We do some things that don’t make us revenue, but we do them because they add value to the client experience.
Adam Kuettel has enjoyed a lifelong infatuation with financial markets, drawn to businesses and their inner machinations from a very young age. What began as a personal curiosity rapidly bloomed into a full-fledged passion by the time Adam completed his education. Working in finance has afforded Adam the opportunity to help people achieve real, life changing goals. Whether this means securing a viable retirement solution, helping a family put their children through college, or leading his clients over any number of other financial hurdles, Adam deeply appreciates the opportunity to leverage his expertise in finance, economics, accounting, and the business world into real value for his clients.
Adam began his career with Beall Barclay & Company PLC as a member of their elite wealth management team. He provided critical resource to the firm, designing and presenting investing, tax, insurance, and benefit strategies for his clients. He also helped actively grow assets while maintaining the current firm client book. His work earned him an invitation to join Dividend Capital as a wholesaler, wherein his increased the capital inflow of his assigned region by a whopping 781% in just his first year. Adam also spearheaded educational programs for clients and advisors on alternative assets.
In 2012, Adam Kuettel established Kuettel Capital, a full-service independent financial planning firm that always puts clients’ interests first. Under his leadership, Kuettel Capital remains unwavering in its commitment to building relationships on trust that can last decades, going far beyond just trade or insurance policy. Adam deeply understands that business is earned and partnering with his clients is nothing short of a privilege.
Adam Kuettel earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing from the University of Central Arkansas. He qualified as a Certified Financial Planner at Rice University and as an Accredited Portfolio Management Advisor at the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. Adam holds a Series 66 (Securities Agent and Investment Advisor Representative) certification, as well as an Arkansas Insurance Life and Health License.
Outside of work, Adam is an avid fisherman, a golf player, and a fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks. Adam enjoys fishing (especially ultra-light fishing) and golf because both activities help him relax and challenge him. He also believes that physical activity is necessary in order to reduce stress and increase performance on the job—something that is especially important for business leaders. When it comes to fishing, Arkansas has no shortage of locations to choose from. Two of Adam’s favorite fishing spots, in particular, are the White River and Beaver Lake. Arkansas is known as “the natural state” due in part to its many beautiful lakes and streams. One of the reasons that Adam enjoys fishing so much is because he loves spending time outdoors surrounded by nature. Adam is also a big fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks, also known as the Hogs, and he looks forward to watching their games each season.
Where did the idea for Kuettel Capital come from?
I was working in private equity with financial advisers in Arkansas. But I soon realized that there wasn’t a high level financial firm located in the state, so I wanted to fill that need.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts with answering clients questions and executing trades in the morning. A typical day also includes doing research into investments, making financial plans, meeting with attorneys, CPAs, and clients. Every day is different.
Technology helps me make the day more productive. We use different financial planning platforms and software systems for trading.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I spend a lot of time brainstorming. New ideas take a lot of internal time. My team and I have to look through data charts, write things out on the board, and bounce ideas off of clients. We are currently building our concierge service to handle the needs of Walmart executives and help them with financial planning. We started off the project with one executive and met with him every week to discuss the project. New ideas require trial and error.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
There seems to be trend of clients seeking more professional advice, and the business seems to be getting away for just selling products. I think it’s exciting that clients are more active and knowledgeable about want they want.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I find that listening to Bloomberg Radio makes me more productive. Arkansas is not a major financial hub, so listening to Bloomberg helps me stay up-to-date. It helps me keep the mentality that I’m still a financial professional even though I’m not located in one of the world’s major financial hubs.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
My worst job was hauling hay. It’s extremely hard work. But now I look back at it and realize I learned a great work ethic from it.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would make better employee decisions and realize that the success of my business depends on me more than anyone or anything else. I wouldn’t have hired all of the people that I ended up hiring. I would have just hired my brother. I would have also started off as an independent advisor rather than go through another company like I did.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I always recommend self-assessment. You need to take assessment of where you’re at and how you can improve.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Putting clients needs first has helped my business grow. It’s important to take care of clients instead of just focusing on making money. That’s what my business is known for. We don’t sell things to our clients. We put their needs first—what’s in their best interest. We do some things that don’t make us revenue, but we do them because they add value to the client experience.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Not hiring the right people was one failure. It led to financial losses. I overcame it by becoming much more thorough in the hiring process.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One idea is a trust company that’s not a bank. There’s a big need for an old-school business that’s the trustee for trusts. Banks do it right now, but they don’t do a lot of work. They charge 1 to 5 percent of the trust assets. Today, they don’t operate in the best interests of who they represent. There’s a large need for independent trustees, for true corporation trustees that aren’t affiliated with any asset management firms.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent was on upgrading my monitor at work. I feel like the bigger screen allows me to be more proficient.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
I like eMoney advisor. It’s a great aggregation platform that’s amazing for us. It allows us to do all of our financial planning. It lets us centralize planning. We also use standard software like Microsoft Office.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. It’s his personal notes to himself about how to be a better man and a better leader. It was intended to be written for himself only. Like I said, I think self-assessment is important, and this book highlights how important and powerful self-assessment can be.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
My financial professor in college, Frank Smith, was a mentor to me.
I also am influenced by the following people:
Mohamed A. El-Erian – Twitter – @elerianm
Richard J. Capalbo – Website – http://richardcapalbo.com/
Tom Keene – Twitter – @tomkeene
Peter Thiel – Zero to One book
Adam’s Twitter – @adamkuettel
Adam’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamkuettel
Kuettel Capital on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/nwa-financial-partners
Kuettel Capital on Twitter: @nwafinancial