David Treece has nearly 30 years of experience as a fee-based investment advisor and is an accredited investment fiduciary. He understands financial markets and is an expert in financial planning. Recognized for his financial acumen and client-advocacy work, David has been featured on PBS's Nightly Business Report, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and on NBC6 in Miami in an Emmy-award winning series about his work. He has testified before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Aging regarding senior citizens and financial planning. David has an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and lives in Miami, Florida.
- CEO Hack: I rely on technology to communicate with clients
- CEO Nugget: Be true to yourself and values. Treat everybody with the same respect you want to be treated
- CEO Defined: Doing what you love and doing it the best way you can
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast and we have a very special guest on the show today of David trees of David chase.com. David, it's awesome to have you on show.
David Treece 0:39
It's great to be here. Thank you for having me.
Gresham Harkless 0:41
No problem. Super excited to have you on and before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about David so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing. And David has nearly 30 years of experience as a fee base investment advisor and as an accredited investment. fiduciary understands financial markets and is an expert in financial planning. It's been recognized for his financial acumen and client advocacy work. David has been featured on PBS nightly Business Report, The Washington Post, the Miami Herald and NBC six in Miami and an Emmy Award winning series about his work. He has testified before the US Senate Select Committee on aging regarding senior citizens and financial planning. And David has an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and lives in Miami, Florida. David, are you ready to speak to the imcl? community?
David Treece 1:26
I sure am.
Gresham Harkless 1:27
Awesome. Let's do it. So I know I touched on some of the awesome things that you're doing. So I wanted to kind of rewind the clock a little bit here how you got started, could you take us through what I call your CEO story and wanted to get started with the business?
David Treece 1:38
Yes, I the financial services industry has lives up to its stereotype of really being transactional, sales oriented. And even some groupthink, and I did not like this. I was with a firm and I decided to open my own office and do this my way. And it's been a great success story. I've been doing this nearly 30 years. And I can say nobody does it like we do. And I think the industry is finally heading in our direction. But we got here first I I can say it. I'm glad we did.
Gresham Harkless 2:09
Yeah, absolutely. I'm sure your clients are definitely happy as well, too. And 30 years go on your sounds like you're just getting started. So I wanted to hear about all the awesome things you're doing. Because I know you when we first connect, you had so many kind of phenomenal stories of how you were able to help people. So could you take us through some of those stories and, and how exactly you serve the clients you work with?
David Treece 2:28
There are a lot of things that are different from how we do things. One is certainly the investment management, we the stereotypical answer from financial advisors is write it out, write it to the bottom, the market will come back, don't worry about it, there's like this hand holding advice, which gets to be a little condescending. And there have been so many crisis over the years from the tech bubble to the Great Recession to what we're going through now. And we do not do that we will try to avoid these huge draw downs. I work with money managers who will go to cash or government bonds. And so we are great at preventing these losses, which for people who are close to retirement or already in retirement, it makes all the difference. Another thing we do really well is of course we're fiduciaries. And what that means is we have a duty of loyalty of utmost care, no conflicts of interest. And we take that to the nth degree including advocacy. We do what things nobody else does, I can easily say that because a lot of advisors would never want to do the things that we do. We fight for clients, I've bought banks, insurance companies, of course, individual bad guys, difficult family members. So we really are advocates. And I've learned this I worked for a billionaire before it doesn't matter who you are, or how much money you have. Everybody needs an advocate somebody who's going to have their back and see what's going on a second set of eyes, ask other questions. And we are the best for that. I will pick up the phone and call anybody and ask questions and get to the bottom of something.
