We hear a lot of stories about financial planning practices and how they are all about building plans for life. Unfortunately much of the language is similar from company to company. They all seem to make the same bland promises. But in today’s episode, you’ll truly hear a different story.
In this episode of the CSLP Podcast, we are pleased to have David Hessel who is a financial advisor with Global View Capital Advisors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. David shares about how his practice took off when he began to address the segment of clients with student loan debt. He shares personal experiences of the joy in helping people who thought their situation was hopeless.
David also talks about the eye opening experience of getting started with the CSLP Program and some of what he learned. During the episode he chats with Jantz Hoffman and Heather Jarvis about some of the misconceptions financial advisors have about working with clients who are repaying student loans.
Larry: [00:00:31] Hi, everyone! On today’s CSLP podcast we have a very special guest who’s making a real difference in the world of financial advising. David Hessel will be joining us for a chat about how the landscape of advising is changing due to the rise in student loan debt. Now, unless you’re completely off the grid, you know that student debt is presenting a number of problems for consumers and in fact, for financial advisors as well because of the confusing nature of the programs. Today we hear from David about his approach of holistic financial advising. It incorporates smart student loan repayment in conjunction with a client’s overall financial goals.
Larry: [00:01:10] David is an independent financial adviser affiliated with Global View Capital Advisors. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin with a B.S. degree in finance. He holds the Series 66 License, a Life and Health Insurance License, a Certification in Long Term Care, and the CSLP, which is a certified student loan professional. So now, here’s David.
Jantz: [00:01:35] Well, David, thanks for joining us today and talking about the CSLP designation in your practice. Can you tell us a little bit about your business, your practice? What sort of firm are you with and your role in that firm?
David: [00:01:49] Yes, certainly. So I am I am affiliated with an RIAA out here in Wisconsin by the name of Global View Capital. We do investment management. Insurance is involved. Really the focus is financial planning. And so I help my clients as a financial planner. Global view has a lot of tools that they provide to us and this is kind of how the student loans got brought into it. As we focus on the financial plan for clients.
Heather: [00:02:23] Well, what was your background, David, with student debt before you pursued this designation? What was your personal experience or professional experience with student loans?
David: [00:02:35] Yeah. You know, I had spent five years prior to going to to this area that we’re currently with. I was at a mutual of Omaha a larger insurance firms and they didn’t really know much about student debt. It was just viewed in the form of any other pool of debt, kind of look at the interest rate and just pay it, pay it down as you go, kind of like a mortgage or anything else. So when I started working with some other clients who were in the younger generation, student loans became an issue. I went to Marquette myself. So I had a good boat of student loans. My parents had a good financial plan put together. So it wasn’t a ton. And looking back, the income-driven plan probably wouldn’t be in my best interest. So I didn’t personally do it, but I started having some clients that had issues with their student loans. They didn’t really know how to pay it back. I sort of affecting and bleeding into the rest of the financial picture. So it was a let’s say about a year ago, I got connected with a local Wisconsin advisor who I think took your course. Heather, your crash course that you have. And he just started telling me all about this and that just started the curiosity. So I’ve been researching and came across the CSLP and now I feel like I have a really good understanding of how to handle them.
Heather: [00:03:59] That’s very cool. It sounds like you might have a little nerd tendency like and I do you like the complicated stuff?
David: [00:04:08] Yeah. Yeah. Most people who know me would call me that, too.
Heather: [00:04:13] it’s a compliment, of course. It’s one of the highest compliments that I pay anywhere. Right, gents?
David: [00:04:20] That’s true. Exactly. Exactly. I mean, these student loans add so much more complexity to the plan. It’s like people probably don’t you know, they don’t want to get into it, but I love talking about it.
Jantz: [00:04:32] So when you were going through the coursework and having the background where you run into some clients before, what did you really learn or what were your takeaways going through the course or any part of the coursework that really stood out to you? It was like an aha moment for you that this is going to be part of my practice going forward.
