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Tips for Wealth Management: An RIA Perspective With Chuck Failla

Chuck Failla

Chuck Failla is the Founder and CEO of Sovereign Financial Group, an independent and family-owned RIA firm that delivers integrated and unbiased advice for their clients. He is a financial planner with over 25 years of experience. Chuck is also the Director of Sovereign Advisors Solutions and serves on the Board of Directors for the Financial Planning Association of Connecticut. He is the Host of the goRIA Podcast with Investment News.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Chuck Failla introduces Sovereign Financial Group and how it helps people

  • The journey of growing a financial planning and investment management firm

  • Sovereign’s business model

  • How Sovereign attracts and retains quality advisors

  • AI technology and its impact on the financial services industry

  • Why people should go RIA

In this episode…

Building wealth, safeguarding your family, and securing your assets is critical for your financial future. Yet with so many unknowns, it can be challenging to know where to start. Hiring an RIA firm might be the solution.

With your financial future, you deserve more than someone picking out investments for you. Chuck Failla recommends working with an RIA firm, experts who can offer unbiased advice for your financial needs and create integrated plans tailored to your unique goals. He shares his journey building an RIA firm to work with people, coordinate their investments, help with taxes and liabilities, and even plan for their estate or legacy.

In this episode of The Customer Wins, Richard Walker sits down with Chuck Failla, Founder and CEO of Sovereign Financial Group, to discuss tips for wealth management. Chuck shares his journey of growing a financial planning and investment management firm, Sovereign’s business model, and why people should go RIA.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Episode Transcript:

Intro 0:02

Welcome to The Customer Wins podcast where business leaders discuss their secrets and techniques for helping their customers succeed and in turn grow their business.

Richard Walker 0:16

Hi, I'm Rich Walker, the host of The Customer Wins, where I talk to business leaders about how they help their customers win, and how their focus on customer experience leads to growth. Some of our past guests have included Robert Kirk, the CEO of InerGen Data, and Tamara Williams of the Williams Consulting Group. Today I get to speak with Chuck Failla, founder and CEO of Sovereign Financial Group. And today's episode is brought to you by Quik! the leader in enterprise forms processing. When your business relies upon processing forms, don't waste your team's valuable time reviewing the forms. Instead, get Quik!. Using our FormXtract API, simply submit your completed form to get back clean, context-rich data that is 99.9% accurate. Visit to get started, I'm excited to introduce today's guest. Chuck has been a financial advisor for more than 25 years. He started in the early 90s as a cold-calling cowboy in New York City selling individual stocks. In 1999, he went independent by opening an independent branch of Raymond James Financial and earned a CFP designation. Chuck's practice has since evolved into what is today Sovereign Financial Group Inc, an SEC-registered RIA, with offices and advisors in the Northeast Florida and Colorado. Sovereign is one of the fastest-growing RIAs in the country. Chuck is also the director of Sovereign Advisors Solutions a division of Sovereign Financial Group, which helps advisors transition to RIA by offering a comprehensive plug-and-play solution for going independent. Chuck currently serves on the board of directors for the FPA of Connecticut. And he's the host of goRIA Podcast with Investment News. Chuck, welcome to The Customer Wins.

Chuck Failla 1:53

All right, Rich, thanks a lot for having me. I've been really looking forward to this for the past couple of weeks, it's good to be here.

Richard Walker 1:58

Me too, look, if you haven't heard this podcast before I talk with business leaders about what they're doing to help their customers win, how they built and deliver a great customer experience and the challenges to growing their own company. Chuck, I want to understand your business a little bit better. How does your company help people?

