My guest on today’s podcast is Bridget Venus Grimes. Bridget is the President of WealthChoice, a virtual independent RIA that oversees nearly $80 million in assets under management for 68 client families, and Co-Founder of Equita Financial Network, an advisor platform that helps advisors plug in and share resources.
What’s unique about Bridget, though, is how, as a solo advisor, she found herself overwhelmed with the pressures of having to manage different aspects of her business while also providing great service to her clients as she quickly grew to $77M of AUM in 7 years, and has decided to not to “scale” her firm by hiring more advisors but instead leverage herself personally by delegating more and more of her non-financial-planning tasks to virtual outsourced contractors she doesn’t have to manage on a day-to-day basis.
In this episode, we talk in-depth about how Bridget went about outsourcing compliance, operations, trading, investment research, and even her client scheduling to build a trusted team of virtual professionals so that she can focus more on the financial planning work with clients she enjoys most, why Bridget and an advisor friend of hers decided to work together to vet a long list of trusted outsourced service providers in the hopes of purchasing services together to negotiate better rates and then ultimately launched Equita Financial Network to give other advisors a chance to plug-in to their negotiated outsourced rates as well, and why Bridget decided to focus on a niche of female executives because she felt she could relate to them the most (having spent a career as a female executive herself) and that focused on one ideal type of clientele would allow her to streamline her processes better (as they share so many of the same financial issues).
We also talk about why, after working for an RIA as an employee advisor, Bridget became frustrated with how she was compensated and a lack of freedom to serve her niche of female executives in the way she saw fit which inspired to launch her own firm where she could have more control over client service, her own destiny, and her paycheck, how Bridget spent $30,000 to get support in writing a book that focuses on the 4 common financial planning derailers women executives face without any expectation that she’d even generate enough book sales to cover that cost because she thought the credibility of being author itself made it more than worthwhile, and how, even though Bridget has long been adamant about not hiring W-2 employees, she has ultimately decided to bring on her daughter as an advisor because even though she doesn’t have any plans to retire or sell her practice anytime soon, she wants to ensure the future of her business by creating a succession plan with another advisor she’s confident will maintain her approach to financial planning with her clients.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Bridget shares why she feels one of the best moves she made for her business and herself was engaging with Limitless Coaching because, in the same way she delegates business responsibilities, she was able to leverage the expertise of a professional who could help elevate her and outline better metrics to guide towards the next level of success, how Bridget learned the importance of not second-guessing yourself and only working with clients that are really a good fit after one of her biggest clients became difficult to work with and despite compromising her fee (against her better judgment) to try to retain him the client still left (costing her a lot of money and time anyway), and why Bridget encourages other advisors looking to start their own practice to invest in themselves by engaging in business coaching so that they can get clear on how they want to shape their business and career before launching (just as Bridget has been intentional about what types of clients she wanted to work with, and how she wanted to leverage herself but not have to manage anyone, to live her ideal practice).
So, whether you’re interested in learning about the specific vendors (and people) that Bridget delegated portions of her business to, how she navigated decisions about not just what to delegate, but how and to whom, building an infrastructure of trusted vendors along the way, and why she wishes she had ‘taken the leap’ to start her business years ago, then we hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, with Bridget Venus Grimes.