Julia Carlson is the founder and CEO of Financial Freedom Wealth Management Group, a hybrid RIA that oversees nearly $300 million in AUM for almost 1,000 client households. Today she joins the show to discuss how her daughter’s tragic car accident led her to look for a more flexible work schedule, which ultimately led her to becoming the business owner of the firm.
Listen in as we talk about Julia’s journey through her advisory career and how she got her foot in the door through speaking with small local business owners. You will learn how to stay in charge without being in control, why Julia decided to let go of client relationships, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/164
Michael Gennaway is a financial advisor and program manager for SoCal Wealth Management, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees $260 million of assets under management for over 1,800 clients. Today Michael joins the show to discuss how he has built SoCal under the Credit Union of Southern California, getting constant new clients from them with the caveat that SoCal must take every new client referral.
Listen in as we talk about the unique ways that the credit union is complementary to SoCal Wealth Management, as well as how they are managing to acquire three new clients every week. You’ll learn how they screen their clients to ensure they are the best fit for their firm, how to find the right Credit Union for you, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/163
Tim Bickmore is the co-founder and director of financial planning for LBW Wealth Management, an independent RIA that oversees more than $50 million in assets under management for 230 client households. Today Tim joins the show to discuss how the firm grew so quickly and why they are concerned that what helped grow their firm initially may not work for future growth.
Listen in as we discuss the evolution of Tim’s advisory firm, including why they shifted to a blended model with a base monthly subscription fee and how they are ensuring profitability for new clients. You will learn LBW’s financial planning process for younger clients, the increasingly cash-flow based approach they have taken, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/162
Tessa Felix is the HR and Operations Lead for PWL Capital, an advisory firm that oversees nearly $3.6 billion in assets under management. Tessa has focused on developing the culture of her advisory firm and has put systems in place to make everyone accountable for their work, while still making it a fun environment. Today she joins the show to discuss how she is making her firm an enjoyable place to work in, as well as the leadership system she has incorporated into her management approach.
Listen in as we talk about the weekly team meetings, internal podcast, and monthly one-on-ones Tessa uses to maintain the culture of the firm. She shares how she transitioned from being a peer of her co-workers to their manager and how she came to be the culture lead for her firm. If you’re ready to cultivate a growth mindset within your own business, this is the episode for you!
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/161
Gabriel Shahin is the founder of Falcon Wealth, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $200 million in assets under management for 370 clients. Today Gabriel joins the show to share how he has built such a successful firm from scratch in just five years by spending a significant amount on marketing.
In this episode, we discuss how he allocates his proactive marketing dollars from outsourced SEO experts to Google ads, as well as a weekly radio show. You’ll learn how Gabriel handles the sales process, why he decided to hire a stand-alone business development associate, and what it takes to rapidly grow your firm.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/160
Kelly Shikany is a financial advisor and Director of Wealth Management for Lakeside Wealth, a hybrid RIA where she manages a base of nearly $90 million in client assets. Deciding to not hang her hat as a solo advisor, Kelly instead navigates existing advisory firms so she can focus more on her clients. She joins the show to discuss her career path and how she has worked her way to the successful position she is in today.
In this episode, we talk about how Kelly grew her client base in her younger years by conducting “women’s circles” so she could establish relationships in her small-town community. Listen in to learn how she differentiated herself from other advisors in the area, how she structures her week to maximize personal productivity, and what helped her overcome feelings of failure so they wouldn’t hold her back.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/159
Steph Bruno is the founder of Sea to Peak Financial Advisors, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $70 million in assets under management for 45 affluent clients. Today Steph joins the show to discuss the process of branching out and starting her own independent firm after spending 15 years as an employee for another firm.
Listen in as she explains why she decided to take the leap from a stable paycheck to building her own business from scratch, as well as how she rebooted her marketing in the process. You’ll learn what made her decide to hire a personal coach to help her work through the difficult first few years of running her own business, how she integrates life planning conversations into her planning process, and what she’s choosing to focus on now that she is running her own firm.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/158
Peter Lazaroff is a shareholder and the Co-Chief Investment Officer of Plancorp, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $4.4 billion of assets under management for 1,300 affluent clients. Today he joins the show to discuss how he has been able to build his own personal brand, both as a mechanism to grow his client base and to help him navigate career opportunities.
Listen in as Peter describes the way he has “niched down” by creating content for his target audience through a blog, emails, and a book. You’ll learn why he encourages his team to create personal brands, the importance of staying focused on the clients you want to reach, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/157
DeLynn Zell is the founder and CEO of Bridgeworth Financial, a hybrid RIA that oversees nearly $1.6 billion of assets under management for almost 2,000 clients. Today DeLynn joins the show to discuss how Bridgeworth was built from the start to sustain past the founders and how they have taken steps to attract next-generation talent to ensure the firm remains a success in the long run.
