15 transformational advisers: Michael Kitces

Former theater minor in college now a major force in the planning profession

Jun 18, 2013 @ 9:04 am

By Jason Kephart

Michael Kitces has boldly gone where no psychology major and theater minor has gone before — to the vanguard of innovators in the financial planning community.

Through his Nerd's Eye View blog, Twitter account, newsletter and countless conference appearances, Mr. Kitces has been at the forefront of the evolution of financial planning.

“The research he's doing into how to implement financial planning is groundbreaking,” said Blair Hodgson DuQuesnay, founder and chief executive of Ignite Investments & Planning. “The academic research has been there for investments, but not for financial planning. He's really been a game changer.”

The enthusiasm Mr. Kitces, a partner and director of research at Pinnacle Advisory Group Inc., has brought to researching financial planning topics and sharing his views has come naturally for him.

“I'm really passionate about pushing the envelope and upping the standard for financial advisers,” he said. “I assume advisers are a pretty sophisticated bunch, and they want information on how to help their clients.”

His engagement with fellow financial planners through social media also has helped him become a go-to source for advisers seeking an in-depth look at financial planning subjects.

When Carolyn McClanahan, director of financial planning at Life Planning Partners Inc., wanted to know more about combination life and long-term-care policies, she turned to Mr. Kitces.

PHOTO GALLERY 15 transformational advisers

“He's one that probes deeper on many levels of financial planning,” she said. “He will take a subject apart to the nth degree. We need someone doing that,” she said.

No topic seems to be off limits for Mr. Kitces, who clearly has a love for learning. You don't need to look much further than the plethora of degrees and designations he's amassed over the years for proof: MSFS, MTAX, CFP, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL (he's also a proud Trekkie).

Right now, Mr. Kitces is thinking about how financial planners can differentiate themselves in a market he sees growing increasingly more competitive.

“The growth of wealth has slowed since the peak of the financial crisis,” he said. “When the pie is growing slowly — or not at all — it puts a lot of pressure on advisers who are trying to grow business.”

COMPETING FOR CLIENTS

In many cases, it means that advisers will be fighting one another for the same clients.

“We're already starting to see it in our own business,” he said. “We're competing more and more with other firms that we respect.”

The competition means firms are going to have to go extra steps to stand out in the marketplace. That's an area where financial planners who act as a fiduciary have a big advantage, Mr. Kitces said.

“One of the gargantuan opportunities is continuing to push financial planning and real advice,” he said. “Really applying quality financial planning is a differentiator.”

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video

Events

2019 concerns keeping successful advisory firm leaders up at night

These are the greatest business challenges for next year, according to InvestmentNews' Best Practices honorees.

Latest news & opinion

10 ETFs that are up more than 35% this year

Amid the stock market carnage, there are still some funds posting big gains.

10 biggest HSA providers rated

Morningstar rated the largest plan providers as investment and spending vehicles.

Morningstar: DOL fiduciary rule reduces inflows to mutual funds with high loads

With the measure's demise, will the SEC's advice reform sustain the momentum?

6 tax strategies for year-end planning

How to help clients maximize their wealth using specific tax strategies before the end of the year.

Ohio National offers buyouts, ends commission trails amid jumbled regulatory oversight of VAs

Jurisdiction is shared between the SEC, Finra and state insurance commissioners. Will any of them step in?

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print