June 8, 2020

What’s Your Why? Financial Decisions During Times of Change - with Chad & Nicole Albano

What’s Your Why? Financial Decisions During Times of Change - with Chad & Nicole Albano

What’s your “why” – the motivation behind your decisions? What’s the “why” for your employees? What motivates them to come to work each day? Finding alignment between shared values and financial decisions is essential to business success, but it is even more important during challenging seasons that are full of unknowns. What should you consider as the economy rebounds? How can you communicate with employees amidst uncertainty?

Guests Chad & Nicole Albano from Global View Capital Advisors share unique perspectives that are certain to inspire as you make financial decisions that align with values for yourself, your company, and your employees.

© Copyright 2020, Prosperity 101, LLC


Transcript

Linda: Thank you for joining us for this episode. We appreciate you tuning in and listening today. I have two guests with me. Today, I have Chad and Nicole Albano. Chad and Nicole, I've gotten to know through their work with Global View Capital Advisors. Chad is an Executive Director with Global View Capital Advisors, and Nicole is a Marketing Executive with Global View Capital Advisors. You may have noticed that they both have the same last name. And yes, they are a couple. They are married and they have a beautiful family together. But Global View has very team-focused culture and environment, and they have chosen to work together as a team to serve clients. I would just really like to welcome Chad and Nicole here.

Chad, I think I'd like you to first go and just talk a little bit about your background. I know for the sake of time, we'll just let you introduce yourself a little bit, your background, and how you got into financial advising. Then, I'd like to just say how Nicole entered this phase in her career as well. Thank you for being here.

Chad: Well, first of all, Linda, thanks again for considering us and allowing us to be part of your program. We so hope that by the time we're done with all of this, I would have been able to impart hopefully some guidance, some insights to whoever is listening. And that's really our ultimate hope, is to transfer some value through all of this. So again, thank you.

Just a little bit about my background. I have now been in the financial industry, I think going in, what 17, 18 years now. I had gone to school for accounting, went to work for a multibillion-dollar company, went into corporate finance and accounting. Really, my experience then ranged from tax to financial reporting and planning to distribution and manufacturing. So, pretty widespread. That was intentional and in purpose. I wanted to make sure that I made myself as marketable as I could in the event I would go to a different direction.

I was going to be the next CFO in my mind or so I thought until my passion changed and I found myself in the financial industry. Really, in the beginning, I was more enamored at the fact that-- I never learned many of these concepts in school, despite my business and accounting background, and it hit me, “What about everybody else that didn't have that background?” So, that's really kind of like how I first got my foothold in the financial industry. We left our so-called “safety” of a job and went the entrepreneurial route. And since then, we've been self-employed.

We have been with the founding partners or principals of our firm, Global View Capital Advisors. It's very uniquely positioned SEC-registered firm, very mission driven. If there's one mandate, it's fiduciary standard. Do what's in the client’s best interest. That really has resonated with Nicole and I. And really since then that's why we've really planted our flags in this industry. Not only is it a perfect time to be, in my opinion, in this industry where that help is most needed. A trusted adviser relationship is needed right now with all the turmoil and just everything going around the world around us. But also, because people are very ill prepared. And I think my passion changed, the more I saw the impact of what we were doing. So, that's a little bit about my background. Again, that's the last 17, 18 years.

Linda: And Nicole, you have a different background that led you on this route, but we'd love to hear from you about how you developed a passion for this industry.

Nicole: Yeah. Hi, Linda. Thanks again for having us--

Linda: My pleasure.

Nicole: --on your podcast here. Yes, actually, my background is in sales. I went to work for a couple of multibillion-dollar companies actually out of college. And that's really where I honed, I would say, my communication skills, built a lot of confidence through speaking to a lot of business owners, a lot of mid-sized companies, sometimes it was HR and such. And then, I was on a million-dollar account of ours. So, I really built up some of my people skills, and just being able to ask good questions and being a really good listener.

And, yes, Chad touched on that. We were actually invited to this money seminar. This was when we lived in Chicago at the time and we listened to a gentleman, who actually is the founder of our company, talk about some money concepts. Money and finance concepts that both Chad and I having business backgrounds really could not even go, “Okay, wow, if we have these backgrounds, what about everybody else who doesn't have these backgrounds?” We're certainly making some mistakes, just like everybody else does.

