When older millennials in their 30s hear the phrase “wealth management,” it might conjure images of white-haired men ironing out their estate plans or keeping close watch on their stuffed portfolio of assets. Wanting to change that mental picture, financial planner Rachel Stewart is placing a sharp focus on “foundational investing,” or financial planning for the next generation of investors.
The tool in Stewart’s arsenal is a service launched last year by her employer, Horizon Financial Group. The program—“Simplifynance”—focuses on a segment of the market largely ignored by an industry that can’t figure out how to profitably serve and charge clients without large portfolios: Young professionals between 30-45 years old.
Horizon does charge a monthly subscription planning fee for the service, but it doesn’t require investing or implementing a plan with Horizon. Essentially, it’s a low barrier to entry way to get professional advice from an established wealth management firm without having to meet account minimums or have complex wealth pictures.
“As life gets more complex, you need to outsource some things, and this generation wants to be in the driver’s seat,” says Stewart (left), who currently has between 10 and 15 clients using the service. “The value here is that I’m the same age as my clients, so I’m going through the same things they’re going through.”
Simplifynance makes itself relevant to clients by placing its focus on budgeting, cash flow and behavioral wealth-building habits and mindsets.
Stewart has spoken at two industry conferences on the subject and says the concept is being met with enthusiasm throughout the country. It’s already been licensed to one adviser in Akron, Ohio, with several conversations with others in the financial industry also in the works.
“It’s hard for financial advisers to restructure their thinking,” she says. “But we’ve already taken this and packaged it for others in the country to package for themselves.”
How it works
• Pick a plan. Do you want to “Get Organized,” gaining clarity on your saving and spending habits? Or do you just want to “Simplify” your life, focusing on answers to questions you have in the short-term? Conversely, do you want the service to “Empower” you through a complete financial plan and partnership? All options are on the table, accessible at simplifynance.com.
• Track yourself. Once you’re set up on an automatic electronic billing schedule, you can keep track of your net worth, investments and other goals, on demand.
• Meet up with a peer financial adviser. You’ll meet with Stewart at scheduled intervals throughout the year, once every four months, where she’ll review the progress you’ve made and advise you on what next steps to take.