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Michael Kitces’ #FASuccess Podcast: Keeping It Simple with Sunit Bhalla

OakTree Financial Planning’s Sunit Bhalla describes to Michael Kitces how he built his hyper-efficient solo practice.


Welcome back to the 93rd episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast.

This week’s guest is Sunit Bhalla. Sunit is the founder of OakTree Financial Planning, a highly efficient solo advisory firm based in Colorado that oversees more than $40 million in assets under management.

What’s unique about Sunit though is the way he’s been able to build to nearly $300,000 in revenue with a whopping 85 percent profit margin as a career changer who works with just 17 affluent clients in a hyper-targeted niche of engineers, as a former engineer himself. In this episode we talk in-depth about how Sunit has built his hyper-efficient solo practice with the relentless energy on staying focused: The technology tools he uses to stay efficient in delivering services to clients; his simple fee structure to keep even his billing process simple and efficient; and why he offers all of his prospective clients one and only one comprehensive financial planning and investment management service that they can either take or leave.

We also talk about Sunit’s unique financial planning process with clients, the key questions he asks at the beginning of each client relationship to really understand their needs, the six meaning process he uses that starts with a discussion about goals and exploring possibilities, even before gathering all the client’s data. And how he ultimately delivers the financial planning results to his sophisticated engineer clients, not by producing and printing out detailed financial projections for them, but using his planning software interactively to model their various what-if scenarios live on the spot.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Sunit talks about how he went about building his unique lifestyle practice the way that he did, the way he very deliberately manages his lifestyle practice as a business, and why he isn’t concerned at all that his advisory firm may not necessarily have any salable value at the end.

So whether you’re interested in learning about building a lifestyle practice, how to make sure you’re only working with your ideal clients, or about maintaining a healthy work-life balance, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast.

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