Opportunity Cost

  • Liquid Capital Required: $10,000
  • Net Worth Required: $25,000 - $1,999
  • Total Investment: $1,999 - $4,800

About UGRU

  • Total Units: 5
  • Year Founded: 2011
  • Franchising Since: 2017
  • Home Office: Holly Springs, NC
  • Awards: Cloud Awards Finalist 2016-17

Industry Q&A with Ken Gulliver, Founder and CEO of UGRU Coaching

Provide an overview/ description of your industry.  Include reasons why it’s a great industry to start a business in today.

What is a Financial Coach? 

Financial Coaches create positive and real financial changes in people’s lives by helping them:

  • Stop the financial pain associated with budgeting and debt 
  • Prevent bad money decisions with good financial knowhow 
  • Build good financial habits 
  • Find value in themselves
  • Confidently set higher goals
  • Find money they didn’t think they had
  • Save money they didn’t think they could
  • Address finances they feared discussing with others 

Why is a Financial Coach important?

Traditional Financial Services is the least trusted of all professions in the USA. People are tired of:

  • Blindly listening and getting burned
  • They are tired of getting products pushed down their throat and…
  • They are tired of over paying for a service that under delivers

American’s now know that products and performance have very little (10%) to do with what REALLY builds wealth. It’s the habits and behaviors that precede the decisions they make (the 90%) that TRULY builds wealth and Financial Coaching is exactly what’s needed to remedy the Great American Household Financial Crisis.

Why would someone hire a Financial Coach?

Financial Coaches get paid for results not from selling a financial product. There are many alternatives to build the financial knowhow and emotional capacity needed for financial freedom but they pale in caparison to how a Financial Coach can set you up for success. 

In medical terms, the alternatives are hemorrhaging. Going a different route leaves you learning trial by fire. And, unless you’re a professional student, that’s not the way you want to go about building REAL and lasting financial change.

How has your industry changed in the last 10 years?  20 years?

Financial Coaching is a very new industry with very little standardization

What trends do you see in your industry over the next 5 years?  Next 10 years?

I see the industry becoming more standardized with business and coaching processes

What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchisee candidate should be aware of and investigate?

In my opinion the biggest concern is the viewpoint from traditional professionals is that a Financial Coach is an imposter. Feeling like an “imposter” may very well be the most pervasive feeling you will have as a financial coach. 

The best way that I see to settle this in your heart and mind is to help you understand who you might be comparing yourself to by drawing out an understanding of what the traditional advisor has been facing for many years. 

In my book The Unrivaled Advisor I attempted to help advisors see this issue so they could address it but honestly I think the problem is bigger than themselves. The traditional advisor is trapped in a system that keeps them where the system wants them and it’s such a massive industry that even small changes take years to complete. In my book I quoted Rodney Dangerfield’s “I get no respect” because it illustrates what is really happening in the minds of the American investor when they think of traditional financial advisors.

Before explaining further, you should know what the differences are between advisors, coaches, agents and counselors.

Financial Advisor - A financial advisor is educated in many facets of finance and are generally capable of advising their clients on most areas of their finances. Often times they will develop an expertise in one or a few areas which are product oriented and a small percentage will actually complete financial plans for their clients. They usually deal with clients that already are financially well off and place a focus on the management of various types of investments for which they are paid either a commission or a fee as a percentage of the assets they manage.

Insurance agent - Insurance agent’s work off of commission in exchange for the sale of various fixed insurance products such as term life insurance, long term care, or fixed annuities. 

Financial Counselor - With a counselor, the goal is to strive to educate the client to be their own resource and not dependent on their advice. Counseling can help deal with an acute crisis or technical problems that often require goals to be set.

Financial Coach - Coaches, on the other hand, are focused on positive psychology that helps the client focus on managing the details of their lives, which may include non-financial strategies. With coaching the responsibility for identifying solutions belongs to the client, while in counseling the onus of solutions remains primarily with the counselor.

As a Financial Coach you’re not limited to the definition of Financial Coach as you can certainly educate your clients as a counselor would. In fact, there are products that we offer which do just that. However, it’s illegal to offer investment advice. This is where you and Financial Advisors can actually find synergies working together.  

A question might be then, can’t a financial advisor easily work as a coach? The answer to that is of course, however, there a many reasons why it’s not likely to happen. They, and the traditional Financial Services industry have a focus on products and portfolios which leaves a huge gap when it comes to the American family and their financial well-being.

Ten percent of the wealth a family will ever accumulate can be attributed to the products and the performance of those products. The other 90% is attributable to the knowledge, habits and behaviors that drive decisions and Financial Coaches are uniquely positioned to bridge that gap. And the gap is huge.

In a Forbes article written Nov. 14th, 2013 Titled: “Financial Advisers Get Little Respect” quotes a Blackrock Investment survey. The aim of the survey was to take the pulse of investors to better understand their investment behaviors and included 4,000 investors.

The survey uncovered a strong concern about the lack of confidence among U.S. investors. Half do not feel in control of their financial futures and aren’t confident they’re making the right financial decisions.

You would think they would embrace financial advisors to assist them with these concerns. But, that’s not what the survey suggested. U.S. retirees in the survey were asked a series of questions about what advice they would give to themselves at a younger age about saving and investing. 

Their top two answers: 

  • Start saving earlier (36%)
  • Spend less money while working (32%) 

These are good ideas that are frequently discussed by financial advisors but, here’s the kicker: in retrospect, only 12% of the retirees surveyed said they would have sought professional financial advice. 