David: [00:04:49] Oh, yeah. That it’s a great question. I had started with when I was learning about how to help student loans, maybe about a year ago before I got the designation. I was working with my friend out here, who’s another financial advisor, and we were using the Venn Foundation calculator and just kind of going through conceptually.
David: [00:05:11] And, you know, I understood what the income-driven plans were, but I didn’t really understand how to use them effectively. Let’s say. So we’re in Wisconsin, one of the community property states. I would have to say that has got to be one of the biggest things that stood out to me from the coursework, because not only did I get an idea and a very well-grounded foundation of what the differences in these different IDR plans are, but the larger thing was how to maximize that and utilize it in a financial plan, which is what I’m doing for my clients anyways.
David: [00:05:45] So now, you know, we’re involving taxes, we’re involving savings for the tax hit that’s going to come later. I would have to say it’s the strategy of how to utilize the student loans in the financial picture. That was my largest takeaway from CSL P.
Heather: [00:06:02] I’m so glad you say that because for many years I found myself speaking with student loan borrowers who would have what you would think would be a relatively straightforward question like, you know, should I pay more than what’s due on my student loans? And then is, as you say, you know, sort of traditional debt management just says, yeah, pay it us as fast as you can. Lower the interest rate if you can. But in fact, the answer to that question is needs to be informed by a more holistic financial plan. So if someone works with you, you can point out things like, you know, well, do you have this emergency fund? Are you putting away money for retirement? What are your other goals? And really, that’s the only way you can know what to do with student loans is to look at the whole picture.
David: [00:06:58] I completely agree with that. It really does need to be a whole picture outlook. And as soon as you start lowering the payments for student loans, you know, if you’re not looking at the financial picture, you may not be advising and then making the right decisions for their, you know, like you said, retirement or other things that they need to put together emergency reserves and stuff. If you don’t realize how to help guide on that, after you’ve lowered their payment, you’re still not setting them up for full success.
Heather: [00:07:26] Right. Right.
Jantz: [00:07:29] So, David, you’re one of the more recent people that we interviewed here, just finishing up with the final exam. So when you were going through the coursework, was it was the material difficult to grasp at any point? And how well did you think the exam component of it was? Was it a difficult exam? Was it easy? What were your thoughts of going through the coursework and, of course, the exam?
David: [00:07:54] Yeah. So the coursework and both the coursework in an exam were very eye-opening to me. I think one of the biggest takeaways I had from that was, you know, there’s a lot of calculators out there, but a lot of us don’t really know how the calculations are created, how interest accrues and the different IDR plans, how payments are calculated from their income. And it started I think the coursework really honed in on the idea that, hey, let’s not just go out there and trust every piece of technology that we can use because this world is very complex. And so I started to see the need for that level of detail that was offered in the coursework and that bleeds right into the to the test.
David: [00:08:39] I would say the test was in my eyes, the test was pretty rigorous. It was a difficult test. And now being on the back end of it, I really appreciate the fact that you made it that way, because, you know, I see I see how important it is for you to know and have a good deep understanding of these student loans.
Heather: [00:08:58] Yeah, we really did want to create an examination that would be meaningful so that people could, you know, understand that when someone like you takes that examination and succeeds, it’s because you really know what to do and how to do it. And so I would agree with you like I found did I find it also, you know, that you have to concentrate. And it’s not simple, but it is. I’m hopeful anyway. It’s a tool that can really show, well, what you know, in the student loan space.
David: [00:09:35] Yeah. I thought honestly, I really thought I knew a lot about student loans, you know, having helped people within having a little bit of experience. But that coursework brought it to an entirely new level. And I feel I can. I feel I’m much more prepared to incorporate it into their total holistic financial picture. Now that I have the base of knowledge from the coursework and an exam. Yes, it was very cool.
Jantz: [00:10:00] So how are you incorporating or do you plan to incorporate this service into your practice and your business? And did you see this as a major part of your business going forward?
