Tech Talk with Mike McCann


Tech Talk with Mike McCann and Lauren WilkinsonTech Talk with Mike McCann, Founder and President, Perspective Financial Services: hosted by Schwab Advisor Services

McCann was invited to participate in Schwab Advisor Services’ “Tech Talk.” The collection of videos was created to help Schwab’s advisor clients improve their efficiency and services. It features independent advisors like McCann, who have led the way in leveraging technology in their practices and are willing to share their insights. He was interviewed by Lauren Wilkinson, vice president of Digital Advisor Experience at Schwab.


Following is an abbreviated transcript of the video “Tech Talk with Mike McCann.”

LAUREN WILKINSON:  Hi, I’m Lauren Wilkinson, Vice President of Digital Advisor Experience at Schwab. I’m pleased to be joined today by Mike McCann, with Perspective Financial Services. Mike, welcome. Can you start by just sharing, where did you get started when you were choosing to expand your technology focus?

MIKE McCANN:  Sure. The first thing is we look at our overall business model and what it is that we provide for our clients. We are very relationship-based. The relationship with our clients is always critical, and it always will be.

We looked at two parts. The first was to look at technology that would allow us to automate some of the regular everyday activities – things like rebalancing trades, for example – that would then allow us more time to spend with our clients. That’s the efficiency piece.

After that was implemented, we looked at, how do we expand the relationship with our clients, such that they’re able to interact with more people in the firm? Our technology is largely based around the CRM as the hub with financial planning software. That allows us to get the entire relationship of our client and be able to see that at a quick glance, which is much more critical than simply focusing on the portfolios for our clients.

LAUREN:  Well, that’s great to hear. And I know for many people we’ve all become a lot more comfortable using technology to stay connected and work remotely due to COVID. So can you share how your firm’s adoption of technology has helped you during this most recent environment?

MIKE:  Sure. It really allowed us to be well prepared for this, not having any idea something like this could come down, of course.

COVID came with a massive market correction, a big crash, as everybody knows. And that required a lot of personal time with our clients, addressing what was happening, answering questions, talking through concerns. It’s certainly not the first time we’ve gone through a big correction, but it was perhaps the most dramatic one in our firm’s history.

By having all of our routine activities – such as trading, rebalancing, downloads and things of that nature – taken care of through automation and technology, we didn’t have to worry about how to transition that as we were moving from the office to our homes. That automation continued to give us the time we needed to speak with our clients.

Then came your routine activities. You know, at first all we thought maybe this is a two-week shutdown or something. But no, of course not. So we needed to be able to do things like move money. People needed wires. They needed money journaled between accounts. That gave us an opportunity to explore more with our non-digital clients, to get them to start using Schwab Alliance to approve things like journals so that we didn’t have to wait for mail time or try to produce mail coming from multiple different homes.

During the quarantine, we were able to implement the video call, to have the screen-sharing and face-to-face contact with clients that wouldn’t ordinarily try this. And we found some really good success. It brought down walls, if you will, that might normally be associated with just a phone call. Instead, here you are, perhaps, in your kitchen talking to a client. It just creates a more personal conversation.

LAUREN:  Well, thanks for sharing that. And for other firms who are looking to expand their technology presence, what advice would you have for them?

MIKE:  Start with something that’s quick, low-cost and easy to implement. You don’t need to start with the big thing. Start with the small things. And something like I mentioned earlier with moving money, get them into the Schwab Alliance and get them approving a transaction. Take it a step further, whether it’s a new client or an existing client needing a new account, instead of doing the mail, open the account digitally. They may be uncomfortable with it at first, but just ask them to make an exception this time if they can. They might be surprised as to how easy it is.

Go with the assumption that the client wants to do something digitally. Clients now realize they can’t come into your office. They probably don’t want to come into your office. They realize that the mail is a little bit slower than it used to be. So let them know this is a plus. You’re able to serve them on a digital basis and make things go a little bit quicker and easier.

