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Michael Kitces' #FASuccess Podcast: How Leighann Miko Created Financial Security for Herself and Her Clients

Equalis Financial's Leighann Miko describes how she was able to achieve financial security for the first time by focusing on serving a niche community that she belongs to herself.



FAS Ep 227 Leighann Miko 02Welcome back to the 227th episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Leighann Miko. Leighann is the founder of Equalis Financial, a fully virtual advisory firm offering ongoing financial planning services for nearly $500/month and currently serving 45 creatives within the LGTBQ community.

What’s unique about Leighann, though, is that she’s been able to realize financial security for the first time in her own life by focusing on serving a niche community that she belongs to herself, for whom she helps create their own financial stability despite the uncertainties around their income streams.

In this episode, we talk in depth about how Leighann emphasizes her planning-centric services by charging a financial planning fee of nearly $500/month and then including the first $500,000 of investments management as a part of that planning fee (with an AUM fee of just 60 basis points over that threshold), how bringing asset management into her service offering has helped create some additional stickiness for her financial planning clients, why she enlisted the help of a copywriter to clearly communicate on her website her process and value proposition to help create buy-in from new clients, and the screening process Leighann implemented that requires prospective clients to acknowledge that they understand what their planning fees are going to be before they’re able to book a second meeting with her.

We also talk about how Leighann has implemented George Kinder’s EVOKE process into her practice (and adapted his famous three questions to apply specifically for the LGBTQ creatives she serves), how Leighann weaves their answers into a vision meeting to paint a clear picture of what they want their lives to look like, which is then followed by an Obstacles meeting where Leighann and her clients set a game plan for anything that could get in the way of them realizing that vision, and how Leighann’s own experiences as a member of the LGTBQ community have helped her better understand and provide unique and differentiated services for the clients she serves given their own struggles with the income uncertainty that comes from working as a creative in Los Angeles.

And be sure to listen until the end, where Leighann shares her own story about how her family’s money insecurities growing up pushed her toward a career in financial planning, how a failed succession plan left her deep in debt but still ended out being the catalyst to push her to launch her own firm, and how the success Leighann has found as a business owner serving no more than 50 clients has given her the financial security she was seeking, the opportunity to donate a portion of her annual profits to charity, and the chance to look ahead to ways that she can pay that success forward to others entering the financial planning profession.

And so whether you’re interested in learning about the work that Leighann does for the LGTBQ community, the deep meaning she finds in being able to create financial security for both herself and her clients, or what comes next for her as she looks to pay her success forward, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Leighann Miko.


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