S1E5: Pi Capital Management

In this episode of The Konsole Podcast, we interview a wealth strategist who is passionate about helping people understand and improve their financial lives. We talk through the transition from full-time financial executive to an entrepreneur/business owner who wants to help a difference in people’s financial lives.

Music Credits: Don’t Stop by YFLY

Listen: https://ffm.to/yfly

Work With Pi Capital: https://picapitalmanagement.com/

About Bryan Uribe: https://bryanuribe.com

About Daniel Guiney: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielguiney/

Transcript:

BRYAN URIBE: Hi, my name is Bryan Uribe. 

DANIEL GUINEY: And I’m Daniel Guiney and we’re here with another episode of Konsole Consulting. 

Today, we’ve got one of our main men. This guy is an absolute financial guru. Prem Itharat, introduce yourself. 

PREM ITHARAT: Sure. My name is Prem Itharat. I come from a long career working at hedge funds; 10 years of experience and I left about four and a half years ago to start my own business called Pi Capital Management

And what we do is we focus on investment management. So, if you have a lump sum of money that you want to invest, I’m here to kind of help you grow that money and have some passive income. 

And really, I focus more on my financial concierge service, which is essentially me; you get unlimited access to me through text, phone or email. And what I do is I provide advice and a plan for you guys to get into shape, in terms of your finances. I help you build that income so that when you go down the line and you’re 10/15 years out, you can pursue whatever it is that you’re passionate about because you have money. 

And so, I think a lot of people have come to appreciate that; it’s 99 bucks a month for an individual, which I think is very affordable. And my goal is really to help you grow and we grow together; that’s absolutely what happens. 

DANIEL GUINEY: It’s crazy. Munoz lay off the avocado toast and coffee; it’s {indistinct 02:33}. You can have a financial marathon adviser. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah. 

DANIEL GUINEY: He’s $99 a month. That’s incredible. 

BRYAN URIBE: He’s going to help you build your entire financial situation. So, people typically don’t understand what financial advisors do, wealth managers. Could you just give people background on like what it is that you focus on, what’s your core competencies and when should they be engaging with the financial advisor or a wealth manager? 

PREM ITHARAT: Sure. So, in general, a financial advisor working at a bigger bank, such as Chase, is focused on relationships. They don’t usually do the investments themselves; they have the bank do that for them and they’re just looking at your situation and saying, “Okay, based on your income, based on your assets and your debt, this is what we suggest that you do.” 

My approach is very different. So, I try to take everything and really, I act more like a trainer. So, like you have a personal gym trainer who you may know everything that you need to do, but are you going to do it? And as you progress, month over month, how are you doing and how can you get better? 

So, my whole approach is to have that accessible to everyone. And so, they come in and they get a lot of value out of it because they’re asking me questions.

There is some notion that financial advisors are not accessible or you need to have a certain amount of money to just start talking.

DANIEL GUINEY: The man behind the curtain. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. And it’s just like, “Hey, you don’t have to have any sort of money to start with this financial concierge service and what it does is it opens a door.” I think to a lot of the millennials that are out there, a lot of the young professionals who are just starting. 

And when do you do that? When do you want to seek out an advisor? I think when you start making money. So, any transition period. So, coming from college or starting a new job. 

You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re spending all your money and you don’t have anything left. You know, when you look out 5/10 years… I just met a prospective client who’s mid-thirties and they have over… 

BRYAN URIBE: Hey everyone. My name is Bryan Uribe. 

DANIEL GUINEY: I’m Daniel Guiney. We’re here for another episode of Konsole Consulting. Today, we’ve got one of our good friends and high power advisors PiCapital Management. Prem Itharat, you want to introduce yourself to the crowd? 

PREM ITHARAT: Sure. My name is Prem Itharat. I have a lot of experience in terms of hedge funds; 10 years’ experience and I started my own business about four and a half years ago to bring financial advising to the masses essentially. And I enjoy it and I have an undergraduate degree from NYU and an MBA as well from NYU. So, a lot of NYU. 

DANIEL GUINEY: A long shout out to NYU. 

PREM ITHARAT: It’s healthy. People don’t have a lot of student debt out there. I was unfortunate not to, but, you know, I have quantitative finance and so I’m very trained in I guess the academic portion of it. But I want to bring what I consider to be the most important part, which is accessible to people to speak to an advisor. Because most people are a little bit afraid to even engage an advisor. 

BRYAN URIBE: Absolutely. 

PREM ITHARAT: So, I’m trying to make that. 

BRYAN URIBE: So let’s dial-in. What are for the people out there that don’t know or believe that financial advisors are out of scope; they don’t have enough money, they don’t have a million or $250 thousand. What exactly do the wealth managers and financial advisors do? 

PREM ITHARAT: So, in general, an adviser gets paid based on a certain percentage of what they bring in the terms of assets and they recommend different mutual funds or asset allocation. Those are your typical advisors. So, they won’t typically work with you if you don’t have too much money or they’re just kind of give you a simple recommendation and that would be a bank product. 

You know, they are bound by more suitability clauses, but that means that based on your income, based on your age and certain assets and your debt, they get these products for you. 

Whereas, I’m a fiduciary. So, I’m a registered investment adviser. I’ve worked myself; I’m independent. So, what that means is I have to do what’s in your best interests. 

So, an example of that is you have let’s say 100 grand and a financial adviser at a bank might say, “Well, I suggest you do mutual funds in this particular fund, which is a class A or Class C.” Some of those funds have load fees, which are up to 5 percent (5/6 percent) that you don’t realize you’re paying. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Wow. 

PREM ITHARAT: But the advisors get paid based on that. And I can’t do that as a sort of an independent advisor. I’m bound by fiduciary responsibility to my clients. 

BRYAN URIBE: For those of you that don’t understand what fiduciary is; let’s include a quick definition under here. But it’s you must act within the best interests of the person you are either consulting, serving or selling your services to. 

So, Prem Itharat is bound by law to do what’s in your best interest to the extent of his knowledge. If it’s something that he can’t foresee; like stock market crashes are really difficult the time that. You can’t sue Prem Itharat or any other financial adviser for things like that. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. So, that’s only one portion of that. That’s the investment margin portion. The other part of sort of your financial health, which is what I think is my signature product which I believe is accessible to anyone. It’s 99 bucks a month. It starts at 99 bucks a month for individuals and you essentially get an adviser by your side; essentially whenever you want. So, I’m available through text, email, phone; hopefully, I don’t get calls in the middle of the night. 

But the whole idea with that is that you can ask little questions or you can ask big questions. So, are you looking at evaluating a mortgage; that’s a bigger question or how do you start saving for your retirement. You know, it’s a combination of different things that you can do that essentially get you to a point where you build enough investments so that you have enough sort of income generated through that and you can pursue your passion. 

I would love to have people get into sort of their 30s or 40s in a situation where they have let’s say a million dollars in the bank and they can grow that, let’s say, 50 grand 100 grand a year and they have that income coming in so they can pursue their passion. 

It could be it could be retirement. You know, they want to travel the world and retire or could be starting or working with a nonprofit. There are so many different things that you can do once you unlock yourself from the sort of daily grind of work. You have to work. There’s a lot of people do that because they need money. 

DANIEL GUINEY: That’s awesome. So, what you’re saying is you have an outstanding introductory product for people who might not initially find themselves going towards a financial adviser because they have preconceived notions. 

But through your program, they’re able to get involved, able to get like a boxing coach in their corner that’s going to get them through all 12 rounds; no matter what’s going on in the financial markets. They’re going to get knocked down, you’re going to pick them back up, going to fix up their face and get them back in the ring. Or ideally, you’re going to coach and train them in their position to go in their first-round and knock it out of the park and just keep winning battle after battle. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

DANIEL GUINEY: That’s awesome. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah, I kind of equate this to sort of a gym personal trainer you might have where you may get all the knowledge that you need or you may know what you need to do in terms of getting to a certain point with your body (your physical body) but for financial health. 