Yes, it’s different. It’s perhaps a little bit uncomfortable at first, but the expression I’ve heard in the past is “dig your well before you’re thirsty.” Think of this as a time to invest for the future. We will get through COVID, of course, but at some point something else in your firm, or personally, or perhaps in the community will come up that will cause another disruption down the road. By putting these things into place, you’ll be ready for it.

LAUREN:  Thank you for sharing this, Mike.  It’s been great to connect with you again, and I really appreciate all the best practices you’ve been able to share.

MIKE: It’s been my pleasure.  Thanks for having me.


Schwab Disclosures
This content is for general educational purposes only. Schwab Advisor Services™ includes the custody, trading, and support services of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”), a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC, and the technology products and services of Performance Technologies, Inc. (“PTI”). PTI and Schwab are separate companies affiliated as subsidiaries of The Charles Schwab Corporation, but their products and services are independent of each other. PTI’s integration solutions integrate data about accounts custodied at Schwab.
API integration is available through Schwab OpenView Gateway®, which is provided by PTI. Single sign-on is provided by PTI. Daily data files and trading integration are available through Schwab. Schwab OpenView Gateway® and Schwab OpenView MarketSquare™ are services of PTI. References to third parties (whether such parties are vendors participating in a service of PTI or independent advisors using a service of a participating vendor) are not an endorsement or recommendation of, or an opinion (favorable or unfavorable), or advice about, or a referral to any product or service of any third party. Advisors are solely responsible for evaluating, selecting, and purchasing products and services offered by third party vendors. Unless indicated otherwise, third parties are independent and not affiliated with PTI or its affiliates. Your firm alone is responsible for selecting and securing your systems and firm and client data, including compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and regulatory guidance. (0820-0XGY)
LinkedIn and RIA Channel are not affiliated with Charles Schwab and Co., Inc. RIA Channel will share your information with Sponsor, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. Schwab may use it to contact you and to send you additional insights from Schwab Advisor Services™. Read about privacy at Schwab at
The above mentioned firms and their employees are not affiliated with or employees of Schwab unless otherwise noted. They should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement of, or sponsorship by Schwab. The views expressed are those of the third party and are provided for information purposes only. Experiences expressed are no guarantee of future performance or success and may not be representative of you or your experience.
Schwab does not provide investment planning, legal, regulatory, tax, or compliance advice. Consult professionals in these fields to address your specific circumstances. For informational purposes only. Third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners and used with permission. Third party firms and their employees are not affiliated with or an employee of Schwab. Information included on this site is intended to be an overview and is subject to change. Experiences expressed by advisors may not be representative of the experience of other advisors and are not a guarantee of future success.
Schwab Advisor Services serves independent investment advisors and includes the custody, trading and support services of Schwab. Independent investment advisors are not owned by, affiliated with or supervised by Schwab. © 2020 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (“Schwab”) All rights reserved. Member SIPC.
By |2020-09-09T11:17:49-07:00September 14th, 2020|Advisors, Current Affairs|

The Lockdown Test

the lockdown testThis time of uncertainty and pandemic lockdown has been a test for many of us on many levels.  For me, working from home since March 13, the lockdown test and struggle has primarily been managing my time.

My daily routine typically includes a lot of time reading or consuming information. Lately, that has meant reading articles about COVID-19 and how the economy and markets are being impacted by this virus, as well as about what else is going on in the world.

In my initial weeks working at home, however, I found myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading. That realization made me pause. While staying informed is important, I do not need to spend four to five hours a day on this task. It’s not the only thing on my plate, at work or at home.

Prioritizing my tasks and putting time parameters on each has been a good personal exercise during this quarantine.

We all know how important it is to empty the dishwasher every day, right? If that doesn’t get done, it puts a jam on dishes and the kitchen becomes messy pretty quickly. That’s my job at home, and I make sure to do it before I fire up the computer for the day. It’s a lesson I learned early on and something my family appreciates.

The need to balance work duties and household chores forced me to clearly define my priorities and set aside appropriate time blocks for the most important tasks each day. Having all of these tasks now wrapped up together under one roof has been an interesting new test. It also has been an important reminder to occasionally review my process and fine-tune my productivity.

