Joe Delaney, Managing Director of Lifeguard Wealth, looks back on the first five years and ahead to the future of the firm.
It was New Year’s Eve, 2011. I was at a party, sitting around the table with some of my closest friends. Someone casually asked what my goals were for the coming year.
I already had a great career built over the last three decades. After graduating from Stanford and UCLA Anderson I did CPA work, followed by years in institutional real estate investment and wealth management for half a dozen companies from Newport Beach to San Francisco, and even a brief stint in Australia.
I’d been contemplating making a leap of faith. Now was the time to say it aloud. To make it real.
“I’m going to launch my own advisory firm by June 30,” I declared.
What would they say to that? I had been with my current firm for almost four years. I had a wife and two kids at home to consider. Would they tell me I was crazy?
Thankfully, everybody thought it was a great idea. I told them about the name Lifeguard Wealth, inspired by my time as a lifeguard as a young man, when I literally saved lives. Now I wanted to apply that identity to my career and save financial lives.
I had spent enough time working for firms that sometimes encouraged their people to push products I didn’t entirely believe in. My vision was to establish a fee-only firm in which I could be a fully independent financiallifeguard, using an evidence-based, academic approachto investing that eschewed the latest fad in favor of a client-centered discipline.
It wasn’t going to be an easy or simple thing to do. It was one thing to create Lifeguard Wealth on paper; it was another to move forward without saying a word to my clients until I was already committed.
On July 12th, 2012 – only two weeks past my self-imposed deadline – I invested in myself. Lifeguard Wealth was born. Since then, the investment has been paying off, both financially and in terms of the rewarding relationships I’ve built with my clients.
Because of my background in taxes and real estate I’ve had the privilege of serving many successful attorneys, business owners and tech executives on complex issues. Thanks to Lifeguard Wealth’s affiliation with BAM Advisor Services, I have access to a deep bench of expertise that empowers me to stay hands-on with my clients. I intend to keep it that way, even as we expand over the next five years to bring in other like-minded, client-serving financial lifeguards.
I also pledge to continue practicing what I preach about giving back to the community. Every year, Lifeguard Wealth adopts a charity that pairs well with my personal interests. I’m an avid cyclist, so naturally this year our adopted charity is World Bicycle Relief, an organization that provides transportation to people in developing countries. That’s five charities we’ve supported thus far; many more to go.
In short, I look forward to the next five years bringing more of what the first five did. I want to do more of what I’m doing now. With each relationship, I strive to help individuals and families make meaningful connections between their money and their life, to understand what they care about the most, what concerns they have and what they are looking to achieve. As they step out from the shore to pursue those goals, I want to be their financial lifeguard.
To all our clients, thank you for putting your faith in Lifeguard Wealth over the last five years. We look forward to serving you for many more to come.
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The opinions expressed by myself and other featured authors are their own and may not accurately reflect those of Lifeguard Wealth. This article is for general information only and is not intended to serve as specific financial, accounting or tax advice.
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