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The Admired Advisor Podcast

May 16, 2022

Years ago, as two companies faced a tough merger, April Aandal sat in a room full of advisors, agenda in hand, trying her best to foster a productive meeting. But the room was distracted and uninterested in the bullet points she’d prioritized. Instead, they were interested in their own agendas. When the advisors slowly began turning to one another, sharing their anxieties and leaning on a room full of perspectives, April tossed out her agenda, sat down, and simply listened. 

That one experience taught April how to become a part of the table versus striving to lead outside of it. Her current role as a Sr. Relationship Specialist at Avantis is all about educating investors on the investment offerings available to them. And part of that responsibility entails being the steady guide in a room full of advisors. She’s a proponent of advisor “study groups”, but as she points out, there’s a right way and a wrong way to convene.

In this episode, Steve and April discuss how April creates a positive and productive environment for advisors to convene, the incredible growth she’s seen in advisors after joining study groups, the importance of vulnerability, and the dos and don’ts for facilitating advisor education. 


Key Takeaways

  • [01:25] - An introduction to April. 
  • [03:15] - How April’s previous achievements led her to Avantis.
  • [10:06] - What evolution April has seen in advisor-client relations since 1999.
  • [14:51] - What makes a great study group.
  • [18:07] - How to benefit from and successfully contribute to an advisor study group.
  • [20:46] - Why transparency and vulnerability are important and how to build trust amongst advisors. 
  • [27:59] - How to manage expectations in a study group. 
  • [32:04] - Why advisors have a fiduciary responsibility to bring awareness and choice to their clients. 
  • [34:35] - How advisors can find a community and why they’re invaluable.
  • [39:33] - What April’s working on that excites her. 



[13:02] - “In order for something to be successful, and on the theme of collaboration, if you’re co-creating with the client, sitting beside the client as opposed to across the table from the client, they’re less likely to just sabotage the plan and they’re more likely to lean into it and own it for themselves.” ~ April Aandal

[15:19] - “You can’t make [study groups] prescriptive. It has to be organic. Communities are organic in nature. People come into a space because it’s relevant for them. And they will stay in a space or an interaction while it remains relevant.” ~ April Aandal




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