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Financial Advisor Success

The Financial Advisor Success podcast brings you real success stories and insights from the most successful financial advisors, and leading industry consultants, about how to take your advisory business to the next level. Get a glimpse of what it's like behind the scenes building a successful advisory business, and how entrepreneurial advisors navigate the inevitable highs, and lows, of growing a firm. Whether you're a new financial advisor trying to get started on the right foot, or an experienced advisor who's hit a wall, we're here to give you the insights and inspiration you need to break through and reach the level of success you want to achieve. Subscribe to the show, and get even more at the leading industry blog Nerd’s Eye View at www.Kitces.com.
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Aug 9, 2022

Anna N’Jie-Konte is the founder of Dare to Dream Financial Planning, an independent RIA based out of the New York City that has grown to more than $400,000 in annual revenue in only 3 years by having a base of 32 ongoing clients and more than a dozen project-based planning clients who go through her one-day financial planning intensive. Anna has been able to accelerate her firm’s growth by leveraging her reach through appearing on podcasts with sizeable audiences and by developing her own virtual conference that allows her to get in front of the audiences of financial influencers.

Listen in as Anna shares how she used a network of 19 financial influencers to get in front of more than 1,000 highly engaged prospects during her free 5-day virtual conference, and how she vets podcasts to appear on and targets those that have not directly featured financial experts previously. We also discuss why she decided to leave her position at a broker-dealer to launch her own firm and find better work/life balance, what she believes the keys are to creating a successful career path as a financial advisor, and why it’s important to know when to ask for help to avoid serious burnout.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/293

Aug 2, 2022

Matthew Topley is the Founder and CIO of Lansing Street Advisors, an independent RIA based out of Pennsylvania that oversees $160 million in assets under management for 60 client households. Matthew has been able to differentiate his firm by offering high-net-worth clients the opportunity to diversify their investment portfolio by syndicating private real estate partnerships that directly purchase individual multi-unit rental properties.

In this episode, Matthew shares the realization he had that led him to diversify his own investments, as well as how he was introduced to truly passive income. Listen in to learn why he built his firm around financial planning advice (even though his background is in portfolio management), why he outsources much of his back-office services to focus specifically on conversations around financial planning advice and real estate investing opportunities, and how he uses tools and systems to execute on syndication deals on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/292

Jul 26, 2022

Amy Irvine is the owner of Rooted Planning Group, an independent RIA based out of New York that oversees $67 million in assets under management for 175 households. Impressively, Amy has successfully managed the complexities of starting her own RIA focused on Gen X women despite seeing a very rapid expansion from 30 clients to over 100 clients in under 18 months.

Listen in as she shares what made her realize that there was an untapped opportunity to provide financial planning services to career-driven Gen X women, as well as how she gained a generous amount of referrals. We also discuss how Amy managed the rapid growth of her firm, including why she chose to stop taking on any new clients for 3 months and instead hired a coach to prioritize the mental health of her staff over the economic growth of her firm.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/291

Jul 19, 2022

Andrew Komarow is the Founder of Tenpath Financial Group and Planning Across the Spectrum, a hybrid firm based out of Connecticut that oversees $100-million in assets under management for 100 households. Andrew identifies as a financial advisor with autism and has built a firm with a specialized niche of neurodivergent clients, helping them navigate their unique and sometimes complex financial planning challenges.

Listen in as Andrew shares how being diagnosed with autism as an adult gave him the realization that he was uniquely positioned to serve other neurodivergent clients through his firm, why he credits his autism with helping him earn more than 16 financial planning designations despite never graduating high school, and how he created an impact investing index with 79 companies that embrace neurodiversity and inclusion. We also discuss how educational tools on his website and Facebook groups for the special needs community have helped Andrew grow his client base, and why he believes that hiring his first team member before he had the revenue to afford it was the best business decision he ever made.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/290

Jul 12, 2022

Kamila Elliott is the CEO and Founder of Collective Wealth Partners, an independent RIA based out of Atlanta that oversees nearly $25-million in assets under management for 175 client households. Kamila and her partners built a firm comprised entirely of Black CFP professionals that are dedicated to supporting the creation of wealth for BIPOC and underserved communities through a model that charges them for advice only, even if they don’t yet have assets.

