$50M AUM firm, Glasgow & Associates, improves efficiency and client service

John Glasgow has increased client trust with the Risk Number® and has saved hours each day with Nitrogen Trading.

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“It’s helpful to me to follow companies so I can understand them and know what my clients are investing in. I feel that I can do a better job of picking stocks when I’m in that position."
— John Glasglow

Based out of Wilmington, North Carolina, John Glasgow has been providing personalized financial planning and investment management for clients since 2007 with Glasgow & Associates. As his business grew and the focused attention he could give to each client got smaller, he knew he needed a solution that would decrease the time he needed to spend on operational tasks like trading. He found it with Nitrogen.

Bringing together the qualitative & quantitative

John Glasgow is a financial advisor who is hands-on with his clients’ portfolios. While many great advisors might outsource investment management to a third-party, a large part of John’s value to the people he serves is that he individually selects each stock, ETF, and bond fund for the equity and fixed income models he builds.

“It’s helpful to me to follow companies so I can understand them and know what my clients are investing in. I feel that I can do a better job of picking stocks when I’m in that position,” he said.

As the number of clients he serves has grown to near 100, and the total number of accounts he manages grew even higher, John found that the time he was spending on portfolio management and trading was starting to take up too much of his day. As management took up more time, John also didn’t feel like he was able to give each client the same attention.

“When you get to that number of accounts, you can’t trade them all at the same time. There isn’t enough time in the day to do them all at once.”

Along with a need to improve his trading efficiency, John also saw a need to improve his risk analysis process. Like so many other advisors, his process for determining risk was an informal survey that identified clients as conversative, moderate, or aggressive.

He had a qualitative process, but wanted one that was quantitative.

He found it with Nitrogen.

Seeing immediate results

John’s firm implemented Nitrogen in 2019 and saw immediate results.

“What Nitrogen did right away is allow us to have meaningful conversation with our clients about risk,” he said. “The risk discussion has become much more meaningful for me, but also more meaningful and important than ever for them too.”

Making Nitrogen the focus of his conversations has allowed John to move the discussion away from simply risk tolerance, and help his clients think about their appetite for risk—two distinct sides to an important conversation.

“We now have an ongoing conversation about risk. A lot of people think they can stand a loss, but then when it actually happens they find out they can’t. My clients now can call me up, and we can refer back to their risk assessment and put the markets in context.”

The best part? The quantitative aspect of Nitrogen doesn’t just mean better conversations—it also means better compliance. John and his team get a defined record they can refer back to and prove that clients have signed off on and understand the way in which they’re invested.

John’s favorite Nitrogen features

Spending minutes on trading, not hours

Once John has a client’s Risk Number, he’s ready to get to work with the equity and fixed income models he maintains to get them invested right.

“I’m able to match the client’s risk profile by using a proportion of each of my models to immediately get them into the right range,” said John.

Once a client is invested in the right model, that’s where John’s use of Nitrogen Trading truly shines. In John’s own words, Nitrogen’s ability to continually monitor accounts for trading opportunities and Risk Number alignment is the biggest benefit for both him and his clients.

“I can do a better job of managing money with the monitoring I receive through Nitrogen. I can make sure dividends are reinvested immediately and appropriately right where they’re needed.”
“If I decide to sell a security across all my clients, I can complete the entire process in ten minutes or less. If I want to swap that security for another one, I can do it in the same stroke. My portfolio monitoring has become incredibly efficient,” he said.

While implementing Nitrogen has given John qualitative improvements to his business, like more confident clients and nuanced conversations, it’s also delivered quantitative improvements as well—due in large part to efficiency gains through Nitrogen Trading.

“I start my day around 7:30 each morning and the first thing I do is open Nitrogen to check my trades and see what I have to do. Today, I can take care of all the trades I need to do in about thirty minutes. Before implementing Nitrogen, trading accounts could take hours and hours each day. The change has been significant.”

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