Crain's Wealth's sister publication InvestmentNews recently published its annual 40 Under 40 list of top financial advisers and executives in the wealth management industry. The list, which was culled from more than 1,200 nominations, identifies the brightest and most knowledgeable advisers who are set to transform the way investors plan their wealth.
Below is a select group of advisers who appear on this year's list.
Mr. Chou, managing partner at NexGen Wealth Management, has built his client roster by focusing on second-generation and minority small-business owners. Many are Chinese-Americans in their 30s and 40s who operate independent practices as attorneys, certified public accountants, physicians and dentists.
For them, Mr. Chou is someone who combines sophisticated financial planning ability with a unique understanding of their circumstances.
The biggest hurdle Ms. Raines has overcome in running Azimuth is relocating frequently, thanks to her husband's career in the Air Force. She has found that geographical distance can be overcome by establishing a bond with clients. That begins by clearly disclosing how much they're paying.
“I'm very fee-sensitive,” said Ms. Raines, currently in Denver. “That engenders trust with people.”
The founder of Orcam Financial Group, Mr. Roche promotes a “macro-based indexing strategy.” He said it's critical to understand not only the domestic economy but the rest of the world, too. He sets himself apart as a consultant about economics and markets.
The success of the consulting side of his business has enabled him to add an investment advisory operation. His goal is to deliver high-caliber advice at a cost substantially below the standard 100 basis points.
The fear many people have of outliving their money is often tied to their concerns about health care costs. Mr. Chang has structured his advisory business to address those worries.
In addition to his role at WealthBridge, Mr. Chang also runs Home Care Solutions, a home care provider. He has developed planning packages that address both financial and future health care needs. Mr. Chang can go beyond long-term-care insurance to talk about aging in place and other ways to tackle declining health in later years.
A CPA as well as a certified financial planner, Mr. Billimoria likes helping those who are early in their careers to plan ahead.
Mr. Billimoria also is on a mission to improve financial literacy among millennials. Through Facebook, Twitter and a newsletter, he tries to inculcate the idea that they must put their money to work to ensure long-term prosperity.
Mr. Smith is chief executive and founder of Prosperity Capital Advisors, an RIA with $430 million in assets under management and 42 employees, and Clarity 2 Prosperity Mastermind Group, which conducts three holistic-advice training sessions per year for about 120 advisers, and also handles the insurance-sales part of the operation.
His firms focus on financial planning that encompasses tax, insurance, legal and health care guidance. He calls holistic financial planning his “ultimate purpose in life” and “why God put me on this earth.”
Mr. Brown is a familiar face to fans of CNBC, readers of his popular blog “The Reformed Broker” and members of the Twittersphere. His 100K-plus Twitter followers appreciate his sharply written market commentary, references to hip-hop culture — and posts that sometimes combine the two.
Mr. Brown runs a fee-only practice, and he's able to maintain his online and TV presence at the same time. Mr. Brown credits his team of advisers and personnel as the enablers of his success — both with clients and in the public eye.
The founder of Upperline Financial Planning and father of two hit the ground running, obtaining his CFP by age 25. He cut his teeth at a mutual fund company, an insurer and a broker-dealer, and now runs his own registered investment advisory.
He cares about developing the next generation. Mr. Boudreaux has served as president of the Financial Planning Association's NexGen, a network to encourage young planners. He also teaches personal finance and music finance at Loyola University.
Ms. Masters initially joined her current firm as a paraplanner, working with an established adviser. Over time, her role evolved, and now she acts as a liaison between the firm and the certified public accountants at McGowen Hurst Clark & Smith.
Among the things Ms. Masters finds most rewarding about her job is the fact that the firm supports her charitable efforts benefiting financial literacy. For the last seven years, she's been involved in Money Smart Week, a public awareness campaign that encourages individuals to gain better control over their personal finances.
A combination of drive and smarts propelled Ms. duQuesnay to her current post at ThirtyNorth Investments, a firm that manages $130 million in assets.
