Advancing Knowledge in Financial Planning
MSFS, MTAX, CFP, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL
Hi, I’m Michael Kitces. I’m a lifelong learner with a passion for sharing what I’ve learned with others.
My journey of learning and sharing led me somewhat randomly to the world of financial services, where I landed in search of a job after completing an undergraduate degree with a major in psychology and a minor in theater and a pre-med concentration (an education I used to figure out that I didn’t want to go into psychology, theater, or medicine!). I started out as a life insurance agent the first business day after college, and although I turned out to be a terrible salesperson, that first job helped me discover this thing called financial planning.
With the broad range of financial planning topics to learn, I dove quickly into the educational process full steam, ultimately racking up two Master’s degrees (one in Financial Services, and one in Taxation), along with my Certified Financial Planner (CFP) marks and a slew of other designations as well. In essence, I spent the decade of my 20s working as a full-time financial planner and part-time student on the side, learning as much as I could, and sharing those ideas, concepts, and solutions with our clients.
Eventually, though, the combined desire to continue learning (beyond what the available designation programs could teach me), and to reach a wider audience that I could impact led me down the world of professional speaking, the launch of my advanced educational newsletter for financial planners called “The Kitces Report”, and the launch of the Nerd’s Eye View blog.
At this point, I speak at over 50 in-person and virtual events every year to try to share my knowledge with other advisors, the Members Section of this site (which still includes “The Kitces Report” white papers, along with webinars, and other financial advisor resources) serves over 12,000 advisors, and the Nerd’s Eye View blog reaches more than 200,000 unique visitors every month.
Degrees And Designations
Years of Experience
Annual Speaking Engagements
Members Section Advisors
Nerd's Eye View Unique Visitors
“My Why is to continuously learn, and then share what I’ve learned as ideas that others can implement.”
This process of creating content is my own process of learning, and sharing it with others who can implement it is my way of helping the world. As Simon Sinek has famously said, we should all know our “Why” – the reason we exist in this world and why we do what we do – and mine is to study, analyze, and be engaged in a process of continuous learning, and then share what I’ve learned as ideas, inspiration, and food for thought, that others can apply for themselves.
Of course, the reality is that sometimes, people don’t have the time or inclination to take ideas and implement them alone. They’d rather have someone help. To fill that void, I’ve also had the privilege of helping to build or found a number of businesses to help both consumers and my fellow financial advisors implement financial planning strategies and grow their financial advisory firms.
Ironically, notwithstanding the number of businesses I’ve helped to create, I still don’t self-identify as an entrepreneur, as I don’t create businesses out of a native drive or desire to create them… instead, I simply try inspire my business partners to help create solutions to the problems that I see.
On a personal note, I was born and raised in the northern Virginia suburbs outside of Washington DC, and consider myself a native Washingtonian. I live in the beautiful planned community of Reston, Virginia, with my wife and two young daughters and a little boy!
In my younger days, I was a member of the USA 1 National Junior Bridge Team (1998-1999), and while I no longer have time for bridge tournaments, I still play duplicate bridge at the local Reston Community Center with my father in the same weekly game we’ve participated in for more than 20 years. And keeping my connection to my theater roots, I’m also the longest-standing volunteer and now board member of the Washington Improv Theater, helping the organization fulfill its mission of unleashing creativity in Washington DC (and perhaps helping the city to take itself a little less seriously).
Given everything that I’m involved with, I’m often asked: Does Michael ever sleep? The short answer is yes, I really do. I even track it with my FitBit to make sure I’m staying on track, as you can see. Though these days, I don’t have time for very much outside of my work, my family, and a few of my hobbies.
However, if any of you find an invention that would let me be fully functional on fewer hours of sleep so I could have more time, please let me know! ☺
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