Chuck Failla 2:13

Sure. So there really are two different groups of people that we help, we have really two sets of clients. We have the end client, Sovereign Financial, we are a registered investment advisory firm, very heavy focus on financial planning. So we have individual clients and some small to midsize businesses and nonprofits. And we help them do their financial planning. And we use that financial plan to dovetail into their asset management, like many other advisors. But over the past, obviously, over the past three years, we now have another set of clients. And those are our financial advisors that have tucked in with us. About two and a half years ago, it was myself and essentially a junior partner. And in the past two, two and a half years, we were proud to say we've grown to 15 advisors, and approaching three-quarters of a billion dollars under management now up from about 120 million. So huge firm by any measure. But we're not tiny, but we've certainly grown quite a bit. And we're really proud of that. So the other set of clients as we see them, and we've heard referred to them as such are the advisors that have placed their trust in us to help them support their clients. So I really wear two hats. So I work as a financial advisor every day, I'm actually at our New York City office right now. And right after this podcast, I've got a client visiting me in the office, although we're doing a lot of zooms these days, but we still have some that like coming into the office, which makes me feel good because I write some pretty big checks for this New York City office sometimes. So it's good to actually get some use out of it. And then I also run Sovereign Financial. So I really wear those two hats. And as part of that I serve two different types of clients, right, the Financial Planning and Investment Management and clients. But then also the financial advisors that have tucked in with us, we serve them and provide them the platform and whatever they need infrastructure to help better more efficiently serve their clients as well.

Richard Walker 4:09

So first of all, I want to say congrats, because when I was an advisor back in the year 2000, I joined my mentor and we grew the business over two years from 20 million under assets under management to 40, which we were super happy about. But to go up to three-quarters of a billion, you have broken boundaries, and not just you yourself doing it, but you decided to bring on other people to help you grow this firm. So I'm curious, what was the breaking point in your mind where you said, I got to add more people? I've got to actually now serve advisors, not just my clients. What were you thinking at that point?

Chuck Failla 4:41

Sure. So that ties into when I made the decision to drop my 7 am I 24. Right. So those kind of came hand in hand. So I started Sovereign Financial the RIA, back in 2019. And about two or three years prior to that is when I started giving some thought of going RIA, which is a topic very dear to me. And I was reflecting on my business. And it became clear to me I just don't drop any tickets, right? I'm not doing any commission business. So if I'm not doing commission business, am I subjecting myself to pain or oversight? I've always liked to do marketing. One of the earliest successes I guess I've had in the media world was I was a contributor for the New York Daily News, I was one of the 12 money pros. And that was great up until it became impossible to do. Because every time they called me for a quote, what do I have to do? I have to write it up, send it to compliance, wait for them to come back. Right? The only news is like, tick tock, we can't be waiting as long we call you three o'clock. because something happened the market, we need kind of a response. So it wasn't even so much that I dropped my seven and 24 to avoid compliance. But I just wanted compliance to be more efficient so I could do more work in the media. And the ancillary benefits, of course, is a higher payout and more flexibility on the investments I could use the platform I can build. And when I made that decision, I realized even back then that to be a successful RIA, you need to have some level of scale, right? You can do it as a one or two-person shop. And I'm a big advocate for that. Right. As you know, I host that podcast and franchise with Investment News called Go RIA. And something I've said many times and truly believe is, if you have a laptop and a dream, you can set up your own RIA, absolutely, positively. But to get it really set, you generally need some scale. So when I decided to drop my 7 and 24, and set up Sovereign as an RIA, I went into that knowing I would want to get it up to at least a billion, maybe 2 billion. And that's kind of our target right now.

Richard Walker 6:49

Nice. Yeah, no, that's a really tough decision, but also critical to your path and that you're on, you didn't just want to sit back. So as you've grown, and now you have these two different types of people to serve, how are you balancing that? I mean, as a firm, how are you making decisions where to put time and money and technology to serve the advisors versus your end clients?

