Advisor Spotlight: Katelyn Bombardiere, Commas

For this Advisor Spotlight, we welcome Katelyn Bombardiere, CFP®, a Financial Planner at Commas, to chat about her passion for helping the everyday investor.

Katelyn Bombardiere Headshot

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Advisor: Katelyn Bombardiere

Firm: Commas

Bio: Katelyn Bombardiere, CFP®, is a Financial Planner at Commas, a fee-only financial planning firm based in Cincinnati. Katelyn started her career in the high-net-worth wealth management industry where she quickly realized her passion for helping the "everyday" investor. She sought a different approach to help people (like her friends, family and peers) without worrying about asset minimums.

Firm Bio: We all don't have millions of dollars—but we all have goals. Commas is a financial advisory that provides fee-only service to the EveryInvestor: those who might not fit the standards set by traditional high-net-worth advisories but still deserve personalized financial guidance to meet their goals. We offer services with no account minimums, working with our clients at every step of the process and empowering them to create, plan, and achieve their desired money goals.

We Are:
Encouraging: 0% Judgment
Trustworthy: Certified, Not Stuffy
Purposeful: Fee-only for All
Approachable: We Wear Jeans

Why did you decide to become an advisor?

As a sophomore in college, I was fortunate enough to go on a trip through the Leeds School of Business at The University of Colorado at Boulder. This trip took a group of students to over 10 different financial firms to introduce them to the possibilities of careers in finance. It was on this trip that I declared my major as finance and figured out that I wanted to be a wealth advisor. From there, I pivoted my internship and career choices to pursue my goal of becoming an advisor.

What are some questions that you wish more clients would ask, and why?

I think it is important for people who are looking for an advisor to know:
  1. if the advisor they are talking to is a fiduciary
  2. how that advisor is getting paid
  3. the investment philosophy and financial planning process the advisor follows
  4. what the advisor's qualifications are.

I think gauging a sense of the advisor's passion is important too. You want to work with someone who is passionate about what they do, continues to learn, and shows an interest in you.

What do you think is the biggest mistake people make with their money?

Either they don't save enough, or they save but don't invest. Another big mistake is not understanding the difference between long-term investing in well-diversified funds and day trading.

What does your firm's current tech stack look like? How has technology impacted your work?

We utilize Betterment for Advisors as our custodian and Right Capital as our financial planning software. We have created our own CRM platform using Airtable which is a zero code cloud spreadsheet database. This tool allows us to customize our own portal where we house client data, tasks, meeting notes, and the client ledger (types of accounts, where they are held, contributions, notes, etc.).

What makes Commas unique, however, is our internal automations through Zapier. For example, after our introduction meeting, the prospect is automatically sent an email with the next steps (signing up for our fee, completing a questionnaire and opening a Betterment account with our client agreements). Once they complete that step they are automatically sent another email asking them to upload documents to our secure portal. Those documents then file themselves into the correct client folder. The clients are then prompted to schedule our discovery meeting. This process continues all the way through the client onboarding process, and even when it comes time for generating annual reviews.

These automations are what allows us to service our clients more successfully. They decrease the time we spend on busy work—account opening paperwork, filing documents, creating review outlines, sending template emails, etc.—and increase the amount of time we get to meet with clients and work on their financial plans.

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How have the recent trends toward remote and hybrid work impacted your relationship with clients?

The remote work trend has only strengthened our client relationships as we were already well equipped from a technology standpoint. Our client meetings are generally 30 minutes to an hour, which is on the shorter side when looking at some other wealth management firms. I think our clients like the ability to have a quick meeting and get back to their day. They are just as busy as we are! This also allows us to work with clients all across the country.

What do you think is the biggest opportunity for advisors today?

To work with the everyday investors and show them that they are qualified to work with an advisor. You don't have to have thousands or millions of dollars to get good financial advice from a trustworthy source. This is also an opportunity to prove that fiduciary financial advisors are trustworthy professionals, not shifty sales people.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?

Treat myself to a nice international vacation, set aside some funds for my closest friends and family (as long as they invest it for their futures), and invest the rest to ensure that I can attain all of my goals and retire comfortably.

If you could only give one piece of financial advice, what would it be?

If you are young, start investing today—even if it is $10/month! If you are older, still get started today!

I also can't help but advise that you talk to a financial advisor (fiduciary!). Every single person's financial situation is different, and having the peace of mind that you are on track is so powerful. Yes, you can absolutely do this on your own, but do you have the time or passion to do it? Will you be 100% confident in your choices? If you are sick, you go to the doctor. If you have a toothache, you go to the dentist. If you have finances to manage (spoiler alert we all do), why not talk to a financial advisor?

Katelyn Bombardiere, CFP®, is a Financial Planner at Commas. Discover more Advisor Spotlights from Betterment for Advisors here.