How It All Began

Everybody has “their story”, the one that explains why they made some huge decision in their life and how it has affected them since. This is Nicholas’ story:

Nick & father skiing as a kid

Nick & his father

I’d like to share with you why I decided to become a financial advisor and help others reach their financial goals and manage their wealth. It really comes down to three things: first, it’s because I truly love finance, numbers, and anything having to do with the financial markets. As a kid my dad taught me the importance of investing and explained what all the numbers represented in the stock section of the Wall Street Journal, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I was also the kid who would figure out how the numbers on a license plate could become a mathematical equation, yup, I’m that guy. Second, and why I still love what I do, is that I get the opportunity to help individuals reach some of their most important life goals, whether it’s retiring to their dream location or sending their children to college. Lastly, I am able to make sure individuals aren’t taken advantage of by other advisor. Throughout my career I have seen too many people get hurt by other financial advisors who are more concerned about how much money they can make than about what is best for their clients.

So how do people get hurt by other advisors? It all comes down to the term fiduciary. Most “financial advisors” are really brokers, or registered representatives, employed by large brokerage firms. I, on the other hand, am a Certified Financial Planner and independent investment advisor. This may seem like a subtle difference of term but there is a huge difference in meaning. The most important difference is that I adhere to a higher ethical and professional standard, called “fiduciary responsibility”. Brokers have to only make sure their advice is suitable for their clients. By being a fiduciary, it means that there are ethical and legal requirements to not only make sure my advice is suitable to my clients but that their best interest come first, not my own. By not having any conflicts of interest and focusing on the advice my clients need, my clients are able to feel more confident about their financial future and the relationship I have with them.

Even the former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC for short, Arthur Levitt, advises people that “If you have more than $50,000 to invest, you should fire your broker and find an investment advisor. Brokerage firms would like you to think that they perform the same functions as investment advisors. Many brokers call themselves ‘financial consultants’ or ‘financial advisors’. But they are not the same as independent investment advisors… an investment advisor’s fiduciary duty is on a higher plane, like that of a lawyer, a trustee, or the executor of an estate…”

Hopefully this gives you a little more insight into why we have created Olesen Wealth Management to serve clients the way we do.