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The Healthy Advisor

The Healthy Advisor Podcast: The Silver Lining With Danika Waddell

In 2020, advisor Danika Waddell found herself in some regulatory trouble, due to no fault of her own. It ultimately led her to start her own firm, and she’s never looked back.


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In 2020, Danika Waddell’s prior firm was audited by the state of Washington, and the state found that her U4 was never filed properly, after four years of working with clients. The whole ordeal was traumatic for her.

In this episode, Managing Editor Diana Britton is joined by Waddell, president and founder of Xena Financial Planning in Seattle. She shares how the filing error caused her to lose over half her income, created stress over her future as a financial advisor and disrupted communication with close clients during the start of the pandemic. Despite it all, she persevered and found a silver lining—the ordeal ultimately led her to leave that RIA and start her own independent firm. She’s never looked back.


Danika Waddell holding her new puppy in April 2020. She named her firm, Xena Financial Planning, after the dog.

Waddell discusses: 

  • What those couple months were like for her during the investigation;
  • What compelled her to start her own firm;
  • What the experience taught her about the regulatory framework of this industry;
  • How this changed her approach to compliance;
  • The benefits of therapy; and
  • Lessons she learned about being a business owner.

If you have a struggle and wish to share your experiences and help others in similar situations, please reach out to Diana at [email protected].

The Healthy Advisor podcast is available on Apple PodcastsAndroidStitcherSpotify and wherever podcasts are found. 

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