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For financial adviser Breanna Reish, financial planning couldn’t be about gathering assets. She needed inspiration. Ms. Reish found it in addressing the planning needs of teachers, a profession she felt was underserved by the financial advice industry. She continues to help this community both through her practice, Wealth of Confidence, and her podcast, One Million Apples, which covers a range of financial issues for her audience of teachers. InvestmentNews Content Strategy Studio sat down with Ms. Reish to hear her story and the advice she has for other advisers looking to help a typically underserved group of professionals.
InvestmentNews Content Strategy Studio: Tell us why you wanted to specialize in advising teachers.
Breanna Reish: Before opening my own firm, I had already worked with a group of educators at my prior practice, and I really clicked with them personally. I loved the dynamic we had. Then, when I opened my own firm teachers were the first people knocking on my door. I saw this real need. All these educators are signing up for retirement plans because they know they need to save for the future, but they don’t have answers to the nitty-gritty financial questions. And there simply aren’t a lot of people that are willing to offer it to them within their service offering. It created a fire in me. I realized helping them was something that’s going to get me up every day. That’s what’s going to keep me coming to work.
InvestmentNews Content Strategy Studio: In addition to your practice, you set up a podcast to teach educators about financial issues. Tell us about that.
Breanna Reish: There just hasn’t been a lot of financial information being put out there for teachers in a big way. I started it to get that information out there, because I can’t personally help everybody. Once I started doing the podcast, I realized it couldn’t just be me, on a pedestal, talking about finances. It needed to cover more real-life issues. So we started having teachers on from all over the country, talking about things like how a union strike affected their classrooms and money, or having six kids on an educator’s salary, or how you can raise a family while being a teacher. A lot of teachers don’t think they can do this financially.
InvestmentNews Content Strategy Studio: What advice would you offer to other advisers who want to work with an underserved community?
Breanna Reish: They should know that it’s a challenge, but worth it. It’s not always easy. It’s hard to get information out to people and explain that this is what I do and I’m not out to get you. It’s a lot of hard work. But honestly, it’s so rewarding when someone emails you and says, ‘Hey, guess what? We hit this goal. We did it! What’s next?’
InvestmentNews Content Strategy Studio: What does it mean to you to be human-centric, and how does it apply to the financial advice industry?
Breanna Reish: I think being human-centric means meeting people where they are … helping them with what they need right now. When someone calls you and says ‘this is what’s going on in my life’ we have to really listen and not try to jump forward and prepare a financial plan 20 years out. It’s fixing what’s in front of them now so people get this sense of relief and confidence. They also buy in and get more involved in their finances.
I think all of the health, emotional and financial threats from COVID-19 have really brought this home. People aren’t always worried about 20 years from right now. They’re worried about what’s going on today. Do I have a job? Do I have an emergency fund that can cover my bills? Can I make my house payment? We can’t miss the short-term issues that are right in front of people.
InvestmentNews Content Strategy Studio: How have you balanced being a mom and a financial professional?
Breanna Reish: It goes back to being human and realizing what’s right in front of you. I’ve decided that not scaling too far forward is what I needed to do in order to find balance. That’s meant taking on a specific amount of clients in a specific timeframe so I can go and be a mom with my kids and recharge my battery the rest of the time.
That’s been especially important these last few months, with everyone at home and needing to navigate schooling. We’ve worked outside the box. We’ve been getting in my camper, hitting the road, going out to lakes and paddle boarding. Sometimes I’ll do an hourly meeting from inside my camper. My clients understand that I take them seriously but I also take my family seriously. I need that balance so I can be present for my clients and give them more of me.
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