Isn’t that odd? All the advice the retirees would have given themselves would likely have been discussed years earlier had they sought the help of a professional advisor while they were working in their youth. Yet, the study clearly points to a major lack of trust. There are several reasons people generally don’t trust advisors that have been shared with me personally by my client dealings in the past. Of all the grievances the most common were: 

  • Reputation
  • Pretentious
  • They treat me like a number
  • Products come first

Traditional advisors have earned a reputation and it’s not a good one. These advisors are broken down into two basic belief systems. Let’s say two different camps: 

Insurance and Equities. 

These two camps fight against each other trying to prove what is better… confusing the investor, guys like Bernie Madoff literally steal investor dollars and episodes of American Greed showcase these sins. 

All of this is on public display and it’s an incessant fight for the well intentioned advisor who really wants to help. I can go on and on about why but the point here is that you have an advantage as a Financial Coach and it’s a big one.

To combat that reputation there is a sense that education, time in the business and the certificates that hang on a wall will somehow redeem the bad reputation by setting the advisor apart from the industry itself. 

All of this only comes across as condescending and, if not, the effort to look smart or sound smart just overwhelms people into feeling they need to catch up somehow by turning to the internet or friends before they can engage the advisor again. And, all this posturing spells one thing: Less trust as evidenced by the chart here.

Why do you think your company stands out in the industry?

We stand out primarily because the industry is so new. The industry is currently comprised of solo practitioner’s that have hobbled together their own curriculum, technology, pricing, agreement etc. There is really no one company that has created a turn-key financial coaching program like UGRU that we are aware of. Someday I’m sure, but as of now, no.

What makes your franchise/ business opportunity more attractive than your competitor’s?

At the moment the competition is really bare but the biggest attraction is that we are a complete turn-key system.

Describe the ideal candidate.  Do you think your requirements are any different than your competitor’s?

An ideal candidate for a Financial Coach recruit might be a woman named Jessica who is 35 years old. She's been married to Mike for 15 years and has 3 kids.

She has some college education, maybe even a degree but what she has accomplished was hard earned because she was multi-tasking a household and family that she kicks butt at-thank you very much. 

She is always on time paying the bills, sees paying the debts off as a challenge she is determined to conquer. And, saves some money on the side that Jim doesn’t know about because she wants to prove that she even thought of the rainy day she stays up worrying about.

She is on top of everything and stresses out when things aren’t perfect because her aim is to make her world a better place and doesn’t mind telling others how to be perfect as well.

Because of her natural tendency to make others’ lives her business and the fact that she has everything seemingly so well under control, she attracts people that are curious to know “how she does it” and they are constantly asking for her input which only fuels her. 

What she doesn’t know is that her personality of helping others is actually her power source. It strangely empowers her to perform at higher levels than she would otherwise perform at if she couldn’t tell others what’s best for them. But she’s found it. So, “you go girl”.

Deep down inside Jessica leads a quiet life of desperation. She wants more. Her husband makes great money but let’s face it, life and those kids are damn expensive not to mention retirement that she doesn’t have all the answers for. But you won’t catch her ever admit it. 

To quell this concern she has worked in real estate but found it took her away from home too much with showings and open houses. Besides, what if she was assaulted while alone showing a house? Ewww. 

She has tried a couple MLM’s and loved the high inspiration environment but recruiting people for the purpose of pushing a product that took money from them was hard for her to reconcile. She might be nosey but she has high morals. 

She has even tried a job but she’s armed with a calculator and knows how to use it. After the cost of fuel, car maintenance and travel time, her check after taxes just didn’t add up to a fair trade off of her time and sacrifice. Besides, she knows that her boss needs her more than she needs him. 

She is constantly looking for that perfect mix of great income and freedom to work anywhere (don’t tell Jim but she’s even excused herself during vacation to check on a house she had listed). She wants to call her own schedule and she wants to get paid very well for the results she can help others obtain just like she has.

Describe the working environment of your franchisees.  Is your environment typical of other companies in your industry?

Working environment can be anywhere in the world as long as you have a strong internet connection and headset.

Why has your company been successful?

We are new but I would say that we all have our own positive and negative financial experiences to draw on. If you:

  • Harness those lessons 
  • Have ambition for success and 
  • Have a passion to help others

We have the rest covered. The UGRU opportunity was designed by a successful expert who has helped hundreds of other aspiring financial professionals succeed and is now passionate about helping new Coaches become the same. 

UGRU was founded by Ken Gulliver, a retired Financial advisor. He was in the Top 1% income earners in the USA. He is author of The Unrivaled Advisor and architect of UGRU financial software. Now, he has built a training program for people who want to be Financial Coaches. 

UGRU Coach training is powerful, unique and results oriented. Our training positions you to deliver client coaching programs through an intense curriculum covering three areas of mastery:

  1. Coaching Mastery
  2. Financial Mastery
  3. Business Mastery

During the 12 week training program you will learn:

  • How to master the coaching engagement
  • How to convey complex financial matters in a simple way
  • How to run your coaching business from A-Z 

When the training is complete you are a part of a network of other Financial Coaches you can lean on for support, in particular, the Coach Trainers who will take new coaches under their wing and train them until they are comfortable on their own.

What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise in your industry?  

  • Align yourself with someone that is willing to mentor you
  • Work within a successful system that someone has created (you run the system, the system runs the business)
  • Work virtual and keep your overhead low
  • Use technology that you know has worked for other Financial Coaches
  • Use Marketing that has worked for other Financial Coaches

How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry?

Having experience can be very helpful if you have previously been a life or business coach. If you have operated as a traditional financial advisor you may have a little challenge wrapping your head around the idea of coaching but it is possible. Often times someone with no experience is best suited as long as they have a passion for personal finance, outgoing, results oriented and a heart for helping others. Everything else is trainable.

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To get more information on UGRU

Please call Ken Gulliver directly at (888) 742-0033.


Please Note:

UGRU is currently accepting inquiries from the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

Interested parties should have at least $10,000 in liquid capital to invest.

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