So, for your finances, imagine having someone that’s watching your back, making sure you pay let’s say the student loan debts or credit card debts that are really… Credit card; that’s one of the most toxic forms of that if you don’t know. 

So, it’s getting people to have someone in their corner to help them navigate this sort of financial perils. 

BRYAN URIBE: You know, something really interesting. I was doing research this week. So, I had a pitch yesterday. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

BRYAN URIBE: And you know, redesigning my pitch deck to have like an investor leave behind when I’m not there. And you know, I was doing research and I never really thought to look at it, but the average interest rate on existing credit cards is 157 times higher than the average annual percentage yield on a savings account. 

So, effectively, you’re damaging yourself 157 times more dollar-for-dollar by putting your money in a savings account than addressing the $10,000 in debt that you have. 

PREM ITHARAT: Right. So, if you have $10,000 in debt, you’re paying about 1,500. Let’s say 15 percent interest, but 1,500 bucks a year and that’s kind of like throwing away money. Especially, if you have that cash lying around. And I do have some prospective clients who… You know, there’s a very personal attachment to money. So, some people like to have it. They like to just feel it and know that they balance this. 

But if you have a large amount of cash, you would want to pay off your credit card debt. Lower interest, like a student loan, mortgage and for us, that’s a little bit more complicated because there are tax benefits for example for some of those products. So, you don’t necessarily want to pay those off. You want your money to grow quicker than your debt interest. So, that is what it comes down to. 

BRYAN URIBE: I think that it’s really interesting that you kind of went down that path. So, my question for you is… Let me see I could frame this better. Go ahead and ask your question, Daniel Guiney. 

DANIEL GUINEY: I’ll take a brief moment just to shout out on camera. People watching the video, look at this; Prem Itharat brought branded vest. That’s branding. That’s what you guys all got to be doing. You go to interviews, meetings; get your brand out there. Anybody else who is going to come to get interviewed next, the bar has been set. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah, dude. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Make sure you take note.

PREM ITHARAT: A nice little L.L. Bean tumbler. Solid dude; didn’t experience the experience. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Didn’t experience the experience. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah. My question for you, Prem Itharat, is… So, what you’re saying is interesting and the reason why I say it’s interesting is that a lot of what I do has to do with the psychology of the consumer or the user; the person that you’re helping. 

Hearing that, the first thing I think of is they probably had a rough upbringing and they never had the money or they didn’t know how their bills were going to be paid. Maybe saw their parents go through that or they’ve gone through that in the past. 

How much of your job do you find that you’re managing between the psychology of the person; not as a psychologist, but kind of like some of the preconceived notions around money versus like, “Let’s build this?” 

I feel like the building part is a lot easier and more direct because you’ve done this for an extensive amount of time, but it’s always really difficult battling the money trauma or the money preconceived notions that they have. 

PREM ITHARAT: I think there’s a lot of that that I have to work with and I can’t tell people what to do. I can advise them, suggest based on my knowledge what is in their best interest to do, but at the end of the day, I can only do so much. They have to kind of take the other side of it and do it themselves. 

So, it’s interesting you mentioned psychology because when you were talking at… Psychology of financial advisors. What do people think when they think of financial advisors? I mean, I’d love to know that because they think it’s not reachable. 

If you don’t have money if you don’t have a 50-100K, which is even not a ton of money and most people that I have either have a lot or they have a little and there are some people in the middle. 

But people don’t have so much money. They feel like there’s a big barrier because it’s either intimidating to go into a bank, for example and seek out a financial adviser. 

BRYAN URIBE: I think the biggest challenge, and this is with most of the financial services and products that have to deal with paying for something outside of the norm. So, you’re not paying for like IRA a that’s directed by the bank or you’re not putting your money in an ETF or a mutual fund; that’s going to be directed by an investment group. 

I think the challenge is always quantifying what’s your value proposition. And if you can like to say, “I have a client. He’s making $50,000 a year and he had X amount of credit card debt five years later. His 401K was 125 thousand dollars in and he could only contribute legally by the Fed, $19,000. So how do we get there? That’s what Pi Capital Management does. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

BRYAN URIBE: And that may be an extreme example; right? Like if you’re getting that kind of return… 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. It’s getting people to see it. I think when you look at it, most financial planners (and I’m not a financial planner, but I kind of offer this a holistic solution) is they’ll charge you like a thousand dollars just to talk to someone, evaluate what you have and then come up with a plan. 

And for most people, what you’re saying is basically that they can’t see the value in that or they don’t know what they want. 

DANIEL GUINEY: It’s intimidating. 

PREM ITHARAT: It is intimidating and people don’t like to talk about finances, to begin with. So, I’m trying to break that a little bit and say, “Hey, 99 bucks will start the conversation.” 

But going back to that psychology, when they feel comfortable with me when we start having that dialogue. I think a consistent dialogue with the adviser is very important. Most advisers will see you once a year. Maybe they’ll rebalance the portfolio like once every quarter. 

I want to be there for you every step of the way. So, if you have a new job or if you are thinking about buying a house or if you have a new kid you know new kid; additions to the family, all these things require sort of an evaluation of your situation to be optimal, from a tax perspective and also from your perspective; financial security and build this plan. 

DANIEL GUINEY: I know you’ve touched upon it just briefly, but could you expand a little bit more on the “why?” behind Pi Capital? So, maybe not only just the way you’re financial advisor but maybe why you called it Pi and then why this is your passion? Why did you choose to do this specifically over, I know you had a successful career in hedge funds management and things of that nature. So, why did you make this transition? 

PREM ITHARAT: It’s a good question. So, I think growing up, I wasn’t {indistinct 17:18} finance actually; like personal finance. My dad was a doctor and he knew how to practice medicine and I always thought him working hard; which was great. And I was always looking at the stock market. I was always looking at IRA’s, like ways to go in and see optimal in terms of growing my money. 

And so I kind of fell into sort of finance in terms of academia. So, I started going into learning more about finance. Not finances itself, as an investment strategy and as other stuff that goes into it. But nobody teaches you personal finance. So, even though I have finance as a background because of my Masters, it’s not like they teach you how to save in your 401K or an IRA or how much you should put; it doesn’t exist. 

BRYAN URIBE: Absolutely. 

PREM ITHARAT: There’s nothing out there. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Interesting. Yeah.

PREM ITHARAT: So, I started my hedge fund career because I was interested in finance and I ended up at multiple hedge funds. I ended up at Amaranth Advisors, then I went to Merrill Lynch for about a year because I was afraid of hedge fund world because they had kind of been under, which I had nothing to do with. {indistinct 18:27}. 

BRYAN URIBE: Absolutely. 

PREM ITHARAT: And so, I went to Merrill. And Merrill (this is back in the late 2000s) had issues and so, they were one of the first to get hit with the credit crisis. {crosstalk 19:38 – 52}. 

Yeah. So, then I went to High Bridge Capital, which is where it ended up before leaving. So, I was there 6/7 years; very successful. I got into basically managing three different operations teams there; right underneath the director Ops. And I was making big money. So, don’t get me wrong; like the money was great. But I didn’t feel like I was making any impact whatsoever on anyone’s lives or any social impact. 

So, I was doing well for myself, doing well for my family and it was like, “Okay, what am I doing all this for?” I was really for family, but family plus how can change the world? 

And so, in my small way, I’m like, number one I want to have a better work-life balance. So, I want to be able to set my lifestyle, so I can do things like this. But basically, that was part of it. So, I wanted a very focused career so I can do better with family life balance and work. 

And I also am very entrepreneurial. So, I’ve always wanted to build my own business. I don’t know if you guys know. I don’t know if I shared this before, but I had co-owned a comic book store in college. 

