Gary R. Trugman, CPA/ABV, ASA, MVS is the President of Trugman Valuation Associates Inc., a business valuation and economic...
Michael Davino, CFP is a financial advisor with Waddell & Reed Inc. As a financial advisor, Michael has held...
Christine Bilbrey is a Senior Practice Management Advisor at The Florida Bar’s Practice Resource Center. She holds a master’s...
Karla Eckardt, a Miami native, moved to Tallahassee to pursue a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and criminology from...
Retirement requires planning, but not all plans are created equal. The Florida Bar Podcast hosts Christine and Karla talk with business valuation expert Gary Trugman and financial advisor Michael Davino about how best to prepare and effectuate your retirement. Together, they explore the pitfalls to avoid, and the best practices to explore to maximize your return and ensure yourself a comfortable future.
This episode qualifies for 1.5 hours of CLE credit for members of the Florida Bar.
Gary Trugman is a CPA, an accredited business valuer, and the president of Trugman Valuation Associates Inc.
Michael Davino is a financial advisor with Waddell & Reed Inc.
The Florida Bar Podcast
Can I Afford to Retire
Intro: Welcome to The Florida Bar Podcast, where we highlight the latest trends in law office and law practice management to help you run your law firm, brought to you by The Florida Bar’s Practice Resource Institute. You are listening to Legal Talk Network.
Christine Bilbrey: Hello and welcome to The Florida Bar Podcast, brought to you by LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar on Legal Talk Network. We are so glad you are joining us. This is Christine Bilbrey. I am a Senior Practice Management Advisor at the Bar and one of the hosts for today’s show, which is being recorded from our offices in Tallahassee, Florida.
Karla Eckardt: Hello. I am Karla Eckardt. I am a Practice Management Advisor at The Florida Bar and a co-host of today’s podcast.
Our goal at The Practice Resource Center is to assist Florida attorneys with running the business side of their law practices. We focus on a different topic each month and carry the theme through our website with related tips, videos and articles.
Christine Bilbrey: This month, we want to talk about a really important issue that every attorney must eventually face. Can I afford to retire? In Part 1, I will be speaking with Gary Trugman about law firm valuation. In Part 2, Karla will join me to talk with Michael Davino about financial planning and establishing retirement accounts.
We’ve been finding that some solos and small firm owners, which represent the majority of Florida Bar members are counting on being able to sell their firms and retire on the proceeds when that time eventually arrives. After the start-up cost of opening the firm, paying their law school loans and trying to make payroll every month, many small firm owners never get around to setting up a retirement account. So we want to demystify this process for our listeners so they can take an honest look at their own situation and start proactively dealing with it.
So joining us first is Gary Trugman, Gary is the President of Trugman Valuation Associates, Inc., a business valuation and economic damages firm with offices in Plantation, Florida and Parsippany, New Jersey. He is a certified public accountant licensed in Florida New Jersey and New York. Gary has a Master’s degree in Valuation Sciences and is designated as an accredited Business Valuer by the American Institute of CPAs and an accredited Senior Appraiser by the American Society of Appraisers.
He’s authored a textbook entitled ‘Understanding Business Valuation’. Gary is on the faculty of the National Judicial College and has testified throughout the country in both federal and state courts. He also lectures and teaches business valuation topics all over the country.
Welcome to the show Gary.
Gary Trugman: Thank you very much Christine.
Christine Bilbrey: We’re really excited to have you on because for us you are the experts to talk about the first half of this equation, what is my firm worth? So if you would just tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and how valuation came to be your life’s work?
Gary Trugman: Well as you said earlier Christine, I’m a certified public accountant. I used to have a traditional accounting practice, and back in the early 80s, I realized that small accounting firms were either going to die on the vine as technology was changing and all of these programs like QuickBooks and TurboTax will come and about. And I wanted to differentiate myself from every other small accounting firm.
So I was looking for something that was of interest to me and business valuation really grabbed my attention, and especially I’m sort of a frustrated lawyer, I was accepted to law school and I never went.
So all of a sudden, I found myself doing expert testimony and things involving court cases. So really just was a simple love at first sight and a lot of small firms weren’t doing it back then. So I really started to pursue it and wanted to get good at it so I found organizations that accredited appraisers and went to a lot of courses and 35 years later, all I could say is I followed my dream and it was well worthwhile.
Christine Bilbrey: Excellent. So the baseline for a lot of attorneys is they don’t even know what law firm valuation is going to be based on. So if they’re going to approach an expert they don’t know what they need to be focusing on like what are those key numbers. So what is law firm valuation based on when you take on a new client?
Gary Trugman: Well any law firm just as any professional firm, so much of the value is in the people itself. Very often, we can look at things like cash flow or earnings for any typical business. What sets a professional practice apart from the typical business is that more often than not, we have a unique relationship with our clients.
So there’s a lot more personal goodwill involved and we’ll talk a little bit but I think the key is how transferable is that personal goodwill and how do you make it transferable.
Christine Bilbrey: So is there a general rule of thumb or like a quick formula that people can kind of take a look at when they’re starting this process?
Gary Trugman: Not really, and the reason I say not really is imagine two law firms, one that does personal injuries and one that has a corporate practice. One is billing it by the hour and the other is 100% contingent. They’re going to be so different from each other that if you try to apply a general rule of thumb, you’ll probably be wrong on both accounts.
Christine Bilbrey: Okay, so you mentioned goodwill. If you are a solo practitioner and you want to sell to get completely out of the business because you’re retiring or transitioning, does that goodwill actually have any value or if you are part of a small like say two to five-lawyer firm, what does the goodwill, how do you value that?
Gary Trugman: Well your goodwill itself can have value and the example I always use when I teach classes if we think about goodwill by definition, it’s what brings the clients back to us over and over again. It could be our reputation, it could be getting really good results at trial, it could be our personalities, it could be a lot of things that bring the client in.
In order for that goodwill vote to really have value, we should be generating an above average return because of that goodwill. For example, if I’m an attorney and I’m earning $100,000 a year by going to work every day and I look up some salary surveys and I say okay, an attorney with that much experience should be earning the same $100,000 that you’re currently earning. There’s nothing left over after your return on labor.
So in that situation, the goodwill probably doesn’t have a whole lot of value. If I’m an attorney that’s extraordinary and I’m charging higher hourly rates because I get great results for my clients and instead of making a $100,000, I’m making $500,000. They’re probably is considerable goodwill in a practice like that, because I’m making a lot more money than the average attorney with similar experience.
When you get into firms, the real issue there becomes does the firm have enterprise goodwill which could be in the name of the firm or it’s a goodwill associated with each individual partner, where they have their own particular clients or their own particular expertise.
