Sophia Beraage 31
Founder and financial planner, Gen Y Planning
Sophia Bera didn’t set out to be a financial adviser. Her original plan was to become an artist, dancer and singer.
But because she didn’t want to be a starving artist, Ms. Bera absorbed all the financial knowledge she could in college. When she bought a house three months after graduation, “my friends all started asking me for advice on everything financial,” she said.
The founder of Gen Y Planning believes financial advice is something she is well suited to provide to her generation, a set of clients many others in the industry are not interested in serving.
After earning her certified financial planner designation, Ms. Bera spent a few years “working in traditional planning firms to help rich, old, white guys get richer,” before launching her own shop two years ago.
While Gen Y Planning is based in the Minneapolis area, Ms. Bera is a pioneer in building a virtual advisory firm. She outsources where she needs to and works remotely whenever possible.
She is able to serve millennials profitably by charging a monthly subscription fee, rather than charging based on assets. Ms. Bera will build investment portfolios or do one-time financial check-ups, but most of her time is spent helping clients navigate things like student loan debt and maximizing employer benefits.
“Eighty-percent of what I do has nothing to do with retirement planning or investments,” she said.
— Jeff Benjamin