Wayne Von Borstel

Founder of von Borstel & Associates

Wayne von Borstel’s interest in finance began at an early age when at just 18 years old his beloved grandmother let him invest some of her hard-earned money. For over three decades, he has taken that same passion and used it to help families and professionals better understand their current and future financial situations, building a rock-solid foundation of stability from which to build moving forward.

More than anything else, he wants to help as many people as possible build and maintain the types of assets that allow them to live better, enjoy life, and support future generations to come.

Wayne von Borstel earned his Master of Science degree in Financial Services from the esteemed Graduate School of Financial Services at the American College. In addition to being a proud member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, he is also a valued part of the Portland Estate Planning Council and the International Association for Financial Planning, among other organizations.

He is also the President and Founder of von Borstel & Associations – an organization dedicated to offering investment advisory services to individuals and institutional investors alike. Originally founded in 2002, the organization helps with things like investment management, financial planning services, and more. They’ve served countless clients across the United States since they opened their doors.

When he’s not working hard with the von Borstel & Associates team, Wayne von Borstel teaches at monthly educational webinars. He and his beloved wife Marta also spend as much of their time as possible helping underprivileged children, providing them with educational opportunities that they may otherwise not have access to.

Wayne von Borstel has also written a variety of different books that have helped many, including “The Truth Project: Finding the Courage to Ignore Wall Street” and “The Invincibility Shield for Investors: Minimizing Losses, Maximizing Gains and Drafting a More Secure Financial Plan,”.

Wayne and Marta recently funded the construction of several Christian schools in India, Sudan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Honduras, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Canada. They’ve devoted their time to assisting and supporting an orphanage in Indonesia that houses hundreds of kids, many of whom are still reeling from the impact that a tsunami had on the area.

When he’s not focused on either his professional career or his larger philanthropic goals, Wayne Von Borstel and his wife also enjoy spending as much time as possible with their friends, family members, and other loved ones. They travel the world, hike in many locations like the exotic Columbia Gorge, and spend time gardening for fun and relaxation.

Investment advisory services are offered through von Borstel & Associates, Inc., an SEC Registered Investment Advisor.

Where did the idea for Von Borstel and Associates come from?

My company was a growth of survival, supporting my family, serving others, and never embarrassing my grandma. I was in the financial planning business for 3 or 4 years before I got a vision to be what I am today. (We had no money, two kids, and I had lost my job. I believed I could do anything. And answered an ad for a financial planner with no experience needed. That 1st job I quit immediately because I did not think it was ethical or appropriate. But that started me on a path to becoming an insurance agent, an investment advisor, a seminar presenter, and a financial advisor. Through many tiny steps towards always being my best and always being better for those I serve, I’ve reached the pinnacle that I never dreamt of or thought was possible in my career.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I come in at 6:30 to 7:30 AM, look through the files for the day, think about the phone calls I need to make, including birthday calls, and start having client appointments between 6:30 AM and 8:00 AM. Still, it can be as early as 6 AM. My morning is filled with phone appointments talking to clients about thoughts, concerns, questions, or decisions that need to be made about their financial lives. Most of these appointments are 15 to 30 minutes. At noon I usually eat lunch, often a sack lunch. Then in the afternoon, I have longer planning appointments with clients that are 1 to 2 hours long depending on the need, the conversation, and the appointment type. Usually, these appointments are made between 5 PM to 6 PM. But it can go on until 8 PM or later. Then I spend a few minutes reviewing tomorrow’s files, go home and exercise, hopefully. (My job is to teach or motivate, anything else in the office should be done by someone else. So delegating all things that do not have to do with strategy is critical for success in my office; I have let others do things that, even if I think I would do better, I cannot. I must delegate, support my staff, and let them do their job the best they can)

How do you bring ideas to life?

Most ideas can be related to a story. I believe that stories bring everything to life. I think God has given me the ability to tell stories about circumstances, ideas, or thoughts I’m trying to convey. (People take action based on their emotions or how they feel. I must be the Pied Piper of financial success and help people through visual, hearing, and writing to get them excited about their potential, future, and the path we will take!)

What’s one trend that excites you?

