As Justin McCurdy explained to ETF Trends, he “always had a passion for financial literacy.”
“Being Black myself, growing up not necessarily having a ton of financial literacy conversations at the dinner table, I feel it’s important to give that knowledge to clients that look like myself,” he said.
McCurdy is an executive director at Manhattan West Asset Management LLC, an independent minority-owned RIA based in Los Angeles, where he provides tailored wealth management services to clients in the sports and entertainment industry.
“I take a holistic approach to financial planning that includes retirement planning, estate planning, and wealth management,” he said. “I have a wide diverse range of clients, including entertainers and athletes, many of whom are African American.”
Because of his longstanding passion for financial literacy, McCurdy often tells his clients that “the most important gift they can leave their children is not the assets, or even money, it’s the knowledge of how to manage that money.”
Before advising professional athletes in the NBA, NFL, and MLB, among other clients, McCurdy founded ProSkills Basketball, a youth club basketball program, while studying communications and accounting at USC. The sports organization helps young athletes learn life lessons and values such as hard work, resilience, discipline, character, and teamwork. During this time, he met some successful financial advisors who mentored him and introduced him to the financial planning industry.
McCurdy still enjoys coaching in his free time. He has also run financial literacy seminars to educate children and their parents about key financial concepts.
For McCurdy, one of the biggest joys of helping his clients achieve their financial goals and becoming financially literate is when their curiosity and understanding about what it is they’re investing in grows. “I think the turning point is when clients reach out to me with questions and become more inquisitive,” he said. “It’s gratifying to me because my clients’ interest level is growing. Getting those questions and seeing their level of interest grow is really rewarding to me as a financial planner.”
In addition to helping his clients obtain a deeper understanding of long-term investing, one of McCurdy’s long-term goals as a financial planner is to help his clients “attain financial freedom.”
“When their primary careers are over, I’d like them to work for passion and not necessarily income,” he said. “When they have power over the rest of their lives, it’s extremely important to me.”
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