Listen in as we talk about the difficulties DeLynn faced in the early years of her career, as well as how the gender split of CFP professionals may shift in the future. You’ll learn the four-tier career path her firm has created, how they structure their compensation for partners, and why they are reinvesting into business development and training for next-generation partners.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/156
Derek Notman is the founder of Intrepid Wealth Partners, operating as an agent for New York Life and overseeing nearly $50 million in assets under management for almost 200 clients. Today Derek joins the show to share how he evolved his advisory firm from a high-volume, bricks-and-mortar office into an entirely virtual practice.
Listen in as he shares how he built up his virtual practice and team, as well as how he has been able to grow his business and income. You’ll learn what made him decide to transfer 80% of his clients to other advisors, why he has chosen to create a narrower niche focus, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/155
Mary Beth Storjohann is the Chief Marketing Officer for Abacus Wealth Partners, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $2.6 billion in assets under management for almost 1,700 clients. After joining us for episode 61 nearly two years ago, today she is back for a second time to discuss the major changes she has made since then.
Listen in as we discuss why Mary Beth decided to sell her own firm to take on a marketing leadership role in an even larger firm, as well as what this new role entails. You’ll learn how Mary Beth determined avatars for the firm's marketing, how she allocates her marketing budget, and what she believes every firm can do to better their marketing.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/154
Dan Allison is the founder of Feedback Marketing Group, a marketing and sales consulting firm that helps financial advisors to increase their growth by teaching methods to generate referrals from existing clients. Today Dan joins the show to discuss how he uses his background in behavioral psychology to help his clients to find more referrals by reducing their mental barriers, allowing them to be more open to the possibility of new clients.
Listen in as Dan shares the five key points that he focuses on when helping generate more referrals, including being educated on the services your firm provides. You’ll learn the importance of showing that you actually care about your clients, what your introduction strategy should be, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/153
Beverly Flaxington is the founder of The Collaborative, which provides sales training and organizational development support for financial service firms. A firm believer that it’s not just about knowing what to do, it’s about knowing how to change your behavior to actually do it, Beverly joins the show to share the human behavioral coaching approach she takes to teach sales and how to get more comfortable selling your services.
In this episode, we discuss how to determine if a prospect is a qualifying client, as well as the right questions to ask a client to get to know them better. Listen in to hear Beverly’s advice on how to conduct a meeting with a client, the importance of getting specific about who you serve, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/152
Luna Jaffe is the founder of Lunaria Financial, an advisory firm that oversees nearly $55 million in assets under management for 100 client households. In an effort to make financial knowledge affordable, Luna launched the Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity Pie Shoppe, a literal pie shop across the street from her advisory firm office that offers low-cost financial education programs on budgeting.
In this episode, we discuss the budgeting philosophy her business teaches, as well as the real-world challenges that come with opening up a retail store with employees. Listen in to hear what Luna has learned while trying to expand the reach of financial education through a retail store, how she helps clients implement necessary changes, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/151
Tanya Nichols is the founder of Align Financial, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees nearly $50 million of assets for 80 client households. After nearly 20 years of working in a larger firm environment, Tanya finally found the courage to start her own advisory firm and took the leap to create the business she wanted.
In this episode, she shares her journey through the advisor industry, focusing on the moment of realization that led her to not only leave her firm, but leave her husband as well. Listen in as she explains how a sense of community has helped her along the way, how she plans to double her revenue, and what she says was the biggest surprise of her advisory career.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/150
Susan John is the managing director and financial advisor for F.L. Putnam, an independent RIA that manages nearly $2 billion of assets under management. After 25 years of building her own independent financial planning firm from scratch, Susan decided to join F.L. Putnam for part of her succession—but not her retirement. Today she joins the show to discuss why she made that transition and how she has developed her financial planning process over the past three decades.
Listen in as Susan explains her process and why she charges a full upfront fee to do financial planning “snapshots” for every client before even taking them on as an ongoing client. You’ll learn what she does for retired clients, how she expanded ownership of her firm, and how she grew her financial advisory firm to $350 million.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/149
Laura LaTourette is the founder of Family Wealth Management Group, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees $45 million of assets under management for 86 client households. Today Laura joins the show to share how she has built her firm to work primarily with the LGBTQ community and how she found the right time to come out to her broker-dealer.
