Building Wealth in Specialization

Between 2012 and 2022, the number of personal financial advisors is forecasted to grow 27 percent, a rate much higher than other occupations according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Baby boomers reaching retirement and increasing longevity of Americans are driving demand. Consequently, competition in the already competitive field of financial planning will continue to grow.

Current trends reveal that some advisory firms are providing specialized expertise to particular market segments to draw clients and grow their practice. Chau Lai, CFP®, ChFC®, a financial advisor with Pacific Advisors, is a leader in this approach having started her practice this way well over a decade ago. Lai works primarily with physicians, dentists, and business owners helping them to address personal finances and business issues including succession, executive compensation, taxation, and estate planning.

In practice for 17 years, Lai started at age 21 fresh out of the University of California at San Diego with two things: a degree in economics and a yearning to help people be more prudent with their finances. She had no clients, so she gained exposure by teaching financial courses for women at a local community college. The following year, she was offered the opportunity to manage the UCLA School of Dentistry disability program—a job others turned down because they felt there was no real money to be made with students.  But Lai saw it as an opportunity to build lasting relationships with individuals as they entered professional life and started their own families.

Now Lai has a niche-driven family practice that includes her husband and her sister, who are also CFP’s, and they are supported by full time employees. Pacific Advisors serves over 900 families helping them create a secure future.

“Chasing past performance, stock picking, track record investing, and trying to time the market is ultimately ineffective and costly to the client. Clients are taking more risk than they need to and incurring more trading costs and management fees,” said Lai explaining that Pacific Advisors works to grow assets over time in a strategic, methodical, and conservative way. “You don’t need to take more risk to grow your wealth. You need to take a holistic approach and understand that every financial decision that you make has a ripple effect on all other decisions.”

Lai asserts that it takes a team to effectively build and protect a client’s wealth. “At Pacific Advisors, we address not just the areas we are licensed and compensated to address, we also have to know how to coordinate effectively with the client’s estate planning attorney, business attorney, their CPA, and all the other advisors that are in their life,” she said.

Born in Vietnam, Lai came to America as a refugee with her parents when she was 4-years-old. They didn’t speak English and had no money. “My parents were able to build businesses and build a good life for themselves,” said Lai. It appears she has followed in her parents footsteps.

For more information, visit:

Follow Us

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

What's Next, Updates & Editorial Picks In Your Inbox

Related Articles

© 2017-2021 Advisors Magazine. All Rights Reserved.Design & Development by The Web Empire