Tom Gau is a financial advisor at Materetsky Financial Group, a hybrid RIA based out of Florida that manages $525 million in AUM for just over 500 clients. Tom is a pro at translating abstract financial planning strategies into very concrete and practical terms that he can then communicate to his niche retiree clientele, addressing their very specific tax and estate planning needs.
Listen in as Tom shares how he ended up being profiled in Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, what he believes are the three keys to building a successful and thriving advisory firm, and why he decided to use his business development success to launch a coaching program for financial advisors. We also discuss how offering advanced planning services that go above and beyond investment advice—such as tax and estate planning—can be a powerful differentiator for an advisor in a saturated market.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/240
Ryan Frailich is the founder of Deliberate Finances, an RIA based out of New Orleans that services young professionals through a monthly subscription fee model. Ryan has intentionally built his advisory business to help people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s navigate the inevitable financial complexities of life, regardless of whether they have assets that need managing.
In this episode, we discuss the reasons why Ryan has decided to niche down to serve clients who may not have liquid assets to manage, and why he believes that this part of the journey is actually more financially complex than later stages. Ryan also shares how he has created a work-life balance through the use of surge meetings, how his background as a teacher has allowed him to create business goals that maximize his financial and family well-being, and the reasons why he has decided to remain a solo advisor.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/239
Margaret Dechant is the CEO of 6 Meridian, a hybrid-RIA based out of Kansas that has $3-billion in assets under advisement and serves 700 clients. In 2016, Margaret and her partners broke away from a lucrative practice at Morgan Stanley to go independent, and did so by building a new firm entirely from scratch.
Listen in as Margaret shares what led to her decision to break away from Morgan Stanley and why she and her partners decided to build a new firm from the ground up instead of leveraging a plug-and-play service platform provider. We also discuss how 6 Meridian is generating leads for larger and more complex clients by nurturing deeper relationships with existing referral sources, and how they are building a multi-generational firm by recruiting and developing younger advisors.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/238
Brittany Anderson is the President and a Partner at Sweet Financial, a hybrid RIA based out of rural Minnesota that manages $860 million in AUM for 1,100 families. Brittany joined Sweet Financial right out of college, ultimately working her way up the firm’s ladder from sales associate to COO to President and one of its owners.
Listen in as we discuss how Sweet Financial has steadily built close to $1 billion in AUM—despite being in a rural area with a population of only 10,000 people. You’ll learn how Brittany has been able to recruit talent by focusing on cultural fit above and beyond skillset, as well as why there has never been a better time for women to join the financial services industry.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/237
Shauna Mace is the Founder of Inspire Growth, a sales consulting firm that helps financial advisors establish and refine their business development and sales process. Her focus is on helping advisors achieve real growth results through systematically converting leads into clients, all without coming off as too “salesy.”
Listen in as we discuss how Shauna teaches advisors to create relevance for prospects by actively listening to their responses to open-ended questions and simultaneously uncovering their needs while also demonstrating what working with them would look like. We also talk about the systematization of the sales process that Shauna uses with advisors and the key performance indicators that can tell you whether your marketing efforts are actually paying off.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/236
Georgia Lee Hussey is the Founder and CEO of Modernist Financial, a boutique RIA based out of Portland that offers deep financial planning for affluent households with a $17,500 minimum fee to get started. Georgia is passionate about aligning her own personal values with the values of her advisory firm and her clients, and creating a positive impact for her community and the financial services industry at large.
Listen in as Georgia shares how she pivoted from artist to financial planner, and how her experience as an artist and running events in the artistic community served her well as a new planner generating new business. We also discuss why conscious capitalism and profit are not mutually exclusive, how Georgia helps clients get clear on their goals and then align their financial decisions around those goals, and how she uses political discussions in client meetings to help clients understand how their financial decisions affect the world around them.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/235
Yohance Harrison is the founder of Money Script Wealth Management, an RIA based out of Texas that offers ongoing financial planning services to 225 young healthcare professionals. Yohance uses a unique model of monthly subscription fees and charging for subsequent implementation, and his zone of genius is helping his clients identify and change their personal money scripts to better align their financial decisions with their goals.
