Quoted: Member Media Roundup - October 2020

5 min read
October 29, 2020

XY Planning Network members regularly serve as subject matter experts for major media outlets. (We invite our journalist friends to submit requests using our media portal.) We've compiled this roundup of recent articles featuring some of our superstar advisors. 

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The Best Ways to Find and Build Your Client Niche

ThinkAdvisor, featuring XYPN members Mike Zung, Chris Chen, Amy Irvine, and Katie Brewer

Growing an advisory firm through a niche focus — on a specific profession, age group or gender — isn’t a new business strategy. But increasingly, advisors have honed target groups using their own backgrounds and turned to online-based resources to both build and grow these practices.

Many advisors have focused on doctors, lawyers and engineers as their client niche, for instance, because these professionals usually are high-income earners. Others leverage contacts from prior careers or training.

Computer science grad and former tech pro Mike Zung, CFP, of Java Wealth Planning in Kansas City, Missouri, told Investment Advisor that “I really enjoyed working in tech, loved the people, and the pay and benefits were great. But I wanted to focus my time and energy on work that I could look back and feel that I made a tangible, positive impact on the world.”

Thus, when he decided to open an advisory firm, he targeted what he knew best: nerds.

Nick Giacoumakis, who founded New England Investment & Retirement of North Andover, Massachusetts, and Naples, Florida, grew up and worked in the construction business. As a result, he’s focused his advisory group on clients such as general contractors, subcontractors and their employees.

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Investopedia Top 100 Financial Advisors of 2020

Investopedia, featuring XYPN members Taylor Schulte, Justin Castelli, Cathy Curtis, Mary Beth Storjohann, Lazetta Braxton, Donovan Brooks, Luis Rosa, Emlen Miles-Mattingly, David Rae, Samuel Deane, Kaya Ladejobi, Anna N’jie-Konte, David Flores Wilson, Chloe Moore, Davde Grant, Katie Brewer, Rianka Dorsainvil, Brad Sherman, Morgen Rochard, Stephanie Sammons, Eric Roberge, Andrew Musbach, Lauryn Williams, Shehara Wooten, George Papadopoulous, Kyle Moore, and Sidney Divine

The Investopedia 100 celebrates financial advisors who are making significant contributions to critical conversations about financial literacy, investing strategies, life-stage planning and wealth management. With more than 100,000 independent financial advisors in the U.S., the Investopedia 100 spotlights the country’s most engaged, influential, and educational advisors.

Meet this year's top 100 advisors

Financial planners agree on the biggest threat to a young investor: a 'false sense of confidence'

Business Insider, featuring XYPN member Eric Roberge

There's quite a bit of chance involved in stock-market investing

As financial experts preach time and again, there's no way to predict returns with 100% certainty. No one — not even professional money managers — can time the market precisely. That means at least part of your performance as an investor is out of your hands.

But it's easy for a novice investor to think they can replicate returns, especially once they've made money using their stock-picking strategy of choice, said Eric Roberge, a certified financial planner and founder of Beyond Your Hammock.

"The worst thing that could happen to somebody in their first attempt to invest is choosing a stock that does well, because then they have this false sense of confidence that it's just as easy as picking the right stock — because I was smart enough to pick the right stock and that stock doubled, I can do it every time," Roberge said during Business Insider's Money Council roundtable in August.

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What the World’s Richest Woman Can Teach Us About Charitable Giving

NextAdvisor, featuring XYPN members Jirayr Kembikian, Thomas Hlohinec, Tara Unverzagt, Christine Gamache, and Ashley Coake

Whether you have $25 million or $25 to spare, there’s a lot to learn from how the world’s richest woman, MacKenzie Scott, is donating her fortune. 

Scott, who was named Tuesday to TIME’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2020, outlined how she divvied up $1.7 billion to different charitable organizations in a July Medium post a year after pledging to donate the majority of her fortune over her lifetime. 

“There’s no question in my mind that anyone’s personal wealth is the product of a collective effort, and of social structures which present opportunities to some people, and obstacles to countless others,” wrote Scott, who used to be married to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and remains a major shareholder in Amazon.

With a net worth Bloomberg puts at nearly $60 billion, Scott wrote about how she looks to donate to organizations and leaders that best align with her values. Here are some ways you can take a page from Scott’s book and donate in a way that advances your own values and makes an impact on things you care about

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$2.50 a Year in Interest? That’s What $5,000 in Savings Gets

The New York Times, featuring XYPN member Malissa Marshall

Historically low interest rates are a boon for home buyers.

But for savers? Not so much.

Low rates for borrowers typically also mean lower rates for savers. Because banks are earning less on loans, they typically pay out less on savings to make money.

The average rate paid by banks on basic, federally insured savings accounts — known as the annual percentage yield — was a mere 0.05 percent as of Monday, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

That means if you had $5,000 in a savings account, you would earn $2.50 a year on your money.

“It’s almost an insult,” said Cheryl Costa, a wealth manager outside Boston.

Nor should savers count on an improvement anytime soon. The Federal Reserve has signaled that it expects to keep interest rates near zero for the next couple of years, as it manages the economy through the pandemic and its aftermath.

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How Advisors Get Clients To Tackle Uncomfortable But Necessary Tasks

Investor's Business Daily, featuring XYPN members Jake Morris, David Deller, and Kaleb Paddock

Advisors prefer not to pester their clients. But sometimes a little nagging is necessary.

Part of an advisor's job is to urge clients to take action on sensitive matters. Left to their own devices, clients might procrastinate.

Even though they know it's important, some individuals will avoid buying life insurance or drafting a will. They may resist sharing their end-of-life wishes with family members or meeting with next of kin to set expectations for their inheritance.

As much as advisors want clients to complete these tasks, there's only so much they can do. Exerting pressure — or appealing to guilt or fear — probably won't work. And repeated reminders can fall upon deaf ears.

Clashing perspectives make matters worse. With all their technical expertise, advisors may tell clients what to do based on facts and figures. But reluctant clients can look past reams of data and remain unable or unwilling to follow through.

"There's often a disconnect between the world of the advisor and the world of the client," said Jake Morris, a certified financial planner in Rhinebeck, N.Y. "Advisors often like numbers and will quantify a decision and compare one delta to another delta. With clients, their financial decisions can be emotional, not cut and dried."

To persuade reluctant clients to do what's best for them, start by taking stock of their emotions. Ask probing questions to determine the source of their discomfort. Show friendly, nonjudgmental curiosity so that they're more apt to open up.

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Advisors’ Advice: You Don’t Have to Major in Business to Be a Financial Planner

ThinkAdvisor, featuring XYPN members Charles Thomas, Mike Zung, Neil Krishnaswamy, and Adam Van Wie

Advisors’ academic backgrounds are as varied as the advice they provide and the clients they serve. Many have studied business and finance, but plenty graduated outside that norm and still became successful financial advisors.

We recently asked financial advisors, via the Financial Planning Association and the XY Planning Network, what they majored in and how their college studies shaped their advisory careers. In a recent article, we shared stories from those who had chosen business and finance.

Here we asked advisors who took a much different path — one studied as a Marxist historian! — but eventually found not only the business of finance, but that their non-financial educations often helped enhance their work with clients.

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XY Planning Network's media request program is available to all XYPN advisors as a member benefit. Interested in joining our community of expert advisors? Read more about XYPN's marketing support and watch our introductory video, Disrupting Financial Planning: The XYPN Movement.

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