DANIEL GUINEY: What? That’s awesome. 

BRYAN URIBE: This is new. Yes. 

DANIEL GUINEY: This is new.

PREM ITHARAT: It was it was sort of mine… 

BRYAN URIBE: Who are you? 

PREM ITHARAT: No one. And so, yeah, it was I was one of my hobbies, collecting comic books and trading cards back in high school. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah. 

PREM ITHARAT: And I went in as owner and needed some help and eventually, this was back when eBay, (everyone knows eBay now) but eBay just was starting. And so, I was more technically savvy, being young back then and the other guy, who I’m very good friends with, he’s also one of my clients right now. He’s on the older side, but he was just looking for a business partner and that got me into, “How do you run a business? How do you speak to customers?” Very practical knowledge of a very small business. It has retail locations; very small, but it was a very good experience. 

So, I wanted to replicate that in away. So, my whole thing is just sharing their knowledge. Financial literacy is not taught anywhere and I’d love to get in front of students out there and get some free classes and just basically share my knowledge because people benefit from it. 

BRYAN URIBE: That’s something that I always try to kind of wave the flag on. You know, I think the number is like 48 percent of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency. I believe the number is about 48 percent of Americans have less than $400 in emergency savings and like 60-something percent of Americans have less than a thousand dollars in savings. 

But then we want to complain about everything else that’s happening on the back end with the government and the multibillionaires making their money. 

You know, like the income disparity, I won’t even touch that, but a lot of the challenges and issues that we as a people are facing could be resolved if we just learn how money works. 

You know, I have a good friend. I think we spoke about this before. I have a good friend. He’s in politics and he doesn’t understand how money works. I was like, “Bro, I don’t want to hear your monetary policy if you can’t tell me how money works. Because you are just not understanding it. You are talking from a position that you just haven’t even educated yourself and you haven’t made an effort to. 

DANIEL GUINEY: That’s the norm. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Which is crazy. 

BRYAN URIBE: And most people are like that. And I think that you know, it’s not to bash anybody, but I always like to recommend people, like “Hey, go check this book out and like go learn about it.” 

You know, I find it interesting because I spoke to a few education institutions where it’s like I love to just come in and give a class about money and wealth generation. They’re like, “We’re not fucking doing that.” 

DANIEL GUINEY: They’ll go, “We have finance courses.”

BRYAN URIBE: “What are you talking about? You have a business school; right? Like how are you not going to tell your students?” And guys, for everybody, wealth doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be hundreds of millions of dollars. If you have $200 thousand or $100 thousand in equity or something, that is technically wealth. 

So, you know, like people just don’t understand like the play behind money and how to grow; which I think what you’re saying is so powerful where the educators aren’t aware of it, the politicians aren’t preaching it and then you’ve got a couple of people that are trying to fix it, but like the barriers to entry because personal finance (money) as a whole in the United States is a very much taboo topic unless you like blowing it. Like, “I just bought a $5,000 TV.” You live in a trailer, bro. I’m sorry. I don’t think that makes sense, bro.” 

DANIEL GUINEY: Not to bash anybody living in the trailer, if that’s your financial decision. 

BRYAN URIBE: I think you should probably be smarter with your money. I’ll go out and challenge them to be smarter with their money, but these are some of the things that society has kind of allowed to happen. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah, and people don’t understand; like people don’t look that far out in advance. Like, 150 bucks a month, invested for about 35 years in the S&P 500, which is a very generic broad market index. So, they average about 10 percent a year on average will net you a million dollars approximately when you reach retirement age. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Could you say that louder for the people in the back? Just say that one more time? 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. So, 150 bucks a month. 

DANIEL GUINEY: 150 bucks a month. 

PREM ITHARAT: Invested over 35 years. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Over 35 years. 

PREM ITHARAT: In the S&P 500. 

DANIEL GUINEY: S&P 500. 

PREM ITHARAT: Which has historically done about 10 percent per year will net you about one million dollars. 

DANIEL GUINEY: One million dollars. Anybody hearing that? That’s so simple. That’s {crosstalk 24:25}. 

PREM ITHARAT: What is that? That’s like your monthly Starbucks bill, maybe, if you go every day. So, it doesn’t take a ton. And I know people are coming from different scenarios, what I kind of try to tell people is like treat your financial security as a bill. So, if you can treat 150 bucks a month, set it aside, you can do this on your own by the way. You don’t need me to do that. You can do that. And you’ll be very… 

You at least have a net. And that’s just a base starting level. Imagine you’ve put in a thousand dollars, two thousand dollars a month, which a lot of people… 

BRYAN URIBE: Have the capacity to do. Yeah.

PREM ITHARAT: They do. And so, then when people tell me that they don’t have money, it’s all different scenarios. It’s all relative. People are coming from all different places. But for that little money, as long as you plan for it, I think you can do it. You have to change your mindset a little bit and not say, “Oh, I’ll get to saving when I can” because a lot of people don’t get around to it. They just spend their money. They think they have. You see their bank balance as X and so like, “Oh, hey I can now buy like $5,000 TV” or whatever it is or “Buy that fancy car.” So, you just have to plan for it. 

BRYAN URIBE: I want to qualify what Prem Itharat said too. So, guys, if you’re saving $150 dollars and putting it into a savings account, you’re getting less than 1 percent interest. So, that’s not what Prem Itharat is saying. 

Prem Itharat is more saying, “If you took your money and put it into like a stock in the S&P 500 or invest in the S&P 500, which is a stock… 

PREM ITHARAT: So, SPY, for example, is an exchange-traded fund, which you can buy, SPY. There are different mutual funds that you can do in your 401K or otherwise… 

BRYAN URIBE: We’re going to ask you to define some of those. 

PREM ITHARAT: Sure. 

BRYAN URIBE: But just to qualify this again for the listeners. If you’re taking your money and putting it into a fund like the SPY, you should be averaging like 10 percent per year. After the 35 years, that’s when you hit your mil. 

So, guys, don’t go ahead and put your hundred fifty dollars into your mattress, don’t put it into your savings account that’s giving you less than 1 percent. We’re talking about actual financial and stock investment. 

PREM ITHARAT: Right. And that’s 500 companies US companies. So, it’s very diverse; very diversified. I just want to make sure people understand; it’s not guaranteed. So, it’s not guaranteed, but that’s based on the historical return of that S&P 500. 

DANIEL GUINEY: And also, to play off of that too. Now, something important that Prem Itharat mentioned is you have to do it every month. Now, you can’t just take that money and put it in a lump sum at the beginning of the year and go, “Hey, I put my $1,700 in an account. I’m good for the year.” That’s not how it works. You got to dollar cost average it. 

PREM ITHARAT: That’s a better way to do it, in my opinion; do it every month. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Yeah. 

PREM ITHARAT: And it’s also easier for you. So, once you start saving, you’re not having to save up for that 1,800 bucks, whatever it may be, but you’re doing it every month. And so, that’s an important part of it as well. And it doesn’t have to be the S&P 500; that’s just one example. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Yeah. 

PREM ITHARAT: If you love real estate, do a real estate investment or if you have other investments that you are expert in or you feel more comfortable with, do it. But don’t put it in a bank account where it’s not going to earn enough to cover inflation, which is about 2 percent this year. 

So, if you’re earning zero, you’re losing about 2 percent a year, just on inflation because the prices go higher over time. 

BRYAN URIBE: And again, guys just to qualify our earlier point; I think this is fascinating. Existing credit card debt is 157 times more expensive than whatever return you’d get in a savings account, which the average right now is point .09. So, it’s one-ninth of a percent. It’s not an actual percent; it’s one-ninth of a percent. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yes. 

BRYAN URIBE: It’s 90 percent of one percent; it’s crazy. So, just kind of just driving on the Prem Itharat is saying, there are so many more alternatives for people to take that would be so much more beneficial, but you also got to get the toxicity out of your life. 

