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A few years ago, former U.S. Olympic track athlete Lauryn Williams traded in her running spikes for financial books.
Ms. Williams, a three-time medallist in the summer and winter Olympic Games is a certified financial planner and owner of Worth Winning LLC in Dallas, which is an advisory practice catered to young professionals. She wanted a unique way to connect with a targeted group of clients better and began organizing a series of exotic retreats.
Ms. Williams spoke with Globe Advisor recently about her getaways for clients.
Why did you become a financial planner?
When I was a young professional athlete in my 20s, I couldn’t figure out my finances and wanted someone to meet me where I was. I had hired what I thought was a professional but the experience didn’t go well. Today, my whole company is built on working with younger people who are nervous about their finances and who just want to be met where they are.
Where did you get the idea to start client retreats?
The clients I work with love to travel, and so do I! I just hit my 50th country last year and decided to take the two things that I love – money and travel – and mix them together.
July’s client retreat is in Colombia and in August, we’re going to Bali. Clients will have an amazing travel experience and work through various financial topics simultaneously. In the mornings, we work on building financial plans. In the afternoons, we do something like paragliding or sightseeing.
Each retreat is capped at just eight people as they are meant to provide time for us, advisors, to really dig in and properly help people with their financial issues.
Are these vacations costly?
So, here’s the thing – people are already booking these sorts of trips. But what did they get for that vacation?
Our retreats are running about US$3,200 right now. That includes the accommodation, two meals [a day], all the excursions and financial planning. It’s not cheap, but it’s also not super expensive when you include all those things that you would also be spending extra money on.
Do you plan trips for different types of clients?
The trips this summer will be specific to single women. I believe people feel different about how they talk about money, depending on what the environment is like.
So, a bunch of women getting together and talking about their finances creates a different environment than if there are men in the room. I don’t want a situation in which there are four women, two single guys and then a couple. That doesn’t create the kind of environment to get really transparent and have the best experience.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
- Deanne Gage, Globe Advisor reporter
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