Chuck Failla 7:10

Yep. That's a great question. So the one thing I'm really proud of is over the past 20-plus years, I really developed a very efficient way of managing our clients business. Right? And so it's very process oriented, but also very customized, and we're actually in the process of trademarking this. And we call it TAMI. Right? We all know what a TAMP is TAMP, we have a TAMI. And TAMI stands for time horizon Asset Management integration. So we're a very big financial planning shop, we haven't used the money quite a bit, but also works with right counselor, or any cash flow-based financial planning system. And it allows us to really dive deep into the client needs, right? And essentially, the cash flow plan boils down to how much money do they need? And when do they need that? Right? How much money do they need for a down payment? When will that be? How much money do they need to educate the kids? And when will that be? How much money do they need for retirement? When will that be so on and so forth. And then we're able to see exactly year by year by year, how much money's coming in how much money is going out, and we solve for how much money they need to withdraw, then with that series of cash flow withdrawals, we literally just send that to our trading desk. And they put that into the TAMI system. And it allows us to create it, I hate using this term bespoke but it is pretty bespoke and certainly custom. Because we have a building block of four basic models are one to two year model three to five, six to 10, 10 plus. So the cash flow analysis tells us how much you go into the one to two-year model into the three to five, six, 10, 10 plus. So even though those four basic models, the one to two, three to five, six to 10, 10 Plus, are all the same. Every single client, every single household has a different allocation to the one to two, three to five. So it's very customized to that household. But yet it's built on a modular building block system. So that allows me to run my book of business, which is about 200 million, very, very efficiently. That coupled with the fact that I'm not taking on debt anymore individual clients anymore. That allows me to control what I need to do as a financial advisor. And that gives me the time to run Sovereign, and then running Sovereign has become easier.

Richard Walker 9:22

Let me ask a question really quick. You said something really important that I want to make sure the listeners heard here to create a bespoke solution. You created a strong process structure. Yes. So when I think about a great customer experience bespoke is a really nice experience. You're getting with special to you unique to you, you're getting your unique needs met, and that's really hard to execute on. But I've often said efficiency comes from great design. And it sounds like that's exactly how you've approached it. Am I right?

Chuck Failla 9:52

Absolutely. And that really has been the key to free up my time to do my other passion which is running the business side of the business, which I really enjoy. And that's the newer passion for me. So it's that fresh passion. And I absolutely love it. And I was just going to add one last thing to that on the running the business side, I've opened up the purse strings and brought in some really top-notch people for doing our operations and compliance and trading. So really all I do these days for Sovereign has really set the direction. And what I would like to have accomplished and we now have the scale, where I can afford the right team to get all that execution done. So it doesn't take that much time for me to run the firm anymore. So I really spend my time doing the media stuff, which I love and focusing, of course, on my core, personal clients.

Richard Walker 10:39

Yeah, that's incredible. Do you feel like you'll ever give up your clients and just focus on building the business or?

Chuck Failla 10:47

No, it'd be just the opposite, I'd be giving this a lot of thought. And one of the next hires we're gonna make, and this is probably two to five years from now will be a president, right? So it's a really run the firm. And at that point, our trajectory will be pretty well set. And I will extract myself almost entirely from the day-to-day running of the firm. And I'll just run my personal book of business, which are at this point, these are all friends, right? I mean, these are people that have been to my wedding, that I've gone on vacation with. So I mean, not a bad retirement job to spend my golden years advising and delivering service to people who are truly now friends, and then let someone deal with the day-to-day operations, when there's this occasional glitch in the trading system, that board I would remove myself from probably in about two to three years.

Richard Walker 11:34

So you made me just think of something I think would be an incredible mindset for how to build a company correctly. Become a customer of your own company, because that's what you're saying, right? You just become an advisor and a customer of sovereign, let somebody else run it knowing is being run so well, that it's serving you well. I mean, that's such an incredible mindset. I mean, I wish I could use my own software. Well, I don't I don't like filling out forms. But actually, I wish I could use it every time somebody gives me a form. And oftentimes, I do actually use it for that reason. But nonetheless, I think that's an incredible mindset that you're building here. So let's go back. Do you have any kind of metrics in your mind that you use to measure whether you're truly delivering customer success or building a great experience? How are you measuring this type of success for you?

