Stephen Stricklin has a plan.
For the past 10 years Stricklin has been practicing and sharing his financial plan with clients of his Lee’s Summit business, Wise Wealth. And more recently, the plan has reached an even wider audience through a nationwide wealth management course he developed.
“Having a plan is the most important piece,” he said. “And it doesn't have to be complicated. I called the course “Simplify Your Retirement” for a reason. Sure there are parts of the investment process that can be complicated, but the plan shouldn't be. The plan should simplify things and help you during each stage of the process. It's as simple as knowing your peace of mind comes from having a plan to reach your goals.”
Stricklin started the course, focused on members of the baby boomer generation, in an effort to reach more local and regional residents as they began reaching their retirement ages. Now, through licensing agreements, the course is being taught across the nation. He's now primed to reach an even wider audience as he's reworked the course into a book now available through Amazon.
Stricklin breaks individual retirement planning and wealth management into three phases: accumulation; preservation and distribution. It is in the second and final phase that his book focuses. The target audience being those either already in retirement or within 10 years of retirement.
“My goal is to simplify things and help them understand that the plan to reaching their goal is everything,” he said. “It's about more than the portfolio. It's about more than products available. It's about the plan. And your plan helps you change your strategies as you flow through the different phases.
“The biggest mistake I see is people use the same strategy throughout. Each phase has different needs and this course -- and book -- help simplify how the strategies change to meet those needs.”
ONCE A TEACHER…
For Stricklin, building his business through education was a natural move. His professional career began as a high school teacher and coach in Rhode Island. And that same calling to educate and serve the people of his community now drives him as a financial advisor.
“I'm still educating people,” he said. “I like helping people. I like helping people in this city. I really do feel this is a calling. This is what I was meant to do. My work is still about educating people. Our biggest lesson is a phrase I have on everything -- first wisdom, then wealth. I learned that as a teacher and it still applies in what I do today.”
Wise Wealth, located at 300 SW Main Street, celebrated its 10th anniversary last month. The local firm employs four financial advisors and two support staff. An independent full-service firm, Wise Wealth offers both investment and insurance services to its clients. Focusing on Lee’s Summit and the surrounding communities is a need Stricklin said he hopes he's filling.
“When I started in the business it seemed like everything was based in Johnson County,” he said. “If you wanted financial services you had to drive into Kansas. So, I've purposefully built this business to serve people on this side of the line. I want to serve my community. That's important to me. On the front of the building we have a sign that says ‘live here, invest here.’ That's an important part of what we do. I'm focusing our efforts on Lee's Summit, Jackson County and the Missouri side of things.”