Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Waymire.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a huge money nerd — but I wasn’t always this way. In fact, I used to hate finance and business in general. I have a B.A. in International Studies (Liberal Arts degrees, unite!), taught Theatre in an inner city charter school, and have always preferred poetry to math.
After surviving in the wild for only a year post-graduation, I knew I needed more Marketable Skills™. I ended up at the University of Tennessee’s MBA program, where I discovered a love for finance that I most certainly didn’t expect. It turns out that finance (especially personal finance) is far more of a psychological exercise than a quantitative one. As a result, I ended up taking a lot of Finance classes, served as a Teaching Assistant in the Department of Finance, and helped manage the portfolio of a student-run endowment fund.
After graduating with my MBA. I took a job at a mutual fund company, which then pivoted to providing marketing consulting services for financial advisors. This was super interesting work, but after working with a number of financial advisors, I started to get the feeling that my skills would be better utilized by becoming a financial advisor myself. I didn’t want to help advisors sell products anymore — I wanted to be the one helping individuals and families navigate a difficult topic. I wanted to make an actual difference in people’s lives, rather than contributing to an industry that historically was known for unethical practices.
While I was navigating this transition from consultant to advisor, people began to catch on to the work that I was doing. They weren’t sure exactly what my job was, but as word got out about my investment knowledge, I found that more and more friends and acquaintances began asking me for money advice! People I barely knew would come up to me at parties and ask me about their 401(k)s, their budgets, and everything in between — and I loved it!
I realized that nothing made me happier than the feeling when finance “clicks”, and a young, scrappy individual is able to make better choices through education and empowerment. I discovered that my true passion lies not just in the science of investing, but in the art of advising. So I decided to go all in, and train to be a financial advisor and coach. Thus, Young + Scrappy was born!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I think any entrepreneur can attest to the fact that starting a small business is never a smooth road. Early on, I struggled with a great deal of imposter syndrome. While I had years of relevant experience, a Master’s in Business Administration, and even the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, none of these things really prepare you from sitting across the table from another human being and giving them advice that can literally impact their life for generations.
The weight of this responsibility meant that when I first started my business, I didn’t want to tell anyone about it. I’m grateful that my first clients were friends, family, and members of my community who took a chance on me and encouraged me to hone my skills as a financial advisor, financial coach, and financial planner. This, in turn, built my confidence such that now I have no problem excitedly telling people what I do and the impact I can make in the lives of my clients.
One other ongoing struggle is the tension between pricing that accurately reflects my skills and experience, and pricing that is affordable to the types of people who need financial advice the most. This tension has meant that I’ve experimented with fee structures and service offerings that most advisors don’t have. Many traditional financial advisors don’t do work in the budgeting, debt, credit scores, or student loans space, and most maintain account minimums and/or minimum annual fees. On the contrary, I LOVE teaching about financial literacy basics and have created a number of cool monthly fee or hourly engagements to make that type of work accessible. It’s always a work in progress, though.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Young + Scrappy – what should we know?
Young + Scrappy is a fiduciary, fee-only financial advisory firm that was established in July 2017 as an alternative to more traditional options. Since then, we have built a reputation for being transparent, approachable, and inclusive.
We specialize in helping young professionals, small business owners, and LGBTQ+ folx better understand and take control of their finances by offering financial planning, financial coaching, and investment management services.
At the end of the day, I believe that young people, entrepreneurs, and alternative families don’t need their parents’ advisor or some other old white man in a suit peddling products. They need financial advice from someone who is approachable, knowledgeable, and not going to talk down to them. My goal is to be that someone.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I mentioned previously that personal finance is much more of an emotional, psychological exercise than a mathematics one. As such, the most important characteristic for the work that I do with clients is empathy.
What’s so interesting about money is that we ALL have baggage. Regardless of whether you grew up in scarcity or abundance, whether you were taught to manage your finances or not, or whether you currently have money, we all have so many emotions about it.
I’ve seen more guilt, shame, and anxiety surrounding personal finance than almost any other topic out there. As a result, my ability to emphasize with my clients, to feel and understand what they’re going through, and to kindly and calmly present alternative thought processes and tactics is crucial.
- Financial planning for families or couples (first year of service) – $250/month
- Financial planning for individuals (first year of service) – $200/month
- Financial planning for teachers or non-profit employees (first year of service) – $150/month
- Financial planning for families or couples (ongoing service) – $150/month
- Financial planning for individuals (ongoing service) – $100/month
- Financial planning for teachers or non-profit employees (ongoing service) – $50/month
- Full-service financial coaching – $349/month
- Digital financial coaching + one-on-one supplement – $99/month
- Digital financial coaching subscription – $29/month
- Hourly financial coaching or planning work – $125/hour
- Portfolio and investment management – 0.75% of assets under management per year
- Address: 483 Moreland Ave. NE
Floor 2 Atlanta, GA 30307
- Website: www.YoungAndScrappy.com
- Phone: (678) 871-9595
- Email: Michelle@YoungAndScrappy.com
- Instagram: @theyoungscrappy
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/youngscrappy/
- Twitter: @theyoungscrappy
- Other: https://calendly.com/young-scrappy/15min/