Fyooz Financial Planning is now 4 years old. 🎉
As I write that out, the number 4 makes it seem minor relative to what the past 4 years have truly encompassed. When we first started our firm, we had an idea of what working with clients in their 30s and 40s would look like. We quickly learned that the financial needs (and services from us) had to be different from what we were used to providing at our previous financial companies.
It’s a lot of work to serve millennials. I say that proudly. We work hard to provide a top-tier service that we believe our clients need and deserve. Luckily for us, Natalie and I enjoy the work we do and the clients we serve. Prior to Fyooz, we typically didn’t meet with our clients more than once or twice a year. We didn’t pay much attention to things like taxes, employer benefits, and cash flow planning. We knew this (and much, much more) was a big piece missing from most financial companies.
The business we have built over the last 4 years has changed based on not only what we thought millennials might need, but from what our clients have taught us along the way.
Since 2019, we have had the opportunity to work with 100+ clients spanning 17 different states. Working with our clients has taught me about the reality of money in your accumulation years. I’d like to share 3 major things that I’ve learned about personal finance simply through observation of our clients' financial lives.
LIFE CHANGES LEAD TO FINANCIAL CHANGES.
The collective client group we work with has had…
We first started our business around the premise that people in their 30s and 40s need financial guidance for the constant changes that take place at this stage of life. I underestimated how often change truly occurs at this stage of life. Most of our clients come to us with an immediate financial need or an accumulation of needs that lead them to seek out advice. Change will always happen. Our job to provide guidance is never done, it simply evolves with our clients' lives.
SHARING YOUR GOALS WITH SOMEONE HELPS MAKE IT HAPPEN.
I want to celebrate a few of our first clients who signed up with us in our infancy and share their stories.
A couple came to us looking for a financial planner that they could trust, relate to, and that wouldn’t push them into a financial product. After our consultation, they described the meeting as visiting the chiropractor and having a weight lifted off of their shoulders…it felt like home for them.
This couple earned a healthy income and had been diligently saving for their future and their children. The focus for them had always been long-term and there was a gap in enjoying life today. In our discovery meeting, we learned of the desire to buy a Tesla and a family cabin. Our job – to show that the future is accounted for and that they deserve to enjoy the wealth they are accumulating today. 4 years in, that couple has purchased their dream car and most recently purchased a family cabin that will provide for a lifetime of memories. Now, we are setting new goals for the future.
Another couple came to us looking to buy a second home while renting in a big city. Their goal was to maintain their primary life in the city while having another home to spend weekends and vacations. They came to us with stock options that were highly valued and wanted a plan to diversify while also using the proceeds for their goals. 4 years in, they have purchased their second property – now their primary residence (again, lives and priorities change). They’ve accomplished their primary goals set with us, now we can continue thinking about what the future looks like.
Goal setting is a powerful exercise that every couple should be working on, together. We are honored that we are the people that couples share their biggest dreams with.
The Financial Independence, Retire Early (FIRE) movement was alive and well when we first started our business. We have onboarded several clients who wanted to achieve “FIRE”. The most common denominator of this set of clients has been their large savings rates (20-70% of income) and large savings balances.
Earlier this year you may have noticed the headlines of Sam Dogen, one of the pioneers of the FIRE movement, returning to work. “Life is full of ups and downs and unknowns. You’re trying to predict the future, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Dogen tells Fortune magazine.
The same is true for our clients. Priorities change and your resources may need to be allocated toward something other than retirement living expenses – and that is okay. Our clients have discovered throughout our process that they can use their large savings for goals like building their dream home, paying for their children’s future, and spending money on new passions both personally and professionally.
Early retirement is defined differently for every person. What age is early? What does retirement mean to you? How you create a path towards financial independence is completely unique to you and your family.
WHAT IT TOOK TO GET TO 4 YEARS.
I’m a better business owner and financial planner because of our clients. I’m grateful to have learned that it is okay to change your priorities, the importance of sharing your goals, and what building toward retirement can look like.
I was 29 when we started Fyooz. I gave up a comfortable lifestyle to move in with my mother-in-law in order to start our business. I worked in a running store during the pandemic in order to have some sort of income during our first year of business. I’ve had to learn the realness of running a business with my spouse.
When I was just getting started in this profession, I thought I knew exactly what ladder to climb and when I would reach the top. It only took 7 years to realize my professional priorities can change. Now I’m on a whole new ladder with a new set of professional and personal priorities.
I’ve built a successful business – to my definition of success. I’ve created a business that now is responsible for the employment of 3 people. My business introduced me to wonderful people whom I would have never otherwise met. I’ve learned to become comfortable with being uncomfortable.
We are constantly evaluating how we do things at Fyooz. We are adapting to our client needs and the world at large. This is why one of our company values is to adapt is to live.
Thank you to everyone who helped us get to this point.
Cheers to year 5.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation of Fyooz Financial Planning, Natalie Slagle CFP®, or Daniel Slagle CFP®. Past performance may not be indicative of future results and may have been impacted by events and economic conditions that will not prevail in the future. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific security, investment product or investment strategy referenced in the article, either directly or indirectly, will be profitable or equal to the corresponding indicated performance level(s). No portion of the article shall be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any specific security or investment product or to engage in any particular investment or financial planning strategy. Any reference to a market index is included for illustrative purposes only, as it is not possible to directly invest in an index. Indices are unmanaged, hypothetical vehicles that serve as market indicators and do not account for the deduction of management fees or transaction costs generally associated with investable products, which otherwise have the effect of reducing the performance of an actual investment portfolio.