The cavnessHR Podcast can be found at the following places or you can just type in cavnessHR on the respective site.
iTunes: https://cavnesshr.co/theca54f53 Google Play: https://cavnesshr.co/googl6be3a
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Overcast: https://cavnesshr.co/thecae86ea Anchor: https://anchor.fm/cavnesshr
Social Media links for Dan!!
Dan’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dankanivas/
Dan’s FB: https://www.facebook.com/dan.kanivas
Triple Summit Advisors Website: www.triplesummit.com
Dan’s Book Recommendation!!!
“The Richest Man in Babylon”
by George S. Clason
Link to purchase is below
Jason: Hello and welcome to the cavnessHR Podcast. I am your host Jason Cavness. Our guest today is Dan Kanivas. Dan are you ready to be great today?
Jason: Dan's a co-founder and portfolio manager of Triple Summit Advisors LLC. Dan brings institutional asset management, Wealth Management and client service experience to the team. Prior to Triple Summit, Dan worked in Business Development and operations at Zip Line. A venture-backed robotics startup. Previously, Dan worked as an investment associate at Prudential and capital group. Where he conducted credit analysis and portfolio management for a multi-billion dollar portfolio of investment grade, high yield, and mezzanine debt. Dan also served as a Field Artillery Officer in the US Army with overseas service in Iraq and Korea. Dan graduated Cum Laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and holds a Masters of Business Administration From the University of California Berkeley. Dan lives in the Seattle area with his wife and daughter and a Lively Yorkie Casey. Dan this is quite a background you have there.
Dan: Thank you.
Jason: So what do you focus on right now? What is taking up most of your time?
Dan: I am as my bio said the Managing Partner of Triple Summit Advisors. We are an independently registered investment advisor. What we do is financial planning and investment advice for our clients. Right now we have about 110 clients and manage about 23 million dollars total for our clients and we start with goals first and try to understand what our client's goals are first. Then put together an investment plan and financial plan that fits with those goals. So most of my time I spend on client service.
Jason: So for your clients, how do you find your clients? Do you have a marketing plan, word of mouth or do people come to find you?
Dan: It's a combination of both. The number one way we find clients is absolutely referrals. That's our number one source of clients for sure. However, in addition to that, we also try to meet people in the community. In particular, in the past, we've had a lot of folks who tend to vibe with us the most. Certainly veterans of course. We have a lot of veterans in our client base and I am very active in different Veteran activities including as a city leader in Seattle for Bunker Labs. Then also working with other particular industry verticals where we feel that oftentimes professionals in these verticals get what we're saying and vibe well with our mission statement and our values.
Jason: So, you talked about this a little already. But who's your typical client?
Dan: So if I had to pick one typical client it would be seniors who make a substantial amount of money and has savings and knows that they need to do something with that. Either doesn't have the time or the inclination to do it themselves. That's where we come in and help them with that. Also, this person typically values good advice and so values the relationship as well as opposed to somebody who is looking just for asset management and we can certainly do that. But we like to have a good strong relationship with our clients.
Jason: Is their a certain amount of disposable income that you like your clients to have?
Dan: Not necessarily, our minimum to invest with us as stated in our regulatory disclosures is $50,000. But it's not necessary for anyone to have a certain amount of income.
Jason: So Dan, most people believe that their good on finances. You ask them and they say my finance is in order. I'm doing a good job. But in reality, most of us don't do a good job. Why was it such a disconnect? Why do most people think they're doing a great job but in reality, most of us are not?
Dan: So actually, I think most people if you really ask them if they say they're doing a good job with their finances and you really ask them a few times. They will express certain doubts or questions about whether or not they're they're doing it right. If they're doing well relative to their peers or people their age or things like that. Because the fact of the matter is our education system does not teach us about personal finances. They teach us certain hard skills and even soft skills whether it's math, science and English. But if you ask somebody, hey who taught you how to balance a checkbook. Well first of all, nowadays most folks will tell you especially if they're younger, like what's a check. We literally had clients that tell us that they don't know what a check is on the younger end. Those sorts of skills are just not taught unless your parents taught you or somebody especially the military. A NCO pulled you aside and said as a junior soldier said hey this is how you balance a checkbook. This is how you take your finances so you don't run out of money in between the first and 15th of every month.