And so, from there, we became clients. I saw something huge in what he was talking about. I thought, “Really, I think we could do this. I think we can do this.” That's where the partnership between Chad and I started actually about, I guess we had to count there 17 years ago. And so, I think us having, again, very counterpart, complimentary, not the same roles, and yet, working together, has really what has, I think, taken us to where we're at now and certainly we feel we have a lot more growing to do. But, yeah, that's where we got our start and got some of our skillsets and the passion really in seeing that need of, “Gosh, if we don't know these things about money and finance, what about everybody else?” And that need for education, I think, was really ignited at that point. So, yeah.

Linda: I know both of you just have a real heart for people and a heart for education. That's really why I wanted to have you on this podcast because that is really what Prosperity 101™ is all about. It's about helping people to really understand how policy and how our nation's governing system, everything affects their personal prosperity. But I can see in both of you, new things that can be really helpful for people to understand. Like you said, you both were in business, you were rising in business. But then, when you went to a financial planning seminar, you realized how much you didn't know. That's really the first place to begin learning is when we realize how much we don't know.

The other thing is you took the leap of entrepreneurship. As I mentioned, you're with Global View Capital Advisors, and so that may be confusing for people. But with Global View Capital Advisors, you can be your own business, but you have the support of the larger company, the overall company that helps. It's very team-centered culture, but it allows everyone to be their own entrepreneur. I bring that up because you switched gears. You both had to pivot. You had to be risk-takers, shall I say, and right now, we're watching the world pivot.

We're recording this in May of 2020, for people who may be listening to it at some other time, but we're in the midst of this global pandemic from the coronavirus, and states are just now beginning to open. As you think about how people might be feeling about their financial futures right now or the companies that you may be dealing with or the business owners that might be listening to this, what would you recommend to them at this time of financial instability, just in terms of mindset?

Chad: Well, that's a great question. I would have to say first and foremost, you’ve got to meet people where they are. Despite what people might see in the news or hear or read about often, it's not what people are experiencing in their own households. Depending on what news perhaps they might be attuned to or exposed to, can also certainly influence the way that they think. Somebody's reality can often be driven by that, whether true or not. I would have to say, really be present with a person or the people that you're with to understand where they're coming from.

There's a whitepaper that the president, in fact, of our management firm that we have, that is Dina Fliss, and her whitepaper is the Tale of Two Economies. It really seeks to contrast the traditional economy and how that has really morphed into more of a digital type of an economy, a new economy. And that's been really ultimately, because of this whole thing, in a way it's been accelerated. And the reason I wanted to mention that-- It's a really interesting read. It's not a long read at all, but the reason I say that is because depending on the lens through which a person might be seeing all that's happening right now, old technology or old business or the brick-and-mortar economies, your viewpoint might be more of concern perhaps, whereas what we have seen during this time, there's been an emergence of certain industries or companies that have risen to the forefront, to the leadership, in response to rather or taking advantage of these times that we're living in. If you're looking the through those lenses, you might actually then see that there's also opportunities.

I think, first of all, we have to understand where people are coming from, just so we could open that dialogue, and then from there, hopefully, we could direct or provide some guidance that hopefully gives them some inspiration as well and lift them up because quite frankly a lot of people I think today with all the uncertainty, certainly very rightfully so, are still feeling maybe disparaged. When is my state's economy going to reopen? Or when am I going to get back to my job? How's this going to affect things moving forward? Until we're on the other side of this whole pandemic and this crisis, I think there's going to be a big question mark. So, I think just understanding where people are would be the first step.

Linda: Yeah. That's a really great tip for employers and anyone who works with employers too, to be able to be mindful of their situations and what's going on with them. They are having to pivot so much right now as their employees are. Sometimes, they've had to change the entire scope of what they're doing in their businesses. They've had to maybe relocate. There's so many different factors that are happening for people right now. I'd like to focus a little bit on that.