David: [00:10:12] Yeah, I would say just as many financial advisors were. We’re all in growth mode and I’m sure we all have the same challenge with marketing. How do you find more people? What’s the best message to get across and how do you find the right people for who you want to help? So we have noticed that not only is this a helpful portion in terms of me providing a better service for my clients and a better holistic plan.
David: [00:10:38] But really, it has helped solve part of the marketing problems that I think we all have challenges with our if our referrals have completely gone through the roof since I’ve started incorporating this into the financial picture, because I think for a lot of people it’s more than immediate pain point. You know, they’ve got this monthly payment that they’re making every month and there’s not a lot of people out there that can help them figure it out. So it causes people to jump and take action and want to get their financial picture figured out. So we’ve been utilizing it in terms of marketing.
David: [00:11:16] It’s increased our referrals quite a lot since I’ve been helping people. And I think that for our overall future, I love working with the younger generation. I myself am in the younger generation, and that’s where a lot of the pain point is. College costs a lot and it’s starting to get me in front of the right type of clients we want to help. I love working with people who help it and in healthcare and in wellness. And those people tend to leave college with a lot of student loans. So they tend to be good people who would like to get this plan started as well as looking at their financial picture, which is the main way that we’re growing our practice.
Heather: [00:12:01] Right. And haven’t did you find, David, something satisfying in addition to the mentioned that you already stated that working with, for example, health professionals, do you get to feel like part of that larger team that you’re doing something to support not only those individuals personally but also the work that they’re doing so that they can concentrate on that and let you take care of figuring out the student loan part?
David: [00:12:29] I completely agree. It’s you know, all of us financial advisors haven’t this intangible way that we get paid, which is through the satisfaction of the work that we do and the help that we provide. And this really to me has increased that form of payment. Just seeing the changes that we can make in someone’s plan and how immediate that change can be for their pictures is so gratifying.
Heather: [00:12:54] I mean, you can make people feel demonstrably better just by beginning the conversation with them till, you know, let them know that you’ve seen other people who have student loan debt and these challenges are manageable and you will make a plan. And then, yeah, that helps make people feel trusting towards you. And my expectation is that that will really help grow all sorts of prospective client bases for you over time.
David: [00:13:27] Yeah, we have. We have seen that growth very, very immediately, as I would say, is the best way to put it, like within a matter of weeks and months after just starting to help people with us. It’s been very rapid growth.
Jantz: [00:13:42] And you know, what I found in my history of helping people student loans, too, is there is an immediate connection between you and that individual, because so many advisors are, as you mentioned, they don’t provide advice here or the advice is lacking. And this is their main pain point. And it leads to referrals, but it leads referrals that aren’t just student loan clients as well, you know because they feel that you really care about them and care about their problems instead of just trying to sell them some product you did. I think the referrals in my experience have been beyond just other people with student debt.
David: [00:14:21] That is so very true. Right after you, you have helped someone with the student loan problem. It’s a very easy conversation. And so the rest of you know, how are you handling your taxes? Are you meeting with a CPA? Maybe we should incorporate that. How are you investing your money? You just start getting into all of those things. And like you said, then they’ve got a friend who is they’ve been looking for an investment guy. And hey, I built the trust. It may have started with student loans, but it bleeds into the rest of the financial picture.
Heather: [00:14:53] Can you tell us city stories, war stories about a client that you’ve helped because of your new knowledge?
David: [00:15:03] It’s hard. It’s probably hard to choose one. I have. I have helped across. I have seen across an entire spectrum from people literally graduating this year and helping them with the strategy of, hey, let’s get your payments started before you’re making income. That way we can have a year starting off with zero dollars qualified payments all the way to. I have helped a couple of people who’ve been working with a financial planner and they’re coming up into their 60s and they have student loans still and they don’t know how to handle it, nor does their financial planner know. So I’ve seen a really large spectrum.
