Lisa Cooper is the founder of Figure 8 Investment Strategies, an independent RIA based in Idaho that oversees $90 million of assets under management for 85 clients. Figure 8 has differentiated itself with its sustainability-focused equity management, or, in other words, responsible investing through a thematic portfolio of 50 to 60 individual stocks. This differentiation has allowed Lisa to grow the firm exponentially in only four years since launching.
Listen in as she shares how she crafted her unique investment approach, including how her firm identifies segments of the market to invest in and which stocks to avoid. You’ll learn how shareholder engagement through proxy voting is a key part of the investment process, how the decision was made to become a B Corporation (and what that means for the firm’s processes and standards), and how balancing purpose and profit has been key to Figure 8’s success.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/194
Michelle Wong is the founder of Nifty Advisor Support, a virtual assistant outsourcing solution for independent advisory firms. Using her background in operations, Michelle was able to capitalize on the dual trends of outsourcing and working virtually into an entrepreneurial venture that is making life easier for registered investment advisors across the United States.
Listen in to find out some of the typical tasks that virtual assistants take on, as well as how outsourcing can benefit firms—especially solo advisory firms. You’ll learn the typical cost-benefit of a virtual assistant compared to a full-time staff member, where Michelle sees outsourcing playing out in the advisor world (particularly with the after-effects of the pandemic), and the catalyst for why the virtual assistant world and gig economy have grown exponentially over the last few years.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/193
Paul Pagnato is the Co-Chairman and Chief Visionary Officer of Cresset Capital, a multi-family office with nearly $9.5 billion of assets under management for more than 600 ultra-high net worth clients. After a nearly 20-year career at Merrill Lynch—and working with Hightower Advisors as a partner—Paul decided to go out on his own and eventually merged his multi-billion-dollar boutique advisory firm into Cresset Capital to further expand the reach of his vision.
Listen in as we talk in-depth about Paul’s entrepreneurial journey through the industry, why he chose to follow his true north and walk away from a 20-year wirehouse career, and why it’s so important to have a strong support structure in place with experienced vendors when breaking away. You’ll learn about the $90,000/year flat fee structure his firm uses to serve its ultra-affluent clientele, how Paul services those clients with unique concierge offerings, and how he has been able to scale successfully with a philosophy of outsourcing as much as he can.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/192
Tiffany Charles is the Chief Growth Officer for Destiny Capital, a hybrid advisory firm based near Denver that oversees $260 million in assets under management for nearly 200 households. Tiffany has crafted a unique role for herself within an independent advisory firm with a focus on building scalable marketing systems to power the growth of the entire firm, instead of focusing on personally prospecting for new business.
Listen in to find out how she moved from focusing on business outcomes to measuring her activity, as well as how this made a positive impact on the firm’s growth. You’ll also learn how she took on the Chief Growth Officer role with her firm as a tie-in to a next-generation succession plan and how she co-created a new vision with the firm to pursue a new niche of working entrepreneurs.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/191
Stacey McKinnon is the Chief Operating Officer for Morton Capital Management, an independent RIA based in Los Angeles that oversees nearly $2 billion worth of assets under management for nearly 1,000 households. Stacey was formerly a wedding coordinator and operated a Pilates studio before entering into the financial services industry, which is indicative of Morton's non-traditional hiring approach that has been such a major part of their success.
Listen in as Stacey discusses the shortage of talent in financial services and why many firms may be casting the net too narrowly when looking for the right people to hire. You’ll learn why Morton hires for personality and culture fit before hiring for skills, why trust is so important within a team, and the importance of building something unique at the firm level in order to create a more rewarding environment for advisors and more financial security for the firm.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/190
Taylor Schulte is the founder of Define Financial, an independent fee-only RIA that oversees $76 million of assets under management for 60 families that are in, or approaching, retirement. Taylor has grown his practice through proactive marketing initiatives and niching down to a very specific target clientele—even though it meant firing his mother and grandfather as clients.
Listen in as he shares some of the hits and misses he experienced along the way to growing his practice to what it is today. You will learn what he did to break through a revenue ceiling, how he turned podcast listeners into clients, and how investments in his website have paid off to the tune of 75% of new clients arriving through organic web traffic.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/189
Rich Arzaga is the founder of Cornerstone Wealth Management, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees nearly $70 million in AUM for 65 affluent clients. Rich is just one of a handful of advisors across the country who, in addition to holding a CFP certificate, holds the CCIM designation to advise clients on commercial real estate. Today he joins the show to discuss how he incorporates advice on directly held real estate into his practice and the APOD (Annual Property Operating Data) analysis he prepares as part of his financial planning.
Listen in as Rich shares the tools he uses to track and analyze directly held real estate, as well as why he charges an upfront fee for his real estate analysis. You’ll learn what he did to stand out from the crowd and how he turbo-charged his firm in the early years to overcome the challenges often faced by career-changing entrepreneurs.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/188
Emlen Miles-Mattingly is the founder of Gen Next Wealth, an independent RIA based in Madera, California that provides wealth management for 70 client households. Emlen’s goal is to change the complexion of wealth, and he does this by focusing his advisory firm on working with underserved communities of color and moving toward a subscription model instead of traditional assets under management.
Listen in to find out how Emlen structures his monthly subscription business model, as well as how he developed different tiers that all provide a baseline of advice but vary in implementation support. We also discuss how the change in business model is accelerating his growth path, the key question he asks at the beginning of every introductory meeting with clients, the real-world challenges he faces as an advisor of color serving communities of color, and so much more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/187
Samantha Bezar is the Director of Digital Marketing for Thrive Financial Services, a hybrid RIA and Insurance Agency based out of the Greater Philadelphia Area that serves nearly five hundred clients. Through a combination of digital marketing and in-person events, Samantha has built a scalable marketing solution for Thrive that has catapulted their revenue from a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $6 million in under three years.
Samantha joins us today to share her in-depth expertise on all things digital marketing, including marketing automation tools that have increased retention and response rates, how Thrive segments and targets their audience, and how compelling ad copy comes into play when converting prospects to clients. Listen in to learn what personal touches Thrive uses to incorporate a more human element to their process, as well as the “secret sauce” for getting people to actually show up to webinars.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/186
Christine Teh is the founder of Teh Financial Coaching, which provides tax consulting and financial coaching services to high-income individuals and couples. Christine has built a successful coaching practice by not only systematizing her coaching packages for clients, but also systematizing her marketing process through LinkedIn. Today she joins the show to discuss why the focus of her work is on short-term cash flow instead of retirement plans.
Listen in as we talk in depth about why Christine teaches her clients how to do the work so they can go out on their own and, ultimately, not end up as long-term clients. You will learn what she uses as her main marketing tool, steps she has taken to ensure she gets the number of clients needed to make her business sustainable, and how she is reaching so many clients.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/185
Reese Harper is the founder and CEO of Dentist Advisors, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $250 million of AUM for more than 350 clients. On top of running a firm with a unique niche, Reese also runs a successful podcast—something he credits with helping to grow his business. Today he joins the show to discuss the monthly financial planning process he has developed for serving clients, as well as the technology tools he uses to implement it.
Listen in as Reese shares why he thinks the future of financial advising is all about working with clients through an ongoing series of micro-interactions around their financial planning needs. You will learn about the systematized series of twelve monthly deliverables that his firm provides, the financial planning process Reese has created, and the premium price he charges for the premium service his firm provides.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/184
Hannah Moore is a Certified Financial Planner and owner of Guiding Wealth Management. She graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Financial Services and Planning and Business Management, helped start the Financial Planning Association’s NexGen program, and mentors younger financial planners. If that wasn’t enough, she is also the creator of BudgetingBlocks, a system that helps consumers visualize and better understand their budgets so they can develop one that works for them.
With a passion for helping people change the conversations they have about money, Hannah joins us today to discuss how she does just that in both her advisory firm and her consumer product. Listen in to hear how she manages work-life balance, one of the best things she ever did for her business, and how one of the most powerful tools she uses with her clients was bought from a kid’s toy store.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/183
Richard Joyner is the President of Tolleson Wealth Management, a multi-family office that manages the wealth of large families with significant assets. He works with multi-generational families to address the complexities of successful wealth transfer and has expertise in many diverse areas, including estate tax planning, family dynamics and education, and investment management for the ultra-rich.
Richard joins us today to discuss what financial planning looks like for multi-generational families with significant wealth, what development dynamics go along with multi-family portfolios, and some of the more diverse issues that can arise in this particular wealth management category. Listen in to hear his top advice for getting started in this field, the skills that are necessary for success, and what he wishes he could tell his younger self just starting his career.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/182
Benjamin Brandt is the founder of Capital City Wealth Management, an independent RIA that oversees $60 million in assets under management for nearly 80 households. Benjamin originally developed a focus niche after going out on his own, only to realize there were not enough people in that niche to fill his desired client base. Today he joins the show to discuss how he initially established his niche and how he has optimized his website to maximize local search engine optimization opportunities.
Listen in to hear about why he decided to start a podcast to reach beyond his local market, as well as the marketing funnel he developed to turn his listeners into prospective clients. You will learn why he runs meeting surges twice a year to maximize his focus and his time off, how he has built his advisory firm to fit his lifestyle goals, and how you can bring similar flexibility to your practice.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/181
Ryan Inman is the founder of Physician Wealth Services, an independent RIA that serves over 140 physician clients. Completely narrowed in on his unique niche, Ryan changed the name of his firm, created a Financial Residency podcast, and restructured his entire financial planning process to in-patient and outpatient services. Today he joins the show to share the mindset shift he had to go through in order to be comfortable with narrowing the focus of his practice and offers advice for those who’d like to do the same.
Listen in as we discuss why having a targeted niche can make it easier when marketing, as well as what Ryan is doing to serve his niche effectively. You’ll learn how he chose to serve physicians in particular, the unique fee structure he uses, and what he is doing to bring in so many new clients every month.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/180
Elizabeth Nesvold is the Managing Director and Head of Asset & Wealth Management Investment Banking for Raymond James, providing investment banking services for some of the largest independent advisory firms engaging in capital transactions. Today she joins the show to discuss the evolution in wealth management firms over the decades and how an investment banker looks at the evaluation of an advisory firm.
Listen in as we talk in depth about how obtaining evaluation of your advisory firm can be a helpful tool in understanding whether your business is getting a good return on investment, as well as what Liz has learned as a founder selling her own firm. You will hear what investment bankers do for wealth management firms, the dynamics of raising capital when starting an advisory firm, and how Liz counsels other advisory firm founders getting ready to sell their businesses.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/179
Daniel Zajac is a financial advisor and partner with Simone Zajac Wealth Management Group, a hybrid advisory firm on the Lincoln Investments platform that oversees nearly $250 million of AUM for 300 clients. Today Daniel joins the show to discuss how he built and developed a niche in working with those who receive significant equity compensation, including the years it took early on and how he accelerated his positive results.
Listen in as we talk in depth about how Daniel’s firm prices and delivers its planning services, as well as how they determine whether a prospect is the right fit for the firm. You will learn why his business offers tax preparation as part of its services, how forming a niche has opened up new opportunities, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/178
Sara Stanich is the founder of Cultivating Wealth, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $50 million in AUM for 95 ongoing client households. Sara transitioned into financial advisory in the midst of the last financial crisis, forcing her into the independent channel with less support but more flexibility to craft her advisory firm the way she wanted to. Today she joins the show to discuss her journey into the industry and her advice for people starting out during the current bear market.
Listen in as we talk in depth about how Sara builds her business, as well as the software she uses to identify which potential clients would be a good fit for the firm. You’ll learn how her business has evolved over recent years as she has started to add more CFP professionals to her team, key advice for career changers or other advisors early in their career, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/177
Mindy Diamond is the founder of Diamond Consultants, a recruiting firm that has been helping advisors evaluate and change their broker-dealer platforms for more than 20 years. Today Mindy joins the show to discuss the range in choices that advisors have in choosing a brokerage platform and how best to decide which is the right fit for your firm.
