Intro: Review of BlackBird Finance LLC
In uncertain financial times, especially, investors turn to trusted financial advisors for advice on how to best situate their finances for long-term security. This advice may be in the form of portfolio management, advice on paying down debt, retirement planning, and more.
Studies show that younger generations are seeing the importance of investment and good money management. Over 43% of Gen Z expect to invest more in 2022 than the prior year, compared to 27% of millennials and 14% of Gen X stating the same.
One thing that a younger generation of investors is drawn to is the flexibility of doing money management the way they like, rather than being left with rigid options. They want investment advisors to offer guidance that fits their lifestyle and that offers more than simply retirement and investment management.
BlackBird Finance is one of those modern investment advisory services that meet investors where they need financial assistance. In addition to traditional financial planning services, this Colorado wealth management firm also offers daily money management and financial coaching services.
This is a fee-only, fiduciary financial management firm. This means that the firm’s advisors are only paid through client fees and do not accept any commissions from sales of financial products. Being fiduciary means that clients can be assured their financial advisor is working in their best interests at all times and is legally bound to do so.
This young firm was first registered as an investment advisor in Colorado in July 2021 but is quickly making its mark by being significantly different than many other wealth management firms out there. We’ll look at some of the ways it does this in this review.
Image courtesy of Colorado financial advisor, BlackBird Finance
How BlackBird Finance Stands Out | Who It Serves & How
This top Denver area investment advisor was founded by Nathan Mueller, who was born and raised in Arvada, CO. The firm is based in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and serves clients in that city, as well as Denver and Durango. BlackBird also serves clients throughout the US virtually.
BlackBird Finance LLC does business as BlackBird Financial Planning. The firm is independent and focuses on financial planning assistance and guidance for individuals from “all walks of life.”
While many financial advisors and investment management firms in Colorado and other states have a minimum required investment, BlackBird does not. It operates on the principle that everyone should have access to the expert financial guidance that comes through working with a financial planning expert. So, the firm does not have any minimum investment required and works with individuals and families at all wealth levels.
The core values of BlackBird Finance include:
- Helping people at all income levels reach a brighter financial future
- Educate people on the intricacies of their personal financial circumstances
- Guide people on how to overcome money challenges and grow their wealth
The fact that BlackBird serves people at all wealth levels and offers more than just traditional financial planning services, makes it an attractive choice for all investors, and especially those younger generations. Without the barrier of entry that an investment minimum has, more people are invited into the process of planning for a secure financial future.
Experienced & Accessible Founder
Being a young company, BlackBird Finance’s founder is also the principal financial planner and financial coach of the firm. While some investors may be concerned about working with a smaller boutique firm, others will appreciate the accessibility of the firm’s founder.
You can be assured that you’ll be working with the same financial expert that you met during an initial consultation. This isn’t always the case at larger financial advisory firms.
The founder of BlackBird Finance is Nathan Mueller, MBA. In addition to being a snowboarding enthusiast, Mr. Mueller also has a passion for investing, having opened his very first brokerage account at the age of 14.
Nathan Mueller, MBA
Founder, Financial Planner, and Financial Coach
His entrepreneurial spirit turned to the world of finance after college. He honed his financial acumen at Fortune 500 companies. His past experience in the financial world includes the following achievements:
- Achieved the position of senior investment specialist at Janus Henderson
- Retirement advisor at Transamerica, building a $35 million book of business
- Ramsey Solutions Master Financial Coach
Financial + Life Coaching Expertise
One important piece of the map when charting a successful financial future is the need to adjust or completely change money habits. People often are stuck in habits that aren’t helpful financially (such as overspending online or putting off saving for retirement).
While financial advisors can tell you what to do and help you invest wisely, it takes someone with skills as a life coach to help you change those habits, so you don’t end up reverting back, potentially sabotaging your financial planning.
A big advantage of working with BlackBird Finance, and its founder Mr. Mueller, is that he is professionally trained not only as a financial coach but also as a life coach. His training in this area is through the Co-Active Training Institute. This is an ICF-accredited coaching school. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is considered the gold standard for coaching accreditation.
Clear & Understandable Fee Structure
When it comes to financial advisory fees, investors can often get quickly confused. Some Denver financial advisors charge based on a percentage of assets under management and may have fees in addition to that for various types of services.
Working with BlackBird Finance is very straightforward. The firm charges an hourly rate of $250 for its financial planning services, and also offers a fixed rate based on that hourly rate and the anticipated hours needed for a requested service.
