There's been a lot of buzz around XY Planning lately, and the network only continues to grow. Each month, we're adding more quality advisors to our ranks.
But just who are these advisors, anyway? We’d love to introduce you to some of our members who are doing big things in the financial planning world. You can get to know them and their practices — and hear a bit about why they love being a member of the network.
A few weeks ago, we put the spotlight on Eric Roberge of Beyond Your Hammock. Eric was a founding member of the network and has been with us from the beginning. Today, we're getting to know a member who is a little newer and joined recently.
PJ Wallin, CFP®, CPA is the founder of Atlas Financial. PJ specializes in serving Gen X and Gen Y clients and provides a unique, "all-in-one" experience. Because he's both a CPA and CFP®, he eliminates the need for multiple financial professionals and makes financial management easier and more effective for his clients.
PJ told us a little about his background, experiences, and practice, and gave us some insight into what makes XYPN a valuable organization to join.
XYPN: Why did you become a fee-only financial advisor?
PW: I loved Monopoly growing up... [Kidding!] Really, I love working with stakeholders and what better way to do so than helping people with personal and financial goals. I happened into fee-only and wouldn't have it any other way!
XYPN: Can you tell us about your background?
PW: I have an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Masters of Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I spent 4 years working on the audit side of public accounting for a Big 4 firm.
Since then, I've spent 6 years with two fee-only RIA firms focused on a three-pronged financial planning, investment advisory, and tax planning/prep approach, (but each worked under different models).
I entered the RIA world as a tax associate and quickly morphed into a full relationship manager as well.
XYPN: When did you launch your practice?
PW: May, 2014.
XYPN: What unique services do you offer to your clients?
PW: I focus on core financial planning and investment management. My CPA background and tax preparation experience provides me with a unique opportunity. [In addition to financial planning,] I also provide clients with individual tax preparation services and hands-on tax planning strategies.
XYPN: What's your favorite part about working with Gen X and Gen Y clients? Who's your ideal client?
PW: As a "cusper," I love the ability to relate to both Gen X and Gen Y. For 6 years I worked with many boomers and retirees and while I love this work, you can't always relate to those you're working with in that situation.
I'm a tax planning geek, so my ideal client is someone looking to take advantage of all of the various tax deferral mechanisms made available to us. Maxing 401(k)s, converting IRAs to Roth annually (if able), using HSAs as a retirement investment accounts, etc. And I love folks with strong family values and an attention to faith.
XYPN: What are you most proud of accomplishing as a financial planner who helps Gen X and Gen Y clients?
PW: Making the leap and starting a firm that can provide an entry point for Gen X and Gen Y to receive truly unbiased and unmatched service. It's something other independents don't do and something brokers and agents say they do, but often don't (and it's less than transparent).
XYPN: What's your fee structure like in your practice?
PW: As a newly established firm, the fee structure is an ongoing process:
- Initial Atlas Financial Roadmap Fee of $500
- Base Monthly Financial Planning Retainer starting at $125/mo.
- For those with investments to manage, AUM of 1.5% to .5% (quick decelerating scale)
XYPN: What's your favorite piece of technology to use in your practice?
PW: As a tax geek, BNA income tax planner. I also like MoneyGuidePro for goals-based financial planning. And apple products, because they work when they are supposed to.
XYPN: What's your favorite thing about running your own practice?
PW: I can yell at my boss without getting fired!
In all seriousness: the flexibility it affords me to spend time with my wife and two sons. Family dinners are a priority in our house and this allows me that flexibiity.
XYPN: What's your favorite thing about XY Planning Network?
PW: The wealth of information made available through the member benefits and forum is valuable. But what I like most is the comraderie and abilty to not feel like you're going it alone -- instead, you're part of a movement.