Certified ACP member, Zach Teutsch was interviewed in this article by Cheryl Winokur Munk, “Growing a Healthy Practice” in Barron’s. May 2021.
Many advisors struggle to find a niche that suits them, trying to manufacture a connection and failing as a result because they aren’t fully invested. In such cases, sales pitches and follow-throughs ultimately fall short, advisors say.
“You can’t fake it,” says Zach Teutsch, founder of Values Added Financial, an advisory firm based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on charity-oriented progressives, which reflects Teutsch’s political and personal leanings. He worked at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he advised on financial education and empowerment, and has been an advocate on social justice issues.
For some advisors who develop a niche, there may be a course correction. A year or two after Teutsch got started, he decided social progressives as a category was too broad.
Though this focus attracted prospects and made clients feel like they were part of a specialized practice, it didn’t give the firm the practice management efficiencies it sought. Even though clients had similar political leanings, they had different investment needs. By narrowing the focus on typical clients to those interested in social and governance investment themes and who are charitably inclined, the firm managed to grow quickly.
Many advisors are afraid to narrow their focus because it can seem counterintuitive. “It’s scary to think you’re limiting your opportunity,” Teutsch says. But it can help ensure advisors are more in tune with their clients’ needs. If there’s a tax change, for example, a specialized advisor can more easily understand the impact.
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Thanks to Zach for representing ACP so well!