Chuck Failla 12:22

That's a great question. And that's actually on our roadmap, we've been using that term now, like a real big company. We have a roadmap now and things we want to do, and that's all in there. So right now, it's very subjective and anecdotal, right? Talking with clients, are you happy with stuff and unfortunately, everyone seems to be, but we're gonna start instituting more institutionalized surveys, right, which can be anonymized, is that correct? We'll protect your privacy, if you want to say something that's maybe not interesting, not what we would want to hear. We don't want to hear bad things. But we need to hear those bad things, right. That's our internal staff. If there's something wrong, I don't want to hear it. But I do need to hear it. And we're going to do that with our clients. And then the next part of the rollout for this measuring client experience is going to be every time we have a request, send me money, change the beneficiary, when that request is done, and we've been told this all through our Salesforce, they'll get one of those emails saying it's done. It will have and you've probably seen this, like the smiley faces, ecstatic. Was this a fantastic experience, or was this horrible? Or was it somewhere in between? And then we're going to feed that back to our support team, right? So today, and we want to be able to see this in real time, 90% of the people were static 5% were happy. And then 5%, we need to talk about, right, that's all right. We hope that's what the metric will show. But we're gonna start really quantifying it. But right now, it's more just subjective.

Richard Walker 13:53

Now, I got to tell you, the power of what you're taking on is so important. We have been running CSAT customer satisfaction scores for the past couple of years. And it's based on that same thing. The email after the service was provided goes out saying smiley face, how do you judge our service, and we say 75 is a minimum standard for us. 75% success were typically 85 to even 98% success. But like yesterday, my team told us we started doing an NPS score of individual users instead of big enterprises. And anybody who's not happy, they immediately are following up with it. They're asking tell us what are we doing wrong? How can we make this better? And I think that mindset of tracking it and then trying to seek to understand what happened is how you truly improve your customer experience. Absolutely. So switch to the adviser side that if you're bringing on advisors, what's the attraction to your firm, and how do you ensure that they stay attracted to your firm and want to keep working there?

Chuck Failla 14:49

It's really the same philosophy that we have with our investment clients and our financial planning clients. And it delivers value. We are just really dialed in on delivering value, not sizzle, but the steak, right, provide good value-added opportunities with our various add-ons, we have an in-house TAM, which is like five basis points, right? We do that for profit. It's really just another way to look at the way we're structuring our value proposition for advisors. It's like a cooperative, right. So we definitely make money on it. It's a profit center for sure. A lot of our add-ons, so we do client service by the hour, like an ad hoc client service support team, we do an in-house turnkey Asset Management program we do in-house direct indexing, we have a PEP pulled employer plan, which is a really interesting new 401k type of solution. And if you go on our website, you'll see we call it the 401 K for advisors that hate 401 K's right. And that's a whole other kind of topic. But we provide a lot of good things at a very reasonable price. I mean, it's not rocket science, and I compare that against other firms, not only in our industry, but other firms that are just really a lot of sizzle. But when you really do the analysis, what am I getting for what I'm paying for, you got to sell those people to come to your firm. We like to expose people to Sovereign, and then let the people that recognize the value proposition and it also fits for that, right, we won't be a fit for everyone. And then once they're with us, like with a regular financial planning client, the hard part is to get a client, the hard part is to get an advisor, why not work as hard to keep them? And we do that. And I think the keys were the success we've had over the past few years.

Richard Walker 16:37

That's awesome. One of the things I think about if I were in your position of saying, I'm going to go from the Chuck Failla brand, to the Sovereign brand with multiple advisors, is how do you make sure those advisors are delivering the same quality, the same type of experience that you've been delivering? Maybe it comes back to that process approach that you talked about? Is that it or what else are you doing?

