6 MIN READ
XYPN Membership is, itself, easy to put a price on—$421 per month. Membership can be a great deal monetarily for advisors, with our technology included in membership giving you access to $540 of savings per month. But that only captures the benefits we can quantify.
RightCapital’s retail cost? $125/mo. Capitect’s? $125/mo. Access to a coaching series for members who just launched firms? Priceless—or at least, more difficult to put a price on.
I know it’s easy, as a potential XYPN member, to view membership strictly on a cost/savings view. We strive to make, and keep, joining XYPN a good business decision for members. But XYPN is so much more than a “coupon book” of benefits and discounts. We aim to provide the vendors, services, and support you need to run your business successfully and profitably. Here are some of the biggest member benefits that you can’t plug into a calculator.
Yes, there are some aspects of our compliance service that you can put a price on, like registering in your state and access to Smart RIA. But our compliance support at XYPN entails so much more than that. For most members first launching their firm, compliance is a scary word. It’s something many people don’t feel comfortable taking on themselves, or, at the very least, need some hand holding. The compliance team at XYPN creates resources and provides opportunities to empower you to be your own Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), which is hard to put a price on. Below are some of the resources we offer.
Okay—you’re registered now! The compliance team handled your ADV drafting, filed your U4, and helped you through the process along the way. But what’s next? You know you need a compliance manual...how do you draft one? Someone mentioned you needed a social media policy—where do you even start?
Enter our compliance templates, available to all members at no additional cost. It provides model language to enable you to start drafting the core documents you need in your firm. Joining XYPN gives you access to 30+ templates for a range of needs.
Compliance office hours are, in my opinion, one of the biggest member benefits—and they’re available to every single member, as an included member benefit. During these weekly open calls, compliance team members are available for a full hour via video for questions. Have a complicated client situation you need to talk through? Drop in. Have some questions on your state’s registration timeline? They’ll help you out. If you’re in the registration process, they have an hour for you every Wednesday. And if you’re registered and running your firm, they have time for you every week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Gaining access to compliance experts face to face, every single week, is a benefit I can’t really overstate to members. Even if you don’t have a burning question, attending as a fly on the wall and taking advantage of these office hours helps you keep up to date with your compliance tasks and grow your compliance knowledge so you can be the best CCO you can be.
Support in the Forums
But, what if you have a compliance question and it’s Thursday—you can’t possibly wait until Tuesday to get an answer. Rest assured, you can connect with the compliance team daily in our Member Forums. The compliance team is quick to respond so you can get on your way. The forums are also easily searchable; your compliance question has likely been answered at some point before, leaving you with no wait time at all.
Through the amount of questions the compliance team gets in the forums and during office hours, they keep a great pulse on what questions many advisors have. Every month, a member of our compliance team hosts a members-only compliance webinar. Past topics have included “Identifying and Disclosing Conflicts of Interest”, “Preparing for an Audit”, and “Compliance Considerations for Merging Firms”. These webinars are a great opportunity to learn more about an issue that has been, or likely will be, a concern of yours.
While attending compliance webinars live gives you the opportunity to participate and ask questions, all the webinars are recorded and posted soon after their debut in the member forums for your convenience.
TD Ameritrade Access
This benefit has to be mentioned on benefits you can’t put a price on. Our partnership with TD Ameritrade doesn’t save you money—it gives you access. Specifically, access to TDA as a custodian without the traditional $10 million AUM minimum. This is a huge draw for new members transitioning clients from past firms or broker-dealers and for those just starting out in the industry who don’t quite meet the minimum, but want your clients to trust where you keep their money.
You also gain access to a community where most (not all) other advisors use the same custodian. Your questions are, likely, questions other members have had in the past. Throwing your question in the Forums can save you from hours of trying to figure iRebal out by yourself.
Resources & Education
XYPN Academy is XYPN’s educational platform. It’s a member exclusive benefit, and it’s completely included in membership. XYPN Academy provides you with the knowledge you need to run your firm. Want a course on what it means to be your own CCO? Check out the Compliance School in Academy. Want to learn more about SEO, how often you should post your content for the best results, or what to do when you start blogging? The Marketing School has 45 different training videos. Or, are you just starting your firm and don’t know where to start? The Start My Firm course is for you. New material is always being added to XYPN Academy as well, which is why I encourage members to check it out often.
But wait—there’s more. In addition to the education created and produced by our team, XYPN Academy gives you access to the Continuing Education School. There, you can find recordings of the CE webinars we host throughout the year, as well as the CE content from all of our past conferences. You watch the videos, learn some new information, submit a quiz, and we report your CFPⓇ credit for you. Easy peasy.
One of the biggest benefits of XYPN membership is access to our impressive technology stack. But what if you have questions on how to implement it, or issues you want to bring to light? To give you that opportunity, we regularly schedule webinars with given partners. This gives you the opportunity to learn their latest offerings and ask questions easily and live. Plus, they’re for XYPN members only, making the content customized for you. Just like our compliance or marketing webinars, if you can’t attend live, you can always watch the recordings later in the forums.
Pre-Launch and Launch Coaching Series
If you’re registering and launching a new firm when you join the Network, you get access to more than just the compliance team. Before you launch, while you’re waiting for your state’s approval, you’ll be invited to participate in the Pre-Launch Coaching series. There, you’ll work for 4 weeks on branding and marketing, tech stack, workflows, your client service model and much more. You’ll gain access not just to our coaching staff, but to a group of other members at the exact same stage as you.
After launching, we don’t leave you out to dry. You’ll be able to participate in the launch coaching series, which takes you through the questions you’ll have in the first few months of launching on topics like developing your sales process, tweaking your website, and revisiting your business plan.
