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Reflections on 5 Years of Movement

Reflections on 5 Years of Movement


In Could 2020, only a couple months into quarantine, I wrote in my Reflections on 4 Years of Movement:

The pandemic and the related financial chaos may effectively be the defining function of 12 months 5. One shopper has already left Movement on account of it. Different purchasers have had their incomes considerably lowered. And but others are having a a lot more durable time discovering new jobs.

I used to be proper within the basic, and incorrect within the particular. The 12 months ended up being an incredible boon for Movement’s development and for our purchasers’ funds. (Our purchasers positively occupy the higher arm of the “Okay-shaped restoration.”)

However as vaguely predicted, the quarantine and the pandemic—and the godawful political volatility and stress and horror—was positively the defining function of the fifth 12 months of Movement, for me, for the remainder of the Movement staff, and for our purchasers. I can’t inform you what number of conferences have been cancelled or spent processing some fairly exhausting feelings over the past 12 months.

The opposite defining function of this final 12 months was that of racial (in)justice. This was most blatant within the police killings of unarmed Black males (generally boys).

It was additionally broadly evident in different systemic methods, like how the federal government’s Paycheck Safety Program supported faaaaar fewer minority-owned companies than white-owned ones or how Covid-19 stricken minority communities at a (actually) disproportionate charge.

If nothing else, it strengthened an ethical crucial to start out studying extra about others’ experiences. I can attest to the instant advantages of merely increasing my skilled community—podcasts I hearken to, folks I observe on Twitter, folks I attain out to—to deliberately embrace individuals who “don’t appear to be me” (both actually or figuratively).

Cash is a profoundly emotional idea, and our identities, histories, and households dramatically inform how we really feel about it and the way we use it. My perspective on all of that has been so enriched by listening to colleagues and others who’re Black and Brown, immigrants or kids of immigrants, LGBTQ+, and so forth.

One of many greatest accomplishments for me personally throughout 12 months 5 was that I completed my coaching to grow to be a  Registered Life Planner™ within the fall of 2020. I couldn’t have requested for a greater 12 months to strengthen my expertise of listening, empathy, and serving to purchasers make monetary selections that assist the values they maintain pricey.

(I rejoice Movement’s birthday on Could 9. In order for you, learn my 12 months 4, 12 months 3 and 12 months 2 reflections).

Info About Movement

Movement is a digital, fee-only financial-planning agency that focuses on ladies of their early-to-mid-career in tech.

  • We’re (nonetheless) a staff of three: Janice (Consumer Providers Affiliate), Maddie (Affiliate Planner), and me (Lead Planner and every part else).
  • We have now 51 ongoing purchasers. Two extra are slated to start out in June.

    Because the agency has grown, and as we get ever clearer on our service and on the form of folks we work finest with, our group of purchasers continues to be “distilled” to people who find themselves the essence of “a very good match.” That feels good.

  • We’re at present not taking up any new purchasers.

    Between the truth that shut to twenty purchasers are going by way of IPOs (Airbnb! DoorDash! Procore! SquareSpace! Sprinklr!), the loopy tax scenario, a very unbelievable variety of Huge Life Occasions in our purchasers’ lives (if I’ve to have a look at yet another new dwelling that places mine to disgrace, I’m gonna cry), and our staff’s resolution to deal with Time not Development in 2021, we determined to say an unequivocal “No” to potential purchasers. We refer out anybody who contacts us. Sure, now we have a waitlist, however I’ve made Very Clear that I don’t know after we’ll attain out to folks on the waitlist.

I’m Grateful for…


  • My folks and I are wholesome, positively bodily (and now absolutely vaccinated! whoop!) and even psychologically (to not say there haven’t been many occasions I burst into indignant or scared tears throughout marriage counseling).
  • Having a stay-at-home partner. I’m exquisitely conscious of how my work life was not all that impacted throughout quarantine with my youngsters at dwelling…as a result of my husband took care of them.
  • Marriage counseling. 75 minutes a month, devoted to me and my relationship with my husband, forcing us to speak about stuff that it’s simple—however harmful—to disregard. We’ve been doing it for years. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.