Chad, you were talking about what meeting people where they are and talking about their whys. This is a phrase that you've used before is, “What is their why? What is their underlying concern? Why they're even seeking help? Why they're in business?” Any of that. We look at that, but now you two both have very different gifts, but you work so well as a team. With Nicole, working with you as a marketing executive and you as being the financial planner, in a sense, there's two different brains there and my brain much is more aligned with Nicole’s. It’s like we can go talk to people all the time, right? [chuckles]. But you get into the weeds on the finances. I'd like to ask Nicole here, what types of emotions are you seeing from people that you're talking to at this time?

Chad: Yeah, of course, I'm a person who loves connecting with people, friends, family, it doesn't almost matter. I was in communication with a lot of people over the last two-plus months here. Whether it be virtually getting to a little trouble coffee chats or just talking on the phone. Yeah, the feelings and emotions were all over the board. Chad brought up a really good point, it’s just meeting that person where they're at.

We had a family member who was-- she was afraid. She lives in Chicago and things look a bit different there. And so, what we're experiencing here is quite a different than those experiences in Chicago. So, I just was really a good listener there and just talking a little bit more about certainly, when we're going to get together next and thinking ahead, it's for the fun when we can see each other again and things like that. But then, there was other people who were a little bit more like us, because they live here in Wisconsin, and they are staying healthy, their families are healthy and so that's their perspective. They're just excited to move on and enjoy the spring in the summer and things like that.

So yeah, I would say there was a gamut of emotions, depending on who I was talking to. And, again, just naturally what we do is just listen and gauge, “Okay, where is this person coming from, so that I can be a supportive, friend to them,” and whatever it takes. But, yeah, there was definitely a gamut of emotions that are going on right now with just based on people's experiences.

Linda: Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified all of this and I have often said that this is an example on steroids of how policy affects paychecks and we see it from state to state, we see it from the federal level, everything, that different policies have totally affected people's employment status, their paychecks, everything. But you both have been in this business for quite a few years and you've seen good times and bad times, you've seen bull markets, bear markets everything. I'll make the disclaimer that this is not meant to be detailed financial planning here or anything like that. But what would your recommendation be for businesses who are looking to rebuild now, as the economy opens up, and these business owners really want to get their businesses up and going, and they're worried maybe about their investments or their benefit plans, all of that? What would be some recommendations you have for them?

Chad: A lot of thoughts in my mind. [chuckles] I guess, first on the employee engagement side, I remember I mean, you had mentioned certainly this recent pandemic, the effects it’s had on the markets as of late, is get employees engage. I remember one of my successful business owner clients, as they went through if you guys think of it, this is almost like reminiscent of what happened, say in the financial crisis of 2007 and 2008. Only this time, it's an entirely different trigger that has caused all of this. But during that time, this black swan event is defined as being an unpredictable event with potentially severe consequences.

What this client of mine had to do, was really just outright transparently talked to his employees and they all got on board to stay in business to, I believe they took some cuts. But today, they're flourishing like never before. I think the communication is key, first and foremost at the core.

Many companies, certainly there's a lot of big companies out there, but what drives our economy really are small to mid-sized companies. A lot of those companies oftentimes, they have had their people for so long and they're like families, so they care for each other. That's what I'm talking about is, just having that, “Are you on the same boat?” “Are you on the same page?” I would say from a strategic standpoint, business-wise. Again, things today are what is but, if we only focus on that, if we worry and fear about the future, the fears could arise. But think in terms of, what can then be done?

For Nicola and I, for example, this disruption that we have experienced actually allowed us to step back, raise ourselves up. In fact, we found more and more efficiencies and better ways to do things and back. I think we're now better position thankfully, coming out of this than we were previously. And that's because it caused us to maybe in some cases, if you're backed against a corner, you become more creative. You think outside the box. At the end of the day, you go back to what is it that the people or whoever it is that your targeted audience are recipients of information? Who are they? Because in the end, I believe that's called psychographics. What is it that they want?

