In a few months, NAPFA chair Steve Kanaly will hand over the reins of the fee-only financial planning organization to Michael Joyce, 42, a current NAPFA board member and head of Michael Joyce & Associates in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Assistant Managing Editor Karen Hansen Weese spoke in late April with Joyce and NAPFA CEO Ellen Turf at the organization’s annual conference in Reno about Joyce’s goals for the organization in the coming year and the challenges ahead.
How did you first become acquainted with NAPFA?
Joyce: I was working in Denver as a bond trader for First Interstate Bank of Denver, when my then-fianc?e–now my wife–got a job offer in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. So we moved there. There isn’t much opportunity to be a bond trader in Bethlehem, so I started working for a fee-only financial planning firm. I worked there for about three years, and I remember that when I asked [the owner] about NAPFA, he said, “You don’t want to join that: Those people are zealots!” And this was a true fee-only guy [saying this]! So I didn’t join. Then in 1993, he decided to take a job with Prudential Securities, so I started my own firm, and then I looked into joining NAPFA and went to a couple of NAPFA events.
I was really blown away by all these people who were quite willing to share all this stuff that I didn’t know with me. And that’s still how the organization is today. Earlier today I was telling a member that the contacts and some of the people I’ve met and some of the things they’ve shared with me are really what have made my business what it is today. I can’t minimize what NAPFA has meant for my business. I get a lot more out of it than I put into it. NAPFA members are really the top people in the whole industry, and I wouldn’t have met them and wouldn’t have access to them if it weren’t for NAPFA.
How long will your term as chair be, and when do you start?
Joyce: I start on August 31; it will be a yearlong term.
Will you become a chair emeritus after that?
Joyce: No. We used to have a chair emeritus, but we don’t now.