XYPN Radio Highlights: Continuing Conversations about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Financial Services Industry

8 min read
August 10, 2020

A few short months ago, the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor sparked national outrage and shined a light on the layers of historical prejudice and systemic racism that exist in our country, bringing demands for institutional reform and racial equality to the forefront of our national narrative.

As days and then months passed, the dialogue dampened, as so often happens under the rapid pace of a 24-hour news cycle. But the fight for equality is a movement, not a moment, and we must drive the momentum for justice, reform, and equality forward.

In June, XYPN hosted an open meeting for members and non-members alike to sit with those who live these experiences of injustice and prejudice, to engage in an open dialogue with one another, and to ultimately learn how to be better allies to our Black colleagues. One of my takeaways was not only to educate myself and continue shedding light on the inequalities we witness on a near daily basis, but to also do what I can to amplify the voices of the mistreated and oppressed.

So I'm using this space to highlight some of our diverse guests of XYPN Radio who were gracious enough to share their stories and successes as financial planners in this predominantly white industry. My only ask is that you take the opportunity to listen.

Ep #88: From Outsourced Virtual Operations Manager to RIA Owner - The Career of Chloé Moore

Chloé Moore is a multi-talented planner and business owner who has already had a diverse and interesting career. Based in Atlanta, Chloé helps firms improve their operations and serve complex clients while she advises more everyday people than in her past.

Chloé graduated from the University of Alabama and immediately started studying to become a CFP. She passed both that and the GSRE and jumped feet first into the industry. After several jobs as an associate planner and manager at various firms throughout the southern U.S., Chloé decided to start her own consulting and advising businesses.

In this episode, Chloé talks about the brilliant path she's taken as a financial planner, starting her career by advising high net-worth clients with complex needs. Once she realized she wanted to work with more everyday clientele, she made the clever switch to use her hard-earned skillset to start her own dual businesses. Chloé talks about the 50/50 balance she strikes with her advising and consulting practices and how she sets goals for herself each year. She also talks about some of the challenges she's faced as a young woman of color in a predominantly older and white male industry, how organizations like the Association of African American Financial Advisors are working to support each other, and how we can all contribute to making the industry more diverse.

Listen to Chloé Moore’s episode here.

Ep #120: Career Changing From Tax Attorney to Financial Planner With a Focused Niche of Serving LGBTQ Couple Clients - The Career of Brian Thompson

Brian Thompson, founder of Brian Thompson Financial, is committed to helping the LGBTQ community with their financial planning. He started out as a tax attorney but his interest in personal finance grew after he watched his mom get sold inappropriate annuities and saw more opportunity to help people in this area. He sat in the CFP exam and opened his own RIA in February 2016 though he didn’t launch until August 2016.

In this episode, Brian shares some of the challenges in growing a business in the first year and how servicing a niche audience has helped grow his firm. Currently, he has 13 retainer clients, charges $1500.00 upfront, and around $300.00 monthly. He uses a net worth-based income calculation. Brian also speaks about using content marketing to help grow your business – his amazing writing skills has produced a lot of content geared towards his market.

You’ll learn what some of the biggest challenges are as a beginner in financial planning (e.g. what the CFP doesn’t teach you), how you can differentiate yourself in the industry, and how to leverage content in your business.

Listen to Brian Thompson’s episode here.

Ep #196: From Olympic Athlete to Financial Planner - The Career of Lauryn Williams

XYPN member Lauryn Williams is the founder of Worth Winning and the only American to have medaled in both the summer and winter Olympics. She joins the show to share her experience starting a financial planning firm as her athletic career came to a close and the major challenges she faced along the way.

Listen in to hear Lauryn open up about what it was like transitioning into the financial planning industry, as well as what made her want to join the field in the first place. You'll learn why she decided to start her own advisory business after working at a couple of other firms, how she's targeting three different niches, and how she has managed to keep going after plenty of setbacks along her road to success.

Listen to Lauryn Williams’ episode here.

Ep #131: Having the Difficult Conversation About Diversity and Inclusion - Co-Hosted by Kathleen Boyd & Bill Simonet

The financial planning field has been historically dominated by white males and focused on the same. This discussion is to bring a better understanding of the difficulties that ethnic minorities and females have when trying to break into and become established in the field. Listen in for an important and exciting discussion between Kathleen Boyd and Bill Simonet who both have unique and valuable experiences and views that will help us see things from different perspectives.

This conversation is not aimed at pointing fingers or casting blame and shame on anyone. It is meant to bring a better understanding of where we currently stand with diversity and inclusion and how we can all actively pursue a more diverse and inclusive community of financial planners. Our guests share experiences with racism and sexism as well as pointing out possible issues in the way people are interviewed and with the AUM model. They also share some small ways that we can start re-evaluating and re-thinking how we do business and work with others in order to make our field a more inclusive place.