So you have to look at all of those factors, the solo practitioner is always the most difficult, when it comes to goodwill.
Christine Bilbrey: Right, I mean if those clients know that the solo is exiting, I wonder how much of that actually could transition. So do you — if someone wants to do that, do you recommend that they bring the person in as an associate or a partner to transition instead of it just being like a cold transfer?
Gary Trugman: Well yeah cold transfers really do not work well. It gives the client an excuse to go somewhere else because especially, if the client knows another lawyer somewhere, there’s your perfect impetus. My lawyers gone, I know Joe Smith down the street, I might as well go to Joe Smith instead of whoever my guy sold to.
So bringing in someone is typically beneficial but there are some drawbacks there also. One of the things that I see happen on a regular basis is the older practitioner brings in a young practitioner, starts transferring work to the younger practitioner and then the older practitioner is getting ready to retire and wants to sell his goodwill, 30-40 years worth of work and sweat and everything that they’ve done to build the firm.
And the young practitioner says wait a minute, I’ve been seeing these clients now for the last three years. I’m generating the work with them, why do I want to pay you for goodwill that I now have. And very often it ends up being a problem in the transfer, what the practitioner would be better off doing is seeing if there could be a merger possibly with another either solo practice or a small firm.
A few years beforehand so that part of the transition can be to peers that are not that terribly different in age. I mean obviously if you have a 65-year-old practitioner, you don’t want to transfer to 65-year-old practitioners because everybody’s going to want to retire at the same time and there’ll be nobody to buy him out, but you might be better off transferring to a 40-year-old than a 28-year-old, because they have a certain practice already established, and when it comes time to let the retiring practitioner retire, they can absorb that practice within their practice because they already have most of the elements there in place.
Christine Bilbrey: And so at that moment if they have merged and now that individual that wants to retire, are you still going to value his or hers book of business or are you looking at the whole firm and saying this half is what you will be transferring over as you leave? How do you come up with those numbers in that situation?
Gary R. Trugman: Well I’ve worked with firms that do a number of things. One is they value the practice at the time of the merger and they say ultimately on exit you’re going to realize the value of your practice, assuming that the clients are still here and we’re still generating the volume that you were doing. Other times, yeah there’s a provision in there where there’s an employment agreement for X number of years and then the buyout takes place based on certain threshold levels that are achieved at the time of the buyout, and a more current valuation has done.
A lot of it depends on how much time is going to go by between the merger and the anticipated buyout. I mean normally it shouldn’t be much more than three to five years to allow a practitioner to exit because if it goes on too long a lot of that practitioners goodwill will have already been absorbed by the other firm and they won’t necessarily want to pay for it unless you have a good shareholder agreement that puts a formula in there as to how you’re going to be bought out. And I tell lawyers this on a regular basis, don’t be the shoemaker’s son that doesn’t have an agreement in place, because you need to be represented by counsel when you do that merger and make sure that you have that exit strategy all laid out so that you’re protected when it comes time to a buyout.
Christine Bilbrey: You’re making a really good point so if the cobbler’s children have no shoes, we’re seeing that a lot. So attorneys that all day long are drafting contracts and wills, agreements you’ll ask them directly and they don’t want to admit it, but they don’t have a will for themselves, they don’t have a formal shareholders’ agreement. It’s like they were almost roommates and it just kind of grew into a bigger firm. So if they’re already at that point, they’ve been going for a while, can you institute a shareholders’ agreement down the road? It’s almost like I guess that’s a postnup for attorneys that have been practicing together?
Gary R. Trugman: Well, that’s a wonderful term because the truth is it is very much like a postnup, and if everything is still in a honeymoon period, a postnup will work. If you’ve already gotten to the point where you’re hitting the ropes at your marriage and there’s some questionable things going on, good luck negotiating a postnup after everybody is beyond the honeymoon period. The time to generate those kinds of agreements is when everyone gets along very well, because then everyone’s in the spirit of wanting to do something nice for the other person. Once that gets past that, I’m telling you the honeymoons over, it’s time to go see a divorce lawyer.
Christine Bilbrey: And that makes it much more complicated at that point, so yeah this is the whole reason we’re doing this, we’re really trying to get them to be proactive. So you’ve got to have planning at a minimum a couple of years down the road, because it’s the reality if you were a solo and you think you’re going to sell your practice and you’re just going to go out like you found some young guy or girl straight out of law school and they just want to take over really what they’re getting is your old computers, your old furniture, maybe some experienced staff, maybe like back in the day you had the contract for the back of the phonebook in your town. So it’s not — there’s not really any goodwill there it’s just that it’s this ongoing thing that someone could slide into but it truly it’s more like a brand-new firm. Is that accurate?
Gary R. Trugman: Well, it’s accurate but the other issue that you didn’t touch on is the fact that that older practitioner, chances are the goodwill that that practitioner has with his clients or her clients are their own peer group.
So imagine now bringing in that 30-35 year old attorney to come on board but your contemporaries who are your clients are getting ready to retire around the same time you are. So that 65-year-old client is saying do I really want a 35-year-old lawyer? And sometimes that becomes a problem, transferring the older clientele to the young attorney.
And the other problem for the young attorney is, what am I buying, this client is going to retire soon, I may or may not have that client down the road, so how much am I willing to pay for them if they’re not going to be here tomorrow? It’s one thing if they have children in the business and the young practitioner can start becoming friends with the young owners that are going to take over the business, then they’re developing their own group of contemporaries, it’ll make keeping that client a lot easier down the road.
Christine Bilbrey: But you’re talking about really long-term planning so you’ve got to have had children and then encourage them to go to law school and then you’ve convince them to come into your business.
Gary R. Trugman: I am not talking about the child of the practitioner as much as the child of the client.
Christine Bilbrey: Okay.
Gary R. Trugman: If I’m the attorney and I’m servicing a manufacturing company and the owner of that business is 63 years old, at some point in time that client is going to retire. So let’s assume two years from now that client retires, if I’m now the 35-year-old practitioner who’s come into the practice, what happens when that business sells? Do I have a relationship with the people that buy it or is it going to be handed down to a generation of younger family members that I now have the ability to build a relationship with because we’re contemporaries.
Christine Bilbrey: So that’s an excellent point, yeah.
Gary R. Trugman: People don’t think about that in advance and I’ve seen it too often where that becomes problematic down the road. You end up losing a lot of your clients in a short period of time because the older practitioner, if you look around at the client base very often they’re peers.
