From truck-driving, college student to co-founding one of the fastest-growing financial advisory groups in the region, Dennis Schlegel Jr. and his team at Emeritus Wealth are disrupting the massive financial advisory industry. In a field that is often viewed as stale and stuffy, Schlegel and the team at Emeritus Wealth bring a refreshing perspective and unique experience to the clients they serve. There are many paths to becoming a financial advisor but few quite as unique as the one taken by Schlegel, Co-Founder of Emeritus Wealth.
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Schlegel graduated from Lafayette College in 2005, paying his way while working as a part-time truck driver and bartender. Unlike most others who enter the investment world, he did not enter with a degree in business, economics, or finance. Instead, Schlegel graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “Being responsible for my own college expenses taught me the value of hard work and the importance of budgeting”, said Schlegel, a 14-year industry veteran. “Understanding human behavior has given me an advantage and helped me become a better advisor.”
Early in his career Schlegel spent countless hours reading, attending seminars, and being coached by successful industry leaders on the ins and outs of financial advising. In the evenings, he took additional post-graduate classes in advanced mathematics to sharpen the skills he would need to analyze investment portfolios and determine proper strategies for his clients. The combination of his training in psychology and the financial mentoring he received helped Schlegel forge his trajectory as an industry leader.
Schlegel’s personal expertise is designing customized investment and income solutions for pre-retirees and retirees, but he did not want his firm to leave behind others that were clamoring for straight talk and solid expertise. Schlegel built the team at Emeritus Wealth to accommodate investors of all ages and net worth. “Emeritus Wealth should be on the radar of any individual looking for financial guidance without all the industry jargon,” said Schlegel, who understands the importance of his role in educating his clients about their investments, allocations, and options surrounding their assets.
With the increasingly complex stock markets, constantly changing tax laws, and rapidly flowing information, it is impossible for most people to keep up. “That’s why it was important for us to specialize”, said Schlegel. In order to accomplish this, he founded Emeritus Wealth with two like-minded partners with different areas of expertise. Their ability to leverage each other’s knowledge has allowed them to provide their clients with the most comprehensive advice and planning. “There are three senior partners, from different educations, backgrounds, and expertise”, said Schlegel. “Every client is unique, and our collaborative team approach ensures the best ideas and concepts shine through, making us more effective advisors and providing the best recommendations for our clients.”
Another advantage the team believes they possess over other advisors is their youth. All three co-founders, junior advisors, and all of the staff are under the age of 40. “Our age allows us to guide our clients to and through retirement but to also help transfer their wealth to the next generation. We view this as a massive advantage in a field of aging and retiring advisors” said Schlegel. “An advisor that is currently in his/her late 50’s or 60’s will be leaving the business when their retiring/retired clients need them most”, he said.
When asked about the saturation of advisors in the field, Schlegel was circumspect; “The world of advising has become very commoditized. We meet people who say they feel like an account number. The personal touch is lost. Much like Main Street has been gobbled up by the Walmarts of the world, so has advising been by the larger firms working with thousands of clients.” The team suggests their more boutique approach separates them from the pack.
“Our clients don’t view us as another suit,” said Schlegel. “They see us as we are, sons and daughters, fathers, and mothers, husbands, and wives. People, just like them.”
Through their novel approach to advising and hyper-focus on the client’s experience, Dennis Schlegel Jr. and Emeritus Wealth are seeing meteoric growth by outclassing the competition and continuing to make waves in the industry.