Jason: This is another stereotype. I think most people when they're approached by financial planners their guard gets up. What does this guy want for me? When you approach people how do you get them to let their guard down so they can trust you? Because I mean trust has to be a big thing with what you do.
Dan: That's a great question. So referrals, as I mentioned, is the number one thing. If Jason Cavness refers someone to me and I don't know this person from Adam. But this person knows Jason and trusts Jason perhaps with his life because he served with you. Then all of a sudden I'm going to get that benefit of Jason Cavness and your friend let's call him Tom. Tom is going to trust me more. Just as a result and we can start the conversation. I have a business partner. I went to Harvard with him and we are both soft sell sort of guys. We don't go to anybody and say hey you need to work with us right. That's not the way we operate. We like to educate, we like to explain and then if people are interested in having a conversation typically they bring it up not us. So that's that's how we work. Could we do a better job marketing and maybe be a bit more higher tempo in terms of our business process. Absolutely, but that's just not our nature is not our personalities and so where we kind of stick with what we know and what we're comfortable with here.
Jason: Dan as you know all customers are not good customers. What's the process for you to tell a customer that you not going to be a good fit to work with each other.
Dan: Great question as well. We've luckily never had to tell a client that. We've been in business three years and at this point. We haven't lost any clients due to anyone leaving us because they're leaving us or we are leaving them for any sort of reason like that. We have unfortunately lost some due to people passing away. But nothing in that situation where it wasn't a good fit anymore. The folks who we do meet before we even start a formal business relationship. We try to understand if there's a good mutual fit. Sometimes there is and I'll give you one example of when there's not a good mutual fit. So somebody who comes up and says, I want you to turn this $100,00 into a million dollars in three years. I'll say, maybe there's somebody out there who could do it but that person is not us. Not what we do. We're about responsible long term planning and investments and we have our own money invested alongside our clients. That's how we aligned interest and make sure we have skin in the game. We're not going to do with your money, what we won't do with our own money. Therefore you better believe that I'm not going to try to triple your money in three years by swinging for the fences at the risk of causing a massive loss
Jason: Have you had a situation were you advising someone. But they never follow your advice. I mean they're paying for your services, but whenever you advise them, they just ignore it. Have you ever had that happen?
Dan: So we view ourselves as the equivalent of personal trainers for your finances. Everyone knows they need to go to the gym. Everyone knows they need to work out and to stay active right, but oftentimes you can't. Discipline requires activation energy and that's what personal trainers are for, to hold you accountable for that. We try to do that for our clients. We can't always be successful, but just like not every personal trainer is able to get all their clients to be accountable and show up to the gym every single time. We tried to do that. We really do aim to keep people our clients to stick to the plan that we set out with intention and with deliberateness. That is our goal.
Jason: Dan you recently you recently moved to Seattle for San Francisco. Do you have clients in both places and are you a nationwide company?
Dan: So we are nationwide. We have clients throughout the country. We have clients in as far afield as in Mobile, Alabama and Bozeman, Montana. But I would say that's because we are new to the town to the Washington area. Our primary base of clients at this point in time tends to be in California and New York. My partner is on the East Coast.
Jason: So, are their different rules or regulations you have to follow based on the state?
Dan: Absolutely, so depending on who your regulator is as an investment company, you have to follow those rules. This is without being too into the weeds here because your listeners really don't need to hear all the technicalities of it. But there are different regulators for each state. Then of course at the national level, there's SEC. So you have to follow the rules according to the body that you're governed by.
Jason: So how does one become an investor?
Dan: A lot of study study study. Warren Buffett said about his particular style investing, value investing. He said that it's like an inoculation. You either have it or you don't. So some people approach or meet his style investment which my partner and I are big admirers and followers of his style of investing. When some people meet this style of investing, value investing or you're trying to buy a dollar fifty cents, you're trying to buy a dollar for 67 cents. Where you're trying to buy things at a discount. As opposed to just going for growth growth growth all the time and not caring what you pay. Some people meet this style of investing and they just don't get it and they never will. Other people need it and then like an inoculation they become adherence to it immediately. That is for us what happened to us over time. I started reading and reading about this and as soon as I realized this really strikes me. I really identify with this approach not just towards investing, but towards business and towards life when there's no looking back. That's that's how it happened for me. But it did take years of study. I got my MBA as well. I had experience with institutional asset management.