Christine Bilbrey: So the goodwill then is really maintaining those relationships and I think that’s something that people miss in the current — like everything’s virtual and online, if you’re not maintaining that relationship, then you’re going to cut off your source of referrals in business. So I think that’s really something for young attorneys to think about.
Gary R. Trugman: Yeah Facebook and Twitter only goes so far.
Christine Bilbrey: So is there a best point to sell? So if you are 65, is staying too long lowering the value of your firm, and 65 is not I don’t consider that old because obvious the law is one of those few professions we have lots of 90 something year old people still actively practicing law. But is there a point because there’s a lifecycle to a business, when is the best point to sell?
Gary R. Trugman: Well, I think the best point to sell any business becomes when it’s at its high point, but the most practitioners — look as a professional we all have the ability to go on well beyond 65 but the key is, number one, you want to make sure you can transfer, you have something that’s transferable. If all your clients are older, there may not be a lot to be transferred if you wait too long. So you want to make sure that there are a number of clients generating a decent cash flow for the individual that’s going to eventually buy you out. So you want to think about bringing that person in and personal goodwill takes a lot of time to transfer.
Clients have to get to know your associate, they have to feel comfortable with that associate, they have to — so many practitioners will bring in an associate and then just start generating new files and new cases to that associate instead of letting the associates spend time with the practitioner on the existing client base because those are the folks that you’re looking to transfer to the younger practitioner.
If all you’re doing is handing off new jobs that practitioners building his or her own goodwill at that point in time because if they do well for that client, that client is going to keep coming back to them. And what makes a law firm unique is, it’s not like you can all of a sudden have a covenant not to compete.
So yeah, the client can go to whoever the client wants to go to. So if I’m the client that was all of a sudden came to the law firm, because I thought the Senior Partners name and reputation was great, but he sort of put me off to the younger associate but the younger associate did a great job for me. Now I’ve got a relationship with the younger associate.
Christine Bilbrey: Yeah, so you’re transferring your goodwill without realizing it, yeah.
Gary Trugman: Free of charge, absolutely, yeah and I see this very often.
Christine Bilbrey: That’s interesting, it’s a subtle approach that I think a lot of people would miss going through that transition. So I’m glad you’re bringing that up.
What are some of the other key value drivers in valuing a firm and what can a firm owner do to maximize them? What should they be looking at, their accounts receivable or their book of business, what kind of things?
Gary Trugman: Well, accounts receivable and work-in-process are always two overlooked items. With small practices and especially that use a cash basis of accounting for tax purposes, they don’t spend enough time worrying about their accounts receivable. So what ends up happening is depending on the area of law, depending on how aggressive they are in collecting their receivables, they could be building up tremendous amount of receivables.
But we all know the older receivable gets, the more difficult it’s going to be in collecting it. If you spend more time worrying about collecting your receivables and billing your work in process not letting it sit in your time and billing system somewhere assuming that you have a time and billing system, you don’t want that stuff building up. You want that stuff being generated on a regular basis because that’s going to increase the firm’s cash flow, and at the end of the day anybody looking to buy a practice, cash is king. The more cash flow it generates, the more it’s going to be worth to anyone.
Christine Bilbrey: So we talked to new practitioners about this because we encourage them to take credit cards because that reduces the time of payments so that you’re keeping sure the time from billing to pay very short and I think a lot of people do forget about that.
Gary Trugman: Absolutely.
Christine Bilbrey: Yeah. But what are some negatives?
Gary Trugman: Well, negatives would be a very disorganized office. When I go into a law firm and if I see files all over the place, after thinking okay, what hurricane came through this office, the next concern is if my file was one of those, is the practitioner ever going to be able to find it. And sometimes just the lack of organization, the difficulty in being a solo practitioner is you are a one-man band. I mean you’ve got to go to court and if you’re in a multi-day trial, you’re in court day after day and you’re trying to handle everything else that has to be done at the same time, and truthfully it’s difficult. There’s no question. You’ve got other jobs going on, you’ve got other motions that have to be filed. If you have a fabulous paralegal or admin, I mean they can really make a big difference in the practice itself, but I’ve also seen a lot of practitioners put so much blind faith in their paralegals, in their admin staff that things go out with typos, things get missed. That’s a big negative when you’re looking at a firm.
And all of a sudden you find out they missed a filing deadline or things went out and they didn’t ask for the right documents. If it’s a litigation assignment, they didn’t get an expert on board fast enough to really be able to help them with discovery requests and things of that nature. So a lot of it comes back to the actual practice of law.
Christine Bilbrey: So you’re making a really good point that we bring up a lot. You’ve got to value your staff so yes, you want to be able to count on them, but you also need to know what’s going on whether it’s your trust account so you’re not getting in trouble with a bar, but it’s almost like a chef, you could be the best chef in the world, but if whoever is running the front of your restaurant is offending customers or the service is slow you’ll fail and you’ll wonder why you failed and you because you never went out there and took a look at what was going on at the front of the house.
So this does come up a lot so is having a very competent staff that is actively — is that going to be a valuation thing? Like if you come in and look at it a business and it’s the law firm and they have a great filing system, everything’s being scanned in, everybody is cross trained, are those the things — it’s going to make it easier for someone to come in and if they buy your firm, but is it something that also affects the value?
Gary Trugman: Oh absolutely. I mean a trained workforce adds to profitability for any company, and when you start talking about an assembled workforce what you’re doing is — in financial reporting it’s part of goodwill, it could actually be valued by itself and a perfect example is what does it cost you to train someone, to hire someone and train them, how long will it take that individual to really learn their job, and when you think about the amount of money spent in training people and then hiring people whether it be a headhunter phase, whether it be running ads, interviewing people. When you start to think about all of the costs, the more often you have to keep doing that, the more money is spending, the less profitable you are.
Conversely, if you have longevity with your staff and they’re really good at what they do and they’re very efficient of what they do, you’re not going to need as many people, things may be get done very quickly and as a result you’re going to be more profitable and it all comes back to cash flow.
That’s could be the central theme anytime I talk valuation for any kind of a business. The more cash flow you can put on the table, the more you’re going to be worth, and if you’re if your staff has the ability to do that for you, they’re worth a lot of money to you.
Christine Bilbrey: Well said, I want to shift gears a little bit because when people call us and they are either going to — they’re considering — two solos are going to merge together or whatever the new partnership is, they’ve never heard of a buy-sell agreement. So can you just kind of just generally explain what a buy-sell agreement is and how valuation factors into that?
