Putting Clients First: Kristi Morrow navigates the financial waters
By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Kristi Morrow likens her job as a financial adviser to a puzzle.
She and her partner in InReach Wealth Advisors, Jason Ayala, help clients make sense of their financial situation using pieces of their lives.
“I like to do puzzles and play games in my free time,” Morrow says. “I take a million little pieces and see how they fit together. A lot of creativity goes into being a financial planner.”
InReach Wealth Advisors is a comprehensive financial planning practice that works with individuals to help them create a plan for their short- and long-term financial goals. The team helps clients accumulate and preserve wealth, in addition to managing their emotions through the ups and downs of life and the market.
A private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services LLC, InReach Wealth Advisors puts its clients first. Morrow and Ayala strive to understand what’s truly important to their clients through their Confident Retirement Approach. Confidence and financial control are the goals.
Morrow, a Minnesota native who graduated from ASU with a marketing degree in 1998, began working in the field shortly thereafter, when she and Ayala’s company was part of American Express Financial Advisors. She left the field to raise her two daughters, Natalie, 16, and Emily, 13, but returned to work after eight years.
“I love being a mom, but getting back to work was a priority for me, for sure,” the DC Ranch resident says.
Reteaming with Ayala, Morrow wanted to come up with a strong name to represent their philosophy. InReach Wealth Advisors just made sense.
“It took a lot of thought between my partner Jason and I,” Morrow says.
“It was really the one name we kept coming back to. It just resonated with us. Clients would sit with us and say, ‘These are our dreams. We just don’t feel we’ll ever be able to accomplish this in this lifetime.’
“All your dreams are in reach. You just have to put a plan together. I say that in meetings with our clients.”
Morrow and Ayala work with clients of all ages—it’s never too early or too late to formulate a financial plan.
“It’s always a good time to come in for an initial meeting,” Morrow says. “It’s a little exposing for people. We’ll always be encouraging. We’re never negative about where they are. We’ll tell them if they don’t need a financial adviser at that moment.”
Morrow is a certified financial planner, accredited portfolio management adviser, certified divorce financial analyst and certified long-term care specialist.
She enjoys helping folks who are in transition—transitioning into a retirement home or going through a divorce or death.
“That’s why I chose my designations—mostly for women in transition,” she says.
Meanwhile, Ayala handles retirement planning and wealth preservation strategies, investment management, financial strategies for LGBTQ couples and families, charitable giving, tax-planning strategies and estate-planning strategies.
“We work as a team,” she says. “If you’re hiring us, you get both of us and the entire team. We have four people, and we really enjoy keeping our company small. We don’t want our clients to feel like they’re being lost, that they’re just another number.”
Clients sometimes feel slightly uncomfortable talking finances with the team, but Morrow and Ayala do their best to put them at ease.
“They know we are there strictly to help them achieve their goals,” she says. “It’s their money. It’s their decision. They’re their ideas. We just suggest how to get there.
“We bring all the pieces together. It’s like having a road map. The plan breaks it down for them, step by step. Finance may not be their strength, so they get overwhelmed and don’t know how to lay it all out. That’s what we’re here for.”
Charity is important to InReach Wealth Advisors, which has 100% client retention. Each quarter, the team is involved in charity or volunteer work that involves its clients.
Most recently, it teamed to raise funds for St. Mary’s Food Bank. Morrow saw this project as vital.
“The food banks are overrun with people who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic,” she says.
In August, InReach Wealth Advisors will host a water drive tied with free, 15-minute financial advice. (Call the number below for more information.) Every year, Ayala, Morrow and their team assemble food and gift baskets for families through Los Ojos de la Familia AZ, which means “eyes of the family.”
“We’re looking to help local families in need any way we can, based on the need in the world,” Morrow says. “We always invite our clients, and our clients are so wonderful in participating. It makes them feel like they’re part of the family as well.”
14500 N. Northsight Boulevard,
Suite 213, Scottsdale
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