Local men named to list of nation’s top financial advisorsWritten by Danielle Stanton | | email@example.com
Craig Findley and Ken Wise are in the money business. Working out of their Sylvania offices on Monroe Street as Findley Wise Wealth Management, they advise people on how to manage their money and also help people out of their money problems.
They are not the stereotypical money men out to make a quick buck. They see themselves as entrepreneurs in the financial market who not only care about the dollar line but also about their client’s welfare.
“We look at ourselves more as entrepreneur business people,” Wise said. “Our backgrounds give us experience beyond what the typical financial planners have. … We can appeal to a client’s needs in a better way because we have life experience in the issues they have been having. … You learn through experience. You just have to go through things.”
Findley and Wise said they have had money problems similar to many of their clients so they are able to empathize and understand what a client is experiencing and better help a client solve his or her problems.
Wise called it taking a “holistic” approach. The method seems to be working. The two men have been named to a list of the top 1,200 financial advisers by Barron’s, a financial publication, in 2010 and 2011 and, again this year, landing them in the top 1 percent of advisers nationwide. No other firm in Northwest Ohio has as high a rating, they said.
Their willingness and ability to listen to their client’s needs and desires is the secret behind their success, they said. Their aim is not to sell, but to advise and guide. They want people to learn how to be smart with their money, they said.
Ted Markwood has been a loyal customer of Findley Wise Wealth Management for 17 years. Findley and Wise oversaw the 401(k) pension plan for Markwood’s international metal stamping company. After he sold his company, they took over managing his personal finances. They couldn’t have done a better job, he said.
“Ken Wise has personally overseen and guided me through some difficult situations,” Markwood said via email. “In short, he has ‘saved my financial life.’ He has been there every step of the way. One of Ken’s greatest strengths is that he can see three of four steps ahead of the present and set a plan in motion to create the most favorable strategy for a successful financial outcome.”
Markwood said that Findley and Wise can successfully put together stocks, bonds and mutual funds, but they also create a portfolio specific to each client’s needs from the present to retirement.
“We create a road map for families,” Wise said. “We’re problem solvers. People dig themselves into financial holes and they know they can come to us and we help them get out it. … We always put our clients first. We say all the time we’re in a great business. We become more successful by helping our clients become more successful.”
“The second most emotional thing is your money. A lot of people are kind of mind-boggled by the pressure and complexity of it. What we try to do is counsel people through the process and it’s not a cure-all. It affords them a certain opportunity and a level head. It just works.”
Findley and Wise have a collective 50 years of experience as financial advisers. Findley got his start in the industry when he sold phones for Cellular One to Merrill Lynch. His career started with long hours, he said, and an attempt to find ways to stand out from other investors. His first break came in the early 1990s when he streamlined a way to use stock options for Dana Corporation executives. His investing business took off from there.
Findley said he learned at a young age the value of hard work. He ran a paper route, owned his own T-shirt business in college and worked for his father at his father’s employee benefit consulting company before he started investing.
“I was born in Toledo and my first business was acquiring my neighborhood paper route,” Findley said via email. “I learned at a very young age that hard work and sacrifices were necessary to survive in business.”
Wise was born and raised in West Toledo. He enrolled at the University of Toledo with the intention of becoming an orthodontist. Calling himself an entrepreneur at heart, he left college after two years to pursue several businesses, one a painting company.
From there, Wise decided he wanted to be a financial adviser. He returned to UT to earn his degree in real estate and finance at night while working two day jobs. His first finance job was at Prescott, Ball and Turben Inc. where he did cold calling from a phone book, he said. He then opened his own practice and eventually teamed with Findley to specialize in what they call “comprehensive wealth management.”
They design portfolios but also guide people through the complexities and problems of wealth management. They’ve also worked for giant firms like The Walt Disney Corporation, Home Depot and the Coca-Cola Company.
They said they are very “proud” and “blessed” that they’ve earned a national reputation and give much of the credit to the team of partners they work with.
“We’ve surrounded ourselves with an incredible group of people,” Wise said. “We all know that none of us have all the answers.”
Tags: 401(k) pension plan, Ball and Turben Inc., Business, Cellular One, Coca-Cola Company, Craig Findley, entrepreneur, financial advisers, Findley Wise Wealth Management, Home Depot, Ken Wise, Merrill Lynch, money, Prescott, Sylvania, Ted Markwood, The Walt Disney Corporation