Gary Trugman: Sure, sure. A buy-sell agreement is a legal agreement that the parties stipulate the terms of a potential buyout. If one partner wants to go with — if in the event of a sale, what the terms might be, what the procedures might be. You and I Christine are partners and we have a buy-sell agreement that says, if one of us wants out something has to happen. What is that something? Does the firm gets valued by an independent business appraiser to decide how much the business is worth or in some cases which I don’t recommend sometimes attorneys like to put formulas into a buy-sell agreement that if you decide to leave, you’re going to get paid three times your average last three years of draws from the firm itself.
The problem with doing a formula like that is things change and attorneys, once the buy sell agreement is in place, very rarely do they update the formulas. So what happens is all of a sudden you get a buy-sell agreement that’s 20-something years old and the formula is just so old at that point that it’s no longer relevant to the current time, because the practice changed, and that’s dangerous. But there should be a mechanism in place as to what procedure happens if somebody wants out, have the business appraised.
Sometimes I see agreements where they talk about the company shall have the practice appraised and if the shareholder or the partner that’s leaving doesn’t like that value, they can go out and have another one and then if they’re more than 10% apart, a third one can come in. I mean besides just wasting a lot of money the amount of time that goes by. I mean it’s ridiculous. If they’re going to put an agreement together, set up a procedure, have one person agreed to by all the parties and be bound by it. And then you can have a buyout term. You’re not looking to hurt the firm and a lot of times if somebody leaves the question becomes are they leaving to retire in which case they’re not going to take clients with them or are they leaving in a voluntary situation where they can be opening up across the street.
When I work with firms to set up a buy-sell agreement, I don’t want to finance, the guy that leads to have them open up across the street and become my competitor. So I always recommend that a voluntary withdrawal other than for retirement or disability is possibly look that in a little bit more of a punitive format because if that person really wants to leave to set up their own, I don’t want to fund them, so it may be worthless.
Christine Bilbrey: That’s a good point, I hadn’t thought about that yeah, the why of why you are leaving should be spelled out.
Gary Trugman: I do too much litigation so I see people fight it over time. After 35 years, you get smart when you realize, this is how all these people fight because of all these different provisions.
Christine Bilbrey: And then the other detail about a buy-sell agreement is I think maybe they hammered out those details, but then the time comes and they don’t have the funds to buy the other person out because they didn’t plan for that. And I know that one of the things that you can do, it’s kind of like Keyman insurance, so if they never got to retirement so like you ensure each other. Can you explain that about how that comes in the play?
Gary Trugman: Sure, sure. I mean very often what happens is you take out a policy insuring the partners or the shareholders so that it’s something happens the firm becomes the beneficiary so that there’s enough money from an insurance policy to be able to fund the buyout for the spouse or the family of the polities that passes away, if it’s a death situation.
In a lot of cases if it’s a retirement and it’s not a death, I mean the insurance may not kick in but you need to have the ability to fund it somehow, and in those cases you need to make sure that you’re doing it over a reasonable amount of time, so that you are not hurting the firm, because they may need to bring in a new person to handle the book of business of the person that’s leaving, assuming that some of that stuff stays with the firm. And that’s going to be a series or consideration in how it’s going to be brought out.
The other thing that a lot of firms forget about is what happens if two or more partners retire shortly after each other. While you are paying out the first one, a second partner now all of a sudden leaves and now you’ve got a couple of payments. So you almost have to provide going forward what happens if more than one person is being bought out at the same time, because I have seen firms fall apart just because of buying out of old partners.
Christine Bilbrey: And then there is so many life events that you have to think about and I am glad you are bringing up all these eventualities, because another factor is one of the attorneys could get divorced and suddenly their share of the firm has to be evaluated as part of their divorce proceedings. Do you get involve there?
Gary Trugman: Oh absolutely. One of probably the most cited case that I probably cite over and over again in my report is Thompson v. Thompson from the Florida Supreme Court, dealing with personal goodwill in a divorce setting, and Mr. Thompson was an attorney. So you certainly get involved with those kinds of issues, not that the spouse is going to become an owner, but for equitable distribution purposes, the question becomes what’s that attorney’s value of the firm and then how much of it is subject to equitable distribution, because on the Thompson, personal goodwill is not a distributable marital asset.
Christine Bilbrey: Okay when we get off, I am going to have to look at Thompson v. Thompson and I have so many more questions, but I want to bring it back around to our original topic. So just like, is it realistic from what you have seen to think that a solo attorney can retire on the proceeds of the sale of his or her firm if they are the only one? What have you seen in your experience?
Gary Trugman: I would be shocked if a solo practitioner is going to ever get enough money for the firm to be able to retire comfortably. What I always recommend to solo practitioners, especially if you have a good practice, stock away as much as you can for yourself throughout the time that you’re in practice, put your own retirement plans in place whether they be 401(k)s, whether they be pensions. You want to provide as much as you can, and then what I would consider is, any sale of the practice down the road should almost be 00:34:57. Don’t count on it for your primary retirement funds, but if you get something for your practice, then it’s just icing on the cake.
Christine Bilbrey: Thank you. I’ve wanted an expert to spell that out so we can refer people back to this podcast when those come up in phone calls. So I just, I want to — just a couple things. So if you’re a solo, you’re a small firm, isn’t it very expensive for them to hire a professional to do a law firm valuation?
Gary Trugman: I always talk people out of doing a full valuation. There are lower levels of service that become much more affordable. We do consulting on an hourly basis and a lot of appraisers do. So it’s not just me.
There are lesser levels of value, the AICPA for example in their business valuation standards has what they call a calculation of value as opposed to a valuation engagement. It’s like the difference in accounting, it’s the difference between doing a compilation and doing an audit.
An audit for a small business is overkill, you don’t need it, and a full valuation other than for divorce or for an estate, you rarely need to pay for a full valuation, unless a service, especially someone who’s familiar with law firm economics, you just don’t need to pay for the full thing.
So it can be tailored to make it a lot more affordable for the small practitioner.
Christine Bilbrey: Okay, and my last question. If I am a solo small firm and we have so many different cities and counties in Florida, and people will call us and ask for a recommendation to an accountant, and there’s no way that we could keep track of all of that, but if I’m someone who’s looking to — I want to do a valuation or the lesser of that on my firm, how do I know if someone is qualified to do the valuation for me in my town because not every accountant is going to have this expertise. Is that correct?
Gary Trugman: Absolutely, absolutely. Typically, and I could sort of say this because I am an accountant. The last thing I ever learned in school was how to value a business. I mean they’re just not part of the accounting curriculum. So just being a CPA in valuation really isn’t enough, but there are credentials.
There’s an ABV, which is Accredited in Business Valuation, which is a specialty given out by the American Institute of CPAs for CPAs, for people that pass a test and prove that they have some experience. The American Society of Appraisers has a senior designation, an ASA in business valuation that again you pass the number of tests, you take certain courses, you submit appraisal reports and you talk about people with credentials.