Jason: So the clients you have, how do you determine if you are successful? How do you determine success?
Dan: On the investment side, there are certain benchmarks that we are aiming to perform against. Right now we're advising a client on a potential move, a downsizing from a larger home that they have with their children. But they're about to be empty nesters and where they might go, what they can afford based on their budget and things like that. So making sure a client ends up happy and also secure. That's where a decision-making process is really where we enjoy the job the most and feel like we end up ultimately adding more value. There are a lot of different choices you can have out there in terms of where you invest your money. Who you invest your money with, what strategies you take or who your planner might be. But ultimately someone's chosen to invest trust and time with us and willing to explain to us some of their most cherished goals and their most desired goals in life. We treat that commitment and that investment in us as sacred and we want to do the best job possible for them and typically it's about reaching those goals and maintaining that relationship as opposed to any one number on a page.
Jason: So like you said there's a lot of people that do what you do. So if somebody is out there looking for a financial advisor. What process should they use to find the perfect person for them?
Dan: That's a great question. Most people don't wake up in the morning thinking to themselves, I need to find a financial advisor or I need someone to help me with my investments. It's typically a third or fourth or fifth priority. After getting your kids to school and trying to navigate traffic to show up to an office on time. As a result, it keeps getting pushed off, pushed off, pushed off, pushed off. But typically, if you are going to think about getting a financial adviser or finding somebody you trust to do financial planning investments with you. Then what you'll want to do is talk to a whole bunch of them. Get referrals, find people who you trust and who you know are knowledgeable about it and have demonstrated success in the field of money management. They may have done it themselves or they may have someone helping them. Find out what works and then try to replicate that. In our case we know we can't serve everybody. We don't want to serve everybody. We want to serve people who value us and value the services we can provide. As a result, we know we won't be able to get to everybody. But there are enough folks like us out there. Who are particular fit for what it is you're looking for and I'll just give an example. Somebody who you know might be a particularly good adviser specifically for entrepreneurs who are selling their small business. There are advisors out there who specialize just in that.
Jason: They say it is never too early to get started. But is it ever too late. For example, someone is over 50, paying a mortgage, high credit card debt. Two kids in school they are paying go for. No savings, no assets. Is it too late for this person get started?
Dan: No. Definitely not too late. So the first thing, your kind of giving me this case study here. The first thing I'm going to ask is, let's look at cash flow. Let's look at your income statement and let's look at what your income and what your expenses are. Let's figure out why you have no savings, why you have no assets at this point and time. Why you have a bunch of debt. Just like a personal trainer, I might say if you want to lose 40 pounds or whatever it might be right. You want to gain this much muscle mass if you want to be able to run a seven-minute mile. Then this is what you need to do. It's going to take sacrifice. It's going to take hard work and a changing of your mindset. Most importantly, I can help get you there. In this in this particular case, I'm thinking of people in my mind who fit this sort of profile and I can probably help get them there. But it's going to take reciprocation from the client to actually keep up with these things. If we do it, you're going to feel really great about the goals you've achieved and how much you set yourself up for the future. But I can't do it alone for you. That just doesn't work that way.
Jason: Dan, can you talk a little bit about Bunker Labs?
Dan: Yeah. Absolutely. So Bunker Labs is a national nonprofit that was founded by veterans and is for veterans. It specifically helps Vets try to figure out whether or not they want to be entrepreneurs after they transition and don't know if entrepreneurship is right for them. Bunker Labs provides a lot of different programs to help veteran entrepreneurs at every stage of the life cycle. What we found, the main thesis of Bunker Labs is that veterans have the skill and the ambition and the motivation to be successful as entrepreneurs. But oftentimes what they don't have is the network and the resources. Oftentimes, they come out of the military and all they've known is the military since high school or since college. That's the only job they've had. So, it's really really helpful to give them a head start and even just to level the playing field. To give them access to resources and connections and knowhow that they otherwise wouldn't be able to get. I'm really proud to be part of a leadership team at the local level here at Bunker Labs because it does so many great things for vets and thus far all of them have been free.
Jason: Dan, can you talk about a time you were successful in the past. What you learned from this and what we can learn from this?
