Each month at Mission Wealth, we interview a new team member and publish the interview in a spotlight article. This month we talked with Client Advisor Kristi Kearney, and learned about her background in accounting, upbringing, family, and professional approach. Learn more about Kristi in this interview.
About Kristi Kearney
Kristi Kearney serves as a Client Advisor at Mission Wealth and joined the team in 2021. Kristi has worked in financial services for over four years, and has a MS in Accounting as well as a CPA credential. She's currently working towards her CFP. She's also a volunteer for Inspire Elementary and a Youth Soccer Coach.
What makes you well-suited for your role as a Client Advisor at Mission Wealth?
I am driven by a desire to make a difference in people's lives. Sometimes it can be difficult to find your motivation when your job is to make a company more money. Collecting a paycheck was at the top of my priorities when I left school and I had bills to pay, but now I'm at a place in my life where I know what I want. Nothing motivates me more than seeing the real impact that I can have as a trusted advisor.
What guides your approach?
I am a very detail oriented person. That personality trait serves me extremely well in my role as a Financial Advisor. But that same personality trait drives my husband and children nuts!
What are a few childhood experiences you had that formed who you are today?
When I was a little girl, I always wanted to be a doctor. I think it was the idea of helping people and saving lives that always drew me to that dream job. As I got a little bit older, I realized that I was far too squeamish for a career in Medicine! However as I've always been good with numbers and math I got my first job at 16 years old as a bank teller. I worked several more jobs in various finance and accounting roles for businesses across industries.
Today as a Client Advisor with Mission Wealth, I feel as though I have found the perfect balance between my natural inclination towards finance, my previous skills and experiences within finance and accounting, in combination with my innate motivation to help other people.
What kinds of issues do you help your clients with and what kinds of unique services do you provide your clients with to help them with these issues?
The biggest issue I help my clients with is defining what their pain points are. Sometimes we don’t know the real cause of the pain (just the symptom) until we dig deeper and talk through it. Once we zero in on the “why," we can solve it! Or in the very least, be aware of it and work with it.
Tell me an actual story about a client that you helped and how you changed their life.
I recently walked a client through paying back social security benefits that they had taken early. He had a lot of resistance to it and logic wasn’t working. There were a lot of excuses but the breakthrough came when he opened up about a friend who had waited until the age of 70 to take his own social security, and had then tragically passed away after having only received one payment. Once we understood the root cause, we could work through it.
Are you a raving fan of anything – like a sports team or band or school? And why?
As a Colorado native, I am a die-hard Broncos fan. I generally enjoy all of my Colorado Sports teams and taking my kids to games, but I rarely miss a Broncos game.
What’s something interesting that people don’t know about you?
Something interesting that people don't know about me, is that I am very handy around the house. People are always surprised when they see me on my roof fixing something, or working on my car, or cutting tile with a tile saw in my garage! My father worked in flooring and construction for most of his life, and as a "Daddy's Girl" I always followed him around and soaked in all of those lessons. It's just who I am.
How do you spend time outside of Mission Wealth?
My spare time outside of work is similarly centered around relationships. I love spending time with my Husband and three children. They're hilarious! I love spending time with friends and family, and those are always the most important ingredients in my personal life. As long as those ingredients are in place, we enjoy concerts, traveling, golf, camping, skiing and otherwise enjoying all of the outdoor activities that Colorado has to offer. I'm also an accomplished Soccer coach for the Central Park Cheetahs (children around 5 years old).
If you could offer any advice to your younger self, what would it be?
If I could give my younger self advice, it would be this. Go for it! I made decisions early in my career based on a "roadmap" that others had laid out before me. I don't necessarily regret my choices. I had great experiences, but I wish I had followed my passion and realized my purpose earlier in my career. It's never too late to "take the wheel" and steer your life in the right direction.
At Mission Wealth we talk to people all the time about what their goals and aspirations are. So what’s on your bucket list?
My bucket list is all about travel. I'm excited to check several places off my list. Too many to list them all, but I love visiting new places, drinking wine and trying new things. Learning the history and stories about cultures and architecture, food and customs. I really enjoy that stuff. Aside from travel, I aspire to have a deep and long lasting relationship with my children. I want to create a family culture where they want to come "home" often, travel together and enjoy each other, long into the future. I enjoy that dynamic with my parents and in-laws, and I want that for my family too!
What are your favorite kinds of clients to work with and why?
Sometimes it is hard to let your guard down and trust someone with something as personal as your finances, but I find that clients who are willing to do that, the experience is mutually rewarding. I like to think of my clients as my friends. That is what makes my job so rewarding.
Give us one piece of financial advice you would offer clients.
Don't wait. It's never too late to start saving and investing in your future. Also, really spend some time thinking about what you love to do, and build your financial plan around that.
What is a subject or area of finance that not many people know a lot about, but understanding it could really help their financial picture?
Taxes. Understanding the IRS code can be a bear, but tax efficiency is one of the best ways to make an immediate and lasting impact on your finances.
Are you a part of any organizations or clubs you can tell us about?
Within Mission Wealth I'm a part of Women on a Mission, and I am an active parent in my children's school. I'm also a volunteer coach for my son's youth soccer team. Go Cheetahs!
What are some important things to consider when choosing a financial planner?
Compatibility. As a financial advisor, you are bringing me into your "circle of trust". Make sure that you can see yourself being comfortable with sharing your personal goals, and being vulnerable when discussing your finances and dreams so that we can get you to where you want to be. When there is compatibility, the relationship flourishes.
MISSION WEALTH IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. THIS DOCUMENT IS SOLELY FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES, NO INVESTMENTS ARE RECOMMENDED. ADVISORY SERVICES ARE ONLY OFFERED TO CLIENTS OR PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS WHERE MISSION WEALTH AND ITS REPRESENTATIVES ARE PROPERLY LICENSED OR EXEMPT FROM LICENSURE. NO ADVICE MAY BE RENDERED BY MISSION WEALTH UNLESS A CLIENT SERVICE AGREEMENT IS IN PLACE.