Morningstar Advisor - December/January 2012 - (Page 12)

Advisor Profile A Niche Built on Trust By Kate Stalter Kathy Shultz’s unique practice helps immigrants get the best from their money. Kathy Shultz has a special affinity for people who came to America with very little but worked hard and built successful lives here. After all, that describes her. Shultz, who opened Shultz Financial Planning in Beaverton, Ore., in May 2010, arrived in the United States from Hong Kong in the late 1980s. She had a scholarship that covered some of her costs at Concordia University in Portland and $11,000 in cash. She knew that wouldn’t get her very far, so she set to work, taking jobs ranging from janitor to teaching assistant. She also accelerated her studies to graduate with her B.A. in three years, rather than four. Today, in her fee-only financial advisory practice, Shultz works primarily with first-generation immigrants and their families. “So many of these people came here with nothing, and they worked so hard to get where they are,” she says. Sound familiar? After completing her undergraduate degree in finance and accounting, Shultz got her MBA from Portland State University. Then, she took a job with electronics manufacturer Tektronix in Oregon. She enjoyed it, but after the tech bubble burst in the early 2000s, it was time to find something new. A friend suggested she look into becoming a financial advisor, a field she had never considered. But Shultz saw how it would combine her experience in marketing and finance, and she took a job with Waddell & Reed in 2004. Looking for a Fit “The people who really wanted to talk to me, who were drawn to me, were people more like me. They had come to this country from all over the world—Japan, China, Finland, Afghanistan—everywhere,” she says. “These people would open the door to me, and I could see the struggles they’d gone through. They were just like me. “So, we took to each other,” she says. “I found it rewarding to help them. Not that other people don’t have the need for a financial planner, but here were people who worked extra hard to get what other people have. They didn’t always have the means to get the professional financial advice they needed because of language barriers and cultural barriers—all kinds of reasons.” Shultz also saw that it was time to move away from the commission-based model, which she had never liked. It became clear to her that to combine her various interests, she would have to strike out on her own. Her client base today is exactly the group she hoped to work with: immigrants and their families. She’s now able to take her time building relationships before signing clients. That pace wouldn’t be possible at a wirehouse. Some of the usual prospecting options didn’t make sense for her. “You have to go find these She learned the ropes of commission-based selling and about the mutual fund industry. Hoping to increase her financial-services knowledge, Shultz moved to UBS in 2005. “They were good companies, and I did learn, but I didn’t have a lot of good connections among high-net-worth people in Oregon,” she says. “Also, my heart wasn’t into looking for only high-net-worth clients. There’s nothing wrong with that approach, but it’s not my passion.” But Shultz enjoyed being a financial advisor, so she continued seeking the right fit. One of her husband’s friends had joined Edward Jones as an advisor and recommended it to her. She liked what she heard, and she signed on. It was during her work at Edward Jones that Shultz made a key realization. Part of the customer prospecting was done in a decidedly old-school fashion: by knocking on doors and pitching Edward Jones’ services. During the process, she had an epiphany. 12 Morningstar Advisor December/January 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - December/January 2012

Morningstar Advisor - December/January 2012
Letter From the Editor
Seduced by Complexity
Is China Exposure Important for a Portfolio?
A Niche Built on Trust
How to Find Your Client’s Investment Style
Taking the Long View
Consensus on Europe Elusive
Four Picks for the Present
Investment Briefs
Is Perception Reality for Active Managers?
Be Alert for Basic-Materials Bargains
Investment Boom Unsustainable
Digging Moats in China
Where China’s Domestic Companies Stand to Benefit
Arising Opportunities
China Strong Long Term
From Currency Manipulation to International Acceptance
The Keys to China’s Fortune
Wedgewood’s Lessons Pay Off
Reading the Evidence on Indexing
Scouting for Investments Abroad
Yield, Please (Hold the Europe)
Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
50 Most Popular ETFs
Undervalued Stocks With Wide Moats
China Fund Managers Eat Elsewhere

Morningstar Advisor - December/January 2012