Our firm’s technology has given us a tremendous platform to serve clients, stay competitive and work remotely. This technology also enables us to be highly efficient, as long as we remember to use it appropriately.

How are you spending your time in quarantine? Are there things you can learn from this experience to improve your daily life and balance, both today and after life returns to normal?

By |2020-05-12T14:39:18-07:00May 12th, 2020|Advisors, Current Affairs|

CARES Act Key Elements

CARES Act key elements

Mike Larriva highlights CARES Act key elements for individuals.

Late last month, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) written by Congress. It provides $2.2 trillion of relief in many forms for individuals, nonprofits, small businesses and large corporations. I can’t imagine you want to read the behemoth 900-page law. So, here’s a brief overview of CARES Act key elements that may apply to you.

Income tax deadline extension: The federal deadline has been delayed from April 15 to July 15. That includes money due for 2019 taxes and for 2020 first-quarter estimated payments (second-quarter estimated payments are still due June 15, 2020).

Recovery rebates: The IRS will determine rebate amounts based on 2018 or 2019 income tax returns. Individuals who made less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) can expect $1,200 (or $2,400 for married people filing jointly); an additional $500 will also be rebated per child under 17 years of age. Rebates will be reduced by $5 for every $100 over the AGI limit. Individuals earning more than $99,000 (or $198,000 for joint filers) will not receive a rebate.

Rebates will be delivered via direct deposit if you received a refund that way in 2018 or 2019. Otherwise, checks will be issued and mailed.

Required Minimum Distribution waiver: RMDs from retirement accounts, for people older than 70.5 years, are being waived for 2020. Unfortunately, the waiver isn’t retroactive for RMDs already taken in 2020. (Learn more about RMDs in this informative video.)

IRA early-withdrawal penalty waiver: Loans and withdrawals from retirement plans for those under 59.5 years of age normally include a 10 percent penalty. That penalty will be waived (up to $100,000) for Coronavirus-related purposes. Withdrawals will still be taxable, though the taxes will be spread over three years versus just the current year. The contribution cap will also be removed for three years for the recontribution of funds withdrawn.


By |2020-04-08T15:42:29-07:00April 13th, 2020|Advisors, Current Affairs|

Financial Education Podcast

Lupe Camargo (pictured right) was interviewed on the Phoenix Business RadioX show “Mind, Money, Motion” hosted by Marie Burns and sponsored by Women’s Enterprise Foundation. Along with Elena Zee, president of the Arizona Council on Economic Education, they discussed the importance of financial education and the keys to positive, long-term behavior change. Following are a few of Lupe’s highlights from the financial education podcast, as well as the full one-hour recording.

Neuroscience Insights

Why is it so hard to change our behaviors, despite how much we may want to change? Our brains are wired for survival. As a result, making big changes takes a lot of work and energy that your brain wants to conserve. So let your brain off the hook by making small, easy changes, and you’ll see greater tong-term success. 4-minute audio

Motivating Children

How do you educate and motivate children to establish better money habits? Lupe shares her thoughts. 2-minute audio

Distractions and Convenience

Marketing professionals work hard to influence your decisions and make spending money as easy as possible. Therefore, Lupe offers a simple strategy to break the cycle. 2-minute audio

What Are Your Habits?

You can’t change your behaviors and habits if you don’t even know them. So take the first step, and make a list.  Are those habits helping or preventing you from getting where you want to go? 2-minute audio

Key Take-Aways

Know how your environment and your history with money affect your habits. Take small steps to change your environment. Surround yourself with people who will support that change. Be patient with yourself. Lasting change takes time and perseverance. 2-minute audio

Financial Education Podcast: one-hour audio

Click here if you’d like to listen to the full one-hour podcast featuring Lupe, Arizona Council on Economic Education President Elena Zee, and radio host Marie Burns, on the Business RadioX website.

By |2019-09-30T12:02:40-07:00September 30th, 2019|Advisors, Company News|