Andrew Miller is the founder of OLIO, a financial planning firm based out of Virginia that manages $275 million for over 275 households. Andrew has been able to build a scalable business model that is based on the unique complexity fees of his clients, capturing the time and effort it takes to handle their planning needs.
In this episode, we talk about how Andrew developed his time-based system to price his services, how he created a financial planning proposal process to translate the value of his time into dollar amounts, and how this system has actually led the firm to do less investment work for clients. Listen in to learn why his time as a civil engineer gave him a unique understanding of how time and productivity are intertwined, as well as why his willingness to create his own definition of success has allowed his business model to thrive—despite being told it never would.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/261
David Ortiz is the founder of Financial Chef, a unique independent RIA that operates as a lifestyle practice in Southern California. David has combined his experience as a classically trained chef to create an experience unlike any other for his clients: literally breaking bread with them as he provides financial advice.
Listen in as we dive into David’s journey through the advice business, from being a chef to working for a software company, and then from life insurance to ultimately opening his own independent RIA. We also discuss how he got started with his business model, why he decided to take it mobile, and how this unique services package has helped David deepen his relationship with his clients.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/260
Patricia Houlihan is the Founder of Houlihan Financial Resource Group, an independent RIA based out of Washington, DC, that oversees $345 million in AUM for 150 households. She joins the show today to share how she has successfully implemented an internal succession plan with her son and a second advisor that ensures continuity of services for clients over maximizing the value of the sale, as well as why having her name as part of the firm’s name is not a hindrance in her plan.
Listen in as she opens up about how she has built her succession plan to put clients first, including how she has ensured relationships between all of the firm’s advisors and their clients so there is trust with more than just Patricia herself. You'll learn what it was like being a female financial advisor in the 1980s—when the industry was very much a “boy’s club”—and what Patricia sees as the key to success for any financial advisor.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/259
Joe Pitzl is the founder of Pitzl Financial, an independent RIA based out of Minneapolis that oversees nearly $270 million in assets for 270 households. Joe had a unique next-generation career path into the financial advice business, and with only 10 years of experience under his belt, launched his own firm.
Listen in as he shares how he navigated into the financial planning field despite his struggles in the traditional classroom setting, how he built a network of support to the point where he never struggled to land his next career opportunity, and how he scaled his firm to $250 million of AUM in just seven years with a team of five people. We also discuss how forming a study group with other advisors at a similar age and stage was foundational to Joe’s career success, as well as how he navigated the challenge of finding himself out of a job at the same time that he was starting a family and buying a house.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/258
Beth Jones is the co-founder of Third Eye Associates, an independent RIA based out of the Hudson Valley of New York that oversees $125 million of assets under advisement for 200 households. Beth’s firm is unique in that they go deep with clients into creating a personal vision statement that truly aligns their money with their values.
Listen in as we dive into Beth’s financial planning process, fee structure, and client deliverables that have been a cornerstone for building her expertise as an in-depth financial planner and have led to a waitlist of new clients. We also discuss some of the challenges that she faced as she was scaling up, why she made the decision to let go of 85 of her earliest clients that were actually costing her money, and how she navigated the transition of having her co-founder retire while she continued to run the firm and serve clients.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/257
Vincent Barbera is the founder of Newbridge Wealth Management, an independent RIA based out of Philadelphia that oversees nearly $120-million of assets under management for 75 households. Vince stays on the cutting edge of advisor technology by continuously experimenting with new tech tools and by setting a new strategic focus every year to identify and try out a new category of solutions.
Listen in as Vince gives a rundown of the technology tools that he has tried this year to improve his client experience, where he finds the latest and greatest in tech to try out, and how he compares the cost of new tools against those he already uses. We also discuss how Vince uses technology in his independent firm to stay competitive without an asset manager’s size and scale, and why he has decided not to scale up to the billion-dollar mark but rather slow down and enjoy the ride.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/256
Cody Garrett is the founder of Measure Twice Financial, an independent RIA based out of Houston which has managed to grow to nearly $150,000 per year in annualized financial planning fees in just over six months. Cody uses an “advice-only” financial planning model that has quickly attracted a waiting list of clients who want to do it themselves, but not necessarily learn it themselves.
In this episode, Cody shares why he launched with the advice-only model, where clients don’t have the option to have their investments managed by the firm, but do get personalized education that they can use to manage their own finances. Listen in to learn how this model has allowed Cody to build a practice that supports his own personal lifestyle and work no more than ten hours per week, as well as how he has generated a steady stream of clients and kept the business lean so he can take home more than 90% of his gross revenue after business expenses.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/255
Eliza De Pardo is the founder of her eponymous advisor consulting firm, which works with mid-to-large-sized independent advisory firms. Eliza takes a unique focus on the human capital issues that arise as advisory firms scale and believes that attracting, retaining, and developing the firm’s people is the biggest key to long-term success.