PREM ITHARAT: Credit card debt is the number one thing that, if I see it, that’s going to be where I would focus on first. Because then, you’re digging yourself out of a hole essentially. 

And once that’s clear, then we can look at everything else. So, your student loan debt, any mortgage. There’s nothing wrong with the debt itself. It can be a healthy debt. It’s not a problem. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Capitalism; you’re going to have to have debt. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. And mortgage rates are at historic lows. They’re kind of come up a little bit. But you’re talking about 4 to 5 percent a year, which is tiny and you get a tax benefit as well or you can get a tax benefit, depending on your financial situation. Because everyone’s situation is different. So, if you’re itemizing your deductions on your tax; not again get into tax laws and all of that. But yes, there are benefits to that.

BRYAN URIBE: So, I want to dive in on something. So, mutual funds. Could you give us like Cliff Notes, layman’s version definition of a mutual fund? And again, guys none of this is financial advisory. This is all just education and information. So, we’re not telling you guys to go make these investments. We want to make sure we’re not liable for anything. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yes, please. 

DANIEL GUINEY: What you do with your money is your liability. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah, you go do your research. But yeah, so mutual funds. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. So, mutual funds are, in their simplest terms, basically a compilation of stocks or bonds and basically, they’re a fund made up of let’s say 50 stocks. 

And they all vary right. They have different focuses. One can focus on growth or small-cap companies, some can do large-cap companies and focus on dividends. But essentially, it is… 

BRYAN URIBE: Before you keep diving; small-cap versus large-cap. 

PREM ITHARAT: So, we’ll give you that in the captions, I guess, but there are multiple definitions of it. But it’s based on the dollar amount that the company is valued based on their stock price. Does that make sense? 

DANIEL GUINEY: Pick up Prem Itharat’s book {indistinct 30:08}. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah, drop the book. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Yeah, drop the book.

BRYAN URIBE: Konsole Publishing. 

PREM ITHARAT: So, for example, Vanguard has multiple major funds… I’m sure you’ve heard of Vanguard before. They’re one of the lower-cost mutual funds companies out there. 

BRYAN URIBE: And they’re killing it. They’ve been doing very well. 

PREM ITHARAT: And you put in money into a fund and it’s priced every day. So, even if you decide right now to purchase a mutual fund, it’ll have to wait until 4:00 PM where something is snapped. You know the net asset value is snapped. And that’s the price that you get in or get out of. So, if you sell or buy during the day, it’s just one price, whereas an exchange-traded fund is traded in real-time based on market prediction. 

So, in general, ETF’s are better because they carry lower expenses. So, mutual fund companies would charge you a percentage to manage that portfolio of stocks or bonds or any kind you’re investing in. So, that’s important to know as well. They are a little bit cheaper alternative and there are different types. 

So, they’ve come up with ones that are now sort of targeting retirement funds. I’m not sure if you guys are aware, but you choose a year that you expect to retire, based on your age and they manage that portfolio for you. 

So, as you get older, you want more stable investments, so you want more fixed income because you can’t afford to have a very big down risk there when you’re about to retire. 

So, when you’re younger, you have that all 20/30 years. So, that’s not as much of a concern and you’re continually buying into it. Hopefully, you’re continuing to contribute every month. And so, a mutual fund is essentially that. It’s ownership in either stocks or bonds or mixes thereof of different types of assets. 

And ETF, for example, can go short. So, you can go a short ETF and they have more flexibility as well in terms of what they can do. 

So, ETF DB, I think is the name of the last one. They’re pretty good at showing you what kind of ETF’s are out there. You can check it out. You can do all sorts of things. I’m just saying this can be very specific to certain commodities or can be very broad like {indistinct 32:15}.

BRYAN URIBE: ETF DB you said. 

PREM ITHARAT: I think etfdb.com.

BRYAN URIBE: Is that a website that people could check out? 

PREM ITHARAT: Yes it’s a website. I believe that’s it. If it’s not that, we’ll correct it. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Okay.

PREM ITHARAT: But etfdb.com

DANIEL GUINEY: Try more.

BRYAN URIBE: I will link the probe’s website too, in case you guys want to ask any questions. As you can see, he’s a wealth of knowledge and we have to pleasure of being able to have access to this text message, call or email. 

PREM ITHARAT: And that’s the thing. You know, it’s not a very expensive service. It’s meant to be sort of an introductory service where you anyone can get it and it’s this building over time. Also, this happens to be free after you reach a certain dollar amount, in terms of value investments with me. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Got you. 

PREM ITHARAT: Right now, it’s at 100K. I’m hoping to keep it there, but we’ll see as sort of the client base grows. I just don’t know if I have time. That’s the thing. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Of course. 

PREM ITHARAT: I might start hiring more people. And then that could be a service that they’ll offer. 

DANIEL GUINEY: So let’s put it on that point and I’d love to dive into some of the challenges or areas of opportunity that you see coming up and just kind of break into those because it can be very powerful to hear it from third parties and even just reflecting it yourself out loud. You have some amazing breakthroughs in real-time. 

BRYAN URIBE: So I think as an entrepreneur or for any entrepreneurs that are out there, you have to adapt. And I found that out pretty (I don’t know if quickly is the right word). 

But I spend about three and a half years very focused on an investment strategy, which I think works well over the long term. I won’t go into it because it’s just maybe too complicated. But essentially, you can’t make up a product and a service that people will buy unless they want it. And so, I thought, “Hey, I like to get good returns. It would be great because I don’t want it. But I want people to get better returns.” 

What I found is that it can get very complicated. And so, people if people don’t understand something, they’re not going to invest in it. So, I spent the first three and a half years doing that. And so, the last year or so, I’ve been very focused on shifting us. And didn’t spend a dime in marketing or maybe very little. I had a very basic website, which did nothing. It was just like, “Hey, here’s my address, here’s my phone number and this is what I do.” 

DANIEL GUINEY: That’s a lot of businesses I thought. 

PREM ITHARAT: That’s true. That’s true.

DANIEL GUINEY: Some are just the start; like a preliminary. 

PREM ITHARAT: But I think that’s changed entirely because people don’t have the time also to kind of have these conversations; not me, but like setting up a 30-minute sort of consultation, some people are not going to do that unless they know what they’re going to get out of it. 

And so, your website, everything, your digital presence has to convey what you do in a very succinct way and a very effective way, which in December, I have re-launched my website. 

BRYAN URIBE: And it’s beautiful. 

DANIEL GUINEY: It’s beautiful. 

PREM ITHARAT: Oh, thank you.

DANIEL GUINEY: There are lots of photos of Prem Itharat up close. 

BRYAN URIBE: Smiling.

DANIEL GUINEY: You want to see it. Al least, go check it out. Click the link.

PREM ITHARAT: It was designed by Alister Marie Media, which I would highly recommend her. She did everything. She did the photos as well and she kind of rebranded me. 

And at the same time, it pivoted my focus on business too. So, initially, I was trying to get high net-worth family offices that have hundreds of millions of dollars. I figured if get a million from them, like from 10 of them, I’m kind of set. 

BRYAN URIBE: {indistinct 35:37}. 

PREM ITHARAT: It’d be great, but it takes so long to do that. And since the lead time is very long and also, this is hard to do as a standalone firm; like you need a team. There’s no reason why someone in their shoes with a fund allocator would come and say, “Oh, let’s just take a chance on Prem Itharat because his numbers are good.” 

DANIEL GUINEY: He has a CMA attitude. I don’t think I want to cover my ass. 

PREM ITHARAT: Exactly. And they don’t get paid enough to take that risk. And it doesn’t make any sense because the structure isn’t there. So, I had a shift and now I am shifting to young professionals who just start to have disposable income and they need to kind of monster out of college. 