Chuck Failla 16:58

It is in fact, and we're rolling that out for other advisors to use, right, the TAMI system, which I love. But what we're going to do is we're going to look at this in two ways. And this really ties into our compliance, and I'm not sure how into the weeds on this you'd necessarily want to get because I can get into the weeds on this. I don't know. We basically have two ways of looking at how are we dealing with this client? Right? And there's got to be an answer to the question. And that question is, why am I allocated this way? And the answer cannot be? Well, this clients been in a 60/40 mix for the past 15 years. And that's where they stay. So then what are you getting paid for right just to take them out to lunch twice a year, that doesn't seem like it's worth $15,000, to bake, you know, for 1.5, or $2 million household. So we look at it in two ways. There's the TAMI system, which again, is based on utilizing something like an e-money or right capital, we're agnostic to the ultimate program, or could even be a spreadsheet. And as long as you are having that conversation, and can discern from the client, how much money does the client need in 2023 24, 25, all the way through, then that works perfectly of dovetailing that with our TAMI system, time horizon Asset Management integration. The other way would be more of a Riskalyze approach, right? Those are our two main vendors, and partners when it comes to planning or risk management. So maybe someone doesn't want to go through the exercise of doing the time horizon? Well, at least let's talk about risk. So you know what's going on. And then all the advisor needs to do is pick a number between one and five, right? One is capital preservation. Two is conservative, moderate, aggressive, speculative, and then that will fit into a band within the Riskalyze numbers. And that's been working really well too. So we give our advisors the opportunity to do one or the other, right, one's a little more simple, a little more straightforward, perhaps picking a number between one and five, it doesn't get much easier than that. But again, it also ties you in with the client, so the clients part of that conversation. So as your needs evolve, as the risk appetite evolves, so can the risk number. And then of course, with the TAMI system that's even more bespoke, something that has the word bespoke I've said it like four or five times today. I think it is overused, but this is pretty custom for sure. The TAMI system really goes into much more detail and provides a really precise allocation. So for the clients that want to do that, we give our advisors a platform with which to do it. Or if they want to just go more simplistic way, choose a number between one and five, that what we do from the firm side is we track that and we let that advisor know when they're moving out of that category, whether it's the time horizon or the risk number. And then the adviser, of course is responsible for maintaining the relationship and communicating that with the client. And then either making an adjustment of what we think the client wants or making an adjustment to the portfolios.

Richard Walker 19:54

You said something else there that makes me think about my own situation. We go to our doctor once a year for checkup right? And every five year there's certain types of tests we do, etc. Our advisors should be asking us every year, what's our risk and assessing it, because risk keeps changing based on situation, what's going on in the market. And I don't necessarily think that should change our investment profile every single year. But it'd be really interesting to track how we're feeling about what we're doing and what's going on. Sounds like that's how you're trying to help your clients.

Chuck Failla 20:25

Without question, and it really goes back to a topic that's become very, very popular now, which is behavioral finance. And at the core, that's really what we do, right? I mean, if you're an advisor out there, and you're selling yourself as the advisor, that's going to beat the market, good luck. That's not what we do. And I wouldn't recommend too many advisors doing that, unless you want to get new clients every single year, because at some point, you're going to be wrong. But instead, what we do is really manage the behavioral finance, keep those claims invested when they should but want to not, right, that type of stuff. That's the value add. And then making sure the portfolio is rebalanced properly, and you have good investment choices and a nice mix. But I think so much more of our work is being recognized to be based on behavioral finance, almost more than anything else. And you have, interests talking to me about this. Daniel Crosby from Orion, I mean, he's literally written books on this. There's so much topic on this and discussion on this. And for good reason. And I think, especially for those next-gen clients, that's what they're really going to get turned on by.

Richard Walker 21:29

Yeah, for sure. Let me switch gears a little bit, I want to ask you a slightly different type of question. The world has changed in the past year because of artificial intelligence, at least, everybody's talking about it changing. I'm curious, from your perspective, what do you see changing or being impacted by artificial intelligence?

Chuck Failla 21:45

Yeah, well, this is actually artificial intelligence right now. Chuck is actually downstairs having a beer. Nice. Would that be something? But I've seen that actually was someone I forget which reporter it was, but someone on CNBC, they had not only just the text, but the voice and the image was all AI-generated. And I tell you what, it was difficult to tell the difference. It was pretty impressive. But this one, yeah.

