Luna Jaffe is the founder of Lunaria Financial, an advisory firm that oversees nearly $55 million in assets under management for 100 client households. In an effort to make financial knowledge affordable, Luna launched the Sacred Money Studios and Prosperity Pie Shoppe, a literal pie shop across the street from her advisory firm office that offers low-cost financial education programs on budgeting.
In this episode, we discuss the budgeting philosophy her business teaches, as well as the real-world challenges that come with opening up a retail store with employees. Listen in to hear what Luna has learned while trying to expand the reach of financial education through a retail store, how she helps clients implement necessary changes, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/151
Tanya Nichols is the founder of Align Financial, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees nearly $50 million of assets for 80 client households. After nearly 20 years of working in a larger firm environment, Tanya finally found the courage to start her own advisory firm and took the leap to create the business she wanted.
In this episode, she shares her journey through the advisor industry, focusing on the moment of realization that led her to not only leave her firm, but leave her husband as well. Listen in as she explains how a sense of community has helped her along the way, how she plans to double her revenue, and what she says was the biggest surprise of her advisory career.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/150
Susan John is the managing director and financial advisor for F.L. Putnam, an independent RIA that manages nearly $2 billion of assets under management. After 25 years of building her own independent financial planning firm from scratch, Susan decided to join F.L. Putnam for part of her succession—but not her retirement. Today she joins the show to discuss why she made that transition and how she has developed her financial planning process over the past three decades.
Listen in as Susan explains her process and why she charges a full upfront fee to do financial planning “snapshots” for every client before even taking them on as an ongoing client. You’ll learn what she does for retired clients, how she expanded ownership of her firm, and how she grew her financial advisory firm to $350 million.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/149
Laura LaTourette is the founder of Family Wealth Management Group, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees $45 million of assets under management for 86 client households. Today Laura joins the show to share how she has built her firm to work primarily with the LGBTQ community and how she found the right time to come out to her broker-dealer.
Listen in as we discuss her financial planning process, which includes four planning meetings with every new client. You’ll learn how she refined her website and her data gathering form to speak to her niche, why she recently hired a CEO for her firm, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/148
Jeff Dobyns is the founder of Southwestern Investment Group, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees nearly $3.5 billion of assets under management. Today Jeff joins the show to discuss how he has developed next generation talent in his firm by only hiring new advisors in their 20s and giving them the opportunity to learn alongside experienced advisors.
In this episode, you’ll hear about the mentoring program Jeff’s firm has built, as well as how the firm compensates these new advisors as they are learning. Listen in to discover why Jeff prefers not to hire experienced advisors, what tasks his firm ends up giving to the new advisors, and the marketing technique his team uses to grow their business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/147
Ross Levin is the co-founder and CEO of Accredited Investors Wealth Management, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $2 billion of assets under management for 475 affluent clients. Today Ross joins the show to discuss the way he systematized the financial planning process across his firm and developed a wealth management index system that tracks clients' progress.
Listen in as he shares how he balances delving into the technical topics of financial planning versus trying to ask clients the right questions to explore the client's side of those issues. You’ll learn why it’s so important to have a systematized process, what Ross says is the most important thing when building a firm, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/146
Roger Pine is the co-founder of Holistiplan, a tax planning software built to systematize and automate the process of reviewing a client's tax return to find potential planning opportunities. Today he joins the show to discuss how he transitioned from working as a financial advisor to becoming a financial tech entrepreneur.
Listen in as we talk about Roger’s software and the ever blurring lines between where a CPA’s tax services end and an advisor’s begin. You'll hear what it is like to be a financial tech entrepreneur, as well as advice for financial advisors who see an opportunity to develop a tech solution.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/145
Tom Bradley is the former president of TD Ameritrade Institutional, one of the leading RIA custodial platforms serving nearly 7,000 independent RIAs with almost $600 billion of assets held in custody. For over 25 years, Tom was a part of the growth of financial advisors operating as independent RIAs on a custodial platform. Today he joins the show to discuss the evolution of the RIA custody model and how technology has affected the business.
Listen in as we talk in depth about how TD Ameritrade uses the Veo open-access platform, as well as the surprising ways that RIA custodians generate their revenue from advisors and their clients. You’ll hear Tom’s views on why the RIA custodial options for how cash is invested has become such a hot topic and his predictions for the future of the RIA custodial business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/144
Cathy Curtis is the founder of Curtis Financial Planning, a solo independent RIA that oversees nearly $60 million in assets under management for 52 client households. By positioning her business into a niche of serving women—in particular, single, independent-minded women who want to work with a female advisor—Cathy has managed to stand out in an over-crowded marketplace to build her firm.
