Evan Harp is sitting down with the Exchange Advisor Council members. His goal is to learn their backstories, what they plan to bring to Exchange, and to unpack some of their market views. His first conversation was with Savant Wealth Management’s Phil Huber.
Phil Huber's Background
Evan Harp: Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are.
Phil Huber: I joined Savant Wealth Management a little over three years ago, in early 2020, when we merged with my prior RIA, which was Huber Financial Advisors. The original “Huber” in Huber Financial was my dad, Dave Huber. He founded that firm in the late 80s. I joined early in my career, in 2008. I’ve spent pretty much my whole career working in wealth management. My dad inspired me to get into the business. Over time I established my own areas of interest and footprint. I’m more focused on the investment side of the business, so eventually I became the CIO of Huber Financial Advisors. Then, once we merged with Savant, I took on that same role here.
It’s been a great experience. We’ve been growing a healthy amount through both organic growth as well as through transactions and partnerships with other RIAS. It’s a really exciting time for the firm and there are a lot of great advisors and other team members I get to work with day to day
The Exchange Advisor Council
Harp: What inspired you to join the Exchange Advisor Council?
Huber: I always enjoy finding ways to give back to the industry and was excited by the prospect of directly influencing the programming. Exchange is an event I’ve truly enjoyed, and I want to see it continue to get better and for folks in the industry to come and see what all the buzz is about.
Harp: What’s one thing that Exchange has historically done well?
Huber: I think being this hub of the entire — I want to say ETF ecosystem, but even going beyond that into the investment ecosystem at large. It brings together asset managers, wealth managers, and service providers in one location to really tackle the big questions that we’re all facing so we can learn from each other and identify and understand what the big trends in the investment world that are going to be influencing how we engage and interact with clients in the coming years.
Harp: What positive changes to Exchange are you most looking forward to advocating for?
Huber: I would say, on the content side, a big area that I’ve been focused on the last few years has been the world of alternative investments. Part of that was the publication of my book, The Allocators Edge, that is focused on creating more awareness and understanding of that corner of investing for financial advisors. Particularly following a year like 2022, I think everyone now understands the potential shortfalls that the traditional 60/40 portfolios have had. I think there’s more interest and openness to non-traditional investments today than ever before. I think having real healthy amounts of dedicated content and understanding the why, what, and how of alternatives is going to be increasingly important to advisors this coming year. I’m look looking forward to help shape that content.
Final Insights and Interests From Huber
Harp: As an advisor, what market trend or story do you feel is going under the radar?
Huber: Maybe it’s not quite under the radar, but I think, increasingly, we’re moving towards this era of hyper personalization of portfolios. With the increased growth of direct indexing, increased access to private alternatives, and just a greater degree of choice in terms of how advisors and our clients can build portfolios and the types of investments they have access to — and then also the ability to customize that based on client’s tax considerations and how they want to align their values with their portfolios — there’s just all these parallel trends that are converging in this era of personalization for investors that’s made possible through improvements in technology.
If you think about the last decade or two, there was a move towards portfolios that looked quite similar in the growth of index funds and 60/40 portfolios. You’ve tended to see more cookie cutter approaches to portfolio construction. I think, going forward, a lot of those components will remain in place but applied in different ways that are more anchored back to the individual investor and what they’re specifically trying to achieve.
Harp: One final question. What’s something bringing you enjoyment right now, be it a TV show, film, book, album, or game?
Huber: I think, like everybody, I’m hooked on Succession and anxious to see how this final season unfolds. If they can stick the landing with the finale it may go down as one of the best TV Shows of All Time.
Harp: I’ll close this out with a Logan Roy quote then. “Nothing is a line. Everything everywhere is always moving. Forever.”
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