Listen in as Yohance shares how he has tapped into the power of referrals to build his client base and dives into why he uses a mix of client tiers to profitably serve clients while also meeting their unique needs. He also talks about how he helps clients identify and change their personal money scripts so they can better reach their financial goals, and what he sees as lacking in the financial planning industry when it comes to attracting diverse talent.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/234
Patty Kreamer is the co-owner of Productivity Uncorked, a productivity coaching firm that specializes in helping financial advisors become more organized and efficient so that they have more time to focus on what is really important in their personal and professional lives. At the heart of their methodology is a focus on prioritizing the things that get us out of bed in the morning, rather than implementing technology tools meant to increase productivity on the front end.
Listen in as we discuss the practical things that you can use today to increase your productivity and focus, the importance of having clear boundaries with clients, and how delegating can be a game-changer for busy advisors. Patty also shares the number one key to scaling your business, which surprisingly has more to do with mindset and self-confidence than it does with being productive and efficient in the business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/233
Jamie Bosse is a financial planner with Aspyre Wealth Partners, an RIA based in Kansas that oversees nearly $500-million in assets for 275 families. Jamie is also the Money Boss Mom, having been able to balance her responsibilities within the firm while also writing a series of children’s books on personal finance, and a soon-to-be-published adult book for new parents.
Listen in as Jamie shares the learning process in her journey to publishing books with Amazon, including how much it costs to self-publish, what the revenue split is with Amazon, and what the major differences are between self-publishing and traditional publishing. We also talk about planner fees, how Aspyre Wealth Partners has implemented a subscription business model, and some of the technology they use to make planning and client meetings more efficient.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/232
Michael Goodman is the Founder and President of Wealthstream Advisors, a family RIA based out of Manhattan that manages over $1-billion in assets for 350 client families. Michael first started his career as a CPA before transitioning to financial planning and building a firm that will outlast his retirement.
Listen in as Michael shares his unique journey from CPA to financial planner, eventually building his own firm that allows him to do what he loves best: serving clients. We also discuss how his personality and optimism were instrumental in helping him stay the course during the hard times, why working with a consultant was the catalyst that led him to where he is today, and the biggest change he had to make when taking a risk to change focus and scale.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/231
Dan Moisand is the Principal of Moisand Fitzgerald Tamayo, a fee-only RIA based out of Melbourne, Florida, that manages over $800-million in assets for 650 clients. Dan is a pro at communicating the value of financial planning to clients in a clear and compelling way, and is a perfect example of how focusing on planning issues with clients emphasizes the role as financial planner, regardless of how advisory fees are structured.
Listen in as Dan shares his thoughts on the AUM model, advisor fees, and why many of the concerns among advisors for both are overblown or erroneous. We also discuss how the financial planning industry has changed over the 30 years of Dan’s career, and why the one thing that has not changed is still the most important part of the client relationship.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/230
Alexandra Armstrong is the founder and chairwoman emeritus of Armstrong Fleming & Moore, a hybrid RIA based out of Washington, DC. Alex has a long and experienced 40-year career in the financial services industry, having first launched her firm in 1983 and subsequently selling it to four different successors.
Alexandra is a true pioneer of the industry and brings a wealth of wisdom that she shares with us, including what set her apart in the early days of her career, what it was like being female in a primarily male-dominated industry, and what the real secret of her success was. She also discusses what the industry was like when she first earned her CFP marks in 1977, and explains why she believes that financial planning is an ideal career for women.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/229
Jeremy Keil is the founder of Keil Financial Partners, a hybrid RIA from Milwaukee that manages $85-million for 170 clients. Jeremy has leveraged two lead generation services to grow his firm by twice its size in only two years, and also outsources his lead follow-up so he only spends time meeting with the most qualified prospects.