Listen in as we discuss why the ability to attract and serve clients is crucial for firms to scale to the first $1 million of revenue, but is less important as the firm reaches and exceeds the $3 million mark. Eliza also shares why the advisors who are most effective at moving away from client-facing work have the most success scaling up, some of the key business metrics that firm owners should be monitoring as they grow, and why most advisory firms need to learn to hire sooner—but not necessarily faster.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/254
Robyn Crane is the founder of her own eponymous consulting firm, which offers sales and marketing coaching services with a focus on female financial advisors. Robyn has a well-defined approach for how financial advisors can not only identify their ideal client, but also implement a sustainable leads system to reach out and book appointments with qualified leads.
Listen in as we discuss the issue of gender disparity in the financial planning industry, including what Robyn sees as the true reason for the disparity and what the solution is to better gender representation. She also shares the specifics behind her system for generating cold leads, how to encourage engagement from those leads, and how she teaches advisors to identify and market to their ideal client.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/253
Kyle Moore is the founder of Quarry Hill Advisors, an RIA based out of St. Paul, Minnesota, that oversees $165 million of assets under management for 137 households. Kyle has been able to generate extremely strong growth for his firm in only 5 years while also navigating a plethora of challenges that are common among advisory firms in the early years.
Listen in as he shares why he decided to forge his own path and start an advisory firm, the techniques he used to make his firm findable online, and how one of his very first clients was a super-referrer that boosted his business in the early days of the firm. We also dive into why Kyle decided to bring on a partner—despite having a business that was growing well—and the benefits that he has gained (as well as the pitfalls he has avoided) thanks to practice management coaching programs.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/252
Bill Cates is the founder of Referral Coach International, an organization that helps financial advisors attract more ideal clients through referrals. He teaches advisors how to use their communication and messaging to make themselves more “referable” and to ask for an introduction instead of a less meaningful referral.
Listen in as Bill shares why he makes a clear distinction between referrals and introductions, why clients are sometimes reluctant to give introductions, and how advisors can overcome those concerns. We also discuss why it's important for advisors to help clients work towards their bucket list goals in addition to their financial goals, how they can hone their messaging so that they can achieve “radical relevance” in the eyes of their clients, and why clear messaging is more important than ever in a post-pandemic world.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/251
Deirdre Van Nest is the founder of Crazy Good Talks, a communication coaching firm that helps financial advisors become better communicators in order to help their clients and prospects take the next desired step. She has developed a very unique process that teaches advisors how to use foundational stories to make deeper connections with those they are trying to connect with.
Listen in as we dive into why Deirdre believes that every financial advisor has the potential to be an emotionally compelling and highly effective communicator, even if communication is not one of their strong suits, and how she helps advisors to become the best communicators possible. We also discuss why Deirdre believes that advisors who know that the services they are offering are changing the lives of the people they work with have an obligation to learn how to be as persuasive, inspiring, and compelling as possible.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/250
Drew Waldron is the co-founder of Canvas Wealth Advisors, an RIA based out of Kansas that manages $455-million for 150 families. Drew and his partner have taken the client experience to a whole new level by not only reinvesting into client services and better technology, but also by executing once-in-a-lifetime excursions exclusively for clients of the firm.
Listen in as Drew shares how he and his partner have differentiated their firm by leveraging client excursions and experiences, the different kinds of adventures his firm executes for clients, and the strategy they employ to assemble clients together to foster introductions and networking opportunities. We also dive into how this unique experiences-based marketing strategy has catapulted the firm to north of $450-million in assets in just over two years and why they place so much emphasis on constantly providing added value to clients and prospects.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/249
J.D. Bruce is the Chief of Innovation for Abacus Wealth Partners, an RIA based out of Santa Monica that manages over $4-billion in assets for 1,900 clients. J.D. has been successful in scaling Abacus to its current size by implementing Angie Herbers’ Diamond Team Model to offer a variety of different service models to different types of clients.
Listen in as J.D. shares how Abacus has leveraged the power of Diamond Teams to keep clients connected to the firm while also allowing for flexibility in the advisors that they work with over time, and how this business model has allowed for the firm to segment its client base and offer a variety of different services based on the needs of those segments. We also discuss why J.D. believes that it’s more important to hire team members who will challenge the cultural status quo as opposed to finding the best cultural fit, and why he believes that conflict is actually necessary for growth and change.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/248
Matthew Jarvis is the owner of Jarvis Financial, an RIA based out of Seattle that manages $240-million for 170 households. Matthew is incredibly focused on increasing the efficiency and profitability of his firm by systematizing his business processes, thereby delivering even more value to clients.
