Growing up without a father figure in his life, Travis A. Morrow gravitated to seniors—older relatives, family friends, neighbors, people from church—for advice and guidance. Now, as the head of a flourishing financial advisory practice, Morrow is returning the favor.
“Since the day I entered the financial services industry, I have wanted to serve seniors,” explains Morrow, 40, who launched his firm, 3 Rivers Financial Group, in 2008 in the town of Kennewick, near where he grew up in southeastern Washington State. “The more experience I got, the more I saw how I could help them. I decided I wanted to do my best to protect that generation and the money they worked so hard to earn. That really keeps my fire burning—being the protector, if you will.”
That fire is largely what stokes Morrow’s fast-growing retirement planning practice in the metropolitan area that encompasses Kennewick, Pasco and Richland. While Morrow has remained close to home for much of his life, his rise to prominence in the financial services industry has been a winding and unconventional one. After a brief stint in the Armed Forces ended abruptly with a medical discharge in the mid-1990s, Morrow, then in his early 20s, found himself back in Pasco, attending college to pursue a law enforcement career while peddling hot tubs to pay the bills.
It was by accident that Morrow found his way to financial services, having one day run into a man he’d once tried to sell a hot tub. “He said, ‘I’ve been looking for you for months, because when we met, it struck me that you’d do well in my business.’ ”
That business turned out to be insurance, and Morrow was open to trying a new line of work. After earning his insurance licenses, he worked for several years as a captive multi-line agent, then subsequently for an independent financial firm. Those stints afforded him valuable industry and sales experience, but also made him realize he wanted to be less a salesperson and more a well-rounded, senior-oriented advisor.
That’s precisely what he has made himself into. Since opening 3 Rivers Financial in 2008, Morrow has carved out a niche serving exclusively clients age 55-plus, mostly within the middle class and mass affluent segments. In less than five years, 3 Rivers Financial’s client base has grown to 200 households.
That number represents vindication for Morrow, who was once told by a superior at the financial firm that he would “never be a good businessperson.”
“Proving people like that wrong is something that really keeps me motivated,” he says.
Indeed, Morrow says his motivation to succeed by serving senior clients’ needs has been one of the keys to his fast ascent as an advisor. Another is his commitment to “being ethical, being honest, doing what I say I’m going to do, doing right by my clients and not taking shortcuts.”
That approach creates trusting, loyal clients, which in turn generates the referrals that, along with seminars, have become his chief source of new business. “In 15 years in this business, I have never lost a client to another advisor. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but it’s something I’m proud of.”