There’s another group that gives out a CVA and like any practitioner that has any kind of a designation, you always want to find out how much experience do they have dealing with a law firm. Just because I’m an ASA, it doesn’t mean that I’ve appraised every kind of a business under the sun.
Something may come up that may be a little bit unique. If I’m valuing a contingent law practice, I need to understand a lot more about the kind of cases that are in the firm itself than just purely looking blindly at cash flow. Are they doing big medical malpractice cases, are they doing wrongful deaths, are they doing slip and falls, you have to know something about law firms, if you really want to do the valuation properly.
And one resource that I would recommend to any of your listeners that it’s worth buying, there is a survey of law firm economics that are published by Altman, Weil & Pensa in Pennsylvania. They have two different surveys, they have one for large firms and they have one for small firms, and small firm is generally a nine or less practitioners. And it has a lot of benchmarking. So you can actually compare your own firm to the average firm of the same size, and they break things down by geographic location, by specialty of the law firm. So it gives you a basis to compare against so when you’re trying to assess even your own practice, how am I shaping up, you can almost do your own checkup.
Christine Bilbrey: Very, very valuable information. Thank You Gary Trugman for joining us today.
Gary Trugman: My pleasure.
Christine Bilbrey: And if our listeners have questions, how can they find you?
Gary Trugman: Oh, I am easy. If you go to trugmanvaluation.com, we’ve got all types of stuff on the web, obviously at [email protected] They can email me directly. I’ve always have ads in the Florida Bar, so I’m a regular there so people pretty much can even see my mug shot in our ads. So I’m pretty easy to find if they do have questions and I’m happy to help anybody.
Christine Bilbrey: Perfect. Thank you so much.
Karla Eckardt: Hello and welcome back to Part 2 of this episode. We hope you enjoyed Part 1 with Gary Trugman, where we discussed law firm valuation. In the second half, we want to talk about the other component of attorney retirement which is establishing a plan and choosing the right type of account.
Christine Bilbrey: Joining us now is Michael Davino. Michael is a Financial Advisor with Waddell & Reed. Please note that the information presented on this show is solely for informational purposes and does not constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action.
Michael graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. He is presented at numerous seminars and workshops throughout Florida and is consulted with firms on their retirement plans, insurance, buy-sell agreements and on establishing financial wellness programs for their employees.
Michael works with small and large businesses, nonprofit organizations, as well as individuals in pursuing their financial goals through comprehensive financial planning that encompasses retirement, cash flow, insurance, accumulation, education and estate goals. Welcome to the show Michael.
Michael Davino: Thank You Christine.
Christine Bilbrey: So Michael tell our listeners a little bit about yourself and your role in assisting individuals and small business owners in creating a retirement plan?
Michael Davino: Well I started back in 2010 at Waddell & Reed and work with a lot of different individuals and families but also the businesses too and many times, both the business owner and the individual are the same person. Throughout my career, it’s been a lot of great relationships and the key is just a lot of trust working with the same people over the years.
And you can really see the difference that it makes over time. It isn’t easy, any time you’re putting away and planning for the future, if it was easy everybody would do it and not need me but it is a really gratifying and enjoyable career actually.
Karla Eckardt: So let’s start from the beginning, let’s say I’m a new attorney and I am considering maybe starting a retirement plan, but I’ve got student loans, I’ve got maybe a new mortgage, maybe my first kid, who knows. When is the right time to make a retirement plan and start funding an account?
Michael Davino: Yes it’s a good question. If you’re on your own and you’re just starting pretty much for the attorney or any individual, it’s just getting out of college and school and moving into their careers. It’s not easy in the beginning, but the earlier you start, it makes it easier, if that makes sense.
If you wait long you have to put away more because you have a lot less time for potential compound interest or growth. So it’s very difficult at that time but it is the best time to start since you have so much longer to go. There’s a lot of different options in my encouragement but I try to work with my younger clients is just saying, it’s almost as if it’s a bill, just when you’re making your decisions on what house you’re buying or what you’re doing if you take this into account ahead of time, it only makes it better whereas if you already add on all those bills and add on the house, which you already may have the student loans with the house and with the cars, before you allocate this, it makes a lot more difficult to find a way to squeeze it in.
Christine Bilbrey: Are there any minimums? Like what if you’re talking about someone who feels like they are really strapped, so they’ve opened their firm? I mean or if we’re talking $50 a month, a $100 a month. Can you even start something with that amount?
Karla Eckardt: $20, or I mean anything.
Michael Davino: Yes, yes, definitely. You can start — for our firm, just using for example, our lowest monthly contribution is $50 a month and I believe a bank is even lower but that you can definitely start it at a lower amount. There’s really no reason not to at least start and one thing I encourage is even if it’s just doing that, it is way easier to have everything established and start at a low amount and then increase, then it is to convince yourself to go and get it all together.
If you already have it together and all it is a phone call or a piece of paper to say hey, let me do more now, it just makes it easier for you at that time when you’re ready to put away more.
Karla Eckardt: So we have many solo lawyers that are part of the Florida Bar. Are their retirement options available for their businesses and if so, can you go ahead and explain more about those options?
Michael Davino: Yes absolutely the best part for solo lawyers which is usually missed that they don’t realize is when you’re an individual and you don’t have any common law employees yet, maybe you have a 1099 person who helps you out but no W2 common law employee, you actually have the most options possible. It’s easier, you don’t have the large requirements that may be a large 401(k) which employees has, you don’t have the same tax filing requirements, it’s very simple. Of course it depends on everybody’s situation, but what I like to start with is, first could be individual accounts which would be an IRA or a Roth IRA which just depends which one to use on your situation. An IRA, a traditional IRA is pre-tax, so you save taxes now but you don’t later; and a Roth IRA is after tax, so it doesn’t save you anything now but grows tax-free.
So just having those initial set up for yourself, your family is just a great way to start, but beyond that is that it is really, really easy to set up an employer plan like an actual plan for your individual firm. You may choose to set this up and you may think oh it’s going to be difficult but it’s not. Of course to give you the examples of what’s available, there are traditional 401(k)s, there are SEP IRAs which some may have heard of before. There are simple IRAs and I have attached some PDFs that one that I attached is a flowchart that kind of helps you know which one may be a fit for you, but what I’ve found in working with a lot of different clients and even in the CPAs is that not everybody knows that there is a solo 401(k) available, an owner only 401(k) that is pretty much just like an employer 401(k) for a large firm with employees except it doesn’t have all those TPA requirements, those fees, it doesn’t have those same requirements in place.