For us, if I'm talking to a business, perhaps, it might be that, for most Americans, the second largest assets they have outside of their home could be their 401k or their retirement plan. A lot of people are concerned about that. How do I protect myself against those losses? Maybe to a 27-year-old, it's not so much a concern, but if you're near within retirement, 5, 10, 15 years, imagine having to go through the financial crisis in 2007, and 2008, and now certainly this uncertainty that we're going through with this pandemic. If you even go back even the third major downturn during the bust of the dot-com bubble, a lot of people today are pretty much right around where they were, back then. How do you make sure you have that clarity, that assurance? Maybe one way to help them mitigate that is putting a defensive position to their retirement strategies, that's not uncommon. Not common in the 401k space, but giving that assurance to their employees that are going to be okay.

Like I said, when things-- that has an effect in all sorts of markets, by the way. In our pocketbooks of-- experience dictates behavior. And so, I think that's one aspect of it, to get employees engaged. To a business owner, it might be in light of this whole COVID situation. One area to look at, if you're talking say the retirement plan side, might be to perhaps consider restructuring to better, maybe add incentives to keep key people.

I just talked to a CEO of a company here recently. And he mentioned to me that, one of the areas that they really saw was that they had to stop hiring people because the effects of it. Again, how do you pivot? I love that word that you use. It doesn't mean that you got to necessarily take money out of your pocket, it might just be repositioning what you already have. And there's a lot of creative ways to do that.

Linda: There's a lot of creative ways to do that. And you brought up communicating with employees about this. Nicole, I just want to pull you in here again, that communication, just actually making sure that they understand what you're doing and why you're doing it Chad, you talked about restructuring 401k plans or other benefit plans that maybe wouldn't be providing or taking more from the bottom line in the business owner, but it could be providing better value to the business owner and to the employees. And there's all sorts of things.

You talked about the benefit plans, but Nicole, you've talked before about how employers can communicate these things, and even bringing up all sorts of other ways to plan ahead from long term care to your other insurance needs, your savings, all of that. Would you like to touch on that just a little bit, Nicole?

Nicole: Well, yeah, I'm going to talk just very briefly here on the leadership kind of mindset perspective, because Chad, you did a great job of talking on the financial side of things. I would say when everything did end up closing down with COVID, and obviously, we shut down our office and work from home. But what we did was, we just put our heads down at that point and set up our home office as best as we could [chuckles] straighten some areas up here. And we launched some of these new initiatives. You mentioned a couple of them and we're still in the midst of rolling them out right now.

We basically ended up communicating more frequently to our clients. We were doing more campaigns out to our clients and informational videos and things like that. We developed a newsletter that would then go out in addition to some of the correspondence we were sending out on a regular basis. And we were also making sure our presence was there on social media. Again, let people know we were there, giving them pieces of value. Again, just little touches to let people know that we were there. Certainly, reminding our clients that we are there, we will hold their hand through the scary times like this. We want to be a resource for them and just really support them through this unchartered situation with these updates and information.

I think an unspoken part of what it is that we do, and especially for Chad really, who has that face to face interaction with the clients on the client-side, is really not only to give them that chart for their to get to their destination that plan, to get to their final destination financially, but it's also to give them hope. And I think individuals and, and businesses really need to make sure that they're, as you mentioned, careful who they're listening to, careful for what they allow into their mind, and what fears perhaps that they, again, do not allow in there. Then I think, to persevere, you've got to have a focus on hope, a focus on your future. For business owners, they want to they're going to want to refocus on building the organization. What is that look like? What does that vision look like? What does it look like 5 and 10 years out and communicate that, I think, to their people? So, they can also catch that hope and put it in front of everyone, all the employees so they can get that unity and continue to grow that unity during these difficult times. The most difficult times are the times that can really unite people and we see that in so many different examples, but they can get that buy-in from everybody at the company level.

For individuals, I think that they should focus or in some cases perhaps a refocus on their why. You mentioned the why and I'm glad that you did mention that because it's the goals, it's really their passionate goals that they have that elicits emotion, that's a deep desire for them. Maybe there's one big why or maybe there's multiple whys but it's what they so dearly want for themselves and for their family. And I think when you can stay focused on that and be reminded of that, that can pull you through some of these difficult times. Certainly, that why often involves your closest loved ones that you care about most.