You know, they need to evaluate what they’re doing with their money. Many of them don’t because they either don’t think they can afford an adviser because they don’t have enough money. They don’t think they’ll even talk to them. I found that a lot. It’s like, “Oh, I don’t have enough money to talk to you.” 

DANIEL GUINEY: I think it’s a mental barrier. 

PREM ITHARAT: It is. It’s like, I guess, decades of history, you know, how this kind of evolved. 

BRYAN URIBE: You know, the misconception of just the industry and what’s going on. Everybody looks at Wall Street and anybody in finance is a multimillionaire. You know, there are people in finance making 30 grand a year. It’s just like every other industry. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. And so, it’s about that. It’s about challenges. You know, generating lead generation system has been a challenge, especially when you’re working for yourself because I am sort of doing everything. And you have to be effective with your time. Because I want to spend time servicing my clients, but also on the investment side as well, you know, managing their money. So, I have to be cognizant of what I can do and what I can’t do. 

And so, the website acts as part of a comprehensive solution to get people to know what I do and who I am without having to talk it out to them. Not that I don’t want to talk to people. I do want to talk to people, but it’s sort of like if you have a hundred people you can talk to a hundred people at the same time. But you can have a hundred people on your website. 

BRYAN URIBE: So, my question for you is how are you driving traffic to your website? Because the whole concept of having a lead generation source sounds great. And then converting leads will that suit that? Like if you have too many leads, that’s a good problem to have. Like then you can start firing customers. And I mean, you don’t always fire customers, but in some instances and some industries, depending on how much time you have allocated and your resources, you may not be able to take clients on. 

So, it sounds like you build the back end, but how are you getting people to hear about you? 

PREM ITHARAT: Yes. So, I think that’s been a challenge. I think it’s been a combination of different things. I think what’s worked best for me over time and that’s me {indistinct 38:17} is, you know, I’m part of a lot of networking groups now. So, I am coming into co-president of my son’s elementary school at Edgewood in Scarsdale and that’s just gotten me a lot of exposure to a lot of families and parents out there. That’s one thing. 

I just became the president under Gran H Young Professionals Group and we hosted a lot of events at Delaware County. We just had an event yesterday in Port Chester and what we do is we sort of connecting to professionals and we also have professional development. So, maybe good for you guys to be panelists maybe at one of the upcoming events. 

BRYAN URIBE: I’d love to. Before you keep going. 

PREM ITHARAT: Sure. 

BRYAN URIBE: Lauren Randle, we interviewed her. That was our third interview. I think it was the third interview; absolute stud. I met her at a YPG event. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

BRYAN URIBE: So, if you want to talk about the caliber of people that are going to be there, she blew my socks off when I met her. We met again and I’m like, “Wow, she’s smart. So, it just wasn’t into two or three beers that I had in me at the networking event. Yeah, I think that’s just a testament to great networking. 

PREM ITHARAT: It’s true and I’m having lunch with her in the next week or two. 

BRYAN URIBE: I’ve been on here to chat with you. So, let me know how that goes. 

PREM ITHARAT: I will. I will. I mean, we’ve met very briefly, but she was like a very talented person. 

And so, you meet all these people. I’m also part of a lot of different other things like small things. We have a non-profit together that we’re trying to support arts programs in West Chester. And it’s about building communities. It’s about having touchpoints with people. It’s about listening to what they need and trying to provide, connect people with, you know, adding value to that relationship I think is very important. 

BRYAN URIBE: So, I have a question for you. It sounds like you’re doing a great job at going out, meeting people and having that one-to-one personal touch; in which you’re only one person, there are only 24 hours in the day, you have a family, you have children, you have other responsibilities. How do you see yourself scaling your impact because if you could only meet people and networking events and you’re only limited by the people that are networking events? 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah, I mean that’s part of the limitation and that’s something I need to figure out or get help with. I think it depends on what pace I want to grow. I think I’m going from basically a very small amount to now, this last month has been pretty good, so it’s been a little overwhelming actually to onboard people. Because the most time that I spend is usually at the beginning of a relationship. 

So, I’m putting in a lot of time to evaluate their situation, to make recommendations and then that takes time. I need to know what number I’m comfortable with first and then trying to expand that. 

BRYAN URIBE: It takes some discovery. So, I’m hearing several great points that I think we can dive into that too. 

PREM ITHARAT: Sure. 

BRYAN URIBE: I have something on the awareness and I know Daniel Guiney probably knows where my head’s already there on that. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Oh, yeah. I’m ready for it. 

BRYAN URIBE: For the other thing… 

PREM ITHARAT: It’s not pre-scripted by the way. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah, this is all free stuff. But again, the other thing… 

PREM ITHARAT: I think they can tell. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah. The other thing that I would kind of bring up; is like qualifying your clients and customers is something really difficult, especially when you get into the more complex sales. Like consulting, it’s like we most likely can fix the problem you’re having, but we need to set expectations with you of what that solution looks like and we need to have a deep enough understanding to be able to say, “I’ll commit my name to this.” because, at the end of the day, it’s your name. Again, it is a business, but it’s not a 10 thousand-person business where one bad review doesn’t impact the other 100 thousand clients you have. 

So, have you thought through ways of pre-qualifying your customers; not in the traditional format of like a loan? But like how can you qualify and refine would your ideal customer looks like? 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. You know, I think I’ve offered two ends of the spectrum with my services that I don’t necessarily need to qualify yet, my client. So, what would have been an issue possibly if someone came to me and had 20 grand to invest and that was it? You know what percentages I charge between, let’s say 0.8 percent to 1.9 percent of assets per year. 

So, if it was, let’s just say, 2 percent of 20 grand, you know that’s not a lot of money. 

BRYAN URIBE: For your books. Yeah. 

PREM ITHARAT: So, those are the types of accounts, if it’s just staying there, don’t make too much sense. If someone came to me and said, “That’s what it is, but I want to grow it.” then that’s different. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah. 

PREM ITHARAT: And if someone comes to me with no money, that’s what the concierge service is for. So, I think if someone can come with me to 20 and say, “Hey, I want to work with you to help build my assets.” That’s an ideal scenario. Or if they come at a very big lump sum, like those are the {crosstalk 43:24}

DANIEL GUINEY: Provide the most value. 

PREM ITHARAT: The most value for them and that’s my ideal client as well because that’s where I would bank. 

BRYAN URIBE: So, it sounds like you’re taking a lot of time into discovery; discovery being the process of understanding what the other person needs and qualifying your needs and setting expectations; is that correct? 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah I think that’s a fair point. 

BRYAN URIBE: You have this $99 product that’s inexpensive. 

PREM ITHARAT: Right. 

BRYAN URIBE: So, a guy that has 500k or 100k or 20k and is looking to grow it, I don’t think that’ll be a big impact on them. Have you thought through saying, “Okay? Well, listen. The onboarding process is typically signing on with the $99 one and then that’ll give us the platform to consistently hold these communications and I can use that process in that time to start to understand what’s going on at a much deeper level than if we just had like basic conversations.” 

You know, like we do meetings all the time. Like I’m going to have a glass of wine, I would have a beer and now you start talking about all the other things that you weren’t there to talk about. So, now you’re hour-long meeting only becomes about 20 minutes of productive conversation or 40 minutes of conversation when you needed that whole hour. 

And then if you push that to a second meeting, if you weren’t taking diligent note, now you kind of have to re-plug up and retouch on some of the things. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. I know. 

BRYAN URIBE: Have you thought through that? 

PREM ITHARAT: You know what I think I’m most afraid of is people calling me and having those conversations. Not because I’m afraid to talk to people, it’s more of that time thing when you talk about it. Phone time is, you can’t change it. The timing of it kind of happens when it happens. You kind of schedule it in. 

I’d rather have people text of the email me where I can control the workflow a bit better because as of happening as I want all the information in front of me to make the most effective use of my time, so I can advise as opposed to having that conversation. 

