Welcome back to the 187th episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Emlen Miles-Mattingly. Emlen is the founder of Gen Next Wealth, an independent RIA based in Madera, California, that provides wealth management for 70 client households. What’s unique about Emlen, though, is the way he’s decided to focus his advisory firm on working with underserved communities of color, as an advisor of color himself, and in the process is moving his advisory firm business model away from assets under management and toward a monthly subscription model that allows him to expand who he serves, all in pursuit of Emlen’s goal to change the complexion of wealth.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Emlen structures his monthly subscription business model. How he started out charging $100 a month but quickly raised it to $300 a month, how he developed bronze, silver, and gold tiers that all provide a baseline of advice but vary in the depth of their tax, insurance, and estate implementation support, why Emlen decided to include filing annual tax returns for clients in his ongoing advice fee but then outsourced the tax preparation work itself, and how the change in business model is now accelerating his growth path.
We also talk about Emlen’s actual financial planning process itself. The key question he asks at the beginning of every introductory meeting to support his sales process, the technology he uses to automate his new client onboarding process, and the outsourcing provider he hired to help build it, why his initial planning process starts not with retirement projections but analysis of the client’s monthly household cash flow and budget, and the ongoing client service calendar that Emlen is developing to support clients year-round and earn the ongoing monthly fees he charges.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Emlen shares the real-world challenges of trying to succeed as an advisor of color serving communities of color. The ups and downs of trying to build your career in the early years and find the personal confidence to charge what you’re really worth, and the importance of finding a support network of advisor peers to get through the inevitable ups and downs of building your firm, and in particular, where to look as an advisor of color.