Some people may take a couple steps backward and one step forward with everything that's been going on right now. But we just want them to know that we're here for them on the financial side of things, and so that they can really truly realize the things that they hold most important. And enjoy the things that they so desire and be with their family and their loved ones. We just hope to link arms with them.

Linda: Right. And that communication, which you have so aptly described in a sense that you have with clients. I know that you also have with your team. I did not explain, I mean, yes, you're self-employed, but you also have a team under you that works with you, and so you are constantly training, communicating, teaching your team building up your team. So, in a sense, you're doing the same thing that an employer of a manufacturing firm is doing in the fact that you're communicating with your teams about some really important principles that they need to know regarding not only their own financial future, but what's happening with the firm or what's happening overall with the country, maybe affecting their personal prosperity.

Chad, you look like you have something to add to that. [chuckles]

Chad: Actually, a lot of great points. Thanks for bringing that up, Nicole, from prompting this conversation, Linda. So, I would have to say that in the planning process, and this applies in the business sense as well, because if you think of it, business owners, they're people too. When it comes to planning, a lot of times, people will either-- unless they really connect to their reasons, their whys. We either tend to do things because we need to do it, like access, or because we want to do it. If there's something that's causing you pain, the moment that pain goes away, invariably those reactions that got you to improve likely will fall off as well. So, you want to be able to connect to that why in a way where you're going to want to do it. That's the essence of planning. It's not about what I say. It goes back to what's important to you. I mean, why are you willing to go through this?

And I think that applies also in a business sense. I mean, by getting employees engaged and sharing, like Nicole said, the vision of the company and where we're going to go and getting people to buy-in and have that ownership have that, that accountability, and sometimes it might be putting together some things as an incentive, like a carrot. I'm just going to digress here. It could be maybe there's a business owner with their son or daughter who's next in line, but they need to still be groomed to take the reins, and they might need to learn from somebody who's been with a company 20 years. And maybe to incent that person to stay there, but they get the big picture.

At the end of the day, it always goes back to, what's in it for them? It's not so much a selfish thing. It's really just human nature. I mean, what's gonna drive you? I think that's a very good point that you made.

Linda: Yeah, that's great. Now, and I know we're coming up upon the close of our time here, but we have talked before, Chad, about your background. You grew up in the Philippines. And I think that this is really a timely conversation in a sense, because what I tried to do with Prosperity 101™, with my resources, as well as with the podcast is help people understand, we have a unique opportunity here in America, our Constitution, our system of government really paves the way for freedom and prosperity, and allows people the opportunity to pivot and become entrepreneurs, like you and Nicole have done.

It allows people the opportunity to start businesses, it allows people the freedom to realize their dreams. And you have shared with me some of the contrast between what your relatives in the Philippines experience even now during this pandemic. Could you share a little bit about that? I think we get so comfortable sometimes in the US.

When we went to the store shelves recently, and you can't find things on the shelves, and there's shortages, not because there's true shortages, but just because of supply chain interruptions. We take for granted that we always have what we need here in the US for most people, and we have the opportunity to help provide for those who don't have as well. But there's contrast in so many different countries and I really would love you to share your own background from the Philippines, and that contrast.

Chad: Absolutely. We had the privilege of getting back to the Philippines. It was my first time my wife and my daughters were able to see where I grew up. It was also a very wonderful and sweet homecoming for me after many years, decades, in fact, of not having been back. But it really brought to light how blessed we are to live in this country. We're just coming out of a Memorial Day holiday. As Americans, certainly are out there having fun. I think we all have to remember that there was sacrifice, multitudes of sacrifice to give us those freedom. We truly have indeed freedoms like I think most other countries in the world don't have.

As a proud American today, I am here to say that what an absolute blessing it is to be in this country because if one just goes to work hard and does all the right things, is diligent about it, we have those opportunities. To speak around, for example, just the contrast. When I was speaking to my family in the last month and a half or so, just asking, inquiring about, “What is it like over there for you?” My family, they're not wealthy in the Philippines, they're middle class, okay. But over there, there really is a disparity between classes.

What my aunt proceeded to tell me is, the less fortunate were getting by way of help from the government was that they during that time got about, I believe she said six kilos of rice. If you translate, that's a little over 12 pounds I believe it is, but think of it. Here in our country, and I don't mean to make judgment whatsoever, we are completely in a situation where our government can step in and provide the stimulus help that we need, certainly in many cases very much needed. And yet you have countries like, developing countries, like the Philippines, where there isn't anything like that, or at least made available as readily. And yet, from someone's perspective, one might come to expect more, give me more.

Here's an example. I had sat down for what's called the CPA exam for some of you who know what that is. It's for people that go to school for accounting. Many people, in fact, don't ever pass that exam. It's quite, quite, quite challenging from what I understand. I often joke around that CPA stands for “I can't pass it again,” [chuckles] because I went through that process. And the one thing probably I ever learned growing up there is that, you do your very best. And I remember, I pass that exam with-- I'm not here to tell you as a way to be proud or brag about it, but I didn't have much time. I probably had just over a week to really hunker down and study. For a lot of people, that's crazy, but here's the reason why I made mention of that.

When I was entering high school in the Philippines, I had to take an entrance exam to get into a particular high school. And over there, I was part of a waiting list. Okay, when I say waiting list, of all the hundreds of kids that take this exam, what ends up happening is, they actually published the results in a newspaper, telling people who got accepted and who didn’t. And I was part of the waiting list. And yet, here's my point. There are people that are way smarter than me, but yet they don't have the opportunity. We do. That's why I say, here in this country, what an absolute blessing to be here. That's why we got to take care and take advantage of what's available to us. I don't know if that made any sense.

Linda: It did. And the contrast between the countries is remarkable actually is you've even shared offline some other stories about your family and your growing up here in the Philippines. But, again, it's a huge shout out to our country in the sense that we do have this amazing freedom that we must protect and defend. And you brought up Memorial Day, and we salute all the veterans, we salute the people who have lost their lives in service to our nation. And we just are thankful, even now, for the healthcare heroes and first responders, police, and everyone who's working to keep us safe. Anybody who's listening and is a defender of freedom, we thank you.

The business owners who are listening they can really consider how they want to communicate with their employees, not just about how policy affects their paycheck, but even as they communicate, as they're being forced to pivot now after COVID-19, like what might be changing, what should they look at in their benefit plans or their bonus structures or anything like that, that we all have to adapt and make changes right now.

I think what you and Nicole have shared regarding things to think about, ways to plan ahead, and then also how to communicate that and what types of hopeful mindsets we can give to those employees and the employers we serve. I think that was really valuable. Do you have any closing comments for our listeners?

Chad: I really just wanted to thank you, sincerely for having us on your call, on this podcast, rather, but I am honored. And really at this time, I am just thankful to have been on this podcast with you.

Linda: Well, it's been an honor to have both of you and Nicole. How can listeners reach out to you if they're interested in talking to you or learning more about what to do? Or just following up with you at all? Could you give your website, please?

Chad: Yeah, absolutely. I think the easiest one would be just to go to our website. It is chadwickalbano.com, C-H-A-D-W-I-C-K-A-L-B-A-N-O dotcom. You’ll see our philosophy there. And if I may just add one other thing and that is just to open up, to start that conversation. The reason I say that is you never know, unless we are made aware, there's often-- my part of my background has always been around process improvement. In the absence of nothing else, thing might be working until you ask an objective reality question of, how can it be done better? And so just have that conversation. We don't do any pressure selling or anything like that, if anything, it will just be an honor for us to be able to shed some guidance and some light and you can see our philosophies there and the other things that we do. Thanks again for that opportunity.

Linda: That would be great. And the website again for our listeners is chadwickalbano.com. You can follow up with any ideas, if anything resonated with you, that you're saying, how do I even talk about this to my employees or something, please reach out to Chad and Nicole at that website or reach out to me. Obviously, I am here to help you communicate with your employees about the connection between policy and paycheck. And I love to bring others to you so that you can hear their experiences and learn from them. To our listeners, we say thank you very much. And to Chad and Nicole, I say thank you so much for being with us today.

Copyright 2020, Prosperity 101 LLC.