I’m the founder of Intentional Wealth Advisors, a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) that merged with Beck Bode in 2022. I entered the financial services business in 1989, working in a variety of settings in the first half of my career – from large corporate financial institutions (household names you’d recognize) to a small local bank here in Traverse City.
Personal finance has always been fascinating to me. I was a saver and an investor, all the way back to the eighties when I was kid. I earned my CFP® designation in my early twenties because I looked so young and thought it would lend me some credibility, which it did. More importantly it paved the path for me to pursue a career in financial planning.
As I tried to navigate this industry, I discovered that nothing quite fit. The large financial institutions I joined had solid training programs and name recognition, but they brought out what I felt was the worst in financial advisors: selfishness and self-service, as opposed to service to others and for the greater good. The hometown bank was warm and collegial: soon enough, it was the target of an acquisition.
Now, I'm not a different person in front of my clients than I am in my community or with my family and friends. Being authentic and being direct is what I've learned is the best way to communicate. It saves time, you don't have to remember anything other than what is because you're telling the truth. It became clear to me that none of these environments provided room for me to really be myself. I had to walk a different path.
In 2005 my wife Joan and I agreed that it was time for me to launch my independent practice. We wanted our firm to be dedicated to helping our clients find and honor their absolute truths; to help them live their lives with intention. In my experience most people’s objective is to arrive at their graves as safely as possible. I think that's really a horrible way to live. From the start I wanted to challenge our clients and help them be courageous and to give freely – to themselves and others.
That’s how Intentional Wealth Advisors was born. We subscribe to an intentional investment philosophy rather than chasing what is ‘hot’ in a given week. We believe in planning. Intention is the driving force behind everything we do. It turns out that these values align well with Beck Bode’s. Here, too, clients are challenged to begin with a plan, to be intentional about their destination, disciplined in their approach, and to consider that safety is not necessarily always the safest route.
I appreciate the respect the Beck Bode team has for each other, and I love their excitement about what they have to offer. While I plan to stay on with the firm for the foreseeable future, I am relieved to have found a successor in Beck Bode under Ben and Jim’s leadership. Our clients and our Traverse City team are in good hands within a firm that shares our values and has the breadth and depth to serve them for years to come.
Credentials and Other Trivia
- When I am not working, you’ll find me with my nose in a book, or on a paddleboard or riding my mower, taking care of our lawn. It’s the ultimate form of relaxation for me.
- My wife Joan and I have five children.