In a relationship business like mine, the deeper the connection, the greater the communication. That leads to better results, happier clients, and increased referrals.
Daniella Rand currently serves as managing director of The Rand Group, a San Francisco-based wealth management team with high net worth clients throughout the United States.
Rand is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego. With nearly 20 years of experience as a financial advisor and 15 years as a principal for The Rand Group, she is personally licensed to do business in California, Colorado, Alabama, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Oklahoma. Other Rand Group financial advisors are licensed to do business in Florida and Pennsylvania, as well.
Under Rand’s leadership, every Rand Group client relationship is guided by the principle that wealth is best used as a means for turning clients’ deeply held goals into reality.
Further to this principle, Rand and her team design and deploy customized wealth management strategies that achieve client objectives and values while mitigating investment risk. These bespoke wealth management strategies incorporate seven key priorities:
Health, including near-term direct healthcare expenses, ongoing health and long-term care insurance needs, and end-of-life care.
Home, including major real estate decisions related to upsizing, downsizing, remodeling, and vacation homes.
Family, including care and support for minor children, aging parents, and wards.
Leisure, whatever “leisure” happens to mean to her diverse client population.
Philanthropy, whether that means mentoring young people and junior colleagues, volunteering in their communities, or giving to nonprofit organizations around the country and world.
Work, including considerations on when and how to retire, whether to work part-time in retirement, and how to handle succession in closely held businesses.
Financial tools that tie everything together and make clients’ goals achievable.
Backed by the global resources of Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, the Rand Group is positioned to offer a range of wealth management services, including:
General financial planning
Rand Group clients benefit from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch’s Relationship Pricing program, which offers preferred pricing for loyal clients who hold substantial assets with the firm.
When she’s not at the office, Rand works on her personal training regimen at ThriveSF or Equinox, her home gyms. An avid hiker and nature photographer, she loves exploring trails throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Rand also travels extensively; recent destinations include New Guinea, Bhutan, and Longyearbyen, Norway, among them. Closer to home, she’s an enthusiastic supporter of Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco, volunteering at homeless shelters throughout San Francisco.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I founded the Rand Group in 2005 after being a sole-practitioner for four years during the most challenging bear market in US history. I wanted to create a business model that was so unique that all of my client relationships would stand the test of time. Whereas most financial advisors struggle to outperform the market, The Rand Group philosophy was to select only the “best in class” products available — to form a pool of world-class mutual funds and money managers that demonstrated consistent outperformance throughout history. More importantly, The Rand Group philosophy was predicated on connection. I felt that deep, high-quality client relationships were of utmost importance; compassion, communication, and trust remain the hallmarks of The Rand Group. To this day, we help our clients in all aspects of their lives, both personal and professional, by learning everything about them: their families, jobs, hobbies, interests, passions, and everywhere they have been and want to go in life. I strongly believe that the best way to help a client to achieve his/her goals is to truly understand him/her as a person and maintain a strong, deep and lasting relationship. The Rand Group communicates with our clients much more frequently than most teams do. Our clients find our quarterly — and often monthly — reviews to be extremely rewarding. In addition, the Rand Group places a very high value on transparency and client education. We have learned that knowledge is more important than wealth, as one cannot build or retain wealth without knowledge. Therefore, we take our time to explain investment concepts in clear and simple terms so that the client can fully understand. Our goal is to empower our clients to be better financial decision-makers. Markets rise and fall, personal hardships come and go, and we are by our clients’ side through it all. The Rand Group has given our clients the tools to win at the game, coupled with the comfort of a meaningful, lasting connection built on honesty, open communication, and trust.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start the day by monitoring the stock market and looking for key market indicators that could impact my clients’ portfolios. We usually have a team meeting to discuss process, strategy, client service, and what we need to do for the clients that need special attention that week. We then select research pieces to distribute and discuss with our clients. I then personally review and provide input on the financial plans created by our certified financial planner. Next, I review the performance of the money managers and mutual funds that each of our clients are invested in and spend some time searching for manager and fund upgrades. On most afternoons, I need to send out a few client recommendations; before I do, I consult with my team to verify that my recommendations are in line with the clients’ needs. By the end of the day, I usually have a few client portfolio review calls, or clients requests to handle. Most of the time, my highly competent licensed associates handle those, but I always like to check in with my clients as well — and strive to return clients’ calls within the hour. Toward the end of the day, I screen my list of referred clients and return calls to qualified prospects interested in our services. I always need to manage my time and be ready to shift priorities if a client need arises.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a very visual person (I’ve been told that I’m a “visionary”) so I bring ideas to life by visualizing them in my mind. I’ve always been able to achieve and implement anything that I’ve actually visualized. I have to see it to believe it. After that, it’s all about following through and improving upon the process.