Gresham Harkless 4:10
Nice. I definitely appreciate that. And you know, as I said before, I'm sure your clients do as well, because what was coming to me when you were saying is this quote where people say people, people don't care how much you know, till they know how much you care. And I think that that caring aspect, that advocacy that you spoke to so many times when you're taking what can sometimes be your life savings and putting an investment in and putting in trusting hands, you want to know somebody will go to bat for you. It really you know, care, you know that you're you're in your best interest. You know,
David Treece 4:39
that is our secret sauce. You figured that out and I have clients come back and say that to us, and they're not expecting it and it shouldn't be such a competitive advantage in this industry. But it really is that if you I enter every relationship, wanting this to be a lifelong relationship. And I think our clients can see that and they will They want that, particularly older clients. And we have a lot of older clients who, for example, maybe alone are at risk of aging alone, if a spouse passes away where they've got no kids, no other close family, or the kids are far away. So we have a whole solo ager program, I've got one employee, this is all she does, it's to help those people with all the services that they need concierge services aging in place, retrofitting a house, we've put together probably a couple hundred service providers. And this has nothing to do with our investment management. It's just when somebody comes to us, they know that they can count on getting all the help that they need. And again, it may be just these great referrals. But these are people we've worked with for years and built up a lot of trust.
Gresham Harkless 5:51
Yeah, that's extremely powerful. And I love that that's, that is your secret sauce, the thing that kind of sets you all apart, because I think you kind of talked to in the beginning and talked about that transactional approach that so many people have, and and kind of being able to, to, I guess compare that with that relationship oriented environment that you all have is so huge, because I think obviously, you see it in the investments I imagine. But as you talked about, you see it in all the other additional things of being able to have these partnerships and relationships and connect people with the people they need to be able to be and lead their successful lives.
David Treece 6:24
We ask about things that don't have anything directly to do with us. And we plan for that, whether it's social security, or Medicare or family relationships, making sure legal documents are done, we like to get those we will file them electronically, so that they're available. We want to make sure that they've done all of that planning, we will get after them if they haven't. And we do these reviews, and we remind them what needs to be done. I tell them my story so that they're they learn and they're prepared. They're motivated. We deal with the emotional issues, and I named them there's money, silence, money, shame, there's greed, there's fear, there's all of those things. And we recognize it. And we, we talk about it, we want everybody to feel good about the biggest compliment I get is when somebody leaves our office and they say I feel so much better. And that that happens a lot. People are working with us because of that they know that they can count on us. And my older clients, I see we will be here to the end. And I can prove it. I have received the call from caregivers, somebody passed away. I've been in the hospital, I've called the funeral home, I've called the Neptune society to come to claim somebody who's passed away, we work with the clock, the clients, families, we transfer the accounts, we've done all of this, I've gone to court for a client. We've bought fraud, we've got money recovered from from some of the bad guys, but it's not always just like individual fraudsters, we've gotten money back from banks and insurance companies. So we really are very good at what we do. And that makes a difference. The clients See that?
Gresham Harkless 8:09
Yeah, absolutely, you really get to make that impact. And I love that you kind of touch base on that, on kind of the, I guess the emotional aspect of money. Because I think so many times we don't realize, you know, all those different kind of nuances you just discussed, and we just look at, you know, money as, obviously it's, you know, a tangible thing. And now and I guess you can say but there's so much more kind of related to that, that if you don't treat or you don't pay attention to sometimes you're not equipping your clients with the things they need to be successful.
David Treece 8:36
It's interesting, we even have a program where it can read somebody's expression. And the relationships I deal with this with a lot of couples where one maybe be very aggressive in their, their investments and the other not so much and very conservative. I've had couples where they've kept secrets from each other, like debt. And so we deal with all of these things. Our attitude is whatever's happened in the past, we go forward and we get it right. Because you can't we say don't trip over something behind you. And that in a crisis, often there are problems and we tap to try to solve those problems. And we've done it over and over and over again. And we will give difficult advice at times. So but that's our job. That's it, we have to tell somebody what's in their best interest, even if it's something that they don't necessarily want to hear.