I don’t think a trend today excites me. But what does excite me is the potential in each human being to be their best. And I am the tool that facilitates that happening with more frequency and opportunity for success. The trend that this is fighting is that we as a society are moneyholics and have so many things that we want or are told that we should wish to that financial prudence and fiscal responsibility have been thrown out the window. But my opportunity is to help people go against the current, go against what the news media tells them, go against what their emotions direct them to do, and be fiscally prudent, financially solvent, worry less, and live more! (So the major trend that intrigues me, the number 1 disease in America, is moneyholism! And one person, one couple at a time, I am trying to save from their desires, and misplaced dependence on money is all that can make them happy. I have Wayne’s rule; “if all that makes you happy is money, you will never be happy. But the lack of money will make you unhappy”. That seems contradictory, or worse yet, it just doesn’t make sense. Still, I’m helping people understand this rule, which leads to tremendous personal, financial, and community success.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

When I am done with an interaction, conversation, phone call, or appointment, I always spend a few seconds thinking about what I could’ve done better and what I could’ve said differently than be happy with who I am. But every time I have a conversation or an interaction with a client, I spend those few seconds thinking about what I could’ve done better and then be happy with whom I am because that allows me to become substantially better over the long term incrementally.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would not change or give myself advice about anything. I could be stronger in my faith. Considering the circumstances, difficulties, and trials my wife and I went through, we did our best. Because of all those circumstances, we are better today. What was important in my younger years was that I believed that I could be better, help people be better, and that tomorrow would be better than today.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

That dollar cost averaging is statistically not accurate. I did my Master’s Degree thesis on dollar cost averaging, assuming that what everyone said in the industry was true. Three things I found:

    1. This was the first time anyone had written any research on dollar cost averaging. It did not exist.
    2. That dollar cost averaging was a myth. Two-thirds of the time, you’re better off investing a lump sum than investing that same some over a long period. And that you did substantially better in the two-thirds of the time it was better than you did worse in the 3rd of the time it was not better.
    3. So statistically, no one should use the dollar cost average. But emotionally and mentally, dollar cost averaging hopes people stay in the market, be consistent, and win more often. So even though it’s not mathematical from a human perspective, it is better.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Value my employees. Understand that they are an asset, not a tool. Value every relationship because it is crucial. (Early in my career, I paid my staff too little and treated them as tools. Just something to do the job with. Because of this, I had fewer qualified employees, we gave a lesser product, and we had substantially less productivity. When I started realizing that employees were 1 of the most important assets I had in my business, I found employees with more motivation, more willingness to get the job done, and more longevity in employees working with me, which led to better intellectual capital in each employee which ultimately led to a phenomenal experience for my clients.)

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Create value! Understand that I could not allow myself to be a commodity. (Investing for clients is just a commodity. You will only get paid well if you are a commodity. So what can you do that adds value that others are not willing to do? That is why I do a score of things that few, if any, others do. This creates a value that people cannot get anywhere else. I affect people’s lives, families, and the quality of life they live each day by taking the stress and worry out of their lives. Giving them comfort and confidence on their path so they can enjoy the grandkids, the fishing, or whatever is important to them.)

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I have had many failures as an entrepreneur. I have asked many people who have closed the door to do business with me. But I never gave up. I believed in myself and looked for those people who would say yes to having a better tomorrow because I felt what I delivered would give them that. (Any mistake I made, I found a process or product that would never allow me to make that mistake again. There were 4 to 5 times in my career that I felt terrible about a deliverable, result, or the feelings that clients had about what I did. I ensured I found a solution that would not lead to that experience each time. Usually, that leads to exponential growth and long-term success because it is about them! Not me!)

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Legacy builders! Record clients’ life stories by asking them questions about their life, their experiences, the people that affected them, and the wisdom they have gleaned. (Because of making these conversations with clients and recording them. I know my clients better, they think about things they haven’t thought about for years, and their great-grandkids will know where they came from. It is phenomenal how I had clients I had worked with for 20 years when I made the 1st legacy builder conversation with them; I knew them twice as well as I had before because people are a result of their life, experiences, and their story.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The hundred dollars that I should have spent. It is easy to spend money on wants. Deferred gratification will ultimately lead to less stress, a better life, and more financial success. What I did not spend money on is more important than what I did spend money on.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Our vault in our track my wealth software. It allows us to be more organized, have better conversations, and make better decisions. It is a phenomenal resource for clients, ourselves, and the families of those clients.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The richest Man in Babylon. Financial success has 0 correlation to how much you make; financial success often has a percent correlation to how much you save.

What is your favorite quote?

Many “there is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.” — Ronald Reagan…. What is your purpose? If we have a goal that is bigger than us… This gives us spring in our step! This gives us a reason to get out of bed! People with the purpose live healthier, happier, and longer on average. I believe this quote is about putting other people and their needs in front of your own!

Key Learnings:

  • Be prudent (we can only do four things with money. Spend it, save it, invest or give it away. Every time we do 1 of those four things, get closer or further from her goals, increase or reduce the risk of failure, and react or not too emotionally desires.
  • There is no neutral use of money for our plans. Have an optimistic pessimism about your future.
  • Always be positive with high goals going forward. But be smart enough to be a little pessimistic and think about options, concerns, and things that could go wrong. But then go forward bravely!