Richard Walker 22:14

If you want to see something frighteningly amazing, do a search for this. There are now sales chatbots, I think one's called Air AI. And it will close deals on the phone, it'll cold call people who have gone through your funnel, maybe they filled out a form. I listened to one of them sell a guy on a Tesla, another one sell them on an iPhone, it was unbelievable how good the sales engineering behind this and it's 100% bot 100%. So I think about that kind of stuff. You're right. I mean, we could be AI is talking to each other. For all we know.

Chuck Failla 22:49

That's really pretty sad, that the podcasts are now just our AI avatars, whatever they would be. And we're off somewhere doing something else, which I guess has its benefits. But I don't know how I feel about that.

Richard Walker 23:02

I'm not there yet, Chuck. I'm not.

Chuck Failla 23:04

But I tell you what, it's a real deal. So we have not been implemented a lot of it at our firm, where I have been using it and we have been using it. So as you know, I do a lot of content production. And we do a lot of webinars both with Go RIA, but also for Sovereign, once a month we do second Tuesday's with Sovereign, and they're always some kind of educational thing. Not always investments, but Medicare or who knows what. Yeah. And each one of those needs a brief description. Right. And I write a lot, and I'm pretty comfortable writing. But the other day, what was it? I think it was actually our webinar that we did on Medicare planning. And we had a guest speaker, and I just wanted to chatGPT. And I said, Write me, you know, a 400-word description on a Medicare webinar. And I was like, I'll just edit it. And, um, they'll just kind of speed it up. There's nothing to edit. It was spot on. I mean, it was really, really good. And not just factually correct. But the writing was good, right. So that's kind of kind of neat. I know, I believe it's Arian that's coming up with something or has already come up with something where it would actually analyze two portfolios, which we do all the time talking to a prospective client, and then you have to write down here's why I think this model might be better than that model. But now, and I haven't looked at this yet, so I can't attest to how good it is or not. But my understanding is you basically upload the current portfolio and upload what you think a better portfolio would be. And it will actually come up with the verbiage in regular language on why this portfolio might be better. That's a pretty cool use case. I suspect with any other new technology, there's gonna be a lot of use cases that we're not even thinking of yet, but it's a real technology. It's amazing what it can do.

Richard Walker 24:49

Oh, yeah, I was actually using just before we started this session. Look, we're gonna have to wrap this up. And I have another question for you. But before we go there what's the best way for people to find and connect with you?

Chuck Failla 25:02

Sure. Well, I'm all over social media, right? LinkedIn is probably the one I'm most active with. There are not too many Charles Faila out there. And so we just put Chuck Failla or Charles Failla into LinkedIn, you'll find me pretty quickly. If you go to,, or smoke signals, phone calls, whichever I'm always interested to talk with people, especially in the industry. So pretty easy to get ahold of and tend to be very responsive for. So any of the above would be fine.

Richard Walker 25:32

And if Chuck sends you an email, he's a real person. That's how we met. So I lied. Actually, I have two questions for you. There's another question I meant to ask before the last one. You since you're the podcast host of Go RIA, and you really are helping people make that kind of choice. I just wanted to quickly understand what are the top couple of reasons that somebody should Go RIA

Chuck Failla 25:54

Sure. There's really two, right? One is the payout, you make more money, more money in your pocket is a good thing. Right. And that's a simple one and it's a real one. But you talk to people that have gone RIA, with they'll tell you, they're even more happy with than just the higher payout, which who doesn't like more money. But if you talk to people that have gone RIA, what they will tell you is the freedom to run your business as you want to have investments that you want to have the technology that you want to do the marketing that you want. Right, so I was at FPA national last week, as Rich I know you know, I was doing all these live streams, that would never ever happen in a broker-dealer environment, certainly not a wirehouse type environment. Could you imagine the compliance, what they would say? I want to do complete unscripted live streams seven times a day. Yeah, no shot. So the two biggest reasons higher payout more money in your pocket. And that's usually what people will say, as they're going RIA. But once they have gone RIA, they're gonna say the money is great. The freedom of running your business how you want is even better.