So it makes it just really easy to set up, and in those you can do significant amounts depending on your situation, but an employee can do up to $19,000 a year, $25,000 if they’re over 50, and then they also can do an employer contribution on top of that to themselves. So it gets up to a quite the amount that, the max 2019 whereas it’s all way up to $56,000 and $62,000 if you’re over 50. So there’s just a lot of room that an individual, a solo lawyer could set up their own 401(k) plan for themselves. It’s just called a Solo K, and I attached a lot of details for it but it’s one I find that many of my clients that are individual business owners haven’t heard of or maybe they haven’t worked with an advisor on or mentioned with their CPA and I can’t tell you how many times it was the best fit for them.
Karla Eckardt: And just to go over it so we make sure we get the right audience on the handout that is attached. There’s a section that describes who is eligible to participate, so we have incorporated business owners with no employees, partners in a general partnership filing form 1065. So this will apply to most solos even if your spouse works for you correct?
Michael Davino: Yes it applies to a solo owner, an owner with another owner partner so it’s just owners and it applies to an owner that if they have a spouse as an employee or another owner. So if you maybe have a practice and your spouse works with you, you can still do this. It just does not apply to anybody who has non-spouse employees but you can have two owners, you can have three owners, you just can’t have non-spouse employees, and you also can have 1099 contractors as in somebody who’s not considered a common-law employee.
Christine Bilbrey: And I want to interject because we’re going to be talking about the different handouts you’ve provided, they are on our website legalfuel.com. So don’t panic, they’re all there if you want to pause the podcast and go pull those up.
Karla Eckardt: If you’re driving don’t pause.
Christine Bilbrey: Please don’t. They are all going to be on our website so if you found the link for the podcast, just look below that and you should see the attachments.
Karla Eckardt: So having said that we’ve now discussed options for solo lawyers. What about law firms with employees? What kind of options are available to them?
Michael Davino: Yes well an employee law firms you have a lot of options but if you have like many law firms to under a 100 employees, you have even more options. So we’ll start with the ones that have maybe 10, 15, 20 employees or even 5 or 3, and we’ll start with those first.
A lot of times it’s hard to start one because you’re worried about again the cost or the fiduciary responsibilities or the level of involvement that it’s going to take, and so as I break those down and I will do client examples after we go through each one, but you have plenty of options and I attached another flowchart on there that is for businesses with employees.
But to break through each one, you can start with a SEP IRA which again you may have heard of, a SEP IRA is just a plan that is just employer contributions. So say you are a company with five employees and you want to have no fiduciary responsibilities, very low cost plan and you just want to provide each of your employees with a 3% or 5% contribution. For example, you can do that in a SEP IRA. Now the downside of a SEP IRA is that the employees can’t contribute into the plan. This is strictly just an employer benefit, you’re just providing it to them as a benefit for their retirement but they can’t contribute as an employee.
They’re commonly used as simple plans. I see them more so when it’s just an owner only business and maybe the Solo K is not a fit for them, because it again it’s only employer contributions. I have more details again on those attachments but it’s a plan that I would look at if you have a small amount of employees and maybe you’re considering a plan that doesn’t have the fiduciary responsibilities behind it.
The key though to remember is whatever percentage you give to one person, you have to give to all. So you can’t say here this person gets 10% and this person gets five. You have to have it fair and equal across the board so that does make a difference in what you’re deciding.
Christine Bilbrey: And Michael I just want to jump in because since this is your business, I think that you assume a level of knowledge and we always like to reach to the whole spectrum. So you’re saying someone who does this plan, it doesn’t have the fiduciary responsibilities and I think that there are people that have plans running at their firms not knowing they have fiduciary duties. So can you talk about that a little bit about like are you a fiduciary and if someone is managing the plans what does that mean if they have that same fiduciary duty?
Michael Davino: Yes great question. If you have what they call an ERISA Multi Participant Retirement Plan, and ERISA is the regulatory for these retirement plans. It is mostly a 401(k), 401(k) profit-sharing any plans that are under ERISA, your SEP IRAs and your Simple IRAs are not under ERISA plans. And what that means is for fiduciary if you have a non-ERISA plan like a SEP or a Simple, then the adviser is really under a general compliance policies like they have to make sure the investments are suitable and that they’re recommending suitable investments, but they are not a fiduciary on the plan, at least at our firm or on a non-ERISA level.
For a multi participant 401(k) plan which you may see very common at a lot of firms, they have a 401(k) or a profit-sharing under ERISA, it’s important to know that the trustee of the plan is, and it may be the owner, it may be the CFO, it may have multiple trustees, plus the advisor, plus the firm in many cases operate as fiduciaries to the plan. And it’s really important that they’re aware of that and that they follow all the ERISA guidelines and some advisors operate in only an educational space, which would be in their contract with the firm on the plan but other firms like Waddell & Reed, we operate in a fiduciary space.
So it just — it depends on the advisor but the trustee is in most cases always the fiduciary.
Christine Bilbrey: Good to know.
Karla Eckardt: Definitely. So going back to the options available you were about to mention a second one.
Michael Davino: Yes, yes. So if you are in a Simple IRA plan and you’re looking for a plan in which you’re not as responsible for as a trustee or a fiduciary, you can set up a Simple IRA. On a plan like a simple IRA what it is, is it’s similar to a 401(k) without all those customizing that you can do, employees can contribute and you can also match like as an employer.
The maximums are lower than a 401(k), you can’t do as much as a 401(k) plan and you can’t customize with profit sharing and such but you can set up a plan in which an employee can contribute and you can match the employees. There is an upside to that that you just — it’s very simple just like the name, it’s a great start, have a good client example on this one that I’ll actually kind of go through now.
I have a client that we’ll just call them Tanya and Sarah for this example and they’re a small dental practice and they have a couple of hygienists, and a receptionist. So they have a few employees but they are in that stage where they’re building their practice and they really don’t want to commit to the large costs of a 401(k).
They really don’t want to have all that administrative responsibility just yet, they’re just not ready for that in their practice, everything is kind of moving so fast for them. So a simple IRA plan is a good fit because they still want to make sure they can provide their employees retirement, so that they can keep up with the competition.
A lot of other dental practices may have a 401(k), they may have retirement benefits and Tanya and Sarah just they want to be able to provide that so that their employees feel that they have the similar benefits and that they don’t look at other firms as something that would provide them a better career because they want to retain.
So as we kind of go through this example, the main things to know is that a simple IRA s very quality for an employer that is just not ready to do the full 401(k), ready not to take on all that time and those costs, but still wants to provide an employee benefit.
