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Michael Kitces' #FASuccess Podcast: Financially Empowering Women With Stacy Francis

Stacy Francis works with women who were recently widowed or going through a divorce.

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Welcome back to the 113th episode of Financial Advisor Success Podcast!

My guest on today’s podcast is Stacy Francis. Stacy is the president and CEO of Francis Financial, an independent registered investment advisor based in New York City that manages nearly $280 million in assets for 140 affluent clients.

What’s unique about Stacy, though, is her deep-dive niche into working with and financially empowering women. From her RIA’s focus on hourly consulting with women going through the divorce process before working with them as ongoing wealth management clients, to her launch of Savvy Ladies, a nonprofit dedicated to providing financial empowerment to women—it all stems from Stacy’s own challenging family situation of witnessing a beloved grandmother who stayed in an abusive marriage until the end because she wasn’t financially empowered enough to leave.

In this episode, we talk in depth about Stacy’s unique niche focus in working with women who were recently widowed or going through a divorce, the unique referral network that she’s been able to develop by becoming known for a targeted specialization, how she effectively gets paid to market her wealth management services by getting paid hourly to consult with women going through the divorce process and then finding that nearly 95 percent of them stay on board for an ongoing basis thereafter, and why her biggest regret in the business is not making the decision to go all-in to focus on her women-and-divorce niche sooner, as her firm has grown as much in the past three years within her niche than in the prior 15 years leading up to it.

We also talk about the unique way that Stacy has structured her firm and developed her team to deliver services to clients. From a rotating team structure where one lead advisor may work with up to three different support teams of analysts and associates to service clients based on who will work with them best, to the firm’s use of interns to efficiently deliver the labor-intensive aspects of their investment and financial planning process, why the firm has two full-time employees and its own intern in marketing to help support its ongoing growth, and why Stacy not only uses a business coach to guide her own success but also hires a separate coach to work with her team members and navigate their success as well.

And be certain to listen to the end, where Stacy shares why and how she ultimately decided to grow her advisory firm beyond just delivering services to clients herself, and why she believes that financial planning is an especially good career for women because of how flexible it is to mold the business around your life, even as she recognizes that she didn’t take advantage of that flexibility and ask for help early on in her own career when, in retrospect, she wishes she had.

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