BRYAN URIBE: Are your conversations very similar when qualifying a customer? So, like for us, qualifying a customer would diving deep into your problem. 

PREM ITHARAT: Right. 

BRYAN URIBE: And considering the scope of where we work within and play it, it’s difficult to be a one-size-fits-all we’re working on. How can you draw a lot of that information in? Do you have anything templated or formatted where it’s typically these 20 questions and based on my responses on these 20 questions, we’ll be pivoting on X amount of questions? 

PREM ITHARAT: I don’t have anything formally, but that could be a good way to kind of get people to do that work themselves. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Well you could leverage that. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yes exactly. And I think there’s a lot to be said, going back to the psychology of the sale. You’re providing value and it’s a value exchange. So, you want people when they’re starting to work with you to put a little skin in the game. And I think many business owners, let me not feel surprised to you, feel like you don’t want to overburden a client at the beginning of the conversation because then, they may step away. 

PREM ITHARAT: Exactly. 

DANIEL GUINEY: But if it’s someone who’s going to be overburdened and step away from 20 questions about their financial situation, it’s not an ideal client. 

BRYAN URIBE: They just de-qualified themselves. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Exactly, they de-qualified themselves.

BRYAN URIBE: And I think that’s powerful and a lot of what I’m kind of recommending or at least like we’re having the conversation about. That’s what lawyers do. So, my lawyer; love him. He’s amazing. When I first got an intro to him, he’s like, “What’s your idea? What’s your problem?” He gave me a whole hour and then that whole hour, he just destroyed my ideas. 

It was the funniest thing ever and I was with Luis. I was one of my, actually like my best friend in the world. And a couple of months later, when I was more prepared, he destroyed it again and then he said, “If you feel comfortable at the end of this call after I just destroyed your idea…” He told me all the legal challenges, all the market… like he just destroyed it. And he said, “If you still feel comfortable, moving forward with this and you feel confident you can overcome all these challenges, I think it’s a good idea.” 

So, he’s a little bit of an anomaly, but then I know other lawyers where they won’t do that. They’ll say, “I’ll give you 15 to 30 minutes to…” The context of our relationship was a little bit different, but there are other lawyers where I was like, “This is the specific kind of project. I’ll give you 15 to 30 minutes at no cost. Anything past that, we need a consultation.” 

So, it’s kind of like a way of like getting them to weed themselves out; not in a bad way, but it’s just not a right fit for everybody. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah, I think it’s tough. Because of my service, I think, like money is very personal. And so, I think a lot of people have hesitation in putting that on paper; number one. But also, if you don’t know someone and if you don’t talk to me face-to-face, I think it’s also tough to open up. 

Some people are fine with it and I’ll just put everything there and I think I’m afraid of alienating the people who want the help, but don’t feel comfortable putting that in a questionnaire. Because income is something, like especially income, but assets. We talk about all these things different things. People are very sensitive when it comes down to what my net worth is, what I make, even credit card debt. People are embarrassed at times about credit card debt. So, it takes a little time for them to open up. And I’m not sure if they will feel free to do that in like a form. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Tell me if this sounds crazy, but could you make them do it anonymously, at first, and then have it automatically suggest a specific program that you may have available and allow them to continue the conversation from there so they can kind of pre-qualify themselves for what services you offer without having to disclose their personal information? That would allow them to speak more freely as possible. 

PREM ITHARAT: That’s possible. That’s it. I never thought about that. 

BRYAN URIBE: I think the infrastructure for that. You definitely would have to probably get somebody to design some software for you. There may be some systems out there that could do that, but out the gate that would definitely… you could get that done with software. 

I’d also kind of challenge you to think through; like just try it out and see what they respond. And it doesn’t have to be like 21 questions. It could just be like, “Hey, this is a quick 5-minute 5 question survey. And this is going to allow me to distinguish how we should proceed. If it makes sense for you to just do the $99 a month and that’s fine; ramp that business up. And if it makes sense for us to go into a different kind of relationship where I’m managing your stock, investments in several other things…” 

Well, again it is a little bit of a balance, but I would almost recommend you to just push everybody to the $99 a month. Because the other thing too is they are getting customer service out of that. 

So, a guy with $500 thousand in assets under management is not going to bark at $100. 

PREM ITHARAT: So, just to clarify; so that 99 bucks disappear sort of after you have 100k with me. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yes so, my point is this. It’s like, well, this is your entry point. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

BRYAN URIBE: ”So, this is just discovery; like I’m just going to like analyze everything for you and I’ll come back with a full-blown plan and a proposal and see if this makes sense for you.” 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

BRYAN URIBE: ”And if it doesn’t make sense, a guy that’s fine. Like, whatever. But if you do sign on as a client, I’ll give you that $99 back.” 

DANIEL GUINEY: And one thing I would also want include here, tell me if you thought about this at all, is the way you position this on your website is to automate the process. You don’t want to get a million emails from people asking about this pre-qualifying form and you also don’t want people to have to read a wall of text and their eyes just kind of gloss over and they grow tired from the conversation. 

Have you thought about putting up a video; like a 30-second video? Just like we kind of broke it down; what this does and why they’re doing it and use that to sell people on actually completing the form? 

PREM ITHARAT: I have thought about it. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Okay. 

PREM ITHARAT: Sorry, I haven’t thought about the form. So, that could be good to kind of do a mix. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Right, yeah. Integrate. 

PREM ITHARAT: And it’s something that… So, right now, I push people to make appointments. So, whether it be a phone appointment or in-person visits; wherever they are. But again, I like that the most. I think it’s the most effective, but some people won’t do that too. So, I think you’re right. Maybe that’s a good idea. 

BRYAN URIBE: I think the big thing is considering how valuable your time is and your decade-plus of expertise within the industry, I think to understand that, you have to be diligent and strict with how you manage your time because then it’s like, “Okay, cool. Well, listen, I don’t have to be here talking to somebody that’s not going to convert. If I wanted to waste my time not being productive and not helping people, I could just go get a job and have a really good salary and not have to worry about any of this” versus being super targeted. It’s not a one-size-fits-all; like no one is a perfect fit for everyone. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

BRYAN URIBE: Unless if you like fucking Facebook or something. If you’re like a social network, that makes a little bit more sense. But even social networks, they don’t have the same impact for specific kinds of people. 

PREM ITHARAT: Correct, they don’t make sense and as this kind of great timing, because I’m getting super busy now, new clients coming on board and I’m still doing my one-on-ones with people and I have two or three a day usually. It is intense; it’s a lot of work. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Anything they can do to pre-qualify themselves. 

PREM ITHARAT: I think that could be… 

DANIEL GUINEY: Powerful. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah. And again, that’s like the automation of it. It’s either you spend 5, 6, 7, 10 hours getting these documents right or you spend 10 hours a week and only 8 hours and 8 hours of those weeks were probably unproductive leads for opportunities. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah, I know. 

BRYAN URIBE: Like, “Hey this is my process and the reason why I do this is because I want to be as pointed as possible for you and make sure I could be as most effective to you.” So, like again, communicating that value proposition like, “Wow, I appreciate that because I don’t want to talk to you for an hour.” 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

DANIEL GUINEY: This also then gives you the ability to scale. Because if you’re going… and correct me if I’m wrong, but the primary source of leads to your business right now is personal interaction at networking events and referral-based leads; which is awesome, but that has a cap-like Brain was touching on earlier. You only have access to the people you’ve personally met; the people in their circles. And having them prequalify themselves, say you get 20 percent engagement, you meet 10 people, that’s only two people doing it. 

But if you’re online and then you can couple this with social media strategies, ad strategies, things of that nature and make it a much broader funnel, you can start getting, you know, if you get 15,000 people to hit your webpage and you still only get the 20 conversions of who is going to requalify themselves, now you’re looking at a much bigger number. 

