My guest on today’s podcast is Echo Huang. Echo is the founder of Echo Wealth Management, an independent RIA based in Minneapolis that oversees nearly $120 million of assets under management for 76 client households. What’s unique about Echo, though, is the way she’s built a niche serving corporate executives and has managed to grow the firm almost entirely by word of mouth by building her reputation within her niche.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Echo built her career starting out in the industry from scratch as an immigrant to the U.S. with just $800 in her pocket. How she started studying finance as an undergraduate, then decided that it would help her career to get a CPA license, so she joined a public accounting firm to get the requisite two years of audit experience. Then, transitioned to the personal financial planning division of a regional accounting firm and earned her CFP certification to build her professional credibility and help overcome the fact that she looked young when sitting across from older clients. Why Echo ultimately went out on her own at a cost of losing two-thirds of her AUM to rebuild the vision of the advisory firm she wanted to build. And why, as an already successful advisor in her 40s, she still decided to go back and get her CFA certification on top of juggling the challenges of growing the business and being a parent to her daughter Nina.
We also talk about how Echo actually built her independent advisory firm to serve the clients she wanted to serve. Why she chose TD Ameritrade as her custodian. The reason she selected Salesforce as her CRM of choice despite Redtail and Wealthbox being more popular for solo advisors. Why eMoney Advisor became the hub of her financial planning services for clients. And how Echo structures her fees for clients with an AUM fee that starts at 1% on their first $1 million for portfolio management. And a separate fee of up to $5,000 for the first years’ financial planning.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Echo shares the unique challenges of being what she terms a triple minority of being Asian, female, and a new immigrant coming into the financial planning profession. The unique way that Echo views career and business risk to have made some of the key transitions she’s made to advance her career. And why she views the key to success as building the confidence to believe in yourself, and your own advisor value. And getting the education, study group peer support, and whatever else it takes to build that confidence in yourself.
So whether you’re interested in learning about the journey that led Echo to starting her own firm, how she created her niche working with Fortune 500 executives, or how she built her tech stack from scratch, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast.