Frequently Asked Questions

What would you say are your strengths in terms of financial advising? What type of clients do you specialize in?

My strength is getting to know my clients really quickly so that I can help them use their money to match their values and live incredible lives. I have a knack for taking complex financial topics and explaining them in a way that makes sense to my clients. The majority of my clients are world travelers, who are entrepreneurial-minded with incomes that have increased rapidly in the past few years. Their financial lives have suddenly become more complicated and now they’re seeking someone to help them navigate through the complexities so they can reach their goals faster.

 

How many clients do you serve?

About 50 ongoing clients at the moment. Gen Y Planning is accepting new clients, but our ultimate goal is to still be able to have a personal relationship with all of our clients.

 

What are some the different topics discussed in Gen Y Planning’s financial plans?

I cover:

  • Cash flow
  • Debt repayment
  • Tax planning
  • Insurance
  • Estate planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Investments
  • Connecting you to others in my network (CPAs, insurance agents, lawyers, etc.)

Some areas of expertise:

  • Navigating through your student loans (including repayment options and refinancing)
  • Choosing the right credit card to maximize your travel rewards
  • A detailed company benefits package review and summary

 

What is your investment approach?

Passive. I use index funds in my 401(k) recommendations whenever possible, which is included as part of my ongoing financial planning services. As an add-on to my financial planning services, I can also manage client investments outside of their 401(k). I use Betterment for Advisors to outsource my investment management. I charge .70% to manage assets and Betterment charges .20% to use their platform. You can add this service at any time as it is separate from the financial planning fees.

 

Do you offer clients access to a network of other financial professionals? If so, is it purely on a recommendation basis without a commission from those professionals?

I connect you with others in my network and they charge you separately for their services. I don’t receive any commission or compensation for this. If I did, I wouldn’t be a fee-only financial planner.

 

How often do you typically interact with clients?

There’s a ton of interaction the first few months. I do two 90-minute meetings up front. Then we meet every 4-6 months unless there’s a major life change. I meet with most clients 3 times per year. I offer unlimited email support as well and I encourage my clients to reach out as their situation changes. I usually do a year-end check in and touch base around tax time and open enrollment time, so clients hear from me throughout the year.

 

Who works for Gen Y Planning?

Financial planning clients work with me, and they’ll also get to know my Associate Planner, Alex.  She sits in on a lot of client meetings, preps financial plans, and is my right-hand person. She’s also our resident budgeting expert, so some clients will do one-on-one calls with her to talk about budgeting. I also have a part-time Content Manager and Paraplanner. She works behind the scenes to create the monthly GYP newsletter, helps me with my blog, and keeps the GYP social media channels active. She’s also working on becoming a CFP, so she interacts with clients and prospective clients as well. A few contractors also work on GYP part-time: a marketing strategist, lawyer, and bookkeeper.

 

What makes your client experience unique?

My clients meet me in the comfort of their own homes via a video call and often feel like they are talking to a close friend. I don’t rip apart my client’s budgets or beat them up over their financial habits. Instead, I take stock of their current financial situation and we start by focusing on the “big wins.” What changes can we make that would have the biggest impact? How can we help you figure out what’s causing the most financial stress and address that? What does your ideal life look like? Then we build the action checklist to help you maximize your current financial situation and so you can get closer to living your ideal life.

 

How many years of experience do you have as a financial advisor? What other relevant experience do you have in personal finance?

I’ve been in this profession for about 10 years. I started taking my CFP classes in 2006. The next year I was hired at a father/son financial planning firm. I worked there for 2.5 years before going to work with my mentor at Cahill Financial Advisors, which is a fee-only firm in Edina, MN. After two years, I left to work at LearnVest. After a year, I left to launch Gen Y Planning in May 2013 and have been doing that ever since.

I have been really involved in the financial blogging community long before I launched my own firm and attended FinCon for years. I always identified more with financial bloggers than financial planners because they seemed to be more focused on spending their money on experiences and creating the lives they want rather than buying sports cars and country club memberships.

I’ve been recognized as one of the 10 of the Best Personal Financial Experts on Twitter, 40 Under 40, 10 Young Advisors to Watch, and the Top CFP Holders Under 36.

 

Do you receive any commissions from recommending certain products to clients?

Nope. I’m a fiduciary, which means my recommendations to you are all in your best interest. I’m fee-only and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

What is some experience you have in assisting clients with investment real estate?

I bought a house when I was 21 and later turned it into an investment property by renting it out for a few years. One of my best friends runs the blog Afford Anything and has 5 investment properties, so if you’re interested in learning more about this topic, start there. She’s done a ton of research and has an online course that I highly recommend. I also have a few clients with investment properties in different states. I’ve helped them review their mortgage options and make sure that the financing makes sense for their current financial situation. The thing about investment real estate is it varies so much based on the area, so I usually defer to my client and their real estate agent when it comes to choosing the actual property, but I’m happy to look at the numbers and see if I think it makes sense from an investment standpoint.

 

Do you have availability for additional clients?

Yep. But only the fun ones! Now that I run my own business I don’t work with jerks anymore 🙂

If you’d like to work with me, apply here!