PREM ITHARAT: Right. And that whole digital marketing area just started this year or so. I am already seeing an impact on the business. So, I recommend having a strategy for digital and social media because you can’t kind of, in this day and age… 

BRYAN URIBE: How do you put any ad dollars behind your social? 

PREM ITHARAT: Very small. 

BRYAN URIBE: I would totally, and that’s kind of where we were going, at least I was going earlier and, you know, he’s the mastermind; he’s like LinkedIn. Like I would try to put some dollars behind it. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

BRYAN URIBE: Play around with it. Like I always tell people, whenever you’re going to put money in social media, don’t just put the $10 thousand as your budget in one shot. Like put $5 and run that for a couple of weeks. If it’s $5 a day across a couple of weeks and you run 14 days, you’re spending 90 bucks, whatever that calculated out to be, maybe other like selling an idea right. It isn’t that. It’s 70 bucks. 

Yeah. So, the 70 bucks that it is. Yeah, but those 70 bucks allow you to identify what your best converting demographic is, your age range, is it female or male? So, for Yoffie, my best demographic is females. Women convert way better at like half the price as men. Why am I advertising the men then? Let me just focus on the people that I’m going to get the most impact out of. 

PREM ITHARAT: That’s true. 

DANIEL GUINEY: And it’s important to test at least two ads at the same time. 

PREM ITHARAT: Okay.

DANIEL GUINEY: You want to AB test what you’re doing because if you just run one ad, you don’t have any metrics to make improvements from at that point. 

BRYAN URIBE: I’ll even say build up a ton of content for the ads. Like if you’re using Facebook at least, with Facebook, you could put, I think they cap you at a certain number of adset. You could put as many ads as you want under the ads set. In creating one ad with specific copy and text, you could upload up to six, I believe, six as at the same time. 

So, run all of them together and then start changing the words on each of them as you go. So, the ones that I thought were going to perform worse were the best-performing ones and the ones that others that were going to perform best they were lackluster. 

PREM ITHARAT: Interesting. Yeah, I think that it’s a very interesting idea and I think… 

BRYAN URIBE: I would even say LinkedIn for you. 

PREM ITHARAT: Okay.

BRYAN URIBE: Because you could target specific salary like ranges based off of. I’m not sure of LinkedIn allows you to do that, but you can target like types of positions and experience.

DANIEL GUINEY: You know the average dollar.

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah. You can put that on Glassdoor. It’s not too complicated.

PREM ITHARAT: I think that there’s something to be said for women in general in the financial advising world. 

DANIEL GUINEY: How to? 

PREM ITHARAT: First of all, they think differently. And I’m generalizing here, but they think differently. I think they’re underserved in the financial advising community because the way typically males work is very rigid. So, they have this questionnaire, they have this formula, you have a certain amount of time, whereas I think women ask more questions or more analytical actually than men. Men would just kind of make a decision and go with it. Women want (again, I’m generalizing here) but I feel like they want to engage in someone and understand what they’re doing and understand the product, which I think is great and that’s what I do. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Sure. 

PREM ITHARAT: And so, I think when you’re saying, “Hey” you get more response from them. I think maybe I should focus on that segment as well. 

BRYAN URIBE: I would say double target. Off-camera, I’m going to give you a recommendation. I can’t give everybody the secret sauce. But so far in my instance, my best performing ad across 90 days was substantially lower than all the other ones. And it was a specific kind of ad and it responded extremely well in all of my age groups and it’s something that you could replicate. So, I’ll give you that little bit of sauce there. But… 

DANIEL GUINEY: Still the part. 

BRYAN URIBE: Yeah, whip it through the glass. I think it says so much and I’m so happy that you brought it up because I feel like people overlook women as a demographic. I love women. I think they’re amazing and intellectually and emotionally, they’re brilliant. I think there’s a period of men, at least when it comes to specific areas, you know, let’s balance it out, but women are much more curious, I feel. And they want to learn more, but there’s a larger emotional driver behind them than the men, kind of what you were saying. 

What’s interesting about women in marketing and targeting women in demographics and conversion, women have higher control of the household spend. So, when you look at the household, it’s typically the women that are saying where the money is being spent. The man may make a lot of the larger purchase decisions and things like that, but on a day-to-day basis, making a lot of the tough decisions that the man isn’t thinking about, the women in the household is more likely to be impacting. 

The other thing is when women like something, they’ll go tell everybody else. “Hey, girlfriend. Did you hear about this? Prem Itharat is awesome.” You know, like if you get into like, I don’t know if there’s like a moms club or something at your son’s elementary school if you got like finds his way in there, maybe your wife found her way in there, dude, I promise you your referrals will reign. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah, and you know, women are becoming much more independent in their career; like you have a lot more dual-income families out there. Like there’s a lot of stuff out there and I think it’s just lagging. The industry is lagging, so support for them is lagging. 

BRYAN URIBE: Well, that’s an opportunity for you. 

PREM ITHARAT: It is. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Synchronize them all. 

PREM ITHARAT: So, I volunteer as a financial coach for that Women’s Business Development Center in Connecticut. And basically, the man controls the finances, the women, they both own their businesses, but they’re in trouble because basically, you overspend, you live beyond your means and these are people who make good money. 

So, this problem is not… it crosses people from any financial spectra. 

DANIEL GUINEY: It’s lifestyle creep. 

PREM ITHARAT: It’s basically like you could be making half a million dollars a year and have this issue. 

BRYAN URIBE: I have a client. They bring in $600 thousand a year; total income to the family. They owe $1.6 million. But that’s across like real estate, in their business and several other things. 

But we can’t even buy their business because if we buy their business, they owe more money total picture. So, they’re like, “Yeah. You got to increase the price” We’re like, “You’re not valued that high” and it is what it is. 

I think that’s powerful to just kind of hear you say that and hear somebody else feel the same way I do. I think that things are changing in a really big way, especially with millennial women. 

One of my close friends, his girlfriend was on top of him to get a 401K. He’s 27 years old. He’s going to watch his {indistinct 01:01:02} and be like, “Oh, yeah. But fuck you, Bryan Uribe.” 

PREM ITHARAT: But he should do; max out the 401K. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Yeah. So, his girlfriend’s been on top of it. And he told me two years ago that he opened it up and I guess he had that idea that he was going to open it up and I took his word for it. I’m like, All right. Yeah.” 

So, like we’re brothers. Right. And his girlfriend told me over Instagram that he didn’t have it. So, I’m like, “Yo, you serious?” So, we all got on him; I and one of my other friends. 

We got on him and we had a conference call last week; I think it was Saturday night and it was like an hour and a half and I broke out an Excel spreadsheet and showed him the impact of compounding interest, maxing out your 401K and when he saw his final number, he’s like… 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

DANIEL GUINEY: Right. So, like that wouldn’t have happened if his girlfriend would he never told me anything. 

PREM ITHARAT: Yeah. 

DANIEL GUINEY: And when you open it up, he’s like super excited. So, even men; like I’m telling him to do this, “Yo, dude. You got to do this. You got to do this.” He’s like, “No.” His girlfriend is like, “No, you got to do this.” 

Prem Itharat: So, people don’t respond to numbers necessarily. They want to see the graph. They want to see the lines. You know, make it as easy as possible to understand and people will react to it. 

Daniel Guiney: Awesome. 

Prem Itharat: Yeah. 

Bryan Uribe: Are you facing any other challenges you’d like to talk about? I mean, I love these kinds of conversations. I feel like it was super-rich. 

Prem Itharat: You know, I thought it was a great conversation I think Lead Generation, for me, is still the biggest thing that is the biggest challenge for me. Even though I’m getting traction, it is just like you were saying, “How do you manage your time?” “How do you do it most optimally; like most efficiently?” That’s I think my next step is determining how to do that and where I want to go next. Because as considers product, even though it’s great, if I have like 500 clients on it, it may get tough. 

