Welcome back to the twelfth episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!
This week’s guest is Sophia Bera, the founder of Gen Y Planning, a financial advisory firm that is successfully and profitably delivering financial planning to Millennials, by charging them an ongoing monthly retainer fee to access her financial advice.
Sophia’s path to launching her advisory firm was first the subject of a Nerd’s Eye View guest post back in 2013, when she launched her independent RIA for under $10,000 (in a world where most people said it wasn’t possible to get launched for so little!). So I decided to check with her to see how it’s going… and found out that she had replaced her prior job salary within 18 months of her new practice, and now after 3 full years, she’s already taking home $100,000 of profits after all expenses, and is growing rapidly with 2 new clients per month, almost all of whom are in their 20s and 30s.
Sophia’s firm is a great example of not only the fact that Millennials can be served profitably, but the power of having a niche. Because not only is Sophia’s firm actively growing, but her primary source of new clients is Google. That’s what happens when you have a niche. Just search for “Financial Planning for Millennials” yourself, and you’ll see that Sophia is at the top of the search results as the recognized expert in her niche!
In this episode, Sophia breaks down exactly how her fee structure and service model work, from how she charges a combination of upfront and ongoing advice fees, how she incorporates investment management for certain clients (using a “robo-advisor” platform to do it!), and what exactly it is she does for clients throughout the year (and why it’s not necessary to do something for them every month!). And Sophia goes into detail about what client retention looks like with a retainer model as well, and how she sees her business growing over time.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Sophia talks about how her practice has evolved into an entirely “location-independent” virtual advisory firm, and how that not only helps her to live the lifestyle she wants, but also to diversify her income streams across financial planning, speaking, writing, and even a new coaching service for other financial advisors who want to build a similar business for themselves.
So if you’ve been curious to know how exactly to serve young Millennial clients in your firm, or have been wondering what it would be like to “take the plunge” and start your own business to do it yourself, I hope you enjoy this latest episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!