How I Want Clients to Feel
About Working with a Wealth Coach
Being nimble is good. Knee-jerk reactions are not. The best financial strategies are rules based and predetermined (if “A” happens, then we’ll do “B”).
Personal finances have a lot of moving parts. We manage that complexity transparently through plain language so you know what’s going on but aren’t overwhelmed.
Growth is good. Growth is fun. But paying attention to the downside is just as important. Life (and investing) comes with risk and avoiding the Big Loss is a top priority.
We’re here when you need us. You have access to your financial professional when YOU have time (evenings and weekends) via phone, video, text or email.
John D. Buerger, CFP® MSFS
Founder – ALTUS Wealth Health
My name is John and I'm a Recovering Analyst
I started out in 2002 helping my fellow business owner friends get a handle on the money slipping through their fingers on a daily basis. After a few years working for another planning firm, I opened ALTUS Wealth Solutions in late 2007 – proof positive that timing is not my strong suit (then again, nobody can predict the market much less time it).
Living through the Great Recession with the responsibility of managing millions of dollars of other people’s money was quite the “learning experience.” I learned that even modest losses of 20-25% can devastate a well crafted financial plan so managing the downside IS important. I also was reminded of the power of cash flow – you have far more control over your daily spending decisions than you do over what happens in the economy or the stock market.
I (like any good recovering analyst) went back and re-examined every assumption behind a lifetime of personal investing and financial planning experience as well as years of schooling (I do have a Masters of Science in Financial Services in addition to the CFP® mark after my name).
What I've Learned That's Important to Your Wealth Health
Here’s what I learned: The vast majority of portfolio management (not to mention financial planning) is done assuming that you are not human.
The Efficient Market Hypothesis and Modern Portfolio Theory are built upon the expectation that you are a rational automaton that won’t let emotions get in the way of sound investment decisions. There are plenty of other assumptions built into today’s investment management culture that are problematic for your family’s financial well being but this homo-economicus thing is the most important because your emotion-based humanness drives the financial decisions you make on a daily basis … and at the most critical times, it can drive those decisions in the wrong direction unless you have help from a professional.
It's Your Money, Your Life, Your Story
Instead of approaching your hard-earned lifetime-of-saving wealth as part of a “book of business” or a means to increase my paycheck, I work with it as part of the life story of someone I care about – a story that has yet to be finished. You are not a robot or a just a client. You are a special person with unique goals, dreams and values. The growth of your wealth (including how you are likely to react as we go through market gyrations and economic booms and busts) determines how that story plays out …
.. and I will do everything in my human power to help it play out in the best way possible.
I Like the SLO-Life
I’ve lived in the SLO (San Luis Obispo, CA) area since 1989. While I am not a native (I grew up in southern California), my wife’s family is. San Luis Obispo is like no other place to live. The people are friendly, genuinely care about each other and work constantly at creating a special quality of life – often referred to as “the SLO Life.” This is the “Happiest City in America” (thanks Oprah) as much because fellow residents make it so.
It is in this spirit of community that I created ALTUS Wealth Solutions and the whole Wealth Health movement. You need your personal finances to support you, not be the source of angst and frustration. Peddling products or pushing for the sale may work in other towns, but it doesn’t work in SLO.
Everything I do is about helping you get, keep and enjoy more of whatever is most important to you. That’s what good financial advice is supposed to be about, no matter where you live. It starts with growing what you already have saved while protecting it from the Big Loss, but we also can coach you on ways to improve your Quality of Life while improving your cash flow at the same time.
I Look Forward To ...
I look forward to hearing your story and being a part of the next act.
Share Your Story / Ask Your Question / Get Answers
Send Me a Message ...
Or Call 805.476.0333
You’ve got questions. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional has answers.
Business Hours: 9a–5p M-F but we take calls most anytime (because nobody wants to speak to us when they are at work.
We Are Now 100% Virtual
But Can Meet You In Person Anywhere in SLO County if You Wish
Times have changed. Nobody wants to meet with an advisor during normal business hours. Most of our clients work 8 to 5. We also noticed that people would prefer to visit on the phone or over WebEx rather than drive into town, find (and pay for) a parking place and walk to the office (including the three flights of stairs). So when our lease was up for renewal, we chose to shut down the office and go 100% virtual. And while our official office hours are still 9am-5pm, you can call at pretty much any time you want and often get an answer. If not, leave a message and we WILL get back to you within a few hours … even on the weekend.
Still, sometimes it’s nice to meet with your advisor in person and John is happy to accomodate at a local coffee shop or other public place in or around San Luis Obispo. Due to other obligations at Cal Poly University from 8am-5pm, our meetings will be in the evenings or on weekends at a time that is convenient for you.
This may be different than the old-time banker’s hours, but the feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive. No office means no rent and lower overhead so our hourly rates remain reasonable and meetings are generally more convenient for you.
ALTUS Wealth Health Office
ALTUS Wealth Health
684 Higuera Street, Suite D
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
phone ~ 805.476.0333
The Legal Stuff:
ALTUS Wealth Solutions is a Virtual Registered Investment Advisor firm (registered with the State of California) created in late 2007 (proof that market timing is not our specialty – then again, nobody can time the market). We are NOT affiliated with any broker or dealer. We provide financial planning and investment management services for a fee, are not paid to make any specific recommendations and do disclose any and all conflicts of interest with the advice that we give.
All advisors and staff of ALTUS Wealth Solutions adhere to the fiduciary standard of care. We make every attempt to do whatever is in our clients’ best interest and put those interests ahead of our own.
John Buerger is the founder, owner, Chief Investment Officer and financial planner. John is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with a BA in Economics from Middlebury College and a Masters of Science in Financial Services (MSFS) from the American College in Bryn Mawr, PA.