Daniel Guiney: Sure. 

Prem Itharat: That’s why I may have to rethink the model at some point. But at this time, I just basically want to make it accessible to everyone but I would, you know, anyone who comes in will get that price. I’m not going to change the price overnight. 

And I’m just trying to reach people and change our lives because for me, having someone, I have a client who has debt. We met about six months ago, they have zero debt now and now they’re starting to set {indistinct 01:20}, which is a certain employment product that you can use. So, it’s similar to a 401K. 

Daniel Guiney: Okay.

Prem Itharat: And so, now they’re starting to build. So, now they’re in a great spot because now they don’t have that 15 percent interest on that credit card debt, which we all know is hard to get out of. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah.

Prem Itharat: And we’re talking like 20/30 grand; like it was a fairly decent amount of debt. So, that to me is where it changes. Seeing that impact means a lot more to me than money. It’s just changing those lives. And so, I hope that over time, I’m able to do dozens and dozens and dozens of these. 

Daniel Guiney: And the impactful moments of people to revolutionize, not just their lives are, but their generational lives look. 

Prem Itharat: Right. And it’s an interesting point because people talk to their network or their cohort. So, if you grew up with a friend who was very financially savvy, they would probably share their knowledge with you and you would be sort of financially savvy yourself or at least, from a personal finance standpoint. 

But if you don’t grow up in that environment, you don’t know anything else. If you grow up with people who just spend their money and they don’t even bother saving, it’s probably going to be… 

Daniel Guiney: Your habits and your lifestyle. Yeah. 

Bryan Uribe: Absolutely, yeah.

Prem Itharat: So, hopefully, this will kind of spread out and you know, I’m not looking to change the world, but it would be great if I had. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah, you would be smarter being able to scale.

Prem Itharat: Right. And scale, you know, if I do end upscaling and I get to those numbers that I want to get to, maybe I’d start hiring good people to accomplish my mission, which I think financial literacy is out there that needs to be taught. I don’t know where it needs to be taught, but it’s not taught right now and I want to get it to everyone. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah. Well, we got to get you some university. So, let’s build a curriculum. But the challenge is that the people that are going to teach financial literacy are often financially illiterate. 

Daniel Guiney: We’re going to have to start Counsel You. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah, Counsel EDU. 

Daniel Guiney: It’s coming. Get ready for it. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah, it’s going to have to come. No, but in all seriousness, like when you look at it, like how many professors and teachers have debt? I’m pretty sure it’s most of them. 

Prem Itharat: Yeah. 

Bryan Uribe: I feel confident to say it’s most of them; 7 in 10 American adults are struggling financially. That applies to professors too; it’s not excluding them. 

Daniel Guiney: Those are absolute numbers. 

Bryan Uribe: Yes. So, it’s kind of gnarly. 

Daniel Guiney: It’s crazy. But I think all that’s solid and the biggest challenge is going to be the scalability of time and how do you become more efficient as you continue to scale. 

So, I think I think we touched on a couple of amazing points. Do you have anything else you want to contribute?

Daniel Guiney: No. So, let’s bring this back in here because we want to be conscious of time. You got more points lined up all day. Prem Itharat is a busy man. So, if you want to get to, get to him now before it blows up. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah. 

Daniel Guiney: So, let’s bring it back around. Reintroduce yourself. Bring it back one time and then tell everybody the “why?” Why do you do this? 

Bryan Uribe: Why should anybody care? 

Prem Itharat: Sure. So, my name is {indistinct 04:13}. I didn’t get into why the name “Pi” {crosstalk 04:18 – 20}. Essentially, it’s my initials. So, P.I. {indistinct 04:23}. And I do what I do because I want to help people achieve their finances and real financial freedom is what I want for people to achieve. 

Get to that point where you don’t have to work for someone else. Either you work for yourself or you stop working and you start traveling the world or retire; whatever it is you want to do. I think I would see more people in the middle. 

Daniel Guiney: Okay. 

Prem Itharat: Hey, if you could replace 50 to 60 percent of your income today. What would you change in terms of your job? 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah.

Prem Itharat: Can you find a job that you love and are passionate about and be happy with that because you might be making less? And so, I don’t want income to be a limiting factor in that. 

And so, I do what I do because I feel like I’ve done it. You know, I’m not financially independent, but I think I’m 60 to 70 percent of the way there. And I want to share that knowledge of people so that they can get there too. And I think anyone can get there. It doesn’t have to be fun making a six-figure income. 

You can get there again, when we’re talking numbers before, 150 bucks a day can get you a million dollars. You just have to plan for it over time. And so, I would love to talk to people. And that’s where I am. 

Daniel Guiney: Hey, with the Pi. You want their numbers to go on forever. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah. There you go. 

Daniel Guiney: Like Pi.

Prem Itharat: Pi is a constant. So, part of the logo is a constant. And I don’t think I see it, but these little two dots are kind of meant through like a trajectory that’s always going up. 

Bryan Uribe: There you go. 

Prem Itharat: So, over time, what I want to see is people investing their money, saving money and don’t rely on Social Security, you don’t rely on your pension (if you have one) most people don’t have pensions anymore. Rely on yourself. So, do 401K, do IRA’s, do investments so that your money can grow for you. 

And if you do it right, it won’t always go up, but over time, if you take 5-year blocks or whatever it may be, you’ll see continual growth and that’s what I want to show people that they can do it and it’s not too complicated. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah. Well, that was awesome. I appreciate you today for enlightening the world on personal finance. You know, I think that’s a really big topic that a lot of us don’t cover. We don’t discuss enough. 

And it too daunting topic because it is taboo for all intents and purposes in the United States; it’s kind of like a bad word; right? 

Prem Itharat: You know people just have to get comfortable talking. I hope that people feel comfortable with me and just have a conversation. That’s why I try to meet people. I try to just get them to know who I am, what I do, why I do it. 

And I feel like once people engage and you sign a big financial commitment, people are like, “Hey, let’s check it out.” And there’s no commitment, in terms of the month over month. I’m pretty confident in my product. I’m very confident that people will get value. So, if they’re not getting their value out of my conversation with them and my training, so to speak, over their finances. Then that’s on me. 

And so, I believe that it is underpriced. And I do that purposefully to get people to engage.

Daniel Guiney: Over that initial hurdle of fear. 

Prem Itharat: The fear because people don’t want to spend 500 bucks on something or a thousand dollars. 

Bryan Uribe: Yeah. 

Prem Itharat: A hundred bucks is nothing for a lot of people. It’s like 20 cups of coffee. 

Daniel Guiney: Which in one day that can add up. 

Prem Itharat: Or not even 20 cups of coffee. It’s like 10, 10 cups of coffee. I don’t know what it is; 20. Depending on where you go. 

Daniel Guiney: It’s your call.

Bryan Uribe: Yeah.

Prem Itharat: It’s about 20. So, it’s not a huge investment. And if you stay around for a couple of months and I’m not providing you value, then I don’t deserve to get your {indistinct 08:02}. 

Daniel Guiney: Sure. 

Prem Itharat: And so, I think it’s a very low entry point. I think people would welcome that and would feel very valued by what they’re getting. 

Bryan Uribe: Awesome. 

Daniel Guiney: That’s awesome. Alright, everybody. Thanks. Tune in for another episode of Konsole Consulting. If you have financial questions, you want to become financially literate, you want to see your money grow year over year, call Prem Itharat. Pi Capital is the place for you. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us today.

Prem Itharat: Yes. Thank you, guys. 

Bryan Uribe: I’m Bryan Uribe. 

Daniel Guiney: And I’m Daniel Guiney. 

Bryan Uribe: Signing out.

Daniel Guiney: Signing out.

Bryan Uribe: See you guys soon.

Daniel Guiney: Nice. Thanks.

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