Listen to Kathleen Boyd’s & Bill Simonet’s episode here.

Ep #162: Discovering Your Why and Becoming What You Were Meant To Be - The Career of Rianka Dorsainvil

Rianka Dorsainvil is a thought leader in the financial industry who has been published in Black Enterprise, CNBC, Financial Advisor, ThinkAdvisor, MarketWatch, US News & World Report, Women’s Health, and many more. She is the founder of Your Greatest Contribution, as well as the creator and host of the 2050 Trailblazers podcast, which directly addresses the lack of diversity in the financial planning profession.

A young minority female, Rianka offers a unique voice in the industry, and she is using it to promote inclusion of all kinds. Listen in to hear her inspiring story of following through with what she was meant to do—even when she sometimes didn’t want to embrace it—how she's working to make the industry more inclusive, and what she says all entrepreneurs need to remember in order to keep going even when the going gets rough.

Listen to Rianka Dorsainvil’s episode here.

Ep #198: Providing Multi-Generational Financial Planning to Minority Families - The Career of Emlen Miles-Mattingly

Emlen Miles-Mattingly joins the show to describe how he took his career from bank teller to president and CEO of the successful firm, Gen Next Wealth. We’ll discuss Emlen’s unique niche in providing multi-generational financial planning to minority families and what he is doing to bring diversity to the industry.

Emlen recounts a personal story of how listening to XYPN Radio prompted his decision to break off from his old firm to develop his own business. Listen in to get an in-depth look at how he establishes lasting relationships with his clients and the extensive work he puts in to continue impressively growing his practice.

Listen to Emlen Miles-Mattingly’s episode here.

Ep #204: Leveraging Life Planning to Build a Financial Planning Firm - The Career of Sidney Divine

Sidney Divine is the founder of Divine Wealth Strategies, joins the show to share how he climbed his way to the top and ended up being voted Financial Planner of the Year in 2017. He explains how he is fulfilling his dream of helping good people live better lives and how that passion has helped him build strong, lasting relationships with his clients.

Listen in to hear how cold calling was beneficial to his career—despite this method being so often discredited—and how, for Sidney, it has always been less about money management and more about financial life planning. We discuss the importance he places on providing freedom to his clients in whatever they decide to pursue, as well as his vision for the future and how he plans to grow his firm.

Listen to Sidney Divine’s episode here.

Ep #265: Building An Inclusive Firm That Creates Opportunities For Women and People of Color To Grow and Succeed: The Career of Jocelyn Wright

Jocelyn Wright is the owner and founder of the Ascension Group, a fee-only firm in Philadelphia, PA. In this episode, she outlines her path for getting into and working her way around this industry. She's an MBA and a CFP®, has had experience working in the banking industry, the B/D world, and now is eleven years into running her own firm that primarily serves professional black women. Today, Jocelyn talks a lot about how a mentorship relationship was a turning point in her career and how she hopes to be that role model to students and other advisors of color in the financial services industry.

Join us as we discuss Jocelyn’s experiences being the first and only Black person in many rooms over the years in the industry, and how she has viewed it as an opportunity to lean in by networking. Learn from Jocelyn's passion for her work and the importance of our current environment for making real change in our industry. Finally, listen to her message around diversifying the industry and how if we don't act now, we may lose this opportunity forever.

If you're interested in how you can play a part in making this industry more diverse, inclusive, and equitable, then this show is for you.

Listen to Jocelyn Wright’s episode here.

Ep #267: Supporting BIPOC Advisors on the Path to the CFP

We’re honored to interview the leaders of the XYPN Diversity Committee - Shehara Wooten, Miguel Gomez, Ryan Frailich, and Abel Soares - on the show today. These four wonderful XYPN members have all served on our Diversity Committee over the past 12 months. They join the show today to discuss the value of the CFP® designation, their own personal journey to pursuing it, and ultimately the scholarships and opportunities the XYPN Diversity Committee offers to advisors both in and out of the Network to make the CFP® more accessible, achievable, and utilized within our industry.

Shehara, Miguel, Ryan, and Abel each have really unique stories about the road to the CFP® and into this industry generally. Join us as each of them shares their experience of receiving the XYPN CFP® Exam scholarship and how the community support that they received along the way was essential to their success. Listen as we talk about what kind of barriers of entry exist for advisors of color or folks without financial means. Finally, learn what it means to transition into this industry as a career changer and how the CFP® establishes credibility and provides the foundation and knowledge advisors need to succeed in this profession.

If you're interested in pursuing the CFP® designation, this show is for you.

Listen to this episode featuring the leaders of XYPN’s Diversity Committee here.

Sara Williams

About the Author

As the Operations Specialist for XY Tax Solutions (XYTS), Sara analyzes business operations and identifies client needs to bring the two closer together. She manages the flow of the workplace and optimizes day-to-day activities.

Subscribe by email