David: [00:15:42] I would say one of my favorite stories is it was actually one of the first clients that I helped with this. It’s a couple who got married shortly after college and they actually both graduated as chiropractors. And they decided rather than going the route of working as a chiropractor for someone else’s firm, they wanted to build their own client base. And they worked very hard to they own their own or they’ve got their own lease. They’ve got their own all their own equipment in there. But they really they’re having to grow it from scratch. And right in the beginning, it’s hard in terms of income, especially for that profession, which I have seen. But that profession leads with a student loan pool very near the size of what doctors have to.
David: [00:16:31] So it’s extremely large. And in terms of these two, both of their standard repayments were above two thousand dollars for each of them on a monthly basis. So you can imagine a married couple with one joint income coming from the same practice and then two standard repayment starting at that amount. To hear the fact that there was even an income-driven plan was was music to their ears. But now to incorporate it as they grow their business and to help them plan with how the how income works. You know, one of the doctors, the wife would like to step back and have a baby and maybe hire on another doctor into the practice. So it’s not just that you help them right. In year one. This is if we’re planning for 20 or 25 years of forgiveness. This is an ongoing thing that you can continue to help them with and that just to see the relief after having gone through that plan for them, that was that was their very rewarding and really started my deep journey into getting the CSLP designation.
Heather: [00:17:40] That’s fantastic. I just I love to hear that. That’s exactly what I’d love to hear because it’s so true of a family, like the professionals that you’re just referring to. They will have transition points throughout. For example, if when they do have that baby or when the practice starts, you know, going gangbusters or whatever it is, and they have that relationship with you where they know that you’re just a phone call away for saying, hey, you know, these assumptions we made when we made the plan. Things have changed a little. How can we make sure we’re still on track?
David: [00:18:18] It’s it has been a huge relief for them and for them what I what I’ve learned, too, is that the chiropractic industry, they all have this challenge. And from what I have seen, there are not a lot of people right now helping at least that industry, plus many others. And so I just see the need for this kind of help that there need to be more people than just me or other advisers doing this. I really would hope all advisers would learn a little bit more about the student loans or refer out for it because I just think it’s such a big pain in our industry right now.
Jantz: [00:19:00] Yeah. So. So you. So it sounds like you would tell their advisers, hey, if if you’re looking and having clients that have student loans, you need to either refer this to someone who knows that or you need to go get some training yourself. Is that not the case.
David: [00:19:16] Yeah, it is. And you know, even. Even for myself, because I can speak from my own perspective. I was helping to guide people just through some of my own research on my own knowledge about student loans. I was helping to guide people down a path of how to do these repayments prior to me getting the CEO’s help designation.
David: [00:19:36] As soon as I was done with the CSLP designation and had gone through the coursework, I really did learn that I didn’t even know what I was talking about. Now, I knew to a certain degree, but I really think it’s important to work with a professional. I mean, the CSLP takes such a deep dive that you truly become a full-on expert and if you is a financial advisor, don’t know about it. I think it’s a great thing to start a relationship with an advisor who does and work on that relationship. Have it because that’s gonna help any financial advisor if you’re able to help those clients create some higher discretionary income in their plan. Now you as the advisor, even though you may not have been the one to do it, you’ll be able to help them start getting their financial picture put into place at a more at a quicker pace than what it would be if you weren’t helping with that.
David: [00:20:28] So if you’re not the one who wants to go and get a designation or do the research on it, I highly recommend creating a relationship with someone who does and working out how you guys will do some referrals or whatever that may be back and forth.
Jantz: [00:20:45] Yeah, I think that’s so imperative. You know, in this business, I think as you mentioned earlier, the marketing is such a challenge for so many advisors that when they get clients that may not be their ideal client, they’re not really interested always in referring them out to somebody else or finding an agreement to send them there. But I do think it’s important to identify the certain types of clients that you’re really not well suited to, to provide advice to an either. If if you want those clients to become suited to provide that advice or if you’re not interested in that and don’t gain that knowledge and be willing to find someone to send them off to because there’s just like anything in financial planning and tax planning, there’s a lot of liability in risk that exists. If you’re providing advice on subject matters that you don’t really know or understand yet, and that is so true.
