Equity concepts has a 90% close rate using Nitrogen

For advisors at Equity Concepts, Nitrogen is fundamental to helping clients understand their risk tolerance.

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"Once I saw the impact Nitrogen made in constructing portfolios and reviewing current portfolios, I was amazed more advisors weren’t using it. It was shocking to me."
— Michael Thaler

High close rate

Equity Concepts is an advisory firm based in Richmond, Virginia, with offices in Virginia and Pennsylvania. With over 40 team members licensed in over 40 states, Equity Concepts thinks about the big picture and beyond. Serving others is in their DNA.

As well as serving their clients, Equity Concepts believes that we each have an opportunity to make the world a better place. From working with neighborhood schools to providing humanitarian aid abroad, they believe in making a difference.

Michael Thaler, co-founder of Equity Concepts, founded Effective Ministries International (EMI), an international non-profit that works to improve the physical and spiritual lives of the communities in Niger, Africa. The organization works to enact change in the following five focus areas: health, water, orphans, education and micro-business. Many of the wealth managers and staff at Equity Concepts are involved in EMI’s various efforts both locally and in Niger.

Enter Nitrogen

In 2016, Mike Mills, AIF® joined Equity Concepts as a Partner. Mike came to Equity Concepts with over 17 years in the financial industry as a wholesaler, analyst, and a consultant to financial advisors. Mike also served honorably on active duty in the United States Marine Corps before attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University where he received his Bachelors of Science in Finance with a focus on Risk Management.

Before he partnered with Michael Thaler at Equity Concepts, he became aware of Nitrogen through the advisors he consulted.

When he changed his career path and began working with investors as a financial advisor, Nitrogen was an essential part of his toolkit. “I was ecstatic to finally be using it.” For Mike and the other advisors at Equity Concepts, Nitrogen is part of their core strategy to help clients understand their true risk tolerance. The results are usually eye-opening.

“Clients are blown away by it,” Mike says. “They’re able to see exactly how they’re allocated, and the Risk Number makes sense to them.” What has helped Equity Concepts clients, from Mike’s perspective, is that they’re often able to reach their goals with less risk than they expect.

Constructing effective portfolios has been one of the ways that Nitrogen has added the most value to the team at Equity Concepts. As part of their investment committee, Mike and his team do considerable research in how they allocate portfolios and created their own models built around the Risk Number. What’s been a big help to their clients is understanding their investments at the macro level. “They can see everything, from how they’re invested in their 401(k), to their current portfolios and my proposals, they can see how it all works together. It’s holistic. It’s one of my favorite things about using it with clients.”

As a Cambridge Investment Research advisor, Mike has appreciated the process of using the tools he wants. “Implementing is a seamless experience. It’s a pretty independent place and you can utilize pretty much any software you want to use with very few exceptions.”

Mike’s team opts to complete the simple risk questionnaire with their clients at that first meeting, securing a 90% closing rate. Other advisors at Equity Concepts also claim excellent closing rates.

“When they see how they’re currently allocated, see their Risk Number, and then see the proposal we’ve created for them, it’s a totally eye-opening experience. We have a very high close ratio because of that.”

As part of a team, new advisors are trained to use Nitrogen with clients and the training experience has been seamless for Mike as well. “We just brought on another advisor and going through the software is very self-explanatory. It’s easy to understand and easy to use from the beginning.”

Other advisors at Equity Concepts have raved about using Nitrogen with their clients. Here are a few of their comments:

The program has revolutionized my discussion with my clients on their investment strategies.

-Dale Wright


Great risk assessment and management tool. Helps set client expectations.

-Shannon Carter


I really like having this tool in my utility belt.

-Alan Dole


I use and love Nitrogen.

-Michael Thaler

As an advisor and as a financial professional on the other side of the desk, Mike remembers being introduced to Nitrogen by two of his best clients, LPL advisors in Virginia. “I’d never heard of a Risk Number before, I just knew about conservative, moderate, and aggressive. They told me ‘This is so far beyond that.’ And it is.”

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