Rick Vazza always thought he’d end up in real estate, never intending to become a financial advisor, but dealing with a family emergency caused him to shift careers.
“I didn’t even know what financial planning was even through college,” said Vazza, a Point Loman who operates Driven Wealth Management from his home office.
Vazza described how he became a financial advisor as a “sad story with a happy ending.”
“I was one of 15 grandchildren, and my grandfather had a successful real estate development company doing both commercial and residential on the East Coast,” he