For United Capital's newest advisor, it was the tools that closed the deal.

Fargo, N.D.-based planner Paul Jarvis, with $160 million in assets under management, says United Capital offered him an investment platform, a support team and better technology.

“I was trying to offer a deep, goal-based, high-net-worth offering,” Jarvis says. “I thought, ‘I could do better. I needed a team behind me.’ I needed the resources to take to this to the next level.”

These advantages, and a good “cultural fit” with the leadership at United, persuaded him to leave his position as a financial planner and portfolio manager with Bell State Bank & Trust on Nov. 15. He has since opened up a new office in downtown Fargo, with a total of three employees, including himself.

United Capital's offering allows him to save time, letting him focus more directly on cultivating and servicing clients, he says.


Already, Jarvis says, he’s finding that using United Capital’s proprietary exercise, called Honest Conversations, is helping him discuss money and emotions with clients.

The card game-based tool “is trying to get at what your priorities are and how do you order those priorities,” Jarvis says. “I had a gentlemen in recently and I asked, ‘Why isn’t your wife at meetings?’ He said, ‘We have the same priorities.’ I said, ‘What I find is while you might have the same priorities, very often they are not in the same order.’”

The man took a moment to reflect, Jarvis recalls, and said, “You got me there.” He later decided to bring his business to Jarvis’ firm.

Having a simple, engaging tool to deal with the complexity of emotions is a real advantage, the planner says. “I think 70% to 80% of decisions are made with your heart and justified with your brain,” Jarvis says. “Until you understand your emotions and your behavior around money, you will continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.”


Jarvis believes Fargo offers ample opportunity for him to grow his practice.

The city is home to a large Microsoft campus, and the surrounding area is also home to large agricultural firms as well as infrastructure companies supporting the natural gas industry.

“Fargo has been blessed with stable employment and a stable economy,” he says. “We have a lot of thriving entrepreneurs.”

About 5% to 10% of his clients have mineral rights in some form, he says. The majority are pre-retirement or new retirees who have just sold companies they founded.

With the backing of a national firm, Jarvis says, he feels more prepared to serve them. “I’ve seen a general trend where people are really hungry for advice,” he says. “I think people need to have fun with their money. It doesn’t always have to be stressful.”

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