Listen in as we discuss why Cathy chose her particular niche, as well as how she has been able to target her marketing so effectively that most of her new clients find her through a simple Google search. You’ll learn all about her financial planning process, why she has had to implement a minimum requirement fee, and how she managed to overcome impostor syndrome on her road to success.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/143
Matt Oechsli is the founder and CEO of Oechsli Institute, which does primary research into affluent investors and how they select advisors. A marketing and sales consultant for financial advisors, Matt joins the show to share how you can connect with more affluent clients simply by building better relationships with them.
Listen in as we discuss the importance of paying attention to details—like the names of clients’ children and pets—during the relationship-building process, as well as what good client communication is all about. Matt shares what it takes to build trust, an effective practice for getting more referrals, and his advice for new advisors starting out in the business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/142
Kristen Luke is the founder of Kaleido Creative Studio, a marketing consulting firm that specializes in multi-advisor fee-only RIAs with $100 million to $1 billion in assets under management. Today she joins the show to discuss the wheel of advisor marketing activity she has created, as well as its six core areas and what it takes to improve in each of them.
Listen in as Kristen explains the importance of recognizing the triggering events that brought your clients in and why defining an ideal client profile really is essential to differentiate and build a successful marketing funnel. You’ll learn the starting steps to online marketing, why podcasts are replacing webinars and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/141
Adam Cmejla is the founder of Integrated Planning and Wealth Management, an independent RIA that oversees approximately $45 million in assets under advisement for nearly 100 clients. Over the past two years, Adam’s practice has undergone an incredible transformation, increasing their financial planning fees and growing revenue by nearly 80%.
In this episode, Adam shares how his marketing process has evolved, as well as what made him decide to narrow down his focus and serve only optometrists. Listen in to discover how a shift in his mindset has helped his firm to grow phenomenally—while also allowing him to spend more time with his family—the steps he took to raise his fees for existing clients while bringing in new ideal clients, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/140
Michele Clark is the senior portfolio manager for Acropolis Investment Management with more than 25 years of experience in financial services. From cold knocking to becoming a regional investor educational specialist and now working in investment management, Michele really has done it all within the industry. She even ran her own independent hourly financial planning practice until she recently decided to “plug-in” to a larger firm.
In this episode, Michele discusses her non-traditional journey through the financial advisory industry, as well as how she managed to re-balance both her business and the work she is doing in it. Listen in as she shares her best tips for attracting clients no matter where you are, the importance of developing an expertise, and how to confront the inevitable challenges you will face when starting out on your own.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/139
Douglas Boneparth is the founder of Bone Fide Wealth, an independent RIA that manages nearly $80 million of assets under management. After starting out in a fairly traditional broker-dealer model serving affluent retirees, Douglas decided to transition and focus on high-income millennials. Today he joins the show to discuss why he chose to invest in younger clients and how he has been able to successfully market to and attract such high-income millennials.
Listen in as he shares why he decided to stop implementing term insurance policies, as well as what he sees as the key to being able to work with his younger clients. You’ll get his take on why the industry tends to have a difficult time attracting millennials, the value of making things easier for clients, and what younger advisors should know as they are looking to get started in the industry.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/138
Lou Tranquilli is the founder of Tranquilli Financial Advisor, an independent full-service financial firm that oversees $100 million in assets under management for 110 clients. Now focused on a niche that has helped triple his firm in under four years, Lou joins the show to discuss how his advisory firm has evolved over more than two and a half decades in business.
Listen in as he explains how he is transitioning into the independent RIA channel after having started out as a traditional life insurance sales agent, as well as how he has structured his firm. You’ll get valuable tips for growing your business, hiring the right people, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/137
Nina O’Neal is a partner and investment advisor with Archer Investment Management, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees nearly $90 million in assets under management. She joins the show today to talk about her advisory firm’s structure and why they have no plans to change it, as they don't view the hybrid model as a way to the independent RIA model.
Listen in to hear Nina speak candidly about how she juggles being an advisor, a firm owner, and a parent. You’ll learn how she empowers other female advisors to establish an advisory business and balance the rest of their lives in the process, how her firm handles its mixture of fee-based advisory and commission-based brokerage business, and their plans for the future.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/136
Kathryn Brown is the co-founder of Morton Brown Family Wealth, a firm that oversees nearly $110 million of assets under management for 85 affluent households. With her firm now positioned for the potential of 10x growth in the upcoming years, Kathryn has overcome many challenges to get to where she is today.
In this episode, she opens up about her inspirational journey, including how she persevered despite learning she had breast cancer and undergoing surgeries while she was preparing to go independent. She also discusses the playbooks that she and her partner developed for Morton Brown, why her firm decided to bring on a data geek as one of their first hires, and so much more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/135
Andrew Altfest is the president of Altfest Personal Wealth Management, an independent RIA based in New York City that oversees $1.3 billion for nearly 600 affluent clients. Andrew has become the second-generation leader in his family’s business, which was started by his parents, and he joins the show to discuss the dynamics of a family business and how he is positioning the firm for the future.