Richard Walker 27:03

That's actually one of the reasons I stuck with the software company, Quik! versus staying a financial advisor. I didn't like how much reporting I had to do. And having two companies meant or really being an advisor meant I couldn't be an entrepreneur in the same way that I wanted to be. So I love that answer. All right, so here's my last question, who has had the biggest impact on your leadership style? Or how you approach your role today?

Chuck Failla 27:27

Okay, so it's an awesome question. I was actually just interviewed by my 14-year-old daughter, she was doing a project for school. And I was like, oh, I would love to do this. And she did a great job. She's a real organized person. And my daughter, of course, was very bright and curious, like, like her dad. And that similar question came up, because a lot of this focused on, what is at the core of me is being an entrepreneur. I love business. Ever since a very, like, strangely young kid, I wanted my own business like seven or eight, it's weird, I didn't want to be a basketball star or anything like that, which is good, because I was never very coordinated. But I just wanted to have my own business from an early age. That's what I wanted. And a lot of this came from my parents, right. And I got two really great things from both my parents, my dad, he was just a really charismatic people person, right. And you learn that, like you see them interact. And I think it rubs off, right. And I can even see some of my mannerisms. And my mother has said as much my father passed away when I was pretty young. But she's actually said a lot of times the way I speak, and just the cadence is very similar to him. So for whatever skills I have in communication, I give a lot of credit to him. My mother, I will give a lot of credit to for discipline, and the idea of adding value and delivering value. And I'll share with you an interesting story about my mom. So I was a new stockbroker. Right. And as you mentioned in the intro, I started off as literally when those cold-calling guys that you see in the movies, and it was a great way to start in the business. It was a lot of fun. And I got my series seven. And I just studied really, really hard for that series seven, because I wanted to just take it once and get back to building my business. So I ended up getting a 93 Pretty good. So I was in New York City. And I remember this clear as anything. This is 30 years ago, right? I was in my mid-20s, I guess, early 20s. And I called my mom. And I was like, oh, I studied she knew I was studying. I was like I passed I got a 93 There'll be us her first response was 93. So what did you get wrong? I was like, well, not sure what I got wrong. Like it's 93, people are pretty happy just to pass. And this is exactly what she said to me Rich. She said, well, you're managing money for people. You can't make any mistakes. And she wasn't joking. Like if you don't my mom, she was like seriously go back and study those seven points that you missed. Because when you're managing something as serious as money for other people, so you can make any mistakes. And now my mom, my father had a great sense of humor. My mom, not so much she was all. She was serious as heck when she said that. But growing up that way, gave me the discipline that you need and the mindset to deliver value, proper value, earn money, for sure. My mom's right off the boat. We're first generation, I'm a first-generation American. And you have that immigrant work ethic, which I think is a wonderful thing about our country to have and hopefully we don't lose. And yes, I credit both of them for different reasons. But the idea of always delivering value and making money for sure, but making sure you're doing something to earn that money. That's 100% mom.

Richard Walker 30:49

I love that. I love that. And I'm glad I asked this question because it's near and dear to my heart. I started this company with my mom. And she's been an incredible influence on me as well. Wow, Chuck, it's been so great talking to you. I have to say thank you to Chuck Failla, CEO of Sovereign Financial Group for being on this episode of The Customer Wins. Go check out Chuck's website at As in sovereign Financial Group And don't forget to check out Quik! at where we make processing forms easy. I hope you enjoyed this discussion, will click the like button, share this with someone and subscribe to our channels for future episodes of The Customer Wins. Chuck, thank you so much for joining me today.

Chuck Failla 31:30

Rich thanks a lot. It was a lot of fun to be here. I appreciate you having me on.

Outro 31:35

Thanks for listening to The Customer Wins podcast. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.


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