Tiffany reached out to me last year to meet up and talk about ACE! Like many folks I connect with these days she wanted to know more about the mission and how she could pitch in and help. A lifelong singer and seasoned NFP navigator, (Also a 2022 40 Under 40 Alum) Tiffany is now directing her career on helping other artists gain financial literacy…something they don’t teach you in music school. And boy is she doing it well, current clients include the likes of the METROPOLITAN OPERA and CHAMBER MUSIC AMERICA.
Please state your name, company and position. Also, can you also tell us a little about your background?
Tiffany Soricelli, Principal & CEO of Virtuoso Asset Management, LLC and President/ CEO of Virtuoso Advising for Artists. I have a Bachelors and Masters of Music from SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. I’ve been a singer all my life and started performing professionally at the age of 8. I’ve worked in every facet of the performing arts – artist, administrator, manager, board member, fundraiser, etc. I came to financial advising after 10 years of fundraising and development experience in the nonprofit sector. I believed that everyone deserved to have a robust financial plan; not just the philanthropists and foundations we were working with so I decided to shift my career in a different direction and become a financial advisor.
Over the last few years my work has garnered recognition at both the local and national level. In 2022 I was recognized by the Albany Business Review as one of their “40 under 40” honorees and just last month, Investopedia named me one of their Top 100 Financial Advisors of 2023 and one of the Leading Women Advisors of 2023 recognizing me for my efforts in furthering financial literacy in our community.
Can you share with us a little about what your mission and goals are with your company?
I became a financial advisor to help others achieve their personal, professional, and financial goals. Early on in my financial career I realized that financial literacy and business acumen were NOT topics I studied with my music degrees. So, I started out by teaching some core financial concepts in small group settings, locally presenting a few small ‘lunch and learns‘ and working with other small business owners. Then I expanded to Opera America and served as a resource to their community. My work spread from there and in 2018 Virtuoso Advising for Artists was formalized.
The mission of Virtuoso Advising for Artists was to provide education and income opportunities for fellow artists. What started as a “passion project” and a side hustle quickly grew. Over the last year we served over 26 different organizations including The Metropolitan Opera, New World Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Chamber Music America, the Recording Academy, Houston Grand Opera and more – reaching hundreds of performers through our individual coaching and seminars.
Through all this, I kept my “day job” as a financial advisor. I worked for larger companies until 2021 when I branched out on my own and founded Virtuoso Asset Management LLC (VAM). I believe we’re the first RIA (Registered Investment Advisor) in the country exclusively dedicated to serving artists and supporters of the arts through financial planning and asset management services. My goal in starting my own investment firm was to have the freedom of working with the artists and individuals I felt called to support but also to create a greater impact in our community by starting our 1% For the Arts initiative. As individuals, yes, we need to save money and invest for the future, but what if we invested with a firm that gives back and creates an impact in the areas that matter most to us? Both Virtuoso companies donate 1% of their gross revenue to an arts 501c3 that’s nominated and selected by our “VAM Fam“- the clients and stakeholders we serve. This allows us to “do well while doing good” which is at the heart of both of our companies.
I’ll add that in my experience, I’ve seen too many talented, amazing artists leaving the industry due to fear, frustration, and burnout caused by financial inconsistency. My hope is to build a whole generation of empowered, savvy artists who have the knowledge-base and systems needed to master the financial side of their career. The world needs art and beauty and we need to ensure that the creators and artists behind that essential work are living a sustainable lifestyle.
You shared with me about your recent work on recording video tutorials and plans for a subscription service. Can you share a bit about that?
There’s only so much I can cover in one 90 minute workshop or seminar, so I created The Virtuoso Academy as an online learning place where artists could go deeper into the topics that most resonated with them. It’s a series of different modules that can be watched in succession or viewed a la carte with downloadable templates and tools. Essentially, it’s the semester-long class we didn’t get in school with over 20 hours of content and topics geared toward the freelancing creative professional.
Currently, the Academy is closed as we update a few classes with the changing financial rules from the Secure Act 2.0 and last year’s tax law changes, but we will re-open this fall as part of a larger Virtuoso Membership program – essentially, we’re dropping the price and adding more content including LIVE workshops on organizing your business, accounting and tax prep, starting your side hustle, and more. Right now, the materials lean heavily toward freelance performers but we’re already working on diversifying the offerings for arts administrators, studio artists, and more. Essentially, the new iteration is a more engaging online community where artists can learn about and talk about all things money!
As an artist you have a great perspective on the particular financial challenges they face. How has that helped you in the development of your vision?
Everything we do is to try to solve a problem or address a need. Virtuoso Advising for Artists started by wanting to help artists feel more empowered and informed around the financial aspects of their career and I’m constantly asking myself “What more can we do? How can we reach and help more artists? Where’s the need?” In my seminars and coaching, I always ask participants what’s “top of mind” and those questions and concerns become the seed for the new course, or the new topic area we need to develop – to put answers out there and provide clarification where needed.
Anything you would like to share that you have coming up that would be of interest to our community?
I’m excited to share that I’m singing again after a 8-ish year hiatus in which I started my family and built my businesses. I suppose I share this to say that a career in the arts is not always linear! I had the chance to participate in the Mostly Modern Festival this year in Saratoga Springs and be a part of the inaugural year of their Modern Vocal Projects initiative. I’m looking forward to more performances and collaboration in our local area and hopefully a holiday concert or Messiah as the year-end rolls around!