David: [00:21:38] It’s on that note. It’s been something that likes just on the same note of me saying to go and create a relationship with someone else. I’ve been speaking with a lot of CPA about this. And what I noticed is that a lot of CPA is don’t really know about how these student loan forgiveness works are. Some of them don’t even know that forgiveness even exists. And so when we talk about how you know what that means for their plan, especially, let’s talk about the strategy of married filing separate versus married filing joint. There are so many times that that can be justified just through the savings that they get on their student loan payments that it’s so important than to talk to the CPA about why that why we’re even doing this. If you look at just the taxes in a silo without the student loan knowledge, you may not think that’s the best case for them. But once you incorporate the knowledge on how that works it now you’re really making a strong, holistic picture for the client. And I’ve noticed it’s helped me connect with a lot of CPA is out here in Wisconsin to.
Heather: [00:22:39] That’s useful from a professional networking perspective and the like, you know, Janssen, I have found over the years less interest on the part of tax preparers and accountants than on the part of financial advisors with regard to the student loan debt.
Heather: [00:22:58] But I am hopeful that with the help of people like you talking to CPA and others, that there will at some point come kind of a tipping point where the profession of accountants will realize when they should red flag certain client matters. You know, I mean, if I was doing taxes anytime I saw a married couple where one or both owed student loans, I would not feel like I was doing them full credit if I didn’t evaluate the impact of their decision about what tax filing status to choose.
David: [00:23:38] Yeah, that that’s exactly what I’ve seen in our practice and most people would never even look at, you know, in most cases, why would you look at doing married filing separate unless there was some other reason in your financial picture to do that. Most people wouldn’t go and explore that. And a lot of times if you’ve got one borrower making a lot of the money and, you know, again, going back to the community property state that we’re in, at least there’s a lot of really interesting ways to handle the married filing separate and how you’re documenting your income. That was one of the things that one of the biggest things I probably took from the CSLP coursework.
Jantz: [00:24:17] Yeah, I mean, talking to the accountant, you’ve networked in your area. I mean, from my experience, talking to many of them in this community, property states have never filed a myriad separate return and oftentimes don’t even know how to do the committee property allocation. They almost need some education on that as well because they just something like you said, it’s not in their wheelhouse. If it wasn’t for student debt, they’d never even consider it.
David: [00:24:41] Yeah. And I took. I recently had a client who that’s exactly one that we are going down to explore a made sense for them to do this married filing separate. And I know they had come back and talked to their CPA and he asked if I had more information on why to do this or how to do this. And I referred right to I think in the coursework you talked about an IRS publication, five, five, five, I think, which just goes into some of the details about it.
David: [00:25:10] So it’s just good to have you know, I’m not the one giving the tax advice, but I can help point in the right directions on how this or why to even do this from the student loan perspective. And then they can figure it out from the tax perspective. But opening their eyes to that has been really helpful.
Heather: [00:25:30] David, what would you say to any student loan borrowers who may be listening, who are looking for assistance with their finances? Well, they’re repaying their student debt.
David: [00:25:44] My biggest piece of advice is that looking into it further can’t hurt. One of the questions that I get a lot is when we go over this, this income-driven payment plans, you know, people first ask that main question, if I put more money towards my student loans, does. Is that going to be helpful? But then you’re looking at it in the silo of just paying off debt like normal debt, like your mortgage or something. And these student loans are the only pool of loans that have this extremely cool federal government opportunity on basing their payments off of the income. So I would say it really does not hurt to get a second opinion.
[00:26:25] I would say the amount of relief that I’ve been able to provide a lot of my clients have shown me that it’s worth just having a conversation or looking into it further. And if you can utilize something, we all are managing debt in certain ways. Some of us are paying it back. Leveraging it. This is just a very unique form of debt that can be paid back in a very unique way. So I would suggest people just have a conversation about it because it can free up a lot of things in your financial picture and you can start to utilize that pool of debt differently than some of the other ones in your financial picture. So they’re not all made the same.
