Ramit Sethi is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, and the owner of the online platform of the same name that offers financial educational content so consumers can get refocused on their personal finances. In this episode, Ramit explains how he encourages people to spend extravagantly on the things they love so that they can enjoy their money throughout their life and not just after retirement. Ramit also shares why he is unapologetic about his brand and how he got comfortable charging thousands of dollars for his financial education programs.
Listen in as he describes how psychology plays a major role in the way people prioritize their finances, why he supports the use of financial advisors (but is critical about the traditional AUM), and what forced him to reevaluate his company’s internal processes. You will learn what inspired Ramit to create a podcast that focused on couples and their money struggles, as well as why he feels it is important for younger advisors to find what makes them unique early on and market that uniqueness as a valuable differentiator when trying to find clients and build a successful practice.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/301
Joe Duran is a Partner and Head of Goldman Sachs Personal Financial Management, a national wealth management firm within Goldman Sachs that oversees more than $100 billion in assets under advisement for tens of thousands of client households. In this episode, Joe shares how he witnessed firsthand how the financial services industry is evolving as more banks and brokerage firms are implementing advisory services, how the shift of national firms into the advisory business is leading them to reach the next generation of clients, and why he feels that independent advisors are underestimating the power of a brand.
Listen in as Joe shares why he made the big decision for United Capital to be acquired by Goldman Sachs, as well as why he feels that financial advisors are doing a disservice to themselves if they are not utilizing Fintech to develop more efficient processes. You will learn what he believes is the real threat to advisory firms, the importance of finding a way to differentiate yourself through more specialized service offerings, and why he thinks we do not need to fear robo-advisors.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/300
Tim Regan is the founder of PrairieView Wealth Partners, a hybrid advisory firm based out of Illinois that oversees $100 million in assets under management for 190 households. Transitioning from an insurance agency model, Tim decided to focus his hybrid firm on faith-based planning—and he offers middle and back-office support to other financial advisory firms through a separate company that he restructured from his own back office.
Listen in as Tim shares how he first got comfortable with concentrating on faith-based planning despite today’s often polarized environment, why he made the decision to offer back-office support under his Focus Forward business to other financial advisory firms (but keep his own marketing support in a full-time internal role), and why he decided to incorporate continuity agreements with his advisory firm under the PrairieView umbrella. We also discuss why he chose to join Thrivent Advisor Network after being a captive agent for Thrivent Financial for two decades and why he believes that it’s important to hire the right people early—even if there is a fear of spending money.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/299
Carolyn Armitage is the President of Thrivent Advisor Network, an RIA platform that offers partnership and affiliate models for financial advisors and that oversees $6.5 billion in assets managed by over 20 affiliated independent advisories. She joins the show today to share how her experience developing strategies for broker-dealers to transition to advisory models has given her a unique perspective on the industry’s ongoing evolution from brokerage to RIA platforms.
Listen in as Carolyn shares how she rose through the corporate ranks in the financial services industry and made her mark by becoming an established executor for major broker-dealers that wanted to add advisory models. You'll learn how she built a new training and development platform in just three short years, why that platform was eventually disbanded for being too successful, and how Carolyn faced head-on the challenges that arose as she was building new kinds of advisory platforms within firms that were often resistant to change.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/298
Andy Panko is the owner of Tenon Financial, a virtual independent RIA that oversees $70 million in assets under management for 43 retired client households. Andy was able to reach his client capacity goal in only two short years by leveraging a Facebook group that he created to share his expertise directly with the types of clients that he wanted to serve.
Listen in as Andy shares how he was able to leverage his Taxes in Retirement Facebook Group to grow his firm, how he inadvertently created a virtual firm through the process, and why he first structured his firm with a flat-fee model to clearly project his revenue potential. We also discuss how he was able to build his initial list of members to his Facebook group, why he created a list of advisors that have similar focuses to refer prospects to, and why he chose not to take on any more clients—even though his Facebook group is still gaining momentum.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/297
Ed Coambs is the founder of Healthy Love & Money, a financial therapy practice based out of North Carolina that helps families uncover and understand the roots of their underlying financial conflicts. Ed himself is a former financial advisor turned financial psychologist, and he utilizes couples therapy techniques to help his clients get to the root of the issues that may be blocking them from achieving their financial goals.
Listen in as Ed shares how he connects with clients on a deeper level so they can overcome their stalling points, as well as how he knows when he needs to refer a client out to a mental health professional. We also discuss his career trajectory, from firefighter to financial advisor to financial therapist, and how he overcame the challenges he faced launching his financial therapy business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/296
Shari Greco Reiches is the Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Rappaport Reiches Capital Management, an independent RIA based out of Illinois that oversees more than $800 million in assets under management for 350 client households. After experiencing a life-changing incident, Shari created her 5-step framework and “CFO Family Checklist” that she now uses with her clients to help them stay focused on their financial plans and ensure that their plan is consistent with their personal values.
Listen in as Shari shares how she developed her “Maximize the Return on Life” framework and how her team built their “CFO Family Checklist” over time to identify planning issues to discuss with clients. You'll learn how they use these tools as a form of living financial plan to help their clients stay focused on their goals and values, how their Diamond Teams approach establishes clear roles for each team member, and how they use a combination of financial planning and a passive investment approach to gain more referrals.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/295
Neel Shah is the Founder of Shah Total Planning, which is a combination of an independent RIA and a law firm based out of New Jersey that oversees $57 million in assets under management for 50 households. Neel himself is an estate planning attorney turned financial advisor who offers a one-stop shop for advice while outsourcing his investments, leveraging his background as an attorney to generate referrals from centers of influence to help scale his growth.
Listen in as Neel shares how he transitioned from attorney to financial advisor, as well as why he went down the path of financial advice to develop deeper relationships with his clients. You'll hear why he views himself not as a career-changer, but as a career-adder, and how he has learned to get comfortable with the realities of building and scaling a business by aiming to make each year better than the last.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/294
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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