10 Observations Over 10 Years at XYPN

4 min read
April 08, 2024

I remember first hearing about a new group of planners through a post on the FPA discussion board. This group was looking to help people with financial planning and charge them on a retainer basis. “Wow,’ I thought. “That’s exactly what I am doing!” So I called Alan Moore and talked with him about this concept.

This pricing dilemma was a challenge I had been struggling with and Alan was excited to share his vision. His image sounded much the same as what I was doing, though he was doing it better. I was tracking my work based on an hourly charge. I didn’t have AUM fees at the time as I was only offering planning services. I had started my firm, Pathfinder Planning, from scratch in 2010 and was still struggling to figure things out.

It didn’t take much convincing to know that I had to be part of this group. These people were the only ones who were planning the way I thought it should be done. So, I joined right away.

I’ve been with XYPN since the beginning, and I’ve learned a lot over the years. Thinking back on my time, here are my Top 10 Observations and Insights about being an XYPN member.

#1. Co-workers

When I first started, I used to talk with my husband about work stuff. He had no clue what an ADV was, how to build portfolios, or what to look for in CRM software. Once I joined XYPN, I began to interact with other planners who were in the same boat. We chatted online regularly and shared everything we had. The community was the first thing that formed. We could talk shop virtually and then go back to work. This made working from home way better than going to an office. I didn’t have random people stopping by my cubicle interrupting my work.

#2. Software

Before XYPN came about, I researched and vetted the software I needed. I used Google and built my own company website. My CRM was the precursor to Wealthbox and my planning software was MoneyGuidePro. Looking at XYPN’s software stack quickly validated that I was on the right track. They were using many of the same programs that I had already chosen, as well as some better ones. My software stack has changed greatly since those early days, but XYPN remains my first stop when looking for software solutions to support clients. 

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#3. Iterate

Remember Guide? Probably not. Advizer? Maybe. XY Tax Solutions? Probably so. XYPN has morphed over time, and so has the software and programs they offer. While members may not always be on board with changes, I love that the team is not afraid to drop what doesn't work and go a different direction. In all its different iterations, the one constant has been that the team supports advisors to become successful in their own businesses.

#4. Mastermind Group

After all these years, my Mastermind Group still helps hold me accountable. They are my sounding board for issues, insight for questions, and support when things are going wrong. This is my go-to team for questions outside my own firm and I love them all. Over the years, I have been active in other groups on a more local level, but nothing compares to this team.

#5. Community

Community is the core of XYPN. It was the first and most consistent benefit of being a member. Everyone can find their “tribe” here. Christian Financial Planners, Military, Real Estate, and other member-led groups support each other, while XYPN supports Launch Groups, Mastermind Groups, and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. 

#6. Open

There is space for everyone to pursue their planning passion. Green hair or suit and tie, there is a level of respect for every different type of planner. This is why we have more women and diversity than other organizations. XYPN is open to supporting planners at all stages of personal and professional development.

#7. Be Yourself

Along those lines, you can be the planner you want to be. If your focus is college planning, great! Young professionals? Sure! Tiny house people! This has to be a favorite. I could never have survived the hard sales life of the brokerage world. Pathfinder Planning has not grown as quickly as many other firms - by choice. Being the firm where stay-at-home parents come to work, our mission is more focused on faith and family, so we grow organically through referrals from other advisors rather than hard sell tactics. XYPN lets us do that. Pick your niche, focus, and grow.

#8. Resources

This is the most sharing group of professionals I've encountered. Everyone is open to group ideas, making things better, and helping others. In the dog-eat-dog world of brokerage, I never saw the same level of togetherness that XYPN has developed. XYPN Academy is a great place to find old and new posts about ideas for business development, streamlining operations, and keeping compliant. Members can share their ideas and learn from others.

#9. Conferences

The energy and vibe at an XYPN LIVE conference is nothing like any other industry event. And you can wear jeans and flip-flops. Or hide out in the introvert room. You can speak with vendors and advisors you really want to talk with. You do you at the conference.

#10. Growth

XYPN was just a gleam in Alan's eye when we started. It was just a vision. What a great ride it’s been to see the growth over the past 10 years. We used to all know each other and we have now expanded so that I don’t see as many familiar faces. However, many of the original members are still here and I’ve made new friends along the way.

Staying in business for ten years is quite an achievement. So is the growth that XYPN has had. The next ten years will be interesting as the company matures along with our membership. What’s in store for us? I don’t know but I think I’ll stick around to find out.

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Pam HorackPam Horack, CFP®

Pam Horack, CFP® is Your Financial Mom at Pathfinder Planning LLC and SMART Budgeting. Pathfinder Planning LLC provides personal financial planning and asset management services to young adults and working families using our Five Step Path to build a solid Financial Tower. SMART Budgeting provides online budgeting courses for women and budgeting software for advisors. 

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