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Michael Kitces' #FASuccess Podcast: Customizing Your Practice to a Specialized Niche With Andrew Leonard

Geometric Wealth Advisors founder Andrew Leonard discusses how he set up his practice to specialize on serving the partners of the big three strategy consulting firms, Bain, McKinsey, and BCG.



Welcome back to the 173rd episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Andrew Leonard. Andrew is the founder of Geometric Wealth Advisors, an independent RIA based in the Washington, D.C., area that oversees nearly $250 million of assets under management for 110 client households.

What’s unique about Andrew, though, is his decision to focus into a unique niche serving the partners of the big three strategy consulting firms, Bain, McKinsey and BCG, propelling his firm to organically add almost $200 million of net new assets in just five years almost entirely from a single white paper he wrote for his niche, and the ongoing one-meeting-close referrals he’s been able to generate as a now recognized expert in that niche.

In this episode, we talk in depth about what it really means to customize the financial planning process and experience to a particular type of niche clientele. The unique opportunities and challenges in working with management consultants who may make more than $1 million a year and save $250,000 annually into their portfolios but have been trained to analyze and scrutinize financial models and projections, how Andrew evolved his financial planning process to focus almost entirely on live interactive presentations of financial planning models using eMoney’s Decision Center and eschewing the written plan altogether, and how Andrew combines in-person and virtual delivery to a clientele who are largely distance-based and spread across the country, and why Andrew ultimately decided to stick with the traditional assets under management model for a somewhat nontraditional niche clientele.

We also talk about why and how Andrew decided to pursue this type of clientele in the first place. Why he ultimately found it easier and more personally rewarding to work with high-income management consultants than the traditional retiree with significant retirement assets to manage, how he selected and narrowed down the type of niche clientele he wanted to pursue, the white paper marketing strategy he used to accelerate his growth after his first 10 niche clients, and why he finds that when focused on a niche, the biggest challenge is no longer how to market and attract high-quality clients, but the difficulties in finding the right kind of financial advisor talent to service that rapidly growing base of clientele instead.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Andrew shares why he found it so emotionally draining to work with retired clients, the real-world challenges of deciding to pivot from what had been a more generalist practice for his first seven years into this deep-niche focus and the unique cost-benefit analysis tool that he created on his website specifically to demonstrate the value of a financial advisor to his hyperanalytical clientele.

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