Ben Soccodato is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at Barnum Financial Group, located in Westchester, NY. With more than 14 years of experience in financial planning, Ben uses his expertise to teach financial literacy to Fortune 500 employees. Ben takes pride in his ability to break down difficult financial concepts and explain them in a way that anybody can understand.
As a result of Ben’s dedication to promoting financial education, he was recognized through the 2011 Workplace Leaders in Financial Education Awards, which was created by the New York Stock Exchange. The best reward for Ben, however, is the ability to help others make changes to their finances that bring them closer to their goals.
In his role at Barnum Financial Group, Ben particularly enjoys getting to know his clients on a personal level, which helps him provide tailored advice for their needs. Considering Barnum’s wide array of investment and risk management services, this is crucial to Ben’s success when assisting clients.
At Barnum Financial Group, Ben Soccodato also prides himself on his ability to lead, both internally and externally. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Ben must be confident in his ability to lead clients to make the financial decisions that are appropriate for them. Throughout his tenure, Ben has developed his leadership abilities, which has helped him in everything he strives to accomplish.
Ben has been with Barnum Financial Group since he graduated from Sacred Heart University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance. Over his 15 years with the company, he has been able to help many people and learn from the best in the industry — a fact he is happy about.
In addition to their work with individuals, Barnum Financial Group’s more than 250,000 clients also consists of small businesses, corporations, government entities, and not-for-profit organizations in all fifty states, as well as their employees.
Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure
Ben Soccodato: The lesson that I learn from any failure is that you have to get right back up. You can’t dwell in the negative. That can create a vicious cycle that you may not get out of. Getting back up, getting to work the next day, and focusing on that day’s objectives will allow you to forget quickly about the past.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Ben Soccodato: I am most proud of our team’s growth. We’ve gone from myself as a solo advisor to a team of 17 financial professionals. It is exciting to see the year to year growth in business, productivity, professional licenses, and designations that our team makes a priority. Having that growth mindset and being comfortable with getting uncomfortable has really allowed us to be the top growing team inside of our firm now for the past three years.
What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Ben Soccodato: In the onset of my career, it was very easy to take a meeting with anybody who would allow me to meet with them. You end up running around, traveling, spending time and resources on people that were really not true potential clients. This is an extremely difficult lesson to learn, because you’re taught that activity is what will allow you to be successful in our industry. The caveat to that is it has to be the right activity. Don’t waste your time with others who will waste your time, and learn how to qualify before you take a meeting.
Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.
Ben Soccodato: Without a doubt for me it’s Zoom technology. The ability to screenshare with our clients has expanded our reach across the country. It gives them the feeling of having a personal one-on-one connection, but doing it from the convenience of their home or office. It gives clients the confidence to know that we are real people, as they can see us and we can see them, as opposed to just a voice over the phone. It has gotten to the point now where the vast majority of my meetings are done via Zoom, and this has created additional efficiencies in our practice, as well as increased the amount of clients we can see in a day.
What is your favorite hobby and why?
Ben Soccodato: Exercising is my favorite hobby. It’s a great release of the mental stress that the day provides, as well as an outlet for myself.
I’ve taken personal enjoyment in teaching my children how to exercise and the importance of it and at an early age getting them started doing so.
What excites you the most about your industry right now?
Ben Soccodato: What excites me most about the financial services industry is the aging advisor population relative to the average age of the advisors on our team.
With the average advisor in the industry over 55, and six out of the seven advisors on our team are under age 40, it presents a tremendous opportunity for business acquisition and succession planning in the future. Clients will need a home, advisors will naturally retire, and there are less and less people coming into our industry, which makes this a tremendous opportunity.
Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Ben Soccodato: Delegation is the habit that I’ve learned over time that has increased productivity the greatest. At first, you have the idea that you need to control the entirety of the client relationship, and therefore you need to handle each small detail. The reality is, if you do that, you will never move on or grow. Having a great team around you that can support your needs and enable you to focus on the most important tasks while still getting other remedial tasks done is the greatest asset that I have in my business.
What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?
Ben Soccodato: Traction has been a book that made a tremendous impact on our business. It has enabled us to identify what our rocks or issues holding us back from growth are and then systematically plan out how we will go about conquering this challenge. This is a must read for anyone in business.
What would you consider to be the perfect day?
Ben Soccodato: Exercising early in the morning, eating right throughout the day, a day filled with client meetings that are productive followed by some family time and maybe even a New York Giant or New York Yankee victory would be a perfect day for me.
What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?
Ben Soccodato: Stay hungry, stay humble, be a lifetime learner and student of your industry and you’ll rise to the top.