Listen in as Jeremy shares why he chose to use an external lead generation and follow-up service, how this strategy has helped him scale faster, and how he has compounded the benefits of purchasing leads by nurturing those leads with high-value digital marketing content. We also discuss how he has increased his firm’s growth trajectory by focusing on meeting the unique planning challenges of Harley-Davidson employees, and he gives us insight into what he feels is his most valuable client deliverable.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/228
Leighann Miko is the founder of Equalis Financial, a fully virtual advisory firm that offers ongoing planning services for 45 creatives within the LGBTQ community. Leighann has been able to realize financial freedom in her own life by serving a unique community that she is also a part of and that often face financial insecurity.
In this episode, Leighann shares her story about how her family’s money insecurities growing up led her to a career path in financial planning and how a failed succession plan was the catalyst for her starting her own firm to serve the LGBTQ community. She also discusses the benefits of being part of the community that you serve, why she hired a copywriter to convey her value to prospective clients, and how she adapted Kinder’s three famous questions for the LGBTQ community.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/227
Paul Saganey is the President and Founder of Integrated Partners, a hybrid RIA based out of Waltham, MA, that manages over $10 billion for 18,000 affluent clients. Paul has managed to generate hyper growth for his firm through strategic alliances with accountants who act as a resource for CPA firms to build out their financial services divisions.
In this episode, Paul details how he built his advisory firm through a robust referral program with CPAs, including the terms of engagement and how they structured client interactions. He also shares why he made the decision to partner with CPAs in particular, and how that partnership has helped him scale and grow to manage fewer clients who are more affluent.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/226
Matt Gulbransen is the President of Pine Grove Financial Group, an RIA based in Minnesota that manages over $550 million for 325 families. Despite the widely held belief that direct mail and educational seminars no longer work, Matt has continued to see positive marketing results from both over the past decade.
In this episode, Matt shares how he uses in-person seminar events geared toward educating people about financial planning and then convincing them to work with him to navigate the many life transitions on the way to retirement. We also talk about how Pine Grove has pivoted from in-person seminars to webinars due to the pandemic, as well as how that has affected their overall conversions.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/225
Amy Mullen is the President of Money Quotient, a company that has developed tools and training to help advisors have more meaningful conversations with their clients. Money Quotient’s offering is unique in that they not only give advisors the tools to help clients achieve their goals, but they also help clients get clarity around what is most important to them so they can create goals they’re motivated to hit—and so the advisor becomes a partner in achieving those goals.
In this episode, we talk about how Money Quotient helps advisors guide their clients to gain self-awareness around their values and how that realization then helps make financial decisions easier for the client. Amy also shares the system that makes Money Quotient so unique and how this system helps advisors leverage the resulting relationship with their clients to create a fully developed client experience.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/224
Marianela Collado is the CEO and majority shareholder of Tobias Financial Advisors, an independent RIA based in Florida that manages over $500 million in AUM for 257 clients. Marianela navigated an accelerated succession plan laid out by the founder of Tobias Financial, and has successfully grown the firm from a one-person operation to a staff of sixteen with an eye towards a subsequent succession plan.
Listen in as Marianela explains why she decided to keep the name Tobias Financial Advisors and how she has created such a great client experience that many clients are eager to refer others to the firm. She also shares how they have built a diverse team of advisors and a support staff that has earned them industry recognition, as well as why a succession plan was essential to making sure the client transition was a smooth and positive experience.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/223
Jonathan Kuttin is the founder of Kuttin Wealth Management, a hybrid RIA based out of Long Island, New York that manages over $3 billion dollars for 5,500 clients. Kuttin Wealth has grown to the point where Jonathan made the decision to separate client-facing service from leadership and operations, which allows for employees to focus solely on what they’re truly good at—and has allowed the firm to grow even further.
In this episode, Jonathan explains why he created three distinct roles within his firm and how this silo of roles has led to both superior results and better clarity around responsibilities within the firm. He also shares the hard lesson he learned about the importance of legal agreements, the five leadership areas he cultivates in every area of the firm, and why supporting employees to get what they want out of life is a cornerstone principle of his firm.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/222
Miye Wire is the founder of an eponymous hybrid RIA that manages $200 million dollars for 250 young professional families and has become the go-to benefits and equity compensation expert for Microsoft employees. Miye has built her firm around a robust referral engine from her niche, thanks in part to the memorable client events she hosts throughout the year that create a unique sense of community for her clients.
In this episode, she shares how her events and community strategy have led to her firm being built upon referrals, as well as why she has taken a team approach in her firm to make sure that not only are client inquiries handled promptly, but advisors are able to create more work-life balance. Listen in to learn how Miye shifted away from worrying about whether she was fitting into a certain financial advisor type and embraced what makes her—and her firm—different.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/221
Shane Mason is the co-founder of Brooklyn FI, a fee-only RIA that was founded in 2018 in Brooklyn but that has since shifted to being fully virtual. Brooklyn FI was built in the style of a tech startup where their financial advice service offering is a product unto itself, and they currently serve 159 next-generation clients charging a fee of around $500 per month.
Listen in as Shane explains why Brooklyn FI decided to launch into a niche of high-income sole proprietors before deciding to pivot to working with people who work in the tech industry, and how their new niche has resulted in nearly all of the firm’s new clients coming from referrals. Shane also shares how the pandemic pushed Brooklyn FI to be virtual, why they post their fees directly on their website, and how Shane’s 50/50 partnership with his co-founder has been the secret sauce to their rapid growth.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/220
Coventry Edwards-Pitt is the Chief Wealth Advisory Officer at Ballentine Partners, a wealth management firm that oversees nearly $8 billion in AUM for 230 ultra-wealthy families. Breaking down the math, that means each family that Ballentine serves has an average of $35 million of investable assets, making their wealth management practice highly unique—with a focus on the issues that reach far beyond this generation and the next.
In this episode, Coventry shares how serving ultra-rich clients comes with challenges that many advisors will never manage, as well as what it really means to provide wealth management services to clients with millions in net worth. She also dives into parenting children in ultra-high net worth families and shares the common factors of well-grounded and well-rounded wealthy children.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/219
Maura Griffin is the founder of Blue Spark Financial, an independent RIA that oversees more than $150 million of assets for nearly 90 clients who are primarily single women making financial decisions on their own for the first time. Maura built her practice from scratch by charging high school parents a flat fee to help them with financial aid planning for their children, which she was then able to turn into established relationships that led to more comprehensive planning relationships.
In this episode, Maura shares how having a financial reserve when she launched her firm was so crucial to give her not only peace of mind and confidence, but also the flexibility to build her business with intention—and without feeling pressured to take on work that she didn’t want. She will also dive into how she used a specific niche to help grow her firm, why she decided to pivot to focus on working with her current base of clients, and why she has made the intentional decision to structure her business as a lifestyle practice despite the naysayers.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/218
Sophia Bera is a past guest of the podcast, and originally wrote a guest post for Nerd’s Eye View as far back as 2013. If you missed her before, she is the founder of Gen Y Planning, an independent RIA that serves just under 100 young professionals—and that was also one of the first location-independent firms in the financial planning industry.
Listen in as we catch up on how Gen Y Planning has shifted over the years, why net worth reporting is not at the heart of Gen Y’s planning process, and why their focus with clients is more on short-term goals versus long-term metrics. Sophia will also share how she created a work-life balance that allows her to spend more time doing what she loves, and how she was able to take four months away from the business on maternity leave without the business skipping a beat.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/217
Jason Zweig is a financial journalist who not only wrote one of the first books on behavioral finance neuroeconomics, but also writes “The Intelligent Investor” column for the Wall Street Journal. A senior writer for Money magazine and a guest columnist for Time magazine and CNN.com, Jason has a truly unique perspective on the financial services industry, having covered it for nearly 25 years.
Listen in as he shares his perspective on the financial services industry, including why the AUM model is outdated, how he views the evolution of the financial advice business, and why he sees the future of the industry as more curatorial. You’ll learn his take on where he believes new advisors should be focusing their energy for success and why it’s actually a good thing to admit when you don’t know the answer to a question.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/216