Customizing Client Education

Attuned to all generations

More schools require high school students’ complete classes in finance and economics, but change is still needed and fast. The 2020 Survey of the States – conducted by the Council for Economic Education – is beginning to show an increase in the number of states with graduation requirements in both economics and personal finance. 21 states now require high school students take a course in personal finance. 25 states require students complete an economics class.

“I’m concerned with the lack of financial literacy of young adults graduating from both high school and college,” Pamela Zell, CFP® and co-founder of Six Point® Financial Group told Advisors Magazine in a recent interview. And that is why she, partner Karen Evans, and their firm are doing something about it.

zell quote
Six Point®, Zell noted, is an independent financial planning firm. The partners have nearly 50 years of combined experience, and the firm has a staff of nine. Zell and Evans each have a team of four, and they share an office manager. They currently manage close to $400 million in assets under management for high-net-worth clients. “We are a boutique firm which allows us the freedom to fine tune all aspects of our clients’ educational experiences,” she added, “from events where clients participate together, to individual meetings.”

She said financial education takes place at each client’s own pace. “Everyone’s got a lot of things going on, so we don’t overwhelm them with the education,” Zell said. “It’s vital they feel like they are part of the process, and that it’s not us just telling them what they need to do.”

Pam zell h“In the initial meeting with clients, we express it is a team approach, that we are not making decisions on their behalf, that we do this all together,” Zell explained. “And it’s at that stage we find out where they are along the spectrum of financial knowledge.”

Clients are encouraged to bring ideas. “And then we decide at what level do they want more from us,” Zell added. “Do they want us to send them a book, a web resource or an app? Whatever the case, they get the educational resources tailored to their needs, pace of learning, and they become part of the planning and investment process.”

Zell started her career in the corporate insurance arena, demonstrating an aptitude for problem-solving at a corporate level. This compelled her to obtain her CFP® designation and re-direct her skills to help individuals with personal financial planning. She joined Sterling Financial Advisors in 2001 which is where she met Karen Evans. In 2015, Zell and Evans rebranded the company and co-created Six Point® Financial Group LLC, located in Chesterfield, Missouri.

Evans noted that the level of work Six Point does when onboarding a client is extensive. Turns out clients very much appreciate such proactivity. After onboarding, the attention does not wane.

“For example, we reached out regularly during the pandemic,” she said. “We know those clients that may require handholding along the way.” Most out-of-state clients were already accustomed to video meetings. Older clients preferred the phone and the team accommodated them. Also, the newer clients to Six Point® had never been through such volatile market activity.

evans h“Our clients are comfortable with the way we approach different market conditions,” Evans said. “They will talk about that with their friends, praising what we do, and everything that we do now is through referrals.”

A silver lining of the pandemic is that it has been good for the business, according to Zell.

“There were a lot of advisors who simply did not contact their clients during the 2020, early-pandemic market downturn,” she added. “And so that’s when we started seeing a sharp increase in referrals. It presented an opportunity to demonstrate our proactive approach.” In fact, Zell and Evans have found that Six Point® traditionally tends to see more business whenever there is market chaos. “It is definitely a time when our firm begins to grow,” they said.

The key is to never skip a beat when it comes to client connections, according to Zell. We proactively create “value add” ideas for our clients. The most recent example was a piece titled “Ways to Fight Inflation” which focused on apps and money saving ideas for the current inflationary environment. We are working on a piece that will offer ideas for apps to teach and create day-to-day cashflow management habits for children, young adults and seniors.

As both educators and financial planners try to teach a new generation to save and invest, Six Point® is successfully finding ways to work effectively with, and to educate, Generations X, Y and Z. These are often the children or grandchildren of existing clients, and such generational continuity would help secure the legacies of both the firm and its clients.

For more information, visit: Six Point Group

Registered representative offering securities through Crown Capital Securities, LP ~ A Registered Broker/Dealer Member FINRA/SIPC : OSJ Karen J Evans, CFP® ~ Partners: Karen J Evans, CFP® & Pamela J Zell, CFP® 14755 N Outer 40 Drive, Suite 204 ~ Chesterfield, MO 63017 ~ 636-519-0049 ~

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