A Turnkey Offering
Yes, we provide you with included or steeply discounted technology. But you know what’s sometimes better than giving you included access to Wealthbox? Not having to go through the process of choosing a CRM. As Michael Kitces explained in his opening remarks at #XYPNLIVE this year, it’s unwise to spend a significant amount of your time and energy analyzing CRMs. “Not a good thing to do, truly...Your success in your launching phase is determined by whether you can get your first 5 clients and get through that phase, not by pulling up and looking at a lot of technology or making a lot of business-y decisions”.
That’s where our technology stack can come to the rescue. As a new member, you don’t have to analyze the hundreds of CRMs on the market. Instead, you can sign up for Wealthbox and start using it immediately. Saving the bandwidth it takes to make these decisions can free up your mental energy and focus for getting your name out there and finding clients upon your launch.
But the turnkey nature isn’t helpful just for technology. Are you in year 3 or 4 and not sure what type of business you’re building yet? Maybe you need a business coach. Ordinarily, that could be weeks to months of vetting and finding the right person, and hoping they’re in your price range. And even if you find someone you click with, what if they’re not used to working with financial advisors specifically? That’s why we have Arlene Moss on staff. Her clients are exclusively members building businesses similar to yours, and you don’t have to vet dozens of potential coaches. The same goes for Carolyn Dalle-Molle (marketing), BB Webb (sales), and Emily Purdon (financial planning).
If you haven’t read Director of Member Services Maddy Roche’s blog, Calculating the ROI of the XYPN Community, I highly recommend it. She walks through many of the highlights and benefits of the XYPN community.
The Member Forums
I’ve already mentioned the forums multiple times, but they truly are an invaluable resource. A member told a teammate just this week, "The forums mentally make-up for more than half of the worth of my XYPN dues." Yet they’re an included members-only benefit. So what makes having access to the forums so beneficial?
It’s a wealth of information. The forums give you access to 5+ years of collective financial and business planning questions, answers, and discussion. If you want to learn more about other member’s fee structures, a quick search of “fee structures” will yield you hundreds of different perspectives and examples.
Even if you don’t have a specific question, consuming and reading the forum posts on a consistent basis helps you keep up to date with helpful conversations on topics like new FinTech, interesting client scenarios, or compliance issues that aren’t yet on your radar.
If and when you choose to ask a question, your question is seen by 1,000+ other financial advisors who are all running their own independent RIAs. Dropping your question into the member forums gives you access to our expert staff, including the compliance team and coaches.
Referrals and Job Postings
You do a lot for your clients, but you can’t do everything. At some point, you may need to refer your client to a CPA or an attorney. The problem is, you likely work with clients around the country, and they need someone close to them.
That’s why we have the “referrals” category in th member forums. It’s filled with entries like “Estate Attorney in Virginia” or “CPA recommendation in LA”. Other member’s recommendations can give you confidence when you send your clients to another professional.
If you’re looking for recommendations when, for instance, re-doing your website and you need a new graphic designer, the referrals category can help you there, too. We’ve compiled the recommendations made by members into one searchable and interactive document. Our professional referrals are sorted by marketing/graphic designers, virtual assistants, CPA/taxes, attorneys, and miscellaneous. This can provide you with vetted professionals and save you the time and pain of finding someone from scratch.
Not only can the Network provide you with professional referrals, you can also get client referrals through the referrals section of the forums. Members who find prospective clients that aren’t a good fit or at a time when they have a waitlist will share clients in the referrals category as well, giving you the opportunity to grow your business if you’re looking for clients or to easily find a good home for clients that may not be the best fit for you.
Another forum and community feature to help you in your business is the job board section. There, members are encouraged to post open positions they have with their firm and members looking for side gigs are encouraged to post their experience and availability. Through the job board, members starting out with more availability and time to spare have been able to get connected with part-time work from other members, and more advanced members can find qualified candidates easily.
Although we pride ourselves on being a virtual Network working with members across the country, we recognize that sometimes you want to grab a cup of coffee or a beer with someone who knows your struggles. When you’re new to an area or the industry, it can be hard to find other like-minded advisors near you.That’s why earlier this year, we began facilitating local meet-ups. You may have even received an invitation to one of these events—they’re open to current and prospective members. They’re held in a relaxed setting, and for the time being have been generally smaller events, so you won’t get overwhelmed by too many new people. Having local relationships with other advisors can be an asset not only to you, but to your business in the future—and what that’s hard to put a price tag on. Next time you get a meet-up invitation in your inbox, be sure to attend.
So maybe all of this sounds great to you, but you’re wondering--how do you keep membership individualized with a thousand members? Will I be just a number? This exact concern is why we rolled out the Member Experience Program in January of 2018. Since then, every new member in the Network has worked one-on-one with a Member Experience Specialist like myself. It’s our job to help you get the most out of membership at the right time and to get familiar with who you are and what you’re building. To your MES, you aren’t just a name on a computer screen or a number out of one thousand--you’re a valued member of our Network, and we’re able to connect you with other members, resources, and opportunities that are best suited for you. As your firm grows and evolves, we’ll be there to listen to your feedback, connect you, and support you.
If you’re new to XY Planning Network, welcome. We’re stronger together.
About the Author
As a Member Experience Specialist at XYPN, Taylor Deardorff enables our members to take advantage of XYPN's ever-growing range of benefits. Through consistent communication with our growing Network, Taylor has become intimately familiar with the needs and challenges our advisors face servicing their clients and growing their RIAs. She loves XYPN's members and sharing the XYPN message.