Heather: [00:27:08] And how will people find out more about you, David, if they want to get in touch with you, to hire you or refer clients to you? Where should they look for more information?
David: [00:27:18] So we have a Web site. My Web site is easy to get to is just David Hassle dot com. And we are we’re currently putting together more information about student loans and gonna have a whole page just with information about, you know, here’s private loan forgiveness. Here’s what public service loan forgiveness, some of the qualifications about it. On that note, a lot of people I hear all the time that, oh, you’re talking about loan forgiveness. Why heard that doesn’t work. Because I saw that in the news that it doesn’t work for people. And so it takes a little bit of history and a little bit of education telling them, well, here are the reasons why. And the transition to direct loans and telling them about some of those articles that I would say are misconstrued in the media. We’re gonna be having our Web site just to be built with more information so that people can come there. You can get the information.
Heather: [00:28:12] You can read it, read about more if you’d like to. And then if you’d like to set up a meeting, we have a scheduling tab that you can do that. And we’ll just have a conversation about your student loans and see if it makes sense that we could help you out.
Heather: [00:28:25] That sounds good. So you there’s more going on in Wisconsin than besides cheese and hockey, and.
David: [00:28:32] We’ve got more than dairy and cows out here. Yeah, certainly. And I work virtually with my clients. I think a lot of people are starting to do that more. And it just makes it easy when you can kind of get a huge relief from your student loans while sitting in the comfort of your own home. I think it’s just it’s an amazing thing for our industry. And I know more and more people are doing that and there’s more and more of us out there. And I think to continue, we need to have more. But the progression definitely has already started and continue to roll.
Heather: [00:29:11] Well, I want to personally thank you, David, for doing this work with student loan borrowers. I have worked hard for a number of years to encourage the kind of professional development that you have attained because I know there are so many borrowers who can benefit from your knowledge. And I mean, you know, your comprehensive knowledge. I know a lot about student loans, but I don’t know the first thing about retirement funds or insurance or any of the other critical financial components that are part of a comprehensive plan. So it’s been my belief and I know chances for a long time that it isn’t sufficient for someone to a student loan to have access to a student loan expert. They need to have somebody who knows how student loans fit in with their larger financial picture. And so I’m delighted that you’re doing this. And we’re so happy to have you on the team.
David: [00:30:16] I’m. I’m very happy that you guys took the time to create that designation and give us all of this information. I’m growing my practice as a financial advisor, and that is helping people with their investments and their retirement plan. And the full picture.
David: [00:30:33] But you guys gave me and many other financial advisors a tool that fits so perfectly into their financial plan. And it helps us with our marketing. It helps us with our clients servicing. I really thank you guys for taking the time to make this, because it’s been a life-changing event in my practice to start opening this up
Jantz: [00:30:59] You’re very so. Yeah. So we’re very proud, Very proud and appreciative of you, David, and everybody else that that is taking us on to help student loan borrowers. And, you know, I do think, as you mentioned, is a lot of misinformation in the media and misinformation from in the advisor community about this. And having people like yourself, David, that that can help set the record straight. Help really get quality information to student loan borrowers and incorporate in their plan is going to make a difference in this world. So we thank you.
David: [00:31:34] Thank you very much for having me. I appreciate it.
Larry: [00:31:37] We’d love to have you back. Maybe you can talk about some of those specific hard cases and how you work magic with them.
David: [00:31:44] I would love to do that. Please let me know if you if you’d ever like me to come back. I just that I after getting the CSLP, this became like a really big passion of mine. And so I just if I can help in promoting and in helping with what you guys are doing, just call on me anytime, because I think our industry needs it and I want to help somebody here. Thank you.
David Hessel, CLTC, CSLP
We are pleased to be joined by David Hessel, a financial services professional in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. David shares his experience with us about advising clients with student loan debt.
David’s web site: https://www.davidhessel.com