Name: Chris Hiestand
Employer: Excelsior Wealth Management
Position: Owner and Independent Financial Advisor
Location: 3800 American Blvd. West, Suite 1500, Bloomington, MN 55431
Education: Finance Degree, Series 7 and 66 Certifications, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
How long have you been in your career field?
What led you to work in this area?
I have a strong motivation to help people live better lives. Personal finances make up a big portion of our lives and if your financial house is not in order it can overflow into other areas of your life. I’ve seen married couples struggle to communicate about money and it stresses the marriage. My desire is to be a sounding board for clients and to help relieve financial stress and confusion.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions people have about your work?
That I sit at my computer all day trading stocks! I don’t trade stocks. Many of my clients own stocks in one way or another but none of them are engaged in “day trading.” Sometimes people think that I’m going to give them hot stock picks and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I don’t give hot stock tips and a majority of the time I suggest clients stay focused on boring things like asset allocation and controlling costs to be successful in the markets.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
Helping people see the big picture and advising them on making financial decisions that will have a positive impact on their future.
When do you recommend that an individual start thinking about utilizing your services?
Well, I recommend that as soon as someone has a job they should get their financial house in order. Set up accounts, manage their cash flow, pay off debt and save for the future. However, in most cases people start to consider working with an objective third party once their lives are more established. My clients are usually married with kids that are approaching college or graduated and they have a lot of moving pieces with their finances. I’m brought in to help them start thinking clearly about what they want to do with their money and to achieve big goals like a secure retirement and leaving a legacy.
What is a best piece of advice that you share with clients as they think about the services you provide?
That it’s their plan! It’s easy as human beings to want to compare themselves to other people that they feel are, or should be, similar to them. I tell my clients that everyone is going to have different wants and needs and that the best thing for them to do is take ownership of their own financial plan.
Any interesting anecdotes related to your work?
I had a client not too long ago tell me about how his brother-in-law told him that he makes money investing in stocks no matter which direction the market is going. I jokingly told him that maybe he should talk to his brother-in-law about managing his investments. Of course, he knew that was not a real recommendation or a good idea. But this type of conversation happens more often then you’d expect and I’m always surprised that really smart people will get hooked in by the exaggerations of other people. In my opinion a smart investor is going to be really boring to onlookers. They aren’t going to chase after promises of get rich quick investments and they certainly aren’t trying to day trade in their accounts and time the markets and so on. Get a solid asset allocation plan in place and stick with it. If you do this, odds are you’ll out perform your gun slinging brother-in-law in the long run.