While Smith has operated his own boutique financial planning business, JL Smith Group in Avon, for going on 25 years now, Clarity 2 Prosperity became the first company in the C2P empire when it was launched in 2011.
At the time, Smith said, he saw an opportunity to multiply the impact of his holistic financial planning model by teaching other independent advisers the process.
“It’s about tying together the financial, the tax, the insurance, the legal, even things like decisions on health care, Social Security optimization and Medicare,” Smith said. “It all gets very overwhelming and complex and confusing for most people, and we wanted to simplify it, and we wanted to teach other advisers how to show their clients how it can be simplified.”
The RIA, Prosperity Capital Advisors, formed soon after so the business could manage money for its growing network of affiliated advisers. Then came the IMO, C2P Advisory Group, to provide insurance back-office support.
Today, more than 600 advisers across the country access some aspect of C2P’s services. Many are sole practitioners who may have one assistant, Smith said, but C2P also have client practices with six or seven advisers and support staff.
Some clients “just pay a fee” to license C2P’s intellectual property and utilize its products and processes, because they have “their own RIA and own back-office insurance solution,” he said.
Most, however, do use its IMO.
“Financial intuitions typically will allow advisers to work with different insurance back-office providers, and that is what Clarity Insurance Marketing is,” Smith said.
Smith expects C2P Enterprises, which includes a fourth company called Valor Capital Management, to hit roughly $20 million in revenue this year, up from about $5 million just four years ago. It employs 50 people, many of whom work out of the Westlake headquarters.
Smith also penned a book about his money management strategy, “The Bucket Plan,” which was released in 2017 and is another important part of his mission “to simply financial planning for a billion people worldwide,” he said.
“We set out to flip the traditional financial services model by putting the end-client first,” Smith said. “And that is still why we are doing what we are doing today.”