In this episode, Andrew explains what ultimately changed his mind about pursuing a career at his parents’ firm—something he was not initially planning to do. You’ll learn what it’s like working for a family-owned firm, the technology the firm uses to communicate with clients, and how you can better track and find planning opportunities for your clients, too.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/134
Danna Jacobs is the co-founder of Legacy Care Wealth, an advisory firm and accounting practice that she launched with her brother. While Danna handles the financial planning side of things, her brother focuses on the accounting and tax planning as they grow their business together. Today she joins the show to discuss how her firm works with next-generation clients and what it’s like running a business with a sibling.
Listen in as we talk in depth about their blended fee model, which charges a monthly fee for ongoing planning advice that shifts into an AUM fee as clients’ savings and portfolios grow. Danna explains the structured agenda she uses for every client—covering accomplishments since the last meeting and key client takeaways that become the clients’ homework for the next meeting—how she balanced motherhood during the early stages of her business, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/133
Linda Leitz is the president of Peace of Mind Financial Planning, an independent RIA based in Colorado Springs that provides comprehensive financial planning services on a retainer fee basis to nearly 100 clients. Today Linda joins the show to discuss what she has learned over her 20 years of experience, including key takeaways about pricing her services and why her team of four works with clients for an ongoing retainer fee. She also explains how she has overcome the self-doubt that so many of us experience when quoting our planning fees so that she is able to charge what she is really worth.
Listen in as we talk in depth about Linda’s decision to shift from being a solo advisor under a cost-sharing partnership to building her own multi-advisor team, as well as what surprised her most when switching to a team structure after being solo for so long. You’ll learn why she decided to go back to school for a Ph.D. in financial planning as an experienced practitioner, how her mentality has shifted over the years, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/132
Dan Goldie, the former president of Dan Goldie Financial Services, started out in 1991 with no clients or assets under management. Through focus and drive, he built up his firm to $900 million of assets for 275 affluent clients—all without even a full-time administrative staff member. Today he joins the show to discuss how he structured his advisory business and his approach to customizing everything he does.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/131
Ashley Micciche is the CEO of True North Retirement Advisors, a firm she founded with her father. Today she joins the show to discuss how she achieved work-life satisfaction while growing a business and starting a family. Ashley will delve deep into the arrangement she made with her father to be the backup advisor for her clients and how she communicated the news to her clients that she was going to take time off for maternity leave.
Listen in to learn how Ashley built her career in the early years, going from cold-calling to cold-knocking to build up a client base, as well as how she opened up the conversation with small business owners to quickly get their interest for a follow-up meeting. If you are looking to start a family while running a business or start a new firm (or both), this is the episode for you.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/130
Donna Skeels Cygan, the President of Sage Future Financial, joins the show to discuss how she runs a firm overseeing nearly $90 million in assets under management and still maintains a work-life balance. After building her first successful firm, Donna decided to sell it and come back three years later to start over again, this time building a much more deliberately-crafted schedule that’s intended to only ever have 40 affluent clients.
In this episode, Donna shares her journey in building her first and second advisory firms, as well as how she decided which clients she wanted to bring to her second firm when starting up again. You’ll learn about her process and the tools she uses, how she employs a virtual assistant to maximize her time with her clients, and why she has no concerns about her ability to remain competitive as a stand-alone solo advisor.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/129
After starting his first of five businesses at the age of 15, there aren’t many business activities Justin Goodbread hasn’t experienced. In 2009, he founded Heritage Investors, an independent RIA based in Knoxville, Tennessee, in hopes of helping individuals, business owners, and retirees attain their financial goals. Today, Justin joins the show to discuss how his firm has crafted a niche in working with small business owners and how they track how each owner’s net worth increases over time.
In this episode, we talk about why Justin finds it more effective to break his advisory fee—which can sometimes be as much as $20,000 a year—into a more cash flow friendly monthly subscription fee. Listen in to learn how he has focused his marketing toward these small business owners and how doing so has ironically brought him more prospects outside his niche. You’ll also hear which five business books he reads every year to run his own advisory business more efficiently.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/128
Jania Stout is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Fiduciary Plan Advisors at HighTower Advisors, an advisory firm that is focused on 401(k) planning. Her team is responsible for nearly $4 billion in assets across almost 120 businesses. In this episode, we discuss how Jania was able to rapidly grow her business entirely from scratch over the past 5 years, as well as how she built her own personal brand and reputation as a trusted fiduciary advisor.
Listen in to hear Jania share what it takes to service and support mid to large size 401(k) plans and detail the fee structure for her business. You’ll learn why she built and automated a report in her CRM that shows her clients all of the behind-the-scenes work that the firm does on their behalf, how she used LinkedIn to help her business grow, and the challenges she faced when going independent.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/127