Kristen Lukeage 35

President, Wealth Management Marketing Inc.

I am an Entrepreneur

40 Under 40
40 Under 40

I am a Leader

40 Under 40

I am a Trailblazer

Trail Blazers

I am an Entrepreneur

40 Under 40

I am a Visionary

40 Under 40

I am an Idealist

40 Under 40

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 Kristen

Kristen Luke clearly is in the driver's seat at her firm, Wealth Management Marketing Inc.

And when she isn't there, she's in the pilot's seat. Ms. Luke has her private pilot's license and is qualified to fly under instrument flight rules. She's currently working to obtain a commercial pilot's license.

Day to day, though, Ms. Luke and her firm, which opened in 2008, guide registered investment advisers through the challenges of marketing their businesses. And this summer, it is merging with Angie Herbers Inc., a consultancy specializing in human resources and other operational matters.

Independent shops often don't have the bandwidth or expertise to promote themselves and to remain relevant to clients and prospects. Firms outsource their marketing duties to Ms. Luke and her team of nine employees, including a marketing director, copy writer and e-mail marketing coordinator.

Ms. Luke's insights, provided via her blog and industry publications, are especially useful to the broad adviser community now as RIA firms navigate social media-based marketing. Her latest blog entries have centered on using Yelp and similar ratings sites, as well as appealing to female prospects.

Ms. Luke doesn't believe in failures but in learning experiences. One notable experience: She opened a beach bar in Indonesia when she was 22. During her brief time there, she was detained and blackmailed by the police, had money embezzled, went to trial and was threatened with machetes. She packed it in and went home after nine interesting months.

"I realized I was never going to be able to win at a game where I didn't know the rules," Ms. Luke said.

She didn't set out to pursue a marketing career until she was in graduate school at San Diego State University, working toward her MBA. She took her first marketing class and, she said, "A light turned on ? this is what I'm supposed to be doing."

— Darla Mercado

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Fast Facts

  • Has close to 4,000 Twitter followers, but favorite social network is Facebook
  • Started out as an only child but now has a modern family: two younger step-siblings and a half brother
  • Growing up, wanted to be an architect, a travel writer, a Navy pilot and an international business executive

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