When you hear industry pundits fretting about the lack of next-gen advisors, consider Alan Moore and his cohorts. Moore founded his own fee-only advisory firm at 25 and two years later co-launched a network to support other young advisors. It’s safe to say he has drive, ambition and knows something about the intersection of the millennial generation with professional financial planning.
A graduate of the University of Georgia’s financial planning program, Moore didn't want to go the traditional junior planner route. Instead, he started his boutique RIA in 2012 and built a business serving more than 20 clients scattered throughout Montana and Wisconsin.
Just over 18 months after starting his advisory practice, Moore teamed up with industry commentator and Pinnacle Advisory Group research director Michael Kitces to launch the XY Planning Network in April.
In true Next-Gen fashion, Kitces and Moore first connected on social media. “I followed him on Twitter and we started talking. Eventually I became his research assistant and then later pitched him the idea of XY Planning,” Moore says of their unique partnership. “It’s like we’ve been Internet dating for three years now.”
“Alan is an incredible get-stuff-done kind of person,” Kitces says. “He's the director of speeding things up and I'm the director of slowing
XY Planning—which is aimed at supporting a network of young advisors with similarly young clients who pay a monthly fee—currently has 35 firms, most of which are solo practitioners just starting their own RIAs. But Moore says they’re also seeing interest from larger RIA firms looking to “dip their toes into the water” with bringing in younger clients.
By summer of 2015, Moore hopes to have 100 members in the network. XY Planning recently got a credibility boost by partnering with the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, which Moore calls a “big get” that will help the members with lead generation. “We’re gaining awareness, but it takes some time.”
Moore says the next big initiatives for the network are partnering with a turnkey asset management program and setting up a national conference next year. While Moore is currently administering to the day-to-day needs of the network, he hopes that over the next year, he can take on a more strategic role, possibly starting another business in a niche area like education or technology.
The ultimate goal, he says, is getting the message out that it's possible (and profitable) to serve younger, mass affluent clients. “There’s just such a need, so many advisors want to work with their peers,” Moore says, noting that young, fee-based advisors are definitely a minority in the industry. But movements aren’t started by the majority, Moore says. “That’s what we’re trying to achieve here, a movement.”