Financial advisors have a unique opportunity to make a real, immediate impact on people’s lives — if they’re willing to break away from the old model that’s only interested in improving return on investments.

On today’s show, RIA leader Seth Streeter explains how his firm not only delivers a first-class planning experience, but also helps their top clients “redefine wealth” and develop their “inspired life purpose.”

Seth Streeter is the CEO and founder of Mission Wealth, a leading wealth management company with about $1.6 billion in assets under management. Seth’s team specializes in comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services for high net worth clients around the country. Seth also helps people reframe their perspectives of wealth beyond just the financial so that they can enjoy a more balanced, impactful, and fulfilled life. And in 2016, Seth was asked to speak on the TEDx stage to share “an introspective approach to help you assess and transform your true wealth.”

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Seth Streeter’s TEDx Talk

5 Insights from Seth Streeter on Redefining Wealth

1. Care about the people, not just their numbers. 

“For the first couple decades in my career, I was really focused around the financial dimensions. It was helping people retire. It was helping people sell their companies. Then I realized that I was helping people accumulate and secure their wealth, but it didn’t necessarily mean that they were that much more fulfilled, or that they had greater meaning or purpose in their lives. That’s where I realized that we have such a huge opportunity in professional advisory services. People are really trusting us, and they’re opening up and they’re sharing their warts and blemishes and family dynamics and hopes and fears. If we just stay at a surface level and only talk about their mortgage and their 401(k) and their Roth IRA conversion, we’re missing the opportunity to have a deeper, transformational impact on their lives.”

2. Don’t be afraid to engage your emotions and be vulnerable to help clients discover what they really need. 

“In the financial world, we’re largely left-brain thinkers. We’re good at math and analytics and research. When someone is coming to us with a lot of emotional needs, sometimes it’s uncomfortable. We’re not the type to necessarily be overly vulnerable in our personal lives, so why would we be doing that with clientele? As a result, we have a lot of two-dimensional conversations.

Let’s say a client gets emotional. I’ve seen plenty of meetings where the advisor will say, ‘Hey, Bob, take your time. Here’s a tissue. Let me know when you’re ready to get back into it.’ The client takes a few moments and then you say, ‘Okay. Great. Now, let’s get back to your mortgage.’ Really the opportunity there is to find the need beneath the need.”

seth streeter

Seth Streeter: We’ve incorporated a number of processes to allow people to, yes, make smart choices with their money, but to also really evaluate their lives from a holistic perspective.

3. Ensure your client’s money strategy is aligned with their life values. 

“Values are the foundation. First, from the company cultural standpoint, we have a service-oriented and caring culture. We feel we can be the best in the world at our level of care for each other, for our clients, for ourselves, for the communities we serve.

But, when we work with clients, we also help them identify their core values and then we look at how their lives, how they invest, their careers, and so forth, align with those values. We offer socially responsible investing for our clients. A lot of times clients will be really into volunteering and buying organic foods. Then we find out they own pesticide companies in their portfolio, and they own companies that are doing animal testing and things that their values wouldn’t normally be in sync with.

We help clients identify values and create strategies across their entire financial plan, which would include everything from how they give money away, making sure their charitable giving is in alignment with their values, how they invest, how they spend, the types of products and services that they purchase. It’s helping them really reconnect the money piece in their life to the value piece that they have in their life. That’s really, really fun work.”

4. Assess how satisfied your clients are across numerous dimensions of wealth. 

“We will help clients go through the process of assessing their degree of satisfaction across 10 dimensions of wealth. They will really reflect and ask, ‘Am I happy with the level of impact I’m having in the community or in the world at large? Am I happy with the depth and caliber of my family relationships? Am I happy with my physical health, how my body looks, feels and functions? Am I intellectually challenged? Do I feel like I have a growth mindset or am I bored?’

We go across 10 different dimensions and then the clients can identify where they feel like they would like to put a little bit more resources and more of their attention. Then we have ways to support them in each of those categories. Sometimes it’s helping them develop their inspired life purpose, and we go through a process to evaluate their natural gifts and innate abilities, reflect on their greatest passions, what they would do if they had all the time and money in the world, and how they might leverage their gifts, and skills, and passions to make a difference. It really helps clients come up with a very meaningful focus area.”

5. Don’t settle for average talent. 

“At the end of the day, this is a people business. You have to find really aligned, competent, caring, committed people to deliver your service and to scale the business and its capacity to reach more clients. Because we’ve had such a high standard on the type of professional we wanted to work with at Mission Wealth, our number one challenge is finding people who are the right fit, and saying no to a lot of folks that maybe have the credentials but not the culture.

Also, our training programs instill the cultural development that’s so critical to the types of relationships we want to have our in business. Our people are the touchpoint with the clients. Yes, we can have the best process, and infrastructure, and technology, and branding. But, at the end of the day, it’s a people business and you have to have really incredible talent who are operating from the heart, operating from a service-oriented approach.”


Mission Wealth Visit Seth and his team online.

Watch Seth’s TedxTalk

Seth’s Articles and Videos  Has other interviews he’s done and articles he’s written, including more about his panic attack he touched on during the podcast.

“Conscious Capitalism” by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia Seth recommends this guide to how business can be a catalyst for good in society.

“The E Myth” by Michael Gerber Seth learned a lot from this book about how to build a business around your entrepreneurial passions.

“Avalanche” by Steve Sanduski and Ron Carson My own take on the concept of redefining wealth.

– Values Clarification Toolkit Click here to download this FREE tool and start living your values.

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