Ms. duQuesnay has made a name for herself by writing and tweeting extensively. She contributes to her company's newsletter and writes a quarterly commentary on developments in global financial markets. She finds Twitter a useful place to keep up on news and engage with potential clients.
A cornerstone of Mr. Silveira's practice today is working with young professional immigrants, a group he identifies with, as he was born in Rio de Janeiro and his mother is from Russia. Mr. Silveira speaks Portuguese and Russian.
Mr. Silveira is a founding member of XY Planning Network, a group of fee-only financial advisers serving younger generations, and he bucks the trend of charging clients based on assets, instead billing a monthly retainer.
At Ms. Shard's practice, the biggest asset is the team. “Often [others] hire people and try to fit them where they think these people should be, rather than looking at their skills and where they can add value,” Ms. Shard said.
Her inclination to share resources and knowledge has found its way into Ms. Shard's work outside the office.
She has a radio show and podcast on financial education and co-founded a twice-yearly event at which local women vote on charities that will receive the donations they pull together.
Ms. Storjohann fell into financial planning when she took her first job as a receptionist at a financial planning firm. There, she eventually climbed to director of client services.
It didn't take Ms. Storjohann long to realize how she wanted to provide advice, and that her best route was to became an entrepreneur. Her fee-only practice specializes in clients who range from their 20s to 40s. The practice is also 100% virtual, though she'll meet with clients face-to-face if they happen to be in her neck of the woods.
Mr. Rowland has been ensconced in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for as long as he can recall, having grown up in Greenwich Village where his parents were one of only two straight couples in their building.
He has built on his strong kinship with the gay community to create a financial advice business focused on planning for couples without marriage equality.
Mr. Rowland has also added socially responsible investing to his list of specialties, helping investors put their money to work in support of their own beliefs.
One of Ms. Dorsainvil's best skills as an adviser is motivating clients to stick to the financial plans she helps them create.
Ms. Dorsainvil is the Financial Planning Association's NexGen president-elect, and previously spearheaded the FPA National Capital Area's first regional retreat for NexGen — a community that supports and encourages advisers age 36 and younger.
She also founded a mentorship program for women at her alma mater, Virginia Tech, and is active with the Association of African American Financial Advisors. She volunteers each year with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, which helps lower income people get their returns filed.
Mr. Johnson, 35, followed his father into the financial advice business, attracted to the idea of helping people and educating them about financial issues. He's built a business focused on working with schoolteachers and nonprofits.
He volunteers with many of the same people and organizations, including spending many career days at middle schools teaching kids about the importance of financial planning. He is a certified financial planner, chartered financial consultant and earned his MBA from the University of Illinois.
Mr. Schmansky's firm specializes in fee-only advice for young families, those who have come into sudden wealth through inheritances and self-employed individuals such as accountants and lawyers. He charges by the project or via a monthly retainer.
Mr. Schmansky gives back to his country by providing financial planning services and literacy presentations to military families, usually at a time when one of the spouses is being deployed.
Mr. Russo now spends more hours on the road for work than he does sleeping because he's always recruiting new advisers to his Independent Advisor Alliance. Mr. Russo, an advocate of transparent pricing, charges advisers a flat $30,000 a year for his services, and said he believes advisers themselves should move away from pricing based on assets under management.
Mr. Russo shares his innovative industry thinking as a member of advisory firm boards, and he speaks on financial literacy to his church and other groups.
Even though Ms. Price took over her family's finances at age 15 when her father died, she didn't realize her professional calling until after a stint studying medicine.
Ms. Price loved talking to patients, but a year into pre-med studies she realized how difficult it was for her that not everyone could be saved. She also calculated that her dream of becoming a doctor would land her hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
Instead, Ms. Price earned a bachelor's degree in accounting. Now she's helping clients build strong financial futures. She regularly speaks to high school classes about financial literacy.
Mr. Riggan dreamed of being quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, but after he stopped growing after eighth grade, he decided to follow his father into the financial advice business.
Today father and son work side by side for Edward Jones in Snyder, Texas.
