When the 2010s began, the primary business of Kitces.com was selling $149/year subscriptions to The Kitces Report, our paid monthly newsletter on advanced financial planning topics that provided CFP CE credit. And ‘on the side’ we launched the Nerd’s Eye View blog, as a way to share content on industry trends and practice management – content that might help advisors to be more successful but wouldn’t necessarily be eligible for CFP CE.
Over the past decade, though, the Nerd’s Eye View blog grew exponentially – now to more than 250,000 unique visitors every month – driving a shift of our content to be increasingly available for free through the blog, and The Kitces Report to become part of a broader “Kitces.com Members Section” that offered fewer newsletter issues but also with other ways to earn CE credit (including CE credits for the Nerd’s Eye View blog and a growing library of webinars).
Now, however, the growth of the Kitces.com platform is allowing us to expand the Members Section even further. Beginning in February, our Basic tier will provide a series of new webinars available every month (in addition to CE opportunities for our Nerd’s Eye View blog content), and the Premier tier will gain access to all of our webinar (and The Kitces Report) archives, a new Kitces Graphic Library for advisors to use our blog graphics with their clients and prospects, and a new private Members-Only Office Hours for the advisor community to ask questions of Michael and the team directly. In addition, Kitces.com will soon be part of a pilot program to develop written CFP Ethics CE, which should become available to both Basic and Premier tiers in the second quarter!
To support the growth of the Kitces.com Members Section, we’re also excited to announce a number of new additions to the team, including Erica Crane as our new Senior Technical Editor, Matt Nelson as our new Director of Advisor Education, and promotions for Jeff Levine (now officially our ‘Lead Financial Planning Nerd’) and for Rachel Zeller (from Operations Manager to Managing Director)… with more hires anticipated in the coming year as we continue to expand the Kitces.com services to the advisor community!
As ultimately, the reality is that we’re still just getting started here at Kitces.com. While the decade of the 2010s was about a mission of “Advancing Knowledge in Financial Planning”, in the 2020s we’re expanding our mission further to “Helping Financial Advisors Be Better, And More Successful” – better in the technical knowledge of financial planning and the skills to deliver that advice, and more successful in your career, your business, or whatever it is that ‘success’ means to you. Which means in the 2020s you’ll see not only our ongoing educational Nerd’s Eye View content, but also more Research on best practices in being a successful financial advisor, more Resources to help you be successful in your career or business, and new programs to help you further build your financial planning skills.
I’m so thankful to all of you, our readers, for joining us on the journey this far, and I can’t wait to share more of what we’re working on in years to come!
The Kitces.com website originated in 2008 with the launch of The Kitces Report, a ‘premium’ ($149/year) newsletter service designed to deliver deep-dive analyses on advanced financial planning topics and strategies. Every month, we would publish a new issue of The Kitces Report, with a focus on “advancing knowledge in financial planning” for financial advisors who were serious about their professional craft and wanted to get better.
The caveat of The Kitces Report was that with its mission of focusing on the technical knowledge of financial planning – and eligibility for CFP CE credit – there was no place for me to write about broader industry trends, and anything relating to practice management and personal/career development… which led, in the fall of 2010, to the launch of this Nerd’s Eye View blog as a complement to The Kitces Report’s more technical subject matter.
But as the Nerd’s Eye View blog grew, our focus shifted, to producing fewer issues of The Kitces Report (and cutting the price accordingly), and giving away more content through the Nerd’s Eye View blog for free (while simply charging separately for the CE credits themselves in our Members Section). After all, the explosive growth of our blog readership from providing more and more content for free simply meant that there were even more opportunities to expand the reach of our content, better fulfilling our mission of advancing knowledge in financial planning.
Now, however, the ongoing growth of the Kitces.com platform along with the Kitces Team makes it possible for us to continue both producing the free Nerd’s Eye View content that has become so popular in the advisor community, and expanding what we offer in our Members Section for those who want even more.
