September 26th, 2019 · 3 min read
Troy Daum of Wealth Analytics Troy Daum, who owns Wealth Dynamics in San Diego, believes employee benefits are vital for equipping his independent RIA to compete for talent with large rivals like megabanks and super regionals.
Formerly an insurance agent, Daum knew his way around policies. That helped him in his search, but it didn’t help him find what he was looking for: better, more cost-effective health insurance than he already had — and just maybe a way to offer his colleagues more than a so-called SIMPLE 401(k), which have lower limits and are generally more restrictive than mainstream 401(k)s.
Daum noticed right away when Chalice Financial Network, also based in San Diego, opened for business over 10 years ago, but he didn’t know what to make of it. More to the point, it didn’t seem to hold solutions to any of his immediate business problems.
“They were fairly new, and I wasn’t quite sure what they were doing,” says Daum, whose new book, Your Insiders’ Guide to Retirement, is available on Amazon. “They had a broker-dealer, and an RIA, and they were starting this membership organization. It was puzzling.”
But Daum sat up when he saw that joining Chalice gave members access to group health insurance through Oasis, a benefits and payroll company.
“I was already motivated to look at all the options available” for health insurance because I was and am competing for talent with some big players, locally and nationally,” says Daum. “So we joined — I think it’s $99 or $100 a month — and we got to work with the team at Oasis.” This yielded what Daum calls “some really phenomenal group insurance that ended up saving us 35%.”
Daum knows there are solid arguments for pushing such savings straight to a business’s bottom line, but that wasn’t what he had in mind.
First, Daum sweetened his employees’ health benefits by paying for 100% of their coverage, up from 75% previously, and added dental and vision. With the savings he was further able to secure a better 401(k) plan, one with more flexibility, higher annual-contribution maximums, and an employer match for the first 4% a staffer contributes.
Big firms had been “leaps and bounds ahead of us” in terms of benefit offerings, says Daum. “But we’ve closed that gap, and we can compete with anyone in the space at this point.”
Chalice gives members access to “a variety of partners” in business services, technology, and investment solutions, as well as M&A consulting and execution,” says Daum. In particular, it enabled Wealth Analytics to renegotiate its agreement with Orion Advisor Services, which provides mission-critical portfolio accounting, to allow Daum’s firm to save about $10,000 a year.
“Payroll, HR-type services, CFO services, web design, marketing, and lots more; it’s all there, and all are extremely valuable,” Daum says of the roster of vendors open to Chalice members.
Adds Daum: “You pay for the membership, you get significant savings. It’s that simple.”
tl;dr: Troy Daum got a far better employee health plan through Chalice, which let him sweeten other benefits. Per Daum: “We can compete with anyone in the space at this point.”