Welcome back to the 290th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Andrew Komarow. Andrew is the founder of Tenpath Financial Group and Planning Across the Spectrum, a hybrid firm based in Farmington, Connecticut that oversees $100 million in assets under management for 100 client households.
What’s unique about Andrew, though, is how he, as a financial advisor with autism, has built a firm with a specialized niche of autistic and other neurodivergent clients, helping them navigate their unique and complex financial planning challenges.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how being diagnosed with autism as an adult helped Andrew understand himself better and realize he had an opportunity to niche-focus his firm to serve clients who are also neurodivergent adults, how the combination of creating a separate website for Planning Across the Spectrum and leveraging a Facebook group for the special needs community has helped Andrew develop a steady path for growth in his specialization, and how Andrew created an impact investing index that he labeled as a “Neurodiversity Index,” with 79 companies that embrace neurodiversity and inclusion (because on the periodic table, gold is represented by the letters AU, and its atomic number is 79).
We also talk about how, despite never graduating high school (but gaining a GED later), Andrew credits his autism and the hyperfocus that comes along with it for helping him to ultimately earn more than 16 professional financial planning designations, how working at an insurance company early in his career and getting frustrated with adhering to large-firm corporate rules helped Andrew realize he liked giving financial advice to clients but was going to need to be more independent to have the control to serve his unique clients the way they need to be served, and how an unexpected separation from that insurance company ended up being a blessing in disguise as it forced Andrew to find a new growth path that led him to focus into his ideal client type and ultimately fueled the launch his own firm.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Andrew shares how he was surprised by how much he actually enjoyed building his own firm and having the flexibility to decide for himself what procedures and roles are put in place, why Andrew believes we are too hard on ourselves and how important it is to be kinder to ourselves about the challenges we face, and why Andrew feels the best business decision he ever made was hiring his first team member to assist him even before he really had the revenue to afford it… because it was the only way he’d be able to grow and scale further.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about how Andrew took advantage of the separation from his former firm as an opportunity to serve the types of clients he preferred and in the way he wanted, how receiving an autism diagnosis as an adult not only gave Andrew a better understanding of himself, but also how he could help other neurodivergent adults navigate their financial challenges, or how Andrew leverages educational tools on his website, along with Facebook groups, to maintain a steady path of growth, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Andrew Komarow.