What do you enjoy most about being an Investment Advisor?
I enjoy taking all the pieces of the financial puzzle and putting them together for each client. No two situations are alike and being able to help people make sense of these seemingly overwhelming decisions is fulfilling to me.
The beauty of planning is there is always an opportunity – it’s more than “things are good when the market is up and things are bad when the market is down.” I think the old saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” really holds true with planning – even in tough times, there is usually always an opportunity. We can’t control what the markets do but we can control the planning decisions we make along the way. By being disciplined with our investment process and taking advantage of planning opportunities you can have really awesome client outcomes.
What was your journey to the investment world and NPF specifically?
When I graduated high school, I really wanted to be a trial attorney. My plan was to major in finance then eventually go to law school. As it turned out, I really enjoyed all the investment classes and at the time, my dad, who worked in the bond industry, started the CFP® program. The combination of my investment courses and my dad going through the CFP® program ultimately led me to pursue the CFA® designation instead of going to law school. I spent my first three years out of college at GMAC in Detroit and worked my way through the CFA® program. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to join NPF as the firm’s first research analyst, although admittedly, I wasn’t quite as good an analyst as Dan, Tyler and Jarred; those guys are really, really smart.
What are the values that drive you in your professional and personal life?
When I was younger, my dad would always say: don’t lie, do your best. “The Dutcher Motto” as he called it – cheesy but also noteworthy. Being honest, telling the truth, working hard and building trust are tenets that matter a lot to me and I do my absolute best to live by.
When I was in high school, I had detention one time – and for the life of me, I have no idea what I did to land in detention – but I’m glad I did. On the wall there was a sign, “Good enough, is not enough”— and it really resonated with me. Don’t cut corners, dot your i’s and cross your t’s. I believe all of us at NPF are constantly striving to be exceptional – our culture, investment process, planning, operational enhancements – we continue to improve our standard.
Is there a person or experience that influenced you most?
My dad has had a great influence in my life. He instilled work ethic, the importance of honesty, trustworthiness, and faith. When I was growing up, he was the assistant coach on the varsity basketball team at my high school. I was not a very good basketball player, but I made the team and I wanted to play. At 6:00 am every morning, we would go to the gym across town before school to work on my game. I didn’t end up playing much and it was frustrating to not see my hard work pay off at the time, but I realize now that those efforts went a long way in instilling the discipline and work ethic I believe I have today.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my wife, Gretchen, and our two-year-old son, Charlie. I also have two French bulldogs, Gus and Jaq. I absolutely love Michigan State athletics, especially college basketball and football. I rarely miss a game – whether in person or on TV. I also enjoy preparing good southern-style barbeque. I’m still trying to master the brisket – that takes some effort!