How Target Market Focus Built this Advisor a Client Waiting List with Meg Bartelt

Episode: 028

On this week’s episode of Maximum Advisor Podcast, Chip Munn sits down with Meg Bartelt, founder and Lead Planner of Flow Financial Planning.

Chip and Meg start the segment by discussing Meg’s background in both the financial and tech worlds. Meg began her career as a technical writer based on the West Coast, eventually obtaining her masters in financial planning. Shortly after, she transitioned to working in fee-only RIA firms located in Norfolk, Virginia.

Meg explains that she began to feel uninterested in the firm’s investment focus where the audience was largely retirees. A career shift and cross-country move to Washington State, Meg decided it was time to start her own firm, with her target market being women within the tech industry. In her own words, it was time to let the “Meg flag fly.”

Meg describes the first couple of years laying the foundation of her firm, the support she received, and facing her own doubts. She says, “And it was really hard emotionally because, you know, as the metaphor goes, I was planting all these seeds, but I couldn't see anything growing yet.”

Four years in, and with a client waitlist, Meg attributes her success to two important details: Surround yourself with a support system or as Meg puts it, “the right kind of people”, and the second piece of advice is to identify your niche market. As Meg explains, “I think we've just hit upon the niche market thing over and over. And really that has just been probably the single biggest influence on the success of my business.”

Meg and Chip close the segment by encouraging listeners to heed their intuition and align themselves with people who echo similar values. And just like Meg, don’t be afraid to let your flag fly high.

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Related Resources

Flow Financial Planning Blog

Check out Meg's blog series about the specific elements of planning for Airbnb's IPO and more!

The XY Planning Network

The XY Planning Network is the leading organization of fee-only financial advisors who are focused on working with Generation X and Generation Y clients.


Meg Bartelt

Founder and Lead Planner of Flow Financial Planning

Connect with Meg:



Before Flow, I worked for fee-only Registered Investment Advisors in southeastern Virginia. In search of a home better suited to us, we moved to Bellingham, WA. (I can see Canada from my front porch!) So many of my interests—hiking, biking, cooking, yoga, never-ending kale—are part of the fabric of life here. And for those blessed times when the children go to bed without a fight, I indulge in books about European royal history, sci-fi/fantasy, and Anything Russia.

Prior to becoming a financial planner, I worked as a technical writer for 10 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, mostly in the software-security sector. There I was often the only woman in the engineering group. I even met my husband at one such job. He worked for over 20 years in software until early 2016, when he transitioned to stay-at-home parent so I could launch this firm.

I grew up in coastal Virginia, where the biscuits are delicious but the summers are horrid. I fled north to Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where I majored in Economics, had an ill-fated one-semester experiment with the crew team, and learned how to banish writer’s block. Ultimately, I followed the herds to Silicon Valley after graduation in 1998 to get a job in the tech industry.