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Trailhead Financial: Guiding Clients on a Financial Path

Father-daughter duo helps clients explore all their financial possibilities

A family business through and through, the father-daughter team at Trailhead Financial prides itself on helping its clients explore their financial possibilities. Jim Zien and Kate Zien established their company in 2018 as an intergenerational business that enjoys working with families and helping them to achieve their fiscal goals.

Growing up, Kate always knew that joining her father as a financial advisor was an option. Her dad would tell her, “If you’re interested, it’s always there.” During her junior year of college, Kate came to the conclusion that working with her dad was “too good of an opportunity” to refuse, and decided to focus on economics.

Jim explains that a financial advising company that has this sort of parent-child team is a “very rare thing. You have to find a pretty good fit. I’ve hired 50, 60, 70 people and Kate’s been my best hire. That’s a good relationship to have.”

Jim began in the business in 1980 and worked for a variety of companies before starting Trailhead Financial, a company name that reflects what Jim and Kate both hope to help their clients accomplish.

“It’s a good representation of the type of people we are. A trailhead takes you to a path and that whole connection was really appropriate,” explains Kate. She adds that investment management and financial planning really involve listening to the customers, hearing about where they want to go, and then getting them to that spot.

An affable team, Jim and Kate alternate appointments so clients can establish relationships with both advisors. They see many families where the parents started as their clients, and now their children are coming in to start achieving their own goals. Because many of their clients have been with them for some time, Kate says there’s a “built-in level of trust.”

A love of the outdoors pervades the Trailhead offices in Agawam. Natural decorative materials, paper lamps constructed by Mrs. Zien (Jim's wife and Kate's mom), and a floor-to-ceiling mural of the woods provide a sense of the calm, warm, outdoors-loving pair who pour themselves into the business. 

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