Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

Johnathon Davis • Lexington, KY
Retirement Tax Advisory Group

Having attended the University of Kentucky (UK), I have a great affinity for the university and do a lot of work with several employee groups there.

The university has an excellent benefits plan and matching contribution schedule for employees. Those employees have over 100 investment options. That is great, and it is coordinated with basic enrollment education on the nature of the 403(b) plans and the investment selection process.

But frankly, no one is designated to help them navigate their way through the investment decision-making process. This is where our firm comes in. I have had success in building a 403(b) client base, especially among the university’s medical staff. They are caring, career-oriented people with demanding schedules. While concerned about retirement planning, they have not been able to devote time to learn about it.

The story of active management has been my calling card, bringing risk-managed, quantitative, active investment strategies to essentially middle-class workers. While their account balances may not be all that high, a sound investment approach can make a huge difference in their retirement outlook over time.

UK has a strict solicitation policy. Financial firms cannot advertise their way to success, which has actually worked to my advantage because I am good at the one-on-one process and willing to do a lot of legwork. I’ve been welcomed by the administration because they know I respect their policies.

Acquiring new clients has been 100% referral-based. I do not ask people for a long list of referral names but rather ask them to think about people they really care about who might also need help with their retirement planning. It might be a short list, but if they have a close bond with that person, they are more likely to ask if they would be willing to hear about my approach to their 403(b). So when I call, the person is not just waiting for my call—they’re expecting to do business with me when I do see them. That one referral is worth far more than receiving random names of associates.

Disclosure: Retirement Tax Advisory Group Inc. (RTAG) is a Kentucky-based registered investment advisory Firm. Securities offered through American Equity Investments, member FINRA and SIPC.

Post-publication note: Mr. Davis has been registered with American Capital Management, Inc., since September 2015.

Photography by Chris Cone


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