– Know your Resources.
– Be Clear About your Goals.
– Align Strategic & Intentional Action with Your Values …
… To get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be.
Investment portfolios, managed locally – Designed around you, your resources, your plan and your ability to endure losses.
Financial Planning Investments Insurance
Personal and Business Advice
for Independently Minded People
Our Mission is to Empower You
to Enjoy Financial Success
Whether it is Business or Personal Finance, we define Financial Success as being able to …
— Control what you can, financially, and be ready for everything else … AND …
— Be intentional and strategic with your personal and business finances every day …
SO you can …
— Feel good about your money and what you’re doing with it!
We review every process, every interaction and every communication through the lens of doing this better every day.
What We Do
Our Areas of Expertise
Personal Financial Planning
Understand and improve daily financial choices. Get better financial outcomes in your future, no matter what happens around you. Help you and your family thrive with less stress and fewer worries.
Business Financial Planning
Understand and optimize your company’s financial options so you can manage them better. Make your business more profitable AND sustainable. Help you and your business thrive (regardless of the type).
Protect your wealth from significant downside through Active Tactical Management. This is NOT a set-it-and-forget-it portfolio, but is rules based and built around your time frame, goals, and financial plan.
How We Do What We Do
Our Go-to Problem Solving Framework
Know Where You Are
Know Where You Want to Be
Explore All Reasonable Paths
Keep Your Options Open
What We Stand For
The Values We Hold Most Dear
To get the best financial outcome for your family, our work must be Collaborative. Your goals, dreams and values are blended with our expertise and professional perspective. We’re available weekends and evenings by email, phone, text or Zoom. And we meet every 3-5 weeks, not every 3-5 months like most advisors.
We approach every problem with a robust and flexible framework (see “How We Do What We Do” above). We focus on helping you improve daily choices with money – not one-and-done herculean efforts – and collaborate with you on a plan that is aligned with your goals, dreams, and values.
Successful Planning requires a partnership with Mutual Respect and Appreciation at the core of our work together. We embrace your background and how you got to where you are as you start your financial journey with us. We will be transparent, honest, and disclose any potential conflicts of interest.
Who We Are
The People You Will Be Working With
John D. Buerger, CFP® MSFS
Founder – ALTUS Wealth Health
PO Box 13237
San Luis Obispo, CA 93406
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.
The Legal Stuff:
ALTUS Wealth Solutions is a Virtual Registered Investment Advisor firm, registered with the State of California and created in late 2007 (proof that market timing is not our specialty – then again, nobody can time the market). ALTUS Wealth Solutions is 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.
John Buerger is the founder, owner, Chief Investment Officer, financial planner … and currently everything else in a one-person Registered Investment Advisor firm. The advantage is you get to work with the person actually making the investment decisions, not a salesperson serving up ideas from someone else in New York who doesn’t even know you. 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.
John adheres to the fiduciary standard of care, makes every attempt to do whatever is in the clients’ best interest and put those interests ahead of his own.