Dan: So one of these things where I wish that I could talk about a different story other than this. But this is probably the most instructive thing. When I was in the Army as a new Lieutenant. I was still on the college campus at the time as a Gold Bar recruiter for my ROTC unit. I got my first paycheck at the end of a two week period when my next paycheck came in I noticed I still had money left in the bank. I thought to myself what should I do with this now. Often times the answer in the military is to spend the money because you're getting paid tomorrow it's fine right. But that's the wrong answer. Turns out if you save that money because you don't need it. You didn't spend it, so you clearly don't need it. Guess what over time it grows and actually it makes money for you. It becomes your servant. As opposed to you working for it. So, that was a small little victory for me. That set me on the path that I'm on in life now.
Jason: Dan, next talk about a time you failed, what you learned from this and what we can learn from this.
Dan: There are innumerable failures I can point to in the military whether it was recycling Ranger school or something like that. Being told that I wasn't worth very much because I wasn't keeping up on x,y,z sort of thing. But I won't talk about that. I'll talk about something else that is near and dear to what I do especially at Bunker Labs nowadays. So when I got out of the military, I started looking for a job. I was like OK, I went to a good college and just came back from Iraq. I am a combat vet. I should be pretty good to go in terms of finding a job right. Well, that was the wrong answer and I fell flat on my face. I didn't realize that to find a job it wasn't about having a piece of paper that said what your qualifications were. It's all about who you know and I'll say it again. It's not about what you know. It's about who you know. I found that out over and over and over and over again. I got better at it each time. But I found out over and over and over again until to the point where today. I certainly care about what it is I know and I study and I read and I study and I read and talk to other intelligent people.
Dan: About the markets, about individual investments about changes in tax laws and financial planning. The theories of financial planning things like that. But ultimately, I spend a lot of time networking and trying to help other people network as well. Because of the opportunities that I've found in life. Come so much easier and sometimes come only if you do it. Networking is not something where it's like I shake your hand, you shake my hand we know each other, add each other LinkedIn and boom I got a network. That's not what it's about. It is about helping people and in the process of helping people you're building up valuable goodwill and credibility with the folks out there. Where they know that anyone has a financial problem or questions on their finances or questions about finding a job or whatever it might be. Send them to Dan and Dan's probably going to do something even if he does not know the answer directly. I'll send them to someone who does. That's my goal and I've found that over and over again that's paid a lot of dividends in my life and a lot of people I've talked to about it.
Jason: Dan, I understand you have a book to recommend for our listeners.
Dan: Yes. This is my favorite book on the philosophy of personal finance. None of the tactics, but the philosophy of it. It's called The Richest Man in Babylon. It's a book that's been around for I believe almost a hundred years. It talks about the philosophy of personal finance and it's told in parables much like much of the Bible and other religious texts are told. So that the stories and more memorable. But it's all about the simple rules of personal finance. Spend less than you make, invest the difference. Highly recommend The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason
Jason: Can you tell us your social media links so people can reach out to you?
Dan: We are on our Web site. It is www.triplesummit.com. I'm at Dan@triplesummit.com and you can also reach the whole entire team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason: For our listeners, we'll have the links to his book recommendation and links to his social media on our show notes. You can find the show notes at www.cavnessHRblog.com. Dan, we are coming to the end of our talk. Can you provide any last minute wisdom or advice for our listeners on anything you'd like to talk about?
Dan: You want to go back to one thing you were saying, Jason. Which is that someone who's now 50 and doesn't have any savings and has a lot of credit card debt and children in school and a lot of expenses is it too late for them. I don't think it's too late. But, if you have the choice if you're listening out there and you have the choice and you're not in that position, start earlier. My starting earlier as I mentioned myself. It's led to a lot of options and choices and difference in my life. That I would not have had if I not started earlier. So start as early as you can and if you don't know where to start. talk to someone who's knowledge about it. Read books, you start with the Richest Man in Babylon and then from there you'll find out that it's actually not that difficult to do. Take care of your financial life in terms of the actual learning part of it. Then it's more about emotional control and the psychology of it all. That allows you to keep on moving forward and avoid the pitfalls and that oftentimes ensnare so many Americans.
Jason: Dan, thank you for that and thanks for your time today.
Dan: Thank you, Jason
Dan: To our listeners, thank you as well and remember to be great every day!