to find qualified people lately, do you have this problem?

We are not currently hiring.


What markets do you do best?

Our core is financial planning. We have money management experts on our team that do a great job creating client portfolios. 


What's the latest trend in your segment?

Subscription fee models. Though I think another trend will be a return to more active money management. 


If someone wants to start a business in your industry right now, what advice you would give him?

Work for a well-run advisory firm first, to learn operations, marketing, service, team building etc. Then start your own firm if you don't have a partnership track open to you. 


What is your business inspiration for you? (it can be a specific business and what they do well)

Bill Bachrach - he's an advisor coach and very big on combining doing the right thing for clients - being a 100% fiduciary - as well as building a balanced business that enhances the advisor's quality of family life. 


What are your next steps? Are you going to focus on something specifically? If so why?

Further defining the types of clients we attract in - I particularly favor entrepreneurs and people who work with smaller startups and growth firms. I am focusing my outreach to those types of people now. They tend to appreciate professional advice and like to delegate to professionals in other fields. Our ideal clients are delegators. 


There is information that talks about slowing the economy. Are you ready for a possible economic crisis? 

Yes we think we are ready for all outcomes, because we feel anything is possible at all times. We like to think that we keep our mind open to all potential paths. 


Could you advise our readers where they could invest their money? (Best some information right from your segment that only you can know as an insider.)

I think active management will provide an advantage over passive investing in the coming years, starting this year. We have structured clients this way to increase risk management. For clients near or at retirement, it will be very important to protect principal more than trying to make money. Low rates have pushed people to excessive risks, and I don't think those excessive risks will pay off in the coming years. People skated by in recent years with excessive risks. I don't think they will get that pass going forward and should focus on more safety. 


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Disclaimer: The writer is an experienced financial consultant who writes for The observations he makes are his own and are not intended as investment or trading advice.