What’s one trend that excites you?
One trend that excites me is the rapid pace and ease with which people are currently able to connect electronically all over the world without even having to meet. The pace of communication also leads to an overflow of information, increased travel, globalization, international commerce, and interpersonal connection. I believe we have only just scratched the surface of possibilities presented by the latest communication apps.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I love to network and form deep connections with people, and I am very successful at it. In a relationship business like mine, the deeper the connection, the greater the communication. That leads to better results, happier clients, and increased referrals.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Free yourself from fear. Fear is the greatest impediment to success and growth, both personal and professional. I would also tell myself to remind my clients: you can fall much further than you think and still come out far ahead of where you were — so, while you must never be afraid to fail or to fall, you must also properly measure risk against reward in everything you do, including investing.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Jay Zagorsky found that people earn on average $200 to $600 more per IQ point, but lower IQ correlates with sensible spending. In other words: Even if you are smart enough to build wealth, you do need to save in order to keep it!
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Since 2010, I have been working out with my personal trainer, Andrew Duffy, four times a week. Not only is strength training enjoyable, it develops the human growth hormone (HGH), which does better than anything else to improve your energy levels, sleep, brain function, and mood. I know of no other activity that contributes more to long-term success and productivity.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Always putting the clients’ interest first. Because I have always put the client first, I have grown my business through referrals faster than the vast majority of financial advisors in my industry. For example, in 2012, I was in Norway on vacation when Hewlett Packard offered a huge Enhanced Early Retirement Program. Simultaneously, on the Hewlett Packard Alumni website, former Hewlett Packard employees had written rave reviews about how I was able to help them manage all of their financial matters during their transition out of HP. I got so many referrals that month (around 30) from employees exiting HP that I had to fly home early from my trip just to handle the demand!
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
One failure I had as an entrepreneur was not following my gut in a hiring decision; I wound up hiring someone who tried to “poison the well,” so to speak. I didn’t realize at the time how damaging one person could be to an enterprise. Fortunately, my client base was able to see past this person’s negativity, and instead gravitated toward the value that The Rand Group had to offer. I just continued to follow my winning model and steadfast process that led me to the highly successful place that I am today.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Living in San Francisco, an international tech hub, I have noticed an increase in entrepreneurs and business owners from all over the world coming into town for extended business or personal travel. In my practice, I frequently advise investors from all over the world, and work with them on international investing. If there were a networking site that allowed business owners or entrepreneurs to “check in” to a new city and specify the timeframe of their stay, other businesspeople such as myself could connect with them via their profile and schedule a time to meet. Such a service would be great for my business and my prospective clients. Other types of professionals would benefit as well — such as real estate agents, as successful people always want to take a look at local properties while they are in town. You could call the site “In Town” or something like that.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I purchased a swimming cap and goggles a couple of months ago, because I decided to stop running and try something new. Now, in addition to strength training four times a week, I also swim once a week. Incorporating this excellent cardiovascular, no-impact workout into my fitness regime was one of the best health decisions I’ve ever made. I feel amazing! Why I didn’t think of this idea sooner?
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Salesforce.com allows me to log and organize all client communications and calendar follow-ups, so that I can better manage my client relationships, while maximizing my practice’s efficiency and high level of service.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday. In his book, Holiday argues that obstacles don’t inhibit success, and that readers should see “through the negative, past its underside, and into its corollary: the positive.” After being at the top of the investment management field for 17 years and having recently experienced a very challenging event, I completely concur with this philosophy and wholeheartedly apply it to my business. What doesn’t kill you truly does make you stronger!
What is your favorite quote?
“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” – Anne Frank
- In a relationship business, the deeper the connection, the greater the communication. That leads to better results, happier clients, and increased referrals.
- Free yourself from fear. Fear is the greatest impediment to success and growth, both personal and professional.
- Always put the clients’ interests first.