Advisor Spotlight: Katelyn Bombardiere, Commas
For this Advisor Spotlight, we welcome Katelyn Bombardiere, CFP®, a Financial Planner at ...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. 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: if the advisor they are talking to is a fiduciary how that advisor is getting paid the investment philosophy and financial planning process the advisor follows 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. 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/m! 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?
Advisor Spotlight: Eric Rodriguez, WealthBuilders
For this Advisor Spotlight, we welcome Eric Rodriguez, CFP® and the Founder of WealthBuilders, ...Advisor Spotlight: Eric Rodriguez, WealthBuilders For this Advisor Spotlight, we welcome Eric Rodriguez, CFP® and the Founder of WealthBuilders, LLC to chat about taking a more life-centered approach to financial planning. Advisor: Eric Rodriguez Firm: WealthBuilders, LLC Bio: Eric is a Certified Financial Planner® and the Founder of WealthBuilders, LLC, an independent, virtual RIA based out of San Diego, CA. Eric is the author of R.E.T.I.R.E. On Your Terms: 6 Steps To Build Wealth and Co-Host of The Avocado Toast Podcast. He started his career as a registered rep for a broker-dealer that was heavily focused on product sales. That firm left him with a bad impression of the financial industry, so he switched careers to strategic B2B sales where he thrived. About eight years later, Eric was introduced to real financial planning when he started working at LearnVest. He was inspired to launch his own firm, WealthBuilders LLC, in 2017. Firm Bio: WealthBuilders is an independent fee-only fiduciary wealth management firm. WealthBuilders specializes in working with progressive early to mid-career professionals and business owners who are passionate about aligning their wealth with their values. Why did you decide to become an advisor? My parents didn’t talk about money growing up. They argued about it. I wanted to change that for us. I wanted to normalize talking about money and building wealth, and I wanted to make it a positive experience. This is what inspired me to become a CFP®. What are some questions that you wish more clients would ask? How do you measure success with your clients? Why? What do you think is the biggest mistake people make with their money? Not having a customized wealth plan that aligns their key values with their money. Having a wealth plan that includes a vision for your ideal future, key values, the unexpected, and goals to achieve can have a profound impact on your financial success. What does your firm's current tech stack look like? How has technology impacted your work? I run a solo practice —having a solid tech stack is essential to running my business successfully, especially with back office responsibilities. Having a partner like Betterment helps me streamline client onboarding and ongoing investment support so I can focus on other aspects of my business. My firm's tech stack includes Betterment for Advisors as my custodian; G-Suite for all business functions; Asset-Map for initial client conversations; eMoney for complicated financial plans; Riskalyze for risk tolerance; Holistiplan for tax planning; AdvicePay for retainer client fees; Calendly for prospect/client bookings; Wealthbox as my CRM; Mailchimp for client communication and newsletters; Quickbooks for accounting; Canva for marketing and one page plan creation; Loom for custom client videos; and Adobe Acrobat for contract management and editing. How have the recent trends toward remote and hybrid work impacted your relationship with clients? I work with a lot of clients in tech and most have always been hybrid. Prior to the pandemic I was meeting with my clients virtually about 70% of the time. Now it's 100% virtual. It saves us both valuable time and money. What do you think is the biggest opportunity for advisors today? Automating their portfolio management and back office and focusing more time on truly helping clients align their resources with their life goals. Evidence shows that a more life-centered approach to financial planning can help clients make better decisions and improve financial wellbeing and life satisfaction. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? I'd love to give my family and close friends enough money to fund some of their dreams. Give to non-profit organizations focused on closing the racial wealth gap and climate change. Take our immediate and extended family on a big annual trip and pay for everyone. Hire a full time helper like Jeffrey from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air! Invest the rest wisely. If you could only give one piece of financial advice, what would it be? Prioritize your immediate goals and take action. For example, if a down payment is at the top of your goal list, then open an investment account and aggressively start saving.
Advisor Spotlight: Devon Klumb, RhineVest
For our first ever Advisor Spotlight, we welcome Devon Klumb, Financial Planner at RhineVest.Advisor Spotlight: Devon Klumb, RhineVest For our first ever Advisor Spotlight, we welcome Devon Klumb, Financial Planner at RhineVest. For our first ever Advisor Spotlight, we welcome Devon Klumb, Financial Planner at RhineVest, a fee-only financial planning firm based in Cincinnati. Advisor: Devon Klumb, CFP®, BFA™ Firm: RhineVest Bio: Devon Klumb, CFP®, BFA™ is a Financial Planner at RhineVest, a fee-only financial planning firm based in Cincinnati. He started his career as a commodities trader and transitioned to financial advice and planning out of a commitment to help his family, and people like them, develop better financial habits. Firm Bio: RhineVest was created to bring fee-only, fiduciary advice to the people who need it most. We’re the outcasts. We never fit in at the banks, the insurance companies, or other investment firms. We’re the ones who couldn’t ignore our conscience to sell lucrative financial products. All of us believe there’s a better way. That’s why we exist. Our Q&A with Devon Why did you decide to become an advisor? The short answer: It was kind of decided for me. I went to college for Industrial Engineering because I thought that earning an engineering degree would give me the ability to wiggle my way into any job I wanted. All I needed was an interview. Pretty arrogant, right? Totally, but, it worked. I took a job out of school trading commodities in Omaha, NE. No, Warren Buffett had nothing to do with me becoming an advisor (though, I did eat at the same McDonalds as him many times). In fact, I'm not sure that I would have found myself in this position had my wife not begged that we move back to Cincinnati. Around this time, my dad convinced my wife and I to attend Dave Ramsey's 'Financial Peace University' course. The classes were on Saturday mornings at 8am at a local church... for like 8 weeks straight. I still can't believe we did that! Now, I love my parents, but their financial track-record wasn't something you'd aspire to. And wouldn't you know it, my wife and I were awful with our money, too. Only, I had no idea that was the case until we went through this course. The synopsis of our experience: our money was not going to places