December 1, 2003 | The Charlotte Observer, N.C. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Section: MONEYWISE | Edition: ONE-THREE | Page: 3D
Business $UCCESS Column by Amy Baldwin, Staff Writer
He instills discipline to help build wealth.
Charlotte native Arthur Wylie II, 28, has built a wealth management firm that boasts 1,200 clients, including poet and writer Omar Tyree and former Charlotte Hornets player Dell Curry’s foundation, and $40 million under management. He touts full-service financial planning, from buying stocks, real estate and insurance to estate and budgeting issues. Wylie talked recently with staff writer Amy Baldwin about his success in acquiring wealth and helping others do the same.
Before graduating from UNC Charlotte in 1999 with a degree in finance, I interned at Merrill Lynch. I noticed they focused on a person who already had acquired massive amounts of money, but they didn’t get at the point of how that wealth was created. They were more about maintaining those particular assets and performing certain transactions.
Later, while working at a smaller financial services firm, I noticed the same thing. Clients would come in and if they wanted life insurance, they got life insurance. If they wanted, stocks or bonds, they got stocks or bonds. It was like filling orders.
I asked myself, `Why are we just focusing just on making transactions?’
I didn’t think it benefited me to be that kind of adviser, nor did it benefit my clients, because they didn’t have an overall view of their financial well-being and security.
I thought financial advisers should focus on making sure a person is financially strong from all aspects. I thought that clients needed to have a complete financial plan to get to where they are trying to go. Even if they have $1 million when they walk in the door, we should ask ourselves: `Could they have $2 million if they watch their expenses on a day-to-day basis and work within their budget?’
What clients were needing from me was discipline, discipline, discipline to help them get to where they needed to be going. And the only way I could give them that was to know where they were, by helping them put together a complete budget, check their credit reports and even help them evaluate major purchasing decisions.
People would say things like, `Why can’t I buy a house? I have a good job. I have a good salary. Is there anything I can do?’
People think that just because you are a doctor, you automatically know what you are doing with your money. But it doesn’t matter what income bracket you are in.
Wealth planning, unlike financial planning, is a whole other tier. It’s financial planning with a big exclamation point on it. It’s what I have found people are looking for – clear, concise, dependable information that can help them accumulate wealth.
I mean, that’s the bottom line. How many people do you know who don’t want to be wealthy? Society ranks a person’s success by how much money they can end up making.