Michael Kitcesage 36

Partner and director of research, Pinnacle Advisory Group

I am a Visionary

40 Under 40
40 Under 40

I am a Leader

40 Under 40
Leaders

I am a Trailblazer

Trail Blazers

I am an Entrepreneur

40 Under 40
Entrepreneurs

I am a Visionary

40 Under 40
Visionaries

I am an Idealist

40 Under 40
Idealists

Meet the Leaders

Whether in their own firms or in their communities, these young people are leading the charge toward innovation in financial planning, bringing new opportunities to advisers and clients alike. Here, they share the best leadership advice they’ve received in their careers.

Meet the Trailblazers

This group doesn’t subscribe to groupthink. They are spearheading new ways of practicing and delivering financial advice — in some cases reaching populations previously considered unprofitable to serve. We ask them about the most unique and unusual ideas they’ve had.

Meet the Entrepreneurs

In addition to helping clients reach their financial goals, some in the advice industry face the challenge of running a business or a team. Others have started companies to support this pursuit. These young people are flourishing amid the balancing act — and some got an early start.

Meet the Visionaries

It’s not about what is, but what will be — and what can be — the future of the financial planning industry for this group of forward-looking advisers, educators and executives. Their insights pull the rest of the profession into the next stratum.

Meet the Idealists

Life experiences shape our ideals, especially for these young professionals who see challenges in the advice industry and the world — and set out to meet them. They also have words of wisdom for the next generation.

About Michael

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.

Life responds to 'deserve' not to 'need'. -@BrianSaid #MetlifeFPTuesday, Jul 29, 2014 5:06PM @MichaelKitces

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.

— Mason Braswell

Next Profile

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    Managing director and director of investment operations, Altair Advisers

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Fast Facts

  • Involved as director or founder in seven businesses
  • Is an only child
  • Best career advice received: Invest in yourself first