Listen in as Matthew shares the secret behind more than doubling his AUM over the last four years, including why he made the decision to refer clients who are not a good fit for his firm to other advisors and how he ensures the transition is as smooth as possible. We also discuss how systems have played a big part in the firm’s growth, allowing him to deliver more value to clients while raising his fees accordingly.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/247
Jessica Hovis Smith is the President of Longview Financial Advisors, an RIA based out of Alabama that oversees $194 million for 199 clients. Jessica oversaw a succession plan that brought two lifestyle practices into one employee-owned, multi-generational firm, navigating multiple transitions along the way to eventually arrive at a valuation that was fair for everyone.
Listen in as Jessica shares her own personal journey to President of Longview, what it was like overseeing a succession plan that merged two lifestyle practices, and how they structured their purchase to ensure that new owners stood the best chance of staying with the firm throughout their careers. We also discuss the multiple transitions that happened along the way to arriving at a valuation that the founders and internal buyers were happy with, as well as why the actual process of arriving at that valuation was the biggest contributing factor to getting everyone’s buy-in.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/246
John Kennedy is a founding partner of CandorPath Financial, a hybrid RIA based out of Orlando that manages $110 million for 162 families. John and his partner implemented Gino Wickman’s Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) as a framework to rapidly scale their practice in a very deliberate and intentional way.
Listen in as we delve into how John uses EOS to run his practice as a business, as well as how it helps him make clearer business decisions and define his core values. You'll learn how CandorPath uses social media videos to engage with prospective clients, why they developed their own Alexa Skill to foster daily touchpoints with clients between regularly scheduled meetings, and how they ensure that the practice is intentionally moving toward their long-term goals.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/245
Shannon McLay is the founder of The Financial Gym, an organization that offers financial coaching services on a monthly subscription basis to 3,500 Millennial and Gen-Z clients. Shannon has positioned her offerings in a similar way to personal trainers, helping people get “financially fit” through traditional financial planning services like budgeting, savings, debt management, and financial literacy.
Listen in as we dive into the “aha” moment that led Shannon to launch The Financial Gym, how she convinced initial investors to buy into her business, and why she feels that an important benefit of the monthly subscription model is the accountability it places on her coaches to show value to clients. She also shares why she ditched an off-the-shelf software package and developed her own proprietary budgeting tool for clients, the lessons she learned through that development process, and why she has been able to build a diverse and inclusive team of coaches who can relate to clients in a really unique way.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/244
James Bogart is the CEO and President of Bogart Wealth, an RIA located in Virginia that manages $1.8 billion of assets for 900 families. James has nearly doubled his firm’s AUM organically since the start of the pandemic by leveraging online educational webinars that address very specific issues regarding employee benefits for those working at certain companies in the energy sector.
Listen in as James explains how his firm’s success is not just a result of understanding employee benefits, but rather of applying their knowledge to specific companies’ benefits to really differentiate themselves among prospects. You'll learn how he was able to leverage his CFP certification to source and interpret the requisite documentation for those companies, how he has created a marketing funnel using his webinars, and how he has been able to manage the challenges that arise with such rapid growth.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/243
Charlotte Geletka is the owner and managing partner of Silver Penny Financial, a hybrid RIA based out of Atlanta where Charlotte personally oversees $140 million for 150 families. After purchasing the firm from her father, Charlotte took the existing business model and built the firm around her own vision to take the firm to the next level.
Listen in as she shares what her experience was like buying a legacy firm from her father, how she determined a fair price for the firm, and why she deliberately structured her seller-financed deal with an accelerated 3.5-year payback. We also dive into why leadership skills are important to a firm’s ongoing success, as well as why it is important to surround yourself with other like-minded financial advisors who are pulling for you to succeed.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/242
Bill Bachrach is the Chairman and CEO of AdvisorRoadMap, a platform that provides training and mentorship to financial advisors to help them better attract and communicate with their ideal clients. Bill is also the creator of the values-based financial planning framework that puts a client’s values and goals at the center of the financial planning conversation, and the creator of the new famous question: “what’s important about money to you?”
Listen in as we dive into how Bill’s famous question gives advisors a powerful way to start meaningful conversations with clients and gives prospects the opportunity to communicate the value that they’re looking for from a financial planning relationship. We also discuss in depth how Bill’s framework helps advisors build more trust and relevance with their clients by teaching them how to listen more, say less, ask better questions, and answer questions more effectively and confidently.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/241
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