Announcing New Kitces Members Section Basic And Premier Tiers
For those unfamiliar, the Kitces.com Members Section is the “premium” (i.e., paid) section of the Nerd’s Eye View blog. Historically, it was where readers could access each new issue of The Kitces Report newsletter as it was released every month (and take the requisite CE quizzes to earn CFP CE credit).
And over the years, the Members Section has expanded to include 3 webinars every year, CE quizzes to receive an ever-widening range of CE credits (for CFP certificants, CPAs, those with CIMA and CPWA designations, and other organizations like NAPFA and the American College that require self-reported continuing education).
Now, we’re excited to announce a further expansion of our Members Section, with more content and CE-related offerings!
Going forward, Basic members will receive (in addition to their current monthly CE quizzes for Nerd’s Eye View blog content):
– Expanded (Monthly) Webinars. Basic members of the Kitces.com Members Section will now be able to access each new webinar as it’s released on a monthly basis, and in a new, more engaging visual format with presenters delivering the content to you ‘in person’ (and not simply as a voice-over-PowerPoint). The new monthly webinar series will include content not only from Michael, but also from Jeff Levine and Dr. Derek Tharp from the Kitces Team, along with a number of hand-picked outside experts with high-quality, highly relevant content. (The first new webinar, a re-worked version of our popular “Tax Efficient Withdrawal Strategies In Retirement”, will be available in February.)
– New (Written) CFP Ethics CE. One of the most popular requests we receive from Members for continuing education is a CFP Ethics course. The caveat is that for the past 2 years, the CFP Board has not permitted any written content to be eligible for CFP Ethics CE! Now, however, Kitces.com will be part of a new CFP Board pilot program to offer a written version of CFP Ethics CE… in our usual ‘nerdy’ style! While CFP Ethics content is not yet available, we anticipate launching this for members in the second quarter!
In turn, our Premier members, who historically have had access to all of our historical and newly released issues of The Kitces Report on advanced financial planning topics, and all archived CE quizzes for Nerd’s Eye View blog content, will receive:
– Full Webinar Archives. While Basic members will only receive access to new webinars as they’re released, Premier members will also have access to our entire growing library of webinars (whether you’re looking for a particular topic, or you just want to binge for CE credit!).
– New Office Hours with Michael and Team. As the Nerd’s Eye View blog has grown, so too have the questions that come in from readers. Which, for a while, led to our popular “Office Hours” video segments where Michael would answer 1 question per week from advisor readers. Except unfortunately, there were still too many questions to answer! And so now, we’re restructuring our Office Hours as a unique Members-only opportunity to submit questions to Michael and the team, which will be upvoted by the Members’ Community to select which questions are answered, and broadcast live for all members on the first Friday of every month!
– New Kitces Graphics Library. Over the years, the graphics we use to help visualize key financial planning concepts on this blog have become increasingly requested amongst advisors to use with their own clientele. In our updated Members Section, we’ll be making a searchable database of all custom graphics that have been created on the Nerd’s Eye View blog over the years, that you can use in your own practice with clients and prospects to communicate key points, ideas, and financial planning strategies!
In addition to these new tier benefits, all members (Basic and Premier) will see a lot of ‘usability’ enhancements in the coming months. We’re also cognizant that the Members Section itself is somewhat dated from a User Interface perspective, and in the coming months will be overhauling the navigation of the Members Section, and adding popular requested features (e.g., a library of Course Completion certificates you can access and download for your CE self-reporting needs).
Updated Members Section Pricing And Renewals Effective February 1st
When The Kitces Report newsletter first launched, it was a $149/year subscription. In 2013, when we expanded free content available on the blog and reduced the frequency of issues of The Kitces Report, we reduced the pricing accordingly.
Now, as the Kitces.com Members Section expands back to offering monthly (webinar) content, in addition to a growing library of The Kitces Report White Papers, practice management resources, and the Kitces graphics library, we are moving Premier pricing from $99/year back to the original $149/year, and the Basic member tier (which will now have nearly double the CE credit opportunities including both monthly Nerd’s Eye View blog CE quizzes and also monthly webinars) will be increasing from $5/month to $9/month.
Current Basic and Premier members who renew after February 1st will automatically be renewed at the new pricing.
New premier members who purchase by the end of January will be able to lock in the current $99/year pricing until their next renewal in January of 2021. (Basic members who renew by the end of January can purchase at $5/month but will still be increased to $9/month in their February monthly renewal and going forward thereafter.)
Expanding The Kitces Team And The Future Of The Nerd’s Eye View Blog
Over the past 10 years, the scope of the Nerd’s Eye View blog has expanded significantly, from articles on practice management and industry trends every Monday, to the launch of the Financial Advisor Success podcast (and more recently the Kitces & Carl podcast as well), along with a growing number of Resources for financial advisors to run their businesses better (such as our popular Advisor FinTech Map), and now conducting unique and original research on financial advisors, from a look at “How Financial Advisors Actually Do Financial Planning” for their clients, to our latest research study on “How Financial Advisors Actually Market Their Services”. In addition to our regular ‘technical’ financial planning content released every Wednesday for CFP (and other types of) CE credits.
Along with this growth of the Nerd’s Eye View blog has been the growth of the team that supports it… as the reality is that the Nerd’s Eye View has grown well beyond my individual capacity to write and post all the articles as I did in the early years! In fact, we’ve added several new team members in just the past few months!
Last July, Erica Crane joined the Kitces Team as our new Senior Technical Editor. Coming from a background of doing molecular biology and genetics research as a doctoral candidate, Erica made a career change into the financial services industry years ago, quickly earned her CFP certification and EA license, and after several years of working in independent advisory firms, decided to join the Kitces Team to help us expand our educational mission for the whole advisory community. Erica’s day-to-day focus is editing all of the content that appears on the Nerd’s Eye View, ensuring the content is high-quality and well written, is technically accurate, and is relevant for financial advisors in the work we do with clients, working under our Deputy Editor Jim Koford.
In August, Matt Nelson joined the Kitces Team as our Director of Advisor Education (freeing up Jeff Levine to focus entirely on written content and speaking engagements as our new ‘Lead Financial Planning Nerd’). Matt spent most of his career at Empower Retirement, teaching and leading financial advisors and managers as the National Field Training and Performance Director for a division of the organization as well as overseeing its organizational develoment needs. He then developed his ownhis own independent training platform for advisors on improving their business management and communication skills. On the Kitces Team, Matt’s focus will be continuing to expand and develop our Members Section further, leading both our webinar development and future deep-dive courses on even-more-advanced financial planning topics!
These new additions to the team complement our growing Research focus led by Lead Researcher Dr. Derek Tharp and supported by Senior Research Associate Dr. Meghaan Lurtz, our recently hired Director of Platform Brian Boyer, and Rachel Zeller, who was recently promoted from Operations Manager to Managing Director to help manage it all! (And for those interested in a potential role with the growing Kitces team, stay tuned to our Career Opportunities page for new openings in the coming year!)
The end result of all this growth of the Kitces Team is that it enables us to do more for the financial advisor community… in turn broadening the mission of the Kitces.com platform itself. As while the past 10 years have been focused on “Advancing Knowledge in Financial Planning”, in the 2020s our mission is expanding further: “To Help Financial Advisors Be Better And More Successful”.
To fulfill this expanded mission, you’ll see in the coming years – in addition to continuing to produce our popular Nerd’s Eye View educational content – more and more original Kitces Research on and for the financial advisor community, a growing number of Resources (like our popular FinTech Map) to help advisors navigate their careers and their business, and more content to help not just provide the relevant education but the actual skills development necessary to be better and more successful in your work with clients.
Ultimately, the growth of the Nerd’s Eye View over the past 10 years has been far beyond anything I could have imagined when I staked out my little corner of the internet with a “web-log” of my own personal journey of financial planning learning that I had simply hoped to share with a few others. But we’re still only just beginning what I believe we can ultimately accomplish to help financial advisors to become ever better and more successful.
I hope you’ll continue the journey along with us!