Orchestrating a Plan – with Cody Garrett – InsuranceNewsNet
Cody Garrett takes a pair of 45-minute “Twitter walks” each day. He will often invite random subscribers to send him their phone numbers via direct message.
The results provide insight into real-world financial issues — and great content for Garrett, an advice-only financial planner who owns Measure Twice Financial in Houston.
“I’m just going to call a random person I’ve never spoken to before,” Garrett said. “People ask me all the time, ‘How do you create so much content?’ I probably post something new and original on Twitter every few hours. I think the best form of content is just documenting the conversations you have with other people.”
The Twitter walks represent an intersection of Garrett’s counseling philosophies. He is committed to giving financial information and connecting with people through social media. His approach is even more unique and adventurous once you realize Garrett doesn’t manage assets.
“A client is only a client for three months and then he’s gone,” said Garrett, 33. “At the end of each year, I have no assets and no customers.”
This sort of advice-only model would seem to add more work and less security, but Garrett doesn’t see it that way. Work isn’t really work if it’s enjoyable and fulfilling, he says.
Additionally, Garrett’s selfless commitment to connecting and sharing information is a fantastic lead generator.
“I have limited my personal ability to work with only two clients per month and 10 hours per week for financial planning,” Garrett said. “I’m spending the rest of my week creating more educational content to distribute for free. But that also means I’m at full financial planning capacity for the next 18 months to two years.
Until recent years, Garrett followed a very different career path. He started taking piano lessons at age 6 and later earned a bachelor’s degree in music theory from the University of Houston. Garrett studied contemporary piano at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
This resulted in a successful musical career both as a keyboard player and behind the controls as an arranger. Garrett has worked in several different musical genres and with artists such as Journey drummer Steve Smith, Broadway legend Ben Vereen and American Idol finalist Will Makar.
Although Garrett is young, his musical career has become too complicated. “As a musician, you have to be several things,” he explained. “I was always working from eight to five as a musical director. Then I kind of worked five to eight on the backhand. I either played Broadway musicals in the evenings or I always played weddings on the weekends.
By the time Garrett married his wife, Marissa, in 2015, thoughts of a major career move were creeping in.
“One of my measures of success in personal life and in professional life is that I wanted to be able to have dinner with my wife every night of the week,” he recalls.
The dilemma centered on money. Specifically, how would the newly married Garrett replace the income he was earning, say, earning $500 a weekend playing weddings? The couple had student loan debt and were following Dave Ramsey’s advice to eliminate it as soon as possible.
Ramsey’s Financial Peace University also preaches not to invest in anything you don’t understand. So Garrett set out to learn more about investments and investing, devouring books and podcasts.
“I became fascinated with personal finance,” he said.
Garrett’s mother suggested he talk to a family friend who had been a registered investment adviser for two decades. That friend was Joe Birkofer, director and founder of Legacy Asset Management in Houston.
“He recommended I enroll in the CFP education program, just to drink from the fire hose and learn a lot more about personal finance,” Garrett said. “It was the natural gateway to the CFP training program. Within two months, I was like, ‘OK, I want to be a financial planner.’ »
That was three and a half years ago. “Four years ago, I didn’t even know what an IRA was,” Garrett said. “And now I’m at full capacity and own my own business. It’s a quick transition.
It started with Rice University’s CFP program and continued with Garrett earning his Series 65 license in 2019. At that time, he was working as a financial planner for Birkofer at Legacy.
“I saw an enthusiast,” Birkofer said. “That’s the best way to describe Cody. There are people who show up and there are other people who show up and they are enthusiastic and they constantly want more.
Young Garrett had no problem immediately connecting with customers.
“Initially, clients were a little nervous because I’m a young guy with no experience telling them how to manage their own money, millions of dollars, and even move millions of dollars,” Garrett recalled. “But I’m a little dizzy with personal finance. I love it and find it fascinating, both technically and personally. So that worry disappeared pretty quickly.
It didn’t take long for Garrett to want his own business. In fact, he wanted to create three businesses around the “Measure Twice” brand: Measure Twice Money, a blog; Measure Twice Financial, a registered investment adviser; and Measure Twice Planners, a concept in which Garrett will offer other planners insight into his processes.
The brand name plays on the carpenter’s axiom: measure twice, cut once.
“Everyone has a real estate project. Everyone has a risk management plan,” Garrett said. “It might not align with their personal goals and values. So the family has already measured once, and what they do is they contact me as a financial planner to help them measure twice before making any major financial decisions.
Measure Twice Financial opened in June 2021. Garrett charges $6,400 for a three-month process and three meetings. He described his clients as having an investable net worth between $2.5 million and $8 million.
“They are all self-directed investors,” Garrett said. “But they want to have that level of financial independence within five years that they can work because they want to, not because they have to.”
Many advisors are on social media. It’s almost a requirement these days. Hardly anyone is releasing the level of detailed personal financial information that Garrett posted in a series of tweets sent on February 26.
In a 24-tweet thread, Garrett described his family’s financial situation, including personal details such as how much the couple expects to pay in mortgage interest and the breakdown of their stock investments. The unusual level of transparency has earned Garrett a lot of attention on a platform that sees many unanswered tweets.
Garrett regularly tweets long threads outlining examples of asset allocation and tax-efficient charitable giving strategies. It’s all part of his selfless and transparent approach to business, Garrett said.
“The biggest thing missing in our industry is that most financial advisors act like they have this secret sauce, that there’s this kind of intellectual property that they have as a financial planner or financial advisor” , he explained. “And you will only get value from me if you work with me and pay for it.”
Although Garrett is a fee-paying financial planner without an active insurance license, he recognizes the value of life insurance and annuity products as part of a holistic financial planning relationship. A network of “trusted agents for life, health, disability, property/accident and long-term care” helps provide customers with appropriate coverages and risk transfer planning, it said. he declares.
“I am grateful for the generous and transparent relationships within our industry, as insurance is an essential piece of the puzzle,” he added. “Most financial plans require insurance adjustments, whether it’s an increase or decrease in coverage.”
Just because Garrett doesn’t manage assets doesn’t mean he’s opposed to this model of financial advice. Advisors just need to be better informed on the details and know what they want to be from the start, he said.
“You really have to understand who you’re serving and how you’re going to bring value to them,” Garrett said. “It gets people in trouble if they start with compensation as a measure of advisor success, rather than thinking about who they serve and how they serve.”
Garrett shares a home with his wife and their cat in what he calls “a kind of minimalist, simple lifestyle.” He spends much of his free time immersed in life as an educator and financial planner, as well as nurturing his alter ego on social media. Industry-related podcasts and audiobooks are his frequent companions.
“Whenever I have an interesting idea that I think would bring value to someone else, I write it down and it becomes content,” he said. “I have a lot more vision for content than I have time to actually create.”