Michael Kitces has a degree in psychology, is open about his obsession with the video game "World of Warcraft" and volunteers as treasurer for the board of directors at the Washington Improv Theater. But he's probably better known to colleagues in the industry for his accomplishments as an outspoken financial adviser, entrepreneur and blogger.
After a two-year stint as an insurance agent, about which Mr. Kitces wrote in his 40 Under 40 survey that he was "hopeless at prospecting for clients," he turned his back on the world of product sales. Mr. Kitces joined Pinnacle Advisory Group in 2002 with the goal of pushing the firm and the industry to do more financial planning.
Two years later he founded NexGen, now a Financial Planning Association community of support and coaching for young advisers. The goal was to increase awareness around planning and provide more ways to learn how to work with clients without having to start out selling insurance products. (He will leave that organization this year, after surpassing the age limit of 36 he put in place when the network started.)
His career evolved again in 2006 when he started the blog Nerd's Eye View to opine on industry trends and major organizations. The blog has grown to around 50,000 unique views a month, he said. It's earned him speaking engagements and other work consulting with firms such as online advice platform Betterment.
This April, he made another splash launching XY Planning Network with another 40 Under 40 honoree, Alan Moore. The group, with 20 founding members, is a network of fee-only advisers who work with younger clients.
ó Mason Braswell
Managing director and director of investment operations, Altair Advisers