Welcome back to the 291st episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Amy Irvine. Amy is the owner of Rooted Planning Group, an independent RIA based in Corning, New York that oversees $67 million in assets under management for 175 client households.
What’s unique about Amy, though, is how she managed the complexities of starting her own RIA focused on Gen X women, and then dealt with unexpected growing pains as her business development worked ‘too well’ and the firm rapidly expanded from nearly 30 clients to over 100 in under 18 months… and then she had to figure out how to service all of her new clients at the same time she was hiring and training team members to help reduce that client workload.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how after working for years in the financial industry, Amy realized there was a missed opportunity in working with career-driven Gen X women like her and decided to focus on serving that type of clientele she knew so well, how the initial fear of launching a firm on her own initially led Amy to partner with another advisor and try to capitalize on the opportunity to convert his practice from its commission-based roots into a fee-only firm… only to quickly realize they did not share the same vision and that she would be better off as a solopreneur instead, and how Amy’s unique model of charging subscription fees with no asset minimum for Gen X women revealed such an untapped market opportunity in her local area that as soon as she started volunteering for local organizations and providing financial education for non-profits in her community and communicating what she did and who she served, Amy began to spur a generous amount of referrals that led to a rapid growth.
We also talk about how the tragedy of 9/11 (coupled with Amy’s personal loss of friends and colleagues) and seeing how underfunded life or disability insurance can seriously impact people’s lives inspired Amy to return to college and get her undergraduate degree just so she could gain her CFP marks and become a financial planner, how even though Amy was grateful for the success of her firm early on, she struggled with the rapid growth as it created pressure to quickly hire employees (and find the time to train them!), and how after seeing her staff reach stages of burnout while dealing with acquiring another advisor’s book of business during the early months of the pandemic, Amy intentionally stopped taking on new clients for 3 months and hired a coach to prioritize the mental health of her staff over the economic growth of her firm.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Amy shares how she wishes she had more confidence in herself at the beginning (and listened to recommendations from colleagues when launching her firm) to grow her firm slowly and charge more upfront for her services, why Amy believes in the value of starting one’s advisory career in an admin or operations role (especially for women interested in becoming financial advisors) as there are more opportunities to attain knowledge and the problem-solving skills that craft a good financial planner, and how Amy has navigated her own shift from the work she enjoyed doing directly with clients, to a role where she is more focused on guiding the strategies her financial planners will implement with their clients so that she can have an even greater, longer-lasting impact.
So, whether you’re interested in learning about why Amy chose to focus her firm on career-driven Gen X women and charges subscription fees without an asset minimum, how niching into an underserved clientele propelled the growth of Amy’s firm and strained her and her firm’s resources, or why Amy feels she is finally in a place where she can delegate responsibilities which allows her more time to develop focused strategies that will further the success of her firm, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Amy Irvine.