that reflected our values and an immediate change was necessary. I essentially became obsessed with reversing the trend of poor financial habits in my own family, which led to a deeper obsession with helping others do the same. So, I did the only logical thing a commodities trader with an Engineering degree living in Omaha could do. I quit my job and moved back to Cincinnati to be a financial advisor. As I said, it was kind of decided for me. What are some questions that you wish more clients would ask, and why? "How can we get better at delaying gratification?" This is by far the most obsolete principle in our consumer-centric society. Ironically, this is, in my opinion, the key to building wealth. What do you think is the biggest mistake people make with their money? Spend it on things that don't actually make them happy. Or, save it for things that they don't actually care about. What’s the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made? Oddly enough, the worst financial decision I've ever made resulted in the most rewarding experience I've ever had. At 24, I decided to leave my high-paying commission job and start a fee-only financial planning firm with a friend. This was no bueno for the old savings account, especially as we would soon learn that my wife was pregnant with our son, Jack. BUT, what an incredible journey I've been afforded the opportunity to trek since making that decision. Should I have been more 'financially stable' before making the leap? Yes, absolutely. Would I do it again. Yes, absolutely. What does your current technology stack look like? You name it, we use it. Wealthbox, Zapier, Betterment for Advisors, Slack, Google (Drive, Mail, Calendar), RightCapital. How is technology impacting the way you and your clients interact? The use of technology allows us to serve smaller balance clients more effectively. It's also allowing us to serve far more clients than we ever thought possible. Most importantly, technology is allowing us to spend more time with clients on issues that can't be solved with algorithms and less time pushing paperwork. Which do you prefer: Billions, Wolf of Wall Street, or The Big Short? The Big Short If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? Keep enough to cover education costs for our kids and give the rest away. Though, if we're being totally honest, I'd probably use up a small chunk trying to find some way to play a round at Augusta National... just one. What do you think is the biggest opportunity for advisors today? I think the biggest opportunity today is authenticity. Investors have been burned over the years, badly. They are less inclined than previous generations to trust you just because you have some letters after your name. The BS detector is strong with this one (Yoda voice). If you're here for the right reasons, your clients and prospects can tell. If you’re not, they will notice soon enough. Technical advice is becoming a commodity. Candor and behavioral accountability are among the greatest opportunities we have to impact the lives of our clients. If you could only give one piece of financial advice, what would it be? "Let’s admit it, we all got two wolves in us, a good one and a bad one, you know what I’m talking about — and they BOTH wanna eat… We just gotta feed that good wolf a little more than the other one." - Matthew McConaughey We all make mistakes. What separates those who succeed (financially or otherwise) from those who ultimately fail is the ability to acknowledge their OWN faults and make adjustments moving forward. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you struggle to break those habits, find someone who can help.
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Advisor Spotlight: Paul Sydlansky, Lake Road AdvisorsAdvisor Spotlight: Paul Sydlansky, Lake Road Advisors For our second Advisor Spotlight, we welcome Paul Sydlansky, founder of Lake Road Advisors, an independent, fee-only financial planning firm. Advisor: Paul Sydlansky Firm: Lake Road Advisors Bio: Paul Sydlansky, founder of Lake Road Advisors LLC, has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Lake Road Advisors, Paul worked as a relationship manager for a Registered Investment Adviser. Previously, Paul worked at Morgan Stanley in New York City for 13 years. While at Morgan Stanley, Paul was a senior-level manager within the Institutional Equities Department. In 2018, he was named to Investopedia's Top 100 Financial Advisors list. Paul received a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Marist College and holds an MBA from New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Paul is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the XY Planning Network (XYPN). Firm Bio: Lake Road Advisors LLC is an independent, fee-only financial planning firm, specializing in working with mid-career professionals to help make sure they are making the right decisions to live a smart financial life today as well as tomorrow. Why did you decide to become an advisor? There are really 3 main reasons why I decided to become a financial planner. First, I work in a field I have been interested in my entire life (finance/business/markets). Second, I get tremendous satisfaction from helping people feel confident in their own financial lives. Third, it allows me the flexibility to build my own schedule and spend time with my family. What are some questions that you wish more clients would ask, and why? I would like to see more clients ask about systems and techniques for developing better financial habits. There are no secrets or shortcuts to building wealth; it happens over time due to consistent and disciplined action. What do you think is the biggest mistake people make with their money? Having no financial plan at all for spending, saving, or investing. What is the biggest money mistake you’ve ever made? Too much Real Estate exposure in 2008-2009 as a percentage of my net worth. What does your current technology stack look like? Betterment & Vestwell for Investing, MoneyGuidePro and The First Step Cash Management System for Planning, Riskalyze for Risk, Wealthbox for CRM, and Calendly for scheduling. How is technology impacting the way you and your clients interact? Technology allows me to more efficiently and cost effectively serve my clients. Which do you prefer: Billions, Wolf of Wall Street, or The Big Short? Billions. I spent the first part of my career working with hedge funds and they do a tremendous job of putting you into that world. If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money? Definitely complete my current financial goals but I would absolutely need to sit down and reevaluate my personal goals. I wouldn't just retire because I really enjoy what I do. What do you think is the biggest opportunity for advisors today? Changing the way we are viewed as an industry. Often advisors and brokers are viewed as predatory and untrustworthy. We have a chance to really change the landscape and make the business more about helping people figure out their financial lives and have a plan, and less about selling products. If you could only give one piece of financial advice, what would it be? Start investing as much as you can as a percentage of your income as early as you can (I would aim for 20-30%).