Listen in as Kamila shares why she intentionally shifted her career focus to build an independent practice, how working with ultra-high-net-worth clients in her previous role gave her the skills and insight to help her firm’s clients grow and retain wealth, and how she explains the value of a financial advisor to clients who have never had an advisor before. We also discuss how Collective Wealth Partners is structured, including why they chose to serve clients collectively with a team approach, and why they chose to create a firm with equal partnership in every aspect.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/289

Jul 5, 2022

Patrick Kilbane is a Partner and Director of the Divorce Advisory Group for Ullmann Wealth Partners, an independent RIA based in Jacksonville Beach, Florida that oversees $800 million in assets under management for 350 client households. After stepping away from a successful career as a family law attorney, Patrick transitioned into becoming a financial advisor who specializes in divorce with a unique value-add of being able to work collaboratively with his former legal colleagues. In this episode, we talk in-depth about this transition, including how he leverages the professionalism, trust, and connections he built as a lawyer. 

Listen in as Patrick shares how he utilizes his knowledge of the law to offer specialized assistance to divorcing clients so they can better prepare for meetings with their lawyers during divorce proceedings. You will learn when he realized his interest in personal finance, the ways passive income can impact one’s life, and more. 

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/288 

Jun 28, 2022

Jennifer Murray is the owner and founder of Stonebridge Financial Advisors, an independent RIA based out of New Jersey that oversees $100 million of assets under management for 50 families. After experiencing the personal tragedy of losing her husband to cancer, Jennifer built a practice that specializes in recent widows, intentionally working with a limited number of clients to provide a more intimate service. 

Listen in as she shares how losing her husband prompted her to focus on providing financial advice for newly-single women, as well as how she used referrals, seminars, bereavement groups, and local hospital foundations to gain clients in the early years. You'll learn what gave Jennifer the confidence to launch her own RIA, how she handles prospects that she doesn’t have the capacity to serve, and why she sees fulfillment as a financial advisor as being a combination of serving clients well and being valued by them (and paid accordingly).

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/287

Jun 21, 2022

Matt Cosgriff is the Director of Wealth Management for BerganKDV, an independent RIA based out of Minnesota that oversees more than $2 billion in assets for 1,000 households. Matt has a unique career path, having leveraged the launch of a specialized division within BerganKDV and creating a path toward leadership of the entire RIA.

Listen in as we talk about how he got the opportunity to operate as an intrapreneur within the firm and developed a separate brand that catered to next-generation clients, as well as how his role as an intrapreneur also led to him having to ‘side hustle’ in a new retirement plan practice to justify his salary. You’ll learn how he shifted from a career focus to a leadership path, the challenges he faced when he became the Director of Wealth Management at the age of 29, and the keys to a successful career in the financial planning industry.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/286

Jun 14, 2022

Ryan Townsley is the founder of Town Capital, an independent RIA based in Bel Air, Maryland, that oversees nearly $50 million in AUM for 65 client households. After spending the first 15 years of his career as a nuclear power plant supervisor, Ryan then transitioned to become a financial advisor that quickly grew to nearly $50M of AUM in under 4 years by developing a high-touch service back to those in the nuclear power industry. In this episode, he shares what inspired him to build the only financial planning firm in the country dedicated to nuclear power professionals and how he ultimately grew his client base to the successful size it is now. 
 
Listen in as Ryan explains his tireless work to develop his financial planning process that reflects nuclear power plant procedures and engineering workflows, as well as why he chooses to meet with potential clients over a several-month period before onboarding. You will learn how joining a large financial services firm helped him quickly understand that he enjoyed financial planning more than the sales and investments sides of the industry, why he was surprised at how few referrals he received when first launching his firm, and what motivated him to keep pushing forward until the new client momentum began to build. 

