Welcome, everyone! Welcome to the 63rd episode of the Financial Advisor Success Podcast!
My guest on today’s podcast is Kevin Kroskey. Kevin is the founder of True Wealth Design, an independent RIA based on Akron, Ohio, that has grown to nearly $125M in assets under management with 6 employees serving 160 clients, built over the span of the last 10 years.
What’s unique about Kevin’s practice, though, is that he’s been able to persevere in building his practice despite what for many advisors would have been a “catastrophic” setback in his early career… the fact that in his mid-20s, just a few months after his first job at a broker-dealer, he went to prison for 17 months after the law finally caught up with him for selling ecstasy back when he was in college.
In this episode, we talk in depth about Kevin’s journey, from starting out as a high school physics teacher straight out of college, to switching into the financial services industry by working at that independent broker-dealer in his mid-20s, then finding his entire career and life brought to a halt by his criminal conviction for selling ecstasy – despite the fact he had already stopped and left that life behind several years earlier and how he began the process of trying to rebuild a path back into the financial services industry after he got out, starting with a 3-year ordeal with multiple appeals just to try to get a license to become a mortgage loan officer as an ex-con, before finally switching to hang his shingle has an independent RIA.
We also talk about how Kevin actually built his advisory business, by falling back on his early teaching skills to begin doing local adult education classes on personal finances, borrowing money with a bank loan to be able to send out 10,000 mailers at a time to get participants in the class, and then slowly and steadily accumulating a client and asset base over time, supplemented in more recent years by trying to further establish himself more visibly in his community, including by writing a regular financial column in a local community newspaper.
And be certain to listen to the end, where Kevin shares his advice about what any advisor can do to try to persevere through the highly adverse challenges that can hit us in life, and how he handles the situation today when prospective clients still sometimes ask him about a crime that is still a felony disclosure on his U-4, despite being completely unrelated to the financial services industry, for events that happened in his life nearly 20 years ago now.
So whether you are interested in learning more about visibly establishing yourself within your community through writing, how advisors can address talking through disclosures with prospective clients, or are interested in how advisors can persevere through highly adverse challenges more generally, I hope you enjoy this episode of the Financial Advisor Success podcast!