Listen in as we talk about when advisors should—and should not—look at switching to another broker-dealer platform, as well as the most common reasons advisors choose to make the change. You will learn why it is crucial for an advisor to understand their own priorities before they have any chance of picking the right platform for them, the important questions you should ask yourself as an advisor, and why the decision of which platform to choose is not as simple as it once was.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/176
Dr. Travis Parry is the founder of Make Time Institute, a company that helps business owners gain control of their time to achieve a more sustainable work/life balance. Having spent nearly a decade working as a financial advisor himself, Travis knows that the demands of working at a firm can take away from important time you should be spending with your loved ones. Today he joins the show to explain his “Make Time” approach to creating better work/life balance and how to overcome what he calls the three myths of time management.
Listen in as we talk in depth about the importance of identifying your goals and ensuring your time is prioritized to align with them. You will learn how the combination of a family tragedy and the financial crisis that derailed his advisory firm led Travis to find what is now his life’s work and how to improve your time management system in order to stop overworking and start prioritizing the things that matter most.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/175
Shanna Tingom is the founder of Heritage Financial Strategies, a dually registered advisory firm that oversees nearly $50 million of assets under management for 250 clients. Today Shanna joins the show to discuss how she has heavily automated key processes throughout her firm to service her large number of clients efficiently—and has done so by not using industry standard systems.
Listen in as we talk in depth about Shanna’s journey through the advisory business itself, as well as why she is thankful she started out a large financial advisory firm. You will learn why she decided to branch out on her own, the difficult challenges she faced in doing so, and the unique advisor technology stack she has used to simplify things in her business.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/174
Andrew Leonard is the founder of Geometric Wealth Advisors, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $250 million in AUM for 110 client households. Andrew has settled into a unique niche, which ultimately propelled his firm to organically add almost $200 million dollars of net new assets in just five years—almost entirely from a single white paper he wrote for that niche. Today he joins the show to discuss what customizing the financial process and experience to a particular type of client really entails and how he managed to do so in such an effective way.
Listen in as Andrew shares the unique opportunities and challenges that accompany working with management consultants who are trained to analyze and scrutinize financial models and projections. You will learn about the live presentations he has evolved his practice to focus on, how he is able to connect with clientele that are based all around the country, and the benefits of focusing on a unique niche to accelerate your career.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/173
Minoti Rajput is the founder and president of Secure Planning Strategies, a hybrid advisory firm that oversees nearly $300 million of AUM for 350 client households. Minoti has built her advisory firm by creating a specialization in working with families with special needs children, and she joins the show today to discuss her niche and how she gathered the expertise needed to support special needs families.
Listen in as we talk in depth about the unique marketing opportunity she has been able to create by working with school systems, where as many as 10% of students have some form of special needs. You will learn how she handles the compliance challenges that come with providing this kind of specialized advice, her unique fee structure, and what it’s like working in such a rewarding and fulfillng niche.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/172
Tom Kennedy is a wealth advisor at Global Wealth Advisors, where he works with a base of nearly 400 clients. After 10 successful years of being a wholesaler to advisors, Tom decided to make the transition into becoming an advisor himself. Today he joins the show to discuss how he networked his way to a fast-growing number of clients and how he was able to use the people skills he learned in wholesaling to build deeper relationships with his clients.
Listen in as Tom shares what it was like transitioning into an advisory firm, knowing he was going to make less money than what was available in the short-term with wholesaling. You will discover how he assessed the varying firms he came into contact with in order to decide which would be the best to work with as an advisor. If you have been wanting to improve your networking skills or you are considering becoming a financial advisor, this is the episode for you.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/171
Patrick Tucker is the founder of True Measure Wealth Management, an independent RIA that oversees nearly $150 million in AUM for 89 client families. Patrick has a background in business operations and financial management from having started his career with UPS and has managed to transfer those business skills to managing his own advisory firm. Today he joins the show to discuss how he built his intentionally-designed advisory firm by overcoming the growth imperative pressure that the industry tends to put on us all.
Listen in as we discuss why Patrick splits his advisory fee structure to accommodate his different groups of clients, as well as the key business metrics he focuses on to ensure he is spending his time and business resources properly. You’ll learn what it takes to triple your business in the first two years, why Patrick keeps his internal team lean by using contractors, and more.
For show notes and more visit: https://www.kitces.com/170