Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Arthur Robertson and you can call me the Investment Educator. I currently run an investment advisory firm, a food truck - Renegade Vegan, founded two non-profits - one focused on financial literacy for the youth and another on real estate while also being a Real Estate Investor.
Third Eye Advisors (TEA) is the boutique Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) providing customized financial planning and investment solutions to millennial business owners who run startup tech and cannabis companies. Our main focus is to assist clients with financial planning and investment management.
Growing up in Far Rockaway, NY, I wasn’t taught about the importance of budgeting, investing, and leveraging money when operating a business and managing your personal finances. This is one of the reasons I started TEA to ensure millennials, Gen X, etc. are aware of the importance of financial literacy.
Although I initially started the firm to work with professional athletes to improve their financial habits, I quickly realized the tech and cannabis industries were in dire need of prudent financial advice and services, therefore; I decided to switch our target market to millennial business owners.
The start-up costs were approximately $10,000 - $15,000, however; within three months, I was able to recoup those costs from serving clients.
What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Growing up alongside my cousin who played in the NBA for the New York Knicks, I realized the importance of learning how to make, preserve, and grow your finances. Personal finance is generally not taught in schools. In addition, being raised by a single-parent mother, I was not taught financial literacy at home; so I know many others can relate. In my opinion, financial education is necessary to empower people and help them thrive.
"Don’t waste your time on things that don't add value to you and your goals".
All of the businesses that I’ve started are all related in some manner, but TEA is the dearest to me as I’ve realized the importance of helping others who are unsure of what to do with their finances; as well as teaching others how to invest their money to create generational wealth.
I’ve worked in the financial industry for over 10 years at some of the top financial institutions in the world and always had a keen interest in managing and investing money, which is what really sparked me to start an investment advisory firm.
After leaving my previous employer - Morgan Stanley, I felt I had the knowledge and resources needed to assist people on how to manage, grow their money and to ultimately, provide advice that are in the clients best interests.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Initially, I only wanted to offer retainer fees to clients, however; I realized most startups are not financially capable of paying monthly retainer fees. This has allowed my team and me to be more flexible and create pricing models and digital products to assist those who cannot fully afford one on one financial services.
After your first consultation with us, we will determine your monthly budget, and which pricing category will be best for your company. We begin with Bronze to Platinum pricing packages that can include budgeting, investment templates, and more.
Third Eye Advisors start-up costs ranged from $10,000 to $15,000 and registered with the Attorney General in New York as an RIA. I previously obtained my Series 66 license at my previous employer.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Launching TEA, I have learned there is no one shoe fits all investment strategy, finding customers to trust you with their finances, and educating clients how important having a financial plan is critical to their business’ success.
I already had prospective clients in place while starting my firm so I was able to jump right in with assisting clients once in full operation.
To be transparent, my marketing team was only hired a few months ago to assist with building my personal and the firm’s online presence as everything was through word of mouth. I’m excited to see the transformation of where we are now to what we will look like in the upcoming months. In order to take TEA where I’ve envisioned, I need to improve my online presence to make our prospective clients aware of the importance of working with a Financial Advisor.
One of the biggest lessons learned when starting TEA is I should’ve started promoting the company to the public a few months before launch, as many people are still not aware of who we were and what we do.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Take your time to research this industry as it is quite broad and make sure you have a financial plan in place.
Understand what your goals and desires are.
Unfortunately, I didn’t do much marketing and was lucky enough to have clients prior to starting my firm. However, we are now creating a great marketing strategy to appeal to the tech and cannabis business owners.
I highly suggest networking and advertising as many aren’t aware that they need financial help until they are in financial distress. Scout your clients, leverage social media, and explain why investment management is important and necessary.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We have been doing really well, the customer acquisition cost is minimal, it’s really time. I highly suggest every Financial Advisor calculates the time it will take them to organize their client’s finances and determine which investments work best for them as this is how you will determine your fees.
My team and I have been doing very well and anticipating more clients within the next 6 months as COVID-19 has shown many how important leveraging their money for their company is.
My short term goals are having 10 new clients, whether it’s from the tech or cannabis industry while my long-term goals are to start a bank.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I should’ve hired an executive assistant when I first started as she has helped me with my organizational skills in the last month. As a busy person who is considered an investment educator, this would’ve helped increase other forms of income quicker, if I had done this earlier. Quite thankful for her now.
After working with celebrity clients, I realized that financial advice is needed more for cannabis companies as they have less financial resources to operate since cannabis is only legal at the state level, not federal, so most financial institutions chose not to do business with them. In addition, it is said that most businesses normally shut down within 3 years. As such, I decided to work in this industry to educate and advise business owners on how to manage and grow their business finances.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Slack is definitely our team’s # 1 for internal communication especially remotely. It has definitely been useful throughout these last three months in interacting with my team. It is a great communication tool for engagement throughout projects, client calls between staff, etc.
Airtable - task management between my team members and I. I think the task templates provided by Airtable make my Assistant’s job easier.
Wealthbox definitely does its job, it’s a great CRM for Financial Advisors.
TD Ameritrade Institutional is our preferred custodian for our stocks portfolios. TD Ameritrade provides exceptional value to our clients, including powerful resources, asset security, and broad investment vehicles.
XY Planning Network is the leading organization of fee-only financial advisors who are focused on working with Generation X and Generation Y clients. They provide financial advisors with tools and resources to effectively manage client portfolios that would typically only be available to big financial institutions with over $10 million in assets under management.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
10x by Grant Cardone should be the cheat code for every entrepreneur. It has pushed me 10x harder to achieve my client and company’s goals.
Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter by 50 Cent is a must-read for the modern businessman. He provides great tips on how to move forward in business. The do’s and don'ts of friendships and relationships after reaching your peak of success.
Anything written by Andre Chaperon, his courses are necessary for EVERYONE. Email marketing is the best way to go for any business you have. I highly suggest signing up for his email list at a minimum.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Time is something you’ll never get back - plan and take action. Don’t waste your time on things that don't add value to you and your goals.
I would highly suggest investing in real estate then follow your plan to start the business you’ve always wanted to.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
Yes, we are currently expanding and looking for Financial Advisors to come onboard in Q4 2020.
We are at a place where we can bring others on board to reap the benefits of working within the Investment industry.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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