The hourly rate is billed in 15-minute increments, making this financial advisor an affordable option for investors that may have thought expert financial guidance was out of reach for them.
This clear and transparent billing structure supports the firm’s mission to make planning for a brighter financial future accessible to as many people as possible. Fees may also be negotiated on an individual basis.
Note that fees paid for financial planning services are separate from those that may be incurred due to transactions through selected service providers or any trading fees. You can learn more about BlackBird Finance’s fee structure by reviewing the firm’s ADV.
Core Services Offered
There are three core services offered by BlackBird Finance. The firm’s expertise is in financial planning, coaching, and money management. Offshoots of these core services include standard financial support such as investment analysis, retirement planning, and debt and budget guidance.
The firm’s main services are as follows.
BlackBird Finance takes a holistic approach to financial planning. The firm’s founder understands that financial planning isn’t about transactions and products, but rather the person’s goals, relationships, and desired outcomes for their future.
Under the financial planning umbrella, those working with BlackBird can get personalized assistance in the following areas:
- Retirement Planning
- Estate Planning
- Education Planning
- Net Worth Analysis
- Investment Analysis
- Debt Management
- Real Estate
- Risk Management
One thing that makes people timid to speak with a financial planner in Colorado or anywhere else, is that finances are complex. They touch every part of our lives, yet can often seem out of a person’s control.
With both financial and life coaching experience, Mr. Mueller simplifies the understanding of personal finance and takes a “no judgment” approach to put clients at ease. The coaching helps clients have accountability and guidance while reaching for their financial goals.
Areas of financial coaching that clients come to BlackBird Finance for include:
- Emergency Savings
- Financial Road Map
Daily Money Management
For those that may have aging family members, that may be cognitively disabled, or that are just too busy to do it themselves, BlackBird Finance can help with day-to-day money management (bills, budgets, and more).
There are no contracts, and the firm can manage just the financial areas you need or all of your finances. The service the firm provides is completely customized to your distinct money management needs.
Some of the money management areas offered are:
- Medical Bills and Insurance Claims
- Pagosa Springs Mobile Notary
- Tax Organization
- Expense and Budget Tracking
- Mail & File Management
- Bill Pay & Banking Management
Investment & Asset Allocation Analysis
Among some of the top services offered by BlackBird finance is investment and asset allocation analysis. The firm can assist individuals and families with creating customized portfolios that reflect their budget, risk tolerance, and goals for the future.
Before any recommendations are even made, your financial advisor will learn everything they can about you, so your investment strategy will make sense and fit your needs. You’re not given generic advice that may not be in your best interests.
Some of the factors considered in tailoring your investment strategy are:
- Your current financial situation
- Your short-term and long-term needs
- Your investment goals
- The level of investment knowledge you have
- Your risk tolerance
- Any social concerns to factor into your investments
- Any restrictions you may have on portfolio management
Using these factors as a guide, the advisors at BlackBird Finance leverage their own research as well as research from trusted financial publications, investment analysis, and multiple reporting sources. This approach is designed to filter through multiple inputs to help you land on the best mix of investments that match your needs.
Financial News and Insights
Those visiting BlackBird Finance’s website can boost their financial literacy by reviewing the many articles in the “Insights and News” section. This resource offers timely articles on all types of investing and money management topics, including credit reports, leading economic indicators, budgeting, home buying, and many more.
Not all financial planning websites offer these types of resources. It’s a good sign when you see that a financial planning firm makes a point of creating helpful content to educate people on all aspects of finances and investing.
Conclusion: Future Outlook for BlackBird Finance LLC
With the numbers showing that younger generations are now becoming a larger portion of the investment community, it’s important for financial advisory firms to evolve to meet Gen Z and Millennials where they are.
This means more flexibility, fewer barriers to entry, and financial planning that goes beyond portfolio allocation and into areas of personal money coaching and financial habits.
BlackBird Finance checks all those boxes. As a younger firm, it has a few years to go to build up its reputation in the industry. However, it’s already ahead of the curve when it comes to championing a new, more flexible approach to money management. One that brings life coaching into the mix and understands that financial success is ultimately determined by financial habits and attitudes.
With solid Fortune 500 experience, BlackBird Finance’s founder offers the best of both worlds to investors from all wealth levels. He has the experience and discipline from a more structured environment and has transitioned that into a new way to discuss finances, retirement planning, and daily money management.
We anticipate that BlackBird Finances will become a standout in the Colorado financial advisory field for the crop of younger investors that are on top of the importance of investing and building their wealth as early as possible.
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