Beyond the office, Mr. Riggan carries forward his “great passion” for educating people on the importance of planning for life events. He speaks at local schools and organizations about investing and finances, and has taught short courses at a community college because “far too many people don't plan for retirement, college or invest because they haven't had the opportunity to learn about it.”
Early in his career, Mr. Deviney was advised to find a way to specialize within the financial planning industry to help him stand out and become more valuable.
That paved the way for him to become the in-house retirement planning specialist at Provenance Wealth Advisors, where he has worked for 10 years — essentially creating the firm's retirement planning group.
Mr. Deviney recently visited Capitol Hill with an elite group of retirement plan advisers to discuss tax reform with lawmakers.
Seventeen years in the financial advice business have given Mr. Coren a broad perspective on what market cycles can do to investor portfolios, and the role of financial planning.
Starting on the brokerage side at Smith Barney, he transitioned his practice towards intergenerational financial advice over his career.
He's big on the next generation taking advantage of the perfect storm of aging advisers and minimal succession planning. Acquiring books, while allowing enough time for integration and transition of clients, helps all parties. Mr. Coren has integrated two otherpractices in the past five years.
Ms. Bera didn't set out to be a financial adviser. Her original plan was to become an artist, dancer and singer.
But because she didn't want to be a starving artist, Ms. Bera absorbed all the financial knowledge she could in college. When she bought a house three months after graduation, “my friends all started asking me for advice on everything financial,” she said.
While Gen Y Planning is based in the Minneapolis area, Ms. Bera is a pioneer in building a virtual advisory firm. She outsources where she needs to and works remotely whenever possible.
She is able to serve millennials profitably by charging a monthly subscription fee, rather than charging based on assets. Ms. Bera will build investment portfolios or do one-time financial check-ups, but most of her time is spent helping clients navigate things like student loan debt and maximizing employer benefits.
With degrees in aerospace engineering and economics, Mr. Starnes could have gone in a couple of different directions out of college. But the fact that day trading helped him finance his tuition made him realize his passion was for financial services.
Mr. Starnes is in the middle of a career transition from Arlington, Va.-based Savant Capital to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Grand Wealth Management “in order to take a leadership role at a smaller firm, with some potential for ownership equity,” he said.
But his dedication to retirement planning and his concern about the effects of dementia and Alzheimer's disease on elderly clients is unwavering, having watched his grandmother suffer through dementia.
Ms. Gray transitioned from dancing to financial advice came after watching her grandfather have an entire estate depleted while suffering from Parkinson's disease.
Many of her clients are board members or senior executives of Fortune 100 companies — a niche largely built up by referrals.
Another aspect of her life she finds “extremely rewarding” is leading financial literacy classes in her community through Crown Financial Ministries. She also is active in Lincoln Financial Network's WISE Group (women inspiring, supporting and educating), which focuses on the success of both female advisers and clients.
When Ms. Mulcare was growing up, she dreamed of being the first female president of the United States.
Originally educated as an accountant, Ms. Mulcare made the transition into financial planning 12 years ago and has since used her expertise to give back as much as possible. As a certified divorce financial analyst, Ms. Mulcare has become a specialist in serving single women.
She touts the importance of financial planning by regularly giving presentations at regional and national conferences of Alpha Kappa Psi. She also is serving her second year as president of ProWIN, a women's networking group for building businesses in Atlanta.
Her pro bono and other volunteer efforts also extend to the March of Dimes, the Susan G. Komen breast cancer awareness campaign and the Philanthropic Education Organization.
Ms. Leonard went to college intending to become a nurse, but quickly learned she was less interested in medical studies than in helping people.
With an advisory business that serves individuals and acts as co-fiduciary in the retirement plan market, Ms. Leonard said the biggest stumbling block for plan participants is fear of the unknown.
Ms. Leonard believes she is most valuable as an adviser when looking at all aspects of a financial life, which is why her firm is expanding to help companies evaluate health care plans in the wake of the Affordable Care Act.