Pathfinder Wealth Consulting was established on June 10, 2005, and we just celebrated our firm’s 15-year anniversary. It is so rewarding to think back on all that we have accomplished so far.
Rob and I never had today’s version of Pathfinder perfectly sketched out 15 years ago. The version of Pathfinder may be different, but the vision and mission have not changed. Most importantly, we have done exactly what we set out to do, which was to do the right things for our clients. We had a shared vision to be independent, without any proprietary interests from outside forces to influence how we treat our clients. That vision to do what is in our clients’ best interest has always led our decisions. We have a passion for what we do and that has allowed us to adapt and build a team around that shared vision, combining the views, opinions, experience, and hard work of all of us.
The team that we have grown over the years has significantly increased the value that we bring to clients. We have learned to hire people that truly carry that client best interest mentality in everything they do.
It is wonderful to see relationships being built, both internally as a team, as well as the relationships that our staff have with our clients. Some of my greatest relationships in life have come from the people that I serve here at Pathfinder. We learn so much from working with our clients. We get to experience so many life milestones with them; yes, some are tragic and sad, and we are here for them. However, there are many more wonderful things that we get to experience with them too. This work is a lifetime endeavor. We are trying to help people with their finances for the rest of their lives, not just a transaction, and it is a true blessing to get to work with so many smart, wonderful people who have accomplished so much.
Being in the industry for over 20 years, we have seen how others work with their clients. I can attest that we do things differently than most. It is hard to understand that because every financial advisor calls themselves a financial advisor. We know how intimate we become with our clients, we know the comprehensive quality we bring to the table, and we know our work ethic and that those personal relationships with our clients drive everything we do.
When we left a well-established Wall Street firm and started our own business 15 years ago, 98% of our clients came with us. It is likely still the greatest professional compliment that we have ever received. The industry average is about 60% client retention. I am so very thankful for our clients who took a leap of faith in us, our work ethic, and our vision from the very beginning.
This may sound funny, but it feels almost surreal to have accomplished so much in these 15 years. I feel we exceeded our initial vision in such a great way. I’m so proud that we are able to make a difference on a personal basis in the lives of our clients as well as creating opportunity for our team and our families to live in a wonderful place and have a meaningful career. We have a great team at Pathfinder, and it has been a great joy watching them grow and flourish. In particular, watching our longest tenured team member, John Zachary, who we hired right after he graduated from UNCW, grow into a leadership position in our firm has been a fantastic journey. And of course, all the other team members, Maggie, Katie, Kayla, Adam, and our newest addition John Lohse, who all bring their own energy to our dynamic team.
Sometimes I wake up and I feel like it has been a dream; I cannot believe 15 years have gone by so fast and I know some of our clients feel the same way. We started Pathfinder when I was 30 years old; Rob and I were scrambling through 10-12 meetings per day, transferring clients over to our start-up firm, and crossing our fingers that it would all work out. We started with no paychecks. I asked my wife, Ashley to marry me within 5 months of starting Pathfinder and Rob and his wife, Susan, were balancing having two young boys, Kevin and Kyle, at home. In those 15 years, I have gotten married, had a beautiful daughter, Merritt, and added a lot of grey hairs. Rob and Susan are now empty nesters!
We never would have made it to where we are today without the many people who put their trust in Pathfinder: our clients, who entrust us with their entire financial future and security; our team, who look to us to build their careers and financial security; and our community, centers of influence, professional partners, friends, and families who have all stood by our side. It is a true joy to be a Pathfinder. Thank you for allowing me and my family to have this great journey to serve our clients. I am so proud of the 15 years we have had at Pathfinder and I am even more excited about the next 15 years! (Besides more grey hair!)
Jason Wheeler is the CEO and a Wealth Advisor at Pathfinder Wealth Consulting. Pathfinder specializes in comprehensive financial, estate and tax planning services, investment management, and risk management (insurance) for business owners and successful executives. Advisory services through Commonwealth Financial Network®, a Registered Investment Adviser. To learn more about Pathfinder Wealth Consulting, visit www.pwcpath.com. Jason can be reached at [email protected] or 910-793-0616.
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