So when they set up a simple IRA, they give that opportunity to where they can — for their example, they match their employees’ 3%. Each of their employees has the option of enrolling in the plan and if they choose not to, then they don’t have to match them, and then each employee can also put up to as of 2019 $13,000 a year into the plan.
So they have that ability to save for their retirement and so do Tanya and Sarah, they have the same ability too. So it gives them an avenue. But the key here is that they’re able to set up a plan and provide the benefits and be very similar to the other firms and competitors without taking on that fiduciary responsibility and the cost of third-party administration.
Karla Eckardt: Very interesting. I’m learning a lot as we go, I’m sorry I’m really focused on everything you’re saying. As far as how much, so let’s say I’m creating a plan on my own, separate from my employer. Are there rules of thumb regarding how much I should be putting away based on how much I’m earning per year?
Christine Bilbrey: Or on your age?
Michael Davino: As the employer or as the employee?
Karla Eckardt: Both, go for it.
Michael Davino: Well, basically as an employee, it does depend on your situation but what I as a general rule of thumb, if you’re younger and have plenty of years to go, I try to encourage at least 10% to go to the retirement accounts of your gross income, and whether that be two raw accounts or traditional, which would depend on the tax situation. But I try if you’re younger as in under 35 to try to at least do that 10% to get yourself going, and then you have to catch up later.
As you’re older and closer to retirement or maybe you’re in your mid-40s that percentage increases depending on what you already have built up. With less time, comes less potential compounding of growth so what happens is you have to put away more in order to maybe reach your goals.
So 10% is a good rule of thumb and then I also would say 10 to 15% when you’re in your 40s and then as if you’re really close to retirement, I have a lot of clients that we try to stalk away as much as we can before the last few years before you retire because it may be that last opportunity to save before you start using it.
Karla Eckardt: So if you’re an attorney who’s let’s say already in your 50s, you’ve not been doing very well, you’ve not been putting in the full 10% in your earlier years, the best way to catch up what you’re saying is essentially to give the maximum, cancel your Netflix and go ahead and just throw every bit, every dollar you have into retirement, because you’ve missed out on what 20 years of potential earnings. Would that be accurate?
Michael Davino: Well you may not want to cancel the Netflix that might be important. Ultimately, what I have — I have plenty of clients that come in and they’re say 50 years old to use that example, and they feel they’re way behind and they may be for their goals.
But at the same time, I like to encourage and remind them that say they’re going to work till they’re 66, they still have a good 16 years to put away. In 16 years, you can put away a pretty significant amount. I mean you can really still get yourself somewhere that you may not have thought you could by the time you’re retired.
So what I like to tell those clients is that if you just can remind yourself that you can’t go back in the past, but you can do the most you can and the best you can between 50 and 66, then when you do retire, you’ll look back and say well, I didn’t do it my whole career but at least the last 16 years, I really stocked away, and you will see a big difference because 16 years, there’s a lot you can do in that time, combine that with your Social Security that you may receive and if you do have some from a law firm sale, you could put all that together and you may be in a situation that’s better than you thought you could get.
If you wait until you’re 64 or 65 to start doing these things, then it may be to where it may be a little harder because you don’t have nearly as much time to go.
Karla Eckardt: All right, I mean we have attorneys practicing law into their 80s so it wouldn’t be —
Christine Bilbrey: You got a little time.
Karla Eckardt: I mean you got some time, so that’s definitely an option. It’s never too late essentially unless you’re way past any of the numbers we’ve discussed here.
Michael Davino: I have clients that are retired that still try to save too because it’s just natural at that point. I mean there’s never a reason to give up. If you have an income and still you can still save and again, you may be saving for a legacy or for somebody you want to leave behind to.
So there’s always — I rarely have a situation where you shouldn’t be doing some sort of financial planning because even if you’re well into your retirement, you may be looking at your beneficiaries and charities and places that you want to plan for them too so.
Karla Eckardt: So going back it’s never too late. What is the formula for how much your investment will generate after you retire?
Michael Davino: There’s not a magic formula or anything but what I’d like to say is for financial planning purposes, it’s important one to know how much you should put away but also to have a realistic idea of what you have where it will be, that helps you put together the numbers of how much you should do or what kind of accounts you should use.
So what I like to encourage people is to if you’re just looking at what you have today and you want something pretty basic and simple before you go maybe meet with an advisor for projections or use more complicated tools is that you can look into the rule of 72, which is just a simple rule on how — what percent return you would need for your money to double over a certain amount of years.
And it’s safe to say if you’re putting this together based on your risk and you’re looking at that rule you may say okay, I’m hoping this money will double in ten years assuming a lot of assumptions and investments. So if I am looking at it that way then I know ten years that would potentially double and then another ten years, then that amount would be doubled again and then where would it be. And that may help you put projections together.
I don’t want to go through the whole math and the rule of 72 on the podcast but it would be really good to have some format so that you’re not having unrealistic expectations and you’re putting it together a plan that you really think you can hit. Projections can go all over the place so I don’t like to project too much. It’s very good to just focus on what you need to do year by year and hopefully it will add up, but at the same time, it is good to use some general guidelines so you’re not thinking your money is going to be a lot more than it will be and finding out later.
So use those projections or work with an adviser that that can give you the projections based on how they do their financial planning.
Karla Eckardt: So you have talked about working with an advisor and the question is what should I expect when working with an advisor? What documents do I have to bring with me when I’m going to meet with a financial advisor and what should I be prepared to disclose to the financial advisor?
Michael Davino: Yes I can talk a bit about our process, every adviser differs. In our process I collect a lot of data. I take the certified financial planning professional courses pretty serious to heart. I think as you mentioned earlier, I can’t recall on the bio that was on the board of the CFP Board for FSU and so I always kind of follow that process.
I’ve attached a collection to this podcast but you should just know is that it is kind of personal but the more data you provide, the better it can help your adviser put themselves into your shoes and that’s the key is that they have to be able to put themselves into your shoes and make the recommendations based on your goals.
It is personal just like going to a doctor office for example, you say a lot of personal things that you may not say to somebody else outside of the office. But it’s just important for them to understand that to make proper recommendations.
One of the things I usually say when you’re choosing advisor or you’re going to meet with an advisor, if you’re wondering if they’re the right advisor for you, one of the things I say is to think about what they asked you for, think about what they asked you to collect, because that’s what they’re using to make their recommendation. What they don’t know about you, they are likely not going to be able to use in the recommendation.
So it’s important finding somebody you trust, but that the data that we collect is things like mortgage documents, what your Social Security estimates are going to be, your paystubs or your projected pay if you’re an individual, and you pay yourself through your ownership of your firm, that the valuation podcast that was before this, what is the real or estimated valuation of the firm.
