In the seven years that David Grant has been working as a financial adviser, he has developed a unique niche by focusing on an area he believes is underserved by the financial advice industry.
The name of his business says it all: Finance for Teachers.
"My wife's a teacher, and there are a lot of teachers in my family," he said. "About 85% of my clients are teachers."
Mr. Grant, who holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of the West of England, works primarily with clients in his home state of Illinois, but his aspirations are to "franchise" his company in other states.
"I'd like to stay within this niche if I can, because it's an area that needs attention by our profession," he said. "My bigger career goal would be to have franchises set up in every state."
Though Mr. Grant takes particular umbrage at a suggestion that teachers are underserved because they tend not to have a lot of money to invest, he acknowledges that they don't top the list of markets to pursue.
"Teachers are definitely not a readily tapped market for advisers," he said. "For a lot of teachers, the only thing they know about investing is whatever they've been told by a 403(b) plan salesman, and as I let them know about different options they are hearing some of these things for the first time."
Mr. Grant recognizes some of the challenges the financial advice industry faces — including a sometimes negative image — but sees the future as bright and flush with opportunity.
"I'd like one of my biggest contributions to the financial advice industry to be my working with younger planners," he said. "In one way or another, financial advice will always be my career."
— Jeff Benjamin
Principal and director of wealth management, Aspiriant