Gresham Harkless 9:30
Yeah, absolutely. And that's what you know, kind of having their best interests at heart and I love that. Always being solution oriented and
David Treece 9:37
not tripping over anything that's behind you. So because we're always moving forward. So I love that perspective in that mentality as well. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app or book or habit that you have but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient? You know, the technology our industry is getting especially now with the Coronavirus we really on technology. And so of course, the these kinds of, you know, podcasts and use zoom meetings, I actually have a second home, my spouse, my husband is from Argentina, and we have a second home there. And I have an internet phone. And so all of these, like the technology, and it may vary from industry to industry, but we have just phenomenal technology now to communicate with clients. So I can be traveling and using WhatsApp or telegram some of these apps. So the, the technologies, the biggest thing, I wanted to ask you now for what I call a CEO, nugget, and that could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. And if you happen to have a time machine, you might tell your younger business self. You know, one of the things that you probably picked up on this, I joke, we have the shortest business plan in the world, probably two words, good karma. And you know, when we're little we're taught the golden rule, treat others as you want to be treated. And you don't associate that with the financial services industry. And it shouldn't be a competitive advantage. But it is. And I put myself in somebody else's shoes. And I asked myself, is this how I would do it? If I were done? Would I make this decision? And have the biggest decisions for the financial planning aspect of what we do? Not the investment management? Are those big decisions about? Am I retiring too early? Have I saved enough? Do I? have I taken on too much debt? Do I have the right insurance in place? If something goes wrong? If I put my eggs in one basket? Am I protected? You can we have so many stories along these lines where we've helped people and made sure that if something does go wrong, that they are protected, that we've got a plan B? So the answer the question about that nugget, is you have to be true to yourself and your values and decency. And, gosh, these days, you know if I can say lying is wrong. It seems to be like well, everybody, does it. No, it is wrong. It you treat everybody the way you want to be treated. And you know, in our industry and you're dealing with people's money, you don't mess with people's money. Yes, that's a golden rule.
Gresham Harkless 12:29
Now, I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is a definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're open to different quote unquote, CEOs on the show. So David, what does being a CEO means you
David Treece 12:38
know, I've had almost religious moments about this. And I can tell you that, to be able to have my own business, but doing what I love, it is a blessing to be in your right livelihood. And I know that that I this is like what I was born to do, I didn't start out this way. It's like most of us, we've had different careers. And I've been in corporate America after my business education. But I have definitely done what I feel I, I do the best. And I have seen so many other people in this industry. And I've thought this, you're not very, this isn't really what you should be doing. And I've spoken to other advisors and people who've got these different backgrounds, and they're still trying to figure it out. And we are like way I I'm blessed in this regard, that being my own CEO means I get to do this my way, which is the right way, which is helping people. And often you think Well, I've got freedom, I can come into the office, I could work less. And you know, I don't feel that way. It's like, I this. And I have clients who are like this, I have people who love what they do. And I'm in the same way. And they're not necessarily entrepreneurs that but I've got people were still working well into their 70s. And they could retire and you think about people like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, I mean, they're not working for money. They're This is their life, who they are their identity, what they want to do. And I'm in the same exact same position. And I see that in a few of my clients, I've got a professor, she loves this students, she's, you know, PhD level, she loves the research. So I can relate to that. And that's me, I'm able to do what I love to do. And that makes all the difference. I truly appreciate that definition. And I appreciate your time even more. And what I wanted to do is pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course how best I can get a hold of you and find out about all those things you and your team are working on. Well, yeah, if I can help somebody else, I would love to do that. It's like mentoring. I joke that a lot of what we do is like social work, financial, social work. And we I'm not in a very I'm in a very collaborative office. And I definitely want to help people that's part of our DNA and that's true of everybody who works Hear. So if we can help somebody else answer questions or provide resources, my website is just Treece financial.com. It's t as in Tom, our E, C, E. And I'll send people there. Because we have a ton of free resources, you can download all sorts of guides, we've got little educational videos, there's probably 60 of them there. We have, there's calculators, newsletter articles, anything that we can put there that we think is going to help people, we just add it, that's, that's the way the market is going. And that's a good thing. So information is free. And we have a lot of information there. So if we can help people, they can reach us through the website. And you know, we definitely want to help.
Gresham Harkless 15:45
Nice, I definitely appreciate that, David, and we will have the links and information in the show notes as well, too. But definitely, without a doubt, knowledge is power. And I appreciate you for providing those ways for us to you know, be more informed and more aware of what's happening and what's going on financially. But I appreciate you too, for you know, reminding us of how important it is that we all should have, at the very least, the front page of our business plan of understanding good karma because I think that's something that's needed a lot more in the world in every industry. So I appreciate you for not just reminding us but kind of leading the charge for that as well too. So, thank you so much. I hope you have a great rest of the day.
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