There’s a lot of data that you would want to provide to an adviser you trusted so that they can give you a real good projections and opinion on what you should do.
Karla Eckardt: And the next question naturally, since we’re talking about money in our pockets. What are on average or what would you say the fees involved are when your account is being managed by a financial planner?
Michael Davino: Yes, these are again different for every firm, but I can definitely speak for our firm here, and it kind of also a general fees in the industry. For my team or how I work is we don’t charge for the initial meetings. We feel that we want to gather the data, see if the relationship is right for both us and the client, because we work mostly on long term relationship, so we want to make sure it fits before we start charging.
We also do not charge by the hour as we want to make sure our clients are real comfortable on reaching out to us anytime. If we charge by the hour they may not reach out to us when they are about to buy the car that we want them to call us about to check on ahead of time.
So we do charge in two ways though. One for us is financial planning fees. It may be if we’re not managing a client’s investments and they come in and they say I want to plan together, I want to know what I should do. I would charge a flat fee to evaluate the data, go through the process, come up with the recommendation. Again, I charge a flat fee rather than hourly, just because I want them to spend the time to provide as much as possible.
And then secondly, assets that are invested. It is maybe in a 401(k) and IRA, might be in a commission or fee based account. Assets are invested depending on the various investments and numerous investments out there have a fee.
So what I do is that it depends on the amount and what the type of investment is, but what we do is just make sure our clients and I would encourage this with working with an advisor that they are fully transparent with all of those because it varies all across the different investments that are out there. But most investments or insurance products or commission based products, most of them have a fee and it’s important for you to know what that is.
Karla Eckardt: That shouldn’t be a concept that’s unfamiliar to attorneys. So we require attorneys obviously to be very transparent in their fees. So now the coin has flipped. So let’s say we have a business retirement account in place. We started our practice 10 years ago. We’ve had the plan in place, how often should it be reviewed to see if it’s still a fit, like what if we now have — we went from no employees to 10 employees?
Michael Davino: Yes, that’s a really good question on. That is something that actually has come up a lot lately because of the — I don’t know if this, you all keep up with this or the listeners, but the Department of Labor laws that were being passed and then and then were redacted and now coming back to potentially be passed, have a big effect on ERISA 401(k) plans, IRA plans, especially about more disclosures in the current plans and fee disclosures and how the plan operates fee wise and how the employees are being charged and those fiduciary responsibilities we talked about.
So what I would say right now is just that if you have a current plan, it may be if you haven’t already a good time to at least get that plan reviewed or make sure that plan is up-to-date with many of the new standards or proposed standards that may be coming out soon. So to work with your advisor on that, but as a general rule of thumb, the Department of Labor says the plans we’ve benchmarked once every three years and the best practices every one to two.
So once every three years is what they recommend, but you can do more than that and beyond to make sure you’re within your responsibilities. So one of the things I would say is if you have a major change, if you have a merger, if you have more employees or high influx of employees or maybe you have employees that are being let go or you see a major change in the industry like the Department of Labor, it’s really good to make sure advisers keeping up to date on that and that you know whether you should adjust it or not at that time.
Some things you may want to look out for in your current plans that have happened over the last so many years is one, see a lot of plans that don’t have a Roth feature, a Roth 401(k) feature a Roth deferral feature, that was implemented back in 2006 and is a pretty easy feature to add to a plan and can be a great benefit to a lot of employees to have that ability to do Roth in their 401(k).
So when I review a lot of plans now and I don’t see that in the plan it makes me feel that the plan maybe hasn’t been updated in a long time.
Secondly, is just again the fees, all these new disclosures are showing how much the employee is paying and how much the employer is paying, and you want to be able to benchmark those fees and especially as a trustee you want to make sure that your employees are paying fees that seem fair and reasonable in their 401(k) plan because you’re their fiduciary.
So the last thing is co-fiduciary a lot of newer plans, the firms are offering to be co-fiduciary, and in this case it might be a benefit for you to maybe add on a firm that can be a co-fiduciary that may be reduce that risk on the trustees. So if you’re not keeping up with it yourself and the investments yourself, it may be a potentially a good idea to maybe look into having a co-fiduciary.
So these are some of the new things over the last so many years that have been added and there’s constantly new things added, because it’s a competitive environment. So one every year or two keeping up with this and just working with your advisor, so you can be assured that, that your plan is not either outdated or not proper for your firm.
Christine Bilbrey: Really good information. Thank you. So we’ve reached the end of our program and I want to thank Michael Davino for joining us today.
Michael Davino: Thank you, thank you, I appreciate. It’s been a fun time.
Christine Bilbrey: If our listeners have questions how can they find you?
Michael Davino: Yes, you can call me. My phone number is 3214124588, and again that’s 3214124588. Or you can email me, [email protected], which I believe all be provided on the podcast, but always feel free to call or email. I do answer the questions and I again, as mentioned before for the podcast, if you have questions relating to the podcast, I won’t charge a bill to answer those questions. So you can gladly reach out and ask me those things that may have come up while you were listening that, that you may want us to take a look at.
Christine Bilbrey: Wonderful great. And so again, if you are looking for the handouts that we’ve been talking about and all the charts, those are available at our website, legalfuel.com.
Michael Davino is a financial advisor offering securities and investment advisory services through Waddell & Reed Inc., a broker-dealer member FINRA and SIPC, and a federally registered investment advisor.
The information presented on this show is solely for informational purposes and is not to be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any financial products or services mentioned nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action.
Waddell & Reed does not offer tax or legal advice. For more information regarding any of the topics discussed on today’s show, please call 8508949950.
If you liked what you heard today, please rate us in Apple Podcasts. Join us next time for another episode of The Florida Bar Podcast brought to you by LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar on Legal Talk Network.
I am Christine Bilbrey.
Karla Eckardt: And I am Karla Eckardt. Until next time, thank you for listening.
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Panelists Ashlea Edwards, Judge Paul Huck, Judge Nelly Khouzam, and Kara Rockenbach discuss current issues surrounding lawyer professionalism.
Deborah Minnis discusses considerations for Title VII and other antidiscrimination statutes in the law firm setting.
In this 3-segment episode, Ed Walters and Damien Riehl of Fastcase, Andrew Arruda of ROSS Intelligence, and Jonathon Israel of LegalFuel share how their...
Tom Boyle, co-founder of TrustBooks, discusses the importance of implementing trust accounting software tailored to the unique needs of law firms.
Debra Elsbury discusses the importance of utilizing the skills of a legal administrator to boost the success of your law firm.