  • My husband. This previous 12 months has confirmed to me how complementary my husband and I are. I’m a planner (duh). He’s a take-it-as-it-comes form of man. You may see how his way of living was a waaaay higher match for the final 12 months than mine was, and boy did I battle with mine.
  • Maddie and Janice. We have now actually cared for each other during the last 12 months. Our emphasis on—and albeit our expertise in—good communication was so apparent and so wanted this previous 12 months, each inside our staff and with our purchasers.
  • My examine teams. I’ve two examine teams: one primarily based on our shared deal with purchasers within the tech trade and fairness compensation (Aaron, Chloe, Jane, and Sam), and one based on our shared values as folks and planners (Brian and Zach). Once more, the compassion, humor, and assist that these folks confirmed me and one another during the last 12 months was important to me holding all of it collectively and even thriving in some methods.
  • My enterprise coach, Elizabeth Jetton. I’ve labored together with her since Month 7 of my agency. To be glib about it, she helps me “preserve it actual.”

    She cares a lot concerning the monetary planning career, and needs me and each monetary planner to reside as much as the promise of this position in our purchasers’ lives. It may be, to get a bit of exalted about it, sacred. She additionally, every now and then, calls my a** to the ground once I’ve clearly not adequately embodied this position.

  • Our purchasers. Appears nearly foolish to incorporate this, as with out purchasers I actually wouldn’t have a enterprise. However once I take into consideration the truth that at present 75 folks depend on us to assist them make a few of their greatest life choices, I can not keep away from a wave of gratitude, amazement, and actually, some imposter syndrome. I personally by no means acquired this form of satisfaction when I labored within the tech trade.

Trying Ahead

Right here’s what I see for the sixth 12 months of Movement:

Proceed to be taught

Sudden cash

It is a technical time period that was become a ebook and a coaching institute, however actually it simply boils all the way down to “You simply acquired a lot of cash roughly in a single day. What are you purported to do?” On this world of IPOs, direct listings, and customarily a very popular marketplace for tech shares, you possibly can think about how Very Related that is for our purchasers. It’s So A lot Greater than determining find out how to make investments the cash.

Sustainable investing

Whereas I’m nonetheless getting a greater deal with on all of the complicated lingo on this area, listed below are the classes I’m studying extra about:

  1. Investing within the public markets (i.e., the “common” option to make investments) for ethical causes (SRI)
  2. Investing within the public markets since you consider corporations that do the precise factor will in reality carry out higher (ESG)
  3. Investing within the non-public markets or holding your cash at sure establishments like CDFIs (impression investing)


I see that cryptocurrencies are more and more influencing the bigger monetary trade. So, I’m making an attempt Actual Onerous Prefer to tamp down my knee-jerk cynicism and irritation with probably the most vocal (learn: blowhard) elements of the crypto/bitcoin group in order that I can perceive what position crypto can and will play in our purchasers’ lives.

Present alternatives within the career

Later this 12 months, the Movement staff will focus on whether or not or not we need to develop our agency with both an intern or one other worker. One among my objectives is to offer extra alternatives on this career. It’s exhausting to get alternatives within the fee-only monetary planning world, particularly if it’s entry-level, particularly if you wish to work with individuals who aren’t Wealthy and Retired, and particularly in the event you aren’t a white man.

The “Return to Regular”

I anticipate this upcoming 12 months will proceed to formed by the pandemic. Possibly not a lot due to quarantine, however by our “return to regular.” We all have some heavy sh*t to cope with over the subsequent few years, even when or as soon as the bodily risk is gone (as this nice episode of the Ten P.c Happier podcast discusses; the visitor describes the pandemic stage we’re in now as “the top of the start”).

And many people have modified our lives in ways in which we need to proceed even after we’re allowed to return to the beforetime. (For me, it’s the brand new custom of taking a solo weekend away from husband and children, in a close-by Airbnb, underneath the timber.)

I began this agency from scratch, and we serve a clientele that wasn’t being served effectively, if in any respect. Meaning now we have needed to work out and construct ourselves a service that was Most worthy to these ladies. Many of the trade works with rich retirees; that institutional data has been of restricted use.

For 5 years now, now we have continually evaluated how we run the enterprise, how we serve our purchasers, how we talk internally and with purchasers and to the surface world. Does the iteration ever finish? To radically paraphrase my indispensable coach: “Uh, no.”

And I suppose that’s a part of why I really like this job.

The place would you be in one other 12 months, in the event you may spend this subsequent 12 months working with a monetary planner you belief to information you thru this madness known as Life and Cash? Attain out to me at . I’m comfortable to place you on our waitlist or provide you with referrals to different, great planners.

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Disclaimer: This text is supplied for basic info and illustration functions solely. Nothing contained within the materials constitutes tax recommendation, a suggestion for buy or sale of any safety, or funding advisory providers. I encourage you to seek the advice of a monetary planner, accountant, and/or authorized counsel for recommendation particular to your scenario. Replica of this materials is prohibited with out written permission from Meg Bartelt, and all rights are reserved. Learn the total Disclaimer.



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