September 2, 2013

2013 40 Under Forty: Ryan M. Kittredge

Kittredge

Title: Certified Financial Planner/Wealth Advisor, Richard Carr & Associates Financial Services

Company location: Worcester

Residence: Worcester

Favorite movie: "Forrest Gump"

Favorite book: "1984"

Career highlights: One of my proudest career achievements was obtaining the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, which culminated with a 10-hour exam over two days in Boston last March. Having mastery of such rigorous coursework, and adhering to the CFP board's stringent fiduciary standards and code of ethics helped distinguish me from other advisors. Another highlight is being a co-host since 2009 with my boss, Richard Carr, on The Financial Freedom Show (WCRN 830 AM), where we educate the public on relevant personal financial planning topics.

Community involvement: Community service, and in particular, youth mentoring, is something I am very passionate about. I have been a "Big Brother" through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MA/MetroWest for over four years to a boy from Worcester. I am working to help establish a young professional's advisory group to expand awareness and fundraising for Big Brothers Big Sisters. I am also a member of The Salvation Army Advisory Council, where we work to expand its reach and effectiveness in the area.

Biggest success: My biggest success in business could be that I've been able to grow my business by over 20 percent per year for the past three years, while still making sure all my clients remain happy and well-served. Given that just seven years ago I entered the business as a 22 year old with no experience, no clients, and not even a single prospective client, I'm pleased with the growth my business has sustained, and the experience and knowledge I have gained. I have a commitment to education and learning that I hope to never lose.

Biggest challenge: My biggest challenge is effectively communicating sometimes rather complex financial topics in terms that are both comprehensive yet easy to understand for the particular client. I have learned that it isn't about proving to clients how much you know by using lofty language and industry jargon, but rather speaking in such a way that is appropriate in light of the individual's level of financial experience and knowledge. It's critical in establishing trust and credibility, especially early in a relationship, to be thorough enough without overwhelming people with information.

Mentors: My mother has always been my biggest mentor. From an early age, she demanded a lot from me, in terms of both work ethic and moral values. She also instilled in me the confidence to go after my own dreams despite others' doubts or expectations, and to trust my intuition. My boss and professional mentor, Rich Carr, has also been profoundly influential. He possesses the gifts of being an extremely talented advisor, while also being a genuinely good person and friend, and always placing the interests of our clients above all else.

Hidden talents: While I don't play as often as I would like to these days, I would say I still play a pretty competitive game of chess. My father taught me at a very early age, and I still enjoy playing and teaching people how to play.

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