Listen in as we discuss her financial planning process, which includes four planning meetings with every new client. You’ll learn how she refined her website and her data gathering form to speak to her niche, why she recently hired a CEO for her firm, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/148
Jeff Dobyns is the founder of Southwestern Investment Group, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees nearly $3.5 billion of assets under management. Today Jeff joins the show to discuss how he has developed next generation talent in his firm by only hiring new advisors in their 20s and giving them the opportunity to learn alongside experienced advisors.
In this episode, you’ll hear about the mentoring program Jeff’s firm has built, as well as how the firm compensates these new advisors as they are learning. Listen in to discover why Jeff prefers not to hire experienced advisors, what tasks his firm ends up giving to the new advisors, and the marketing technique his team uses to grow their business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/147
Ross Levin is the co-founder and CEO of Accredited Investors Wealth Management, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $2 billion of assets under management for 475 affluent clients. Today Ross joins the show to discuss the way he systematized the financial planning process across his firm and developed a wealth management index system that tracks clients' progress.
Listen in as he shares how he balances delving into the technical topics of financial planning versus trying to ask clients the right questions to explore the client's side of those issues. You’ll learn why it’s so important to have a systematized process, what Ross says is the most important thing when building a firm, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/146
Roger Pine is the co-founder of Holistiplan, a tax planning software built to systematize and automate the process of reviewing a client's tax return to find potential planning opportunities. Today he joins the show to discuss how he transitioned from working as a financial advisor to becoming a financial tech entrepreneur.
Listen in as we talk about Roger’s software and the ever blurring lines between where a CPA’s tax services end and an advisor’s begin. You'll hear what it is like to be a financial tech entrepreneur, as well as advice for financial advisors who see an opportunity to develop a tech solution.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/145
Tom Bradley is the former president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, one of the leading RIA custodial platforms serving nearly 7,000 independent RIAs with almost $600 billion of assets held in custody. For over 25 years, Tom was a part of the growth of financial advisors operating as independent RIAs on a custodial platform. Today he joins the show to discuss the evolution of the RIA custody model and how technology has affected the business.
Listen in as we talk in depth about how TD Ameritrade uses the Veo open-access platform, as well as the surprising ways that RIA custodians generate their revenue from advisors and their clients. You’ll hear Tom’s views on why the RIA custodial options for how cash is invested has become such a hot topic and his predictions for the future of the RIA custodial business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/144
Cathy Curtis is the founder of Curtis Financial Planning, a solo independent RIA that oversees nearly $60 million in assets under management for 52 client households. By positioning her business into a niche of serving women—in particular, single, independent-minded women who want to work with a female advisor—Cathy has managed to stand out in an over-crowded marketplace to build her firm.
Listen in as we discuss why Cathy chose her particular niche, as well as how she has been able to target her marketing so effectively that most of her new clients find her through a simple Google search. You’ll learn all about her financial planning process, why she has had to implement a minimum requirement fee, and how she managed to overcome impostor syndrome on her road to success.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/143
Matt Oechsli is the founder and CEO of Oechsli Institute, which does primary research into affluent investors and how they select advisors. A marketing and sales consultant for financial advisors, Matt joins the show to share how you can connect with more affluent clients simply by building better relationships with them.
Listen in as we discuss the importance of paying attention to details—like the names of clients’ children and pets—during the relationship-building process, as well as what good client communication is all about. Matt shares what it takes to build trust, an effective practice for getting more referrals, and his advice for new advisors starting out in the business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/142
Kristen Luke is the founder of Kaleido Creative Studio, a marketing consulting firm that specializes in multi-advisor fee-only RIAs with $100 million to $1 billion in assets under management. Today she joins the show to discuss the wheel of advisor marketing activity she has created, as well as its six core areas and what it takes to improve in each of them.
Listen in as Kristen explains the importance of recognizing the triggering events that brought your clients in and why defining an ideal client profile really is essential to differentiate and build a successful marketing funnel. You’ll learn the starting steps to online marketing, why podcasts are replacing webinars and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/141
Adam Cmejla is the founder of Integrated Planning and Wealth Management, an independent RIA that oversees approximately $45 million in assets under advisement for nearly 100 clients. Over the past two years, Adam’s practice has undergone an incredible transformation, increasing their financial planning fees and growing revenue by nearly 80%.
In this episode, Adam shares how his marketing process has evolved, as well as what made him decide to narrow down his focus and serve only optometrists. Listen in to discover how a shift in his mindset has helped his firm to grow phenomenally—while also allowing him to spend more time with his family—the steps he took to raise his fees for existing clients while bringing in new ideal clients, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/140