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/285 

Jun 7, 2022

Andy Schwartz is a partner at Bleakley Financial Group, a hybrid advisory firm based out of New Jersey that nearly tripled in size to over $9-billion in assets after breaking away from a major insurance company. Andy and his partners have built their firm into a platform that allows advisors the opportunity to leverage centralized large firm support services while maintaining the freedom and flexibility to run their own investment book of business.

Listen in as Andy shares how he and his partners have structured their firm as a cooperative with advisors sharing resources and services, and provide advisors with the space, capacity, and flexibility to grow and scale their own practices. We also discuss why they choose to reinvest money generated by the firm back into the business to provide more services that advisors can then leverage, why Andy walked away from a 30-year career with a large insurance broker dealer and a $3-billion practice to start his own firm, and why he believes that the combination of building credibility and having financial resources are the keys to truly make an impact as a financial advisor.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/284

May 31, 2022

Seth Streeter is the Founder and CIO of Mission Wealth, an independent RIA based out of Santa Barbara that oversees nearly $5-billion in AUM for over 2,000 client households. Seth has uniquely grown Mission Wealth through mergers and acquisitions, essentially hiring by acquisition as a means of acquiring the talent needed to scale the firm.

Listen in as Seth shares how he uses a “Mergers and Integrations” approach to acquire top talent and how he leverages Diamond Teams, dedicated departments, internal succession plans, and partnership equity opportunities to attract entrepreneurial talent into employee roles. We also discuss how the firm uses an 11-dimension happiness framework to guide more holistic wealth discussions with clients, why they segmented their clients into four tiers and vary the services offered to each, and why Seth believes that forming referral partnerships is the key for advisors to scale their firm.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/283

May 24, 2022

Allison Felix is a managing partner and COO for Cassaday & Company, a hybrid advisory firm based in McLean, Virginia that oversees more than $4 billion in assets for nearly 2,500 client households. Allison has a unique story in that she has made the journey from executive assistant all the way to COO, helping the firm scale to 3X its size over the past decade alone. Today she joins the show to discuss the restructuring of the firm that ultimately pushed Allison to be chosen as the COO and the events leading up to this switch in the firm’s succession plan. 
 
Listen in as Allison shares how Cassaday & Company developed its unique compensation structure, as well as how her firm has propelled its growth with weekly seminars that were honed by hiring coaches to give constructive criticism. You will learn why her firm has been expanding its service offerings, why she believes it’s important for future generations (especially young women) to understand the wealth of opportunities in financial planning, and why she feels that stepping into the role of COO was pivotal to create representation for women at her firm and in the financial industry.  

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/282   

May 17, 2022

Duncan Kelm is a managing partner for Arrow Point Wealth Management, a hybrid advisory firm based in Santa Rosa, California that oversees $163 million in assets under management for 142 client households. Today Duncan joins the show to discuss how he leverages owning and operating his own tax firm, in addition to his advisory firm, to offer more integrated tax planning and wealth management services to his small business owner clientele. 

Listen in as he shares how he leveraged his tax expertise and years as a business consultant to build his own tax firm to offer full suite tax and financial planning to his clients, as well as how he created what he calls “character insurance” with his clients to help them define who they are and document their ethos for future generations. You will learn how Duncan struggled to accept becoming his father's successor, what mental toughness means to him, and why he chooses to no longer be outcome-focused. 

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/281  

May 10, 2022

Brian Carney is the co-founder of RiversEdge Advisors, an independent RIA based out of Delaware that oversees over $400 million in assets under management for 300 client households. Brian’s firm doubled in only 18 months, causing burnout, staff turnover, and the need to completely re-build their infrastructure to be able to sustainably scale to the next level, and he joins the podcast today to talk about how he was able to get the firm back on track to success.

Listen in as Brian shares how his firm’s massive growth actually turned out to be a nightmare in disguise, as well as how he was able to turn things around. You’ll learn how they have made operations a key focus of the firm and the lessons that Brian learned that will allow him to scale his firm to the next level in a sustainable and healthy way.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/280

May 3, 2022

Erika Karp is the Chief Impact Officer at Pathstone, an independent RIA based out of New Jersey that oversees $35 billion in assets under management for a few hundred ultra-high-net-worth client households. Erika has uniquely incorporated sustainable investing into her firm by utilizing an internal ESG analysis that aligns her clients’ sizeable capital with their own values.

Listen in as she shares what inspired her to start her own firm, as well as how she put up her own capital to launch and reached $25 million in AUM within 90 days to receive SEC approval. You'll learn how she overcame the struggle of wanting to be known as a trusted advisor while also having to get comfortable selling herself and her services, why she believes that it is most important for advisors to focus on work that brings them joy, and more.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/279

Apr 26, 2022

Derek Gregoire is a co-owner of SHP Financial, an independent RIA based in Plymouth, Massachusetts that oversees nearly $1.2 billion of total assets for over 1,200 clients. Derek and his firm have centralized the execution of multiple marketing strategies to increase the amount of prospective client leads the firm provides to its advisors, so they in turn can concentrate more on developing client relationships, rather than chasing prospects. Today Derek joins the show to discuss how his firm has built a combination of radio programming, short interview-style television ads, seminars, and digital marketing to bring in prospects. 

Listen in as we talk in-depth about the simplified three-meeting sales process his firm developed that aims to avoid overwhelming prospects with choices and how his decision to centralize marketing has ultimately freed up the budget to maintain a larger service staff to ensure a more personal experience for his clients. You will learn the hard lesson Derek and his partners learned after almost reaching burnout and how he got his firm back on track for long-term growth. 

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/278 

Apr 19, 2022

Lauren Oschman is the CEO of Vestia Personal Wealth Advisors, an independent RIA based out of Nashville that oversees $600 million in assets for nearly 500 households. Lauren has epitomized what it means to niche down by not only serving a unique niche of physicians, but also serving niches within their client base and providing hyper-specialized services that allow them to truly differentiate.

Listen in as Lauren shares how her firm has developed niches within their client base to better serve them, including advising on salary contract negotiations, mortgages, and disability insurance for variable incomes. You'll learn how the adversity Lauren faced in her career has shaped how she has built her firm to make a bigger impact, as well as why she believes that learning to communicate and cultivate human connections with clients is just as important as learning how to build a financial plan.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/277

Apr 12, 2022

John Hagensen is the founder of Keystone Wealth Partners, an independent RIA based out of Arizona and North Dakota that oversees $650 million of assets under management for 1000 households. John is one of the first non-lawyer financial advisors in the nation who built, owns, and operates a law firm which he then leverages with his own tax firm to create an entirely one-stop shop for affluent clients.

Listen in as John shares how he grew his firm to nearly 1,000 clients in a decade by leveraging his one-stop shop approach to gain more referrals from his affluent clients, as well as how he uses what some would consider “old school” marketing techniques to grow his reach and authority. We also talk about the mindset shift that happened as John’s firm scaled, why he firmly believes that the key to happiness and success is helping to uplift those around us, and how a trip to Ethiopia changed his perspective on his purpose in life and the impact his money can have.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/276

Apr 5, 2022

Michael Chasnoff is the founder and CEO of Truepoint Wealth Counsel, an independent fee-only RIA based out of Cincinnati that oversees $4.5 billion in assets under management for 750 households. Michael has grown his firm completely organically by focusing on working with business owners and executives—and scaling his team by offering a distributed ownership structure with a broad equity participation plan.

Listen in as we explore the unique structure that he has built his firm around, becoming a one-stop shop for clients offering both financial planning and in-house tax and estate planning advice. You'll learn how he sells off his own founder shares to select team members to buy into company equity, as well as how he grew his firm entirely organically by focusing on working with business owners and executives with an average of $6 million in AUM, leveraging his expertise, establishing relationships with centers of influence, and becoming an active participant in industry organizations.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/275

Mar 29, 2022

Maria King is the President and Co-Founder of Transcend Practice Management, a practice management coaching and consulting firm based in Concord, Massachusetts. Maria helps advisors with hiring and compensation plans for next-generation advisors, and goes one step further by creating legacy plans to outline an arrangement for succession. In this episode, she joins the show to discuss how she helps advisors focus on their firm's values—including business, culture, and client experience—to ensure that they choose a well-aligned successor.  
 
Listen in as we talk in-depth about how Maria utilizes the four pillars of consulting, coaching, human resources, and internal firm growth to create bespoke legacy plans for her clients. You'll learn how she helps advisors understand why it’s important to recognize that their business succession decisions have a ripple effect that impacts family, staff, colleagues, and (of course) clients. 

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/274 

Mar 22, 2022

Penny Phillips is the President and Co-Founder of Journey Strategic Wealth, an independent RIA platform for advisors to outsource their back-office compliance and operations management. Through the firms they work with, Journey Strategic Wealth oversees $3 billion in assets and offers their advisors the ability to lean into already-built processes so they can scale their own time and productivity in order to focus on the client work they enjoy.

Listen in as Penny shares her journey through the advisor industry, from coaching advisors who were transitioning from insurance to financial advice, to launching her advisor platform in the middle of a pandemic. We also discuss the challenges that firms face building structures and centralizing operations (even with all the technology advancements in the industry), how Journey Strategic Wealth gives advisors the flexibility to choose how much plug-and-play support they need, and why making unpopular decisions often comes with the territory when leading a growing business.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/273

Mar 15, 2022

Kate Guillen is the founder of Simplicity Operations Management, a consulting firm based out of San Diego that specializes in helping advisory firms get the most out of their Customer Relationship Management systems and streamline their internal operations. Kate uses the advisors' CRM system as the central hub for the entire business and builds out workflows from the CRM to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Listen in as she explains how realizing that most firms are underutilizing their CRM systems inspired her to launch Simplicity Operations, what it was like launching at the beginning of the pandemic, and how she soon realized that her consulting services were needed now more than ever as firms went remote. Kate also shares why she sees the CRM system as the hub around which advisory firms should be built, the key to building solid workflows from that hub, and how firms can streamline their operations significantly by systematizing key repeatable steps of their business.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/272

Mar 8, 2022

Cady North is the founder of North Financial Advisors, a boutique fee-only financial planning firm that focuses on serving female business owners. Based out of San Diego and Washington, North Financial oversees more than $24-million in assets for 30 households, and purposefully maintains a limited number of clients to create high income without the risk of burnout.

Listen in as Cady shares why she built a firm around helping a younger clientele of female entrepreneurs, how she helps them balance their money goals and use their capital in the best way possible, and why she intentionally downsized to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to her clients. We also discuss how she has been able to maintain a solo advisor practice by systematizing and automating processes, why she took a 6-month sabbatical to examine what was truly important for her, and why she let go of the to-do lists to focus on feeling fulfilled both mentally and financially.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/271

Mar 1, 2022

Kyra Morris is the founder of Morris Financial Concepts, one of the oldest independent fee-only RIAs in the country. Based out of Charleston, South Carolina, Morris Financial oversees $350 million of assets under management for 250 clients—a size that Kyra has taken care to scale to by focusing on finding and retaining top talent, as well as letting go of hires who don’t meet the firm’s high standards.

Listen in as Kyra shares how she balances her firm’s growth trajectory carefully by growing fast enough to allow for her team to have new opportunities, but not so quickly that she can’t find and hire the necessary talent. We also discuss how she retains top talent once she finds them, how she manages stress and finds work-life balance as a busy entrepreneur, and why she gives back to her community by creating mixed-use development that enables minority-run local businesses to flourish.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/270

Feb 22, 2022

Michael Hartman is the founder of Hyperion Financial, an independent RIA based out of Pennsylvania that oversees nearly $60 million in assets under management for 75 households. What's unique about Michael is the way he fast-tracked his fee-only RIA through the acquisition of a commission-based book of clients that he then converted to fee-only.

Listen in as he shares how he got started in the financial planning industry after being in the insurance world, as well as the realization he had that led him to become an independent firm owner to serve clients the way he wanted to and achieve his own personal business aspirations. You'll hear about the challenges Michael went through while transitioning his insurance firm to financial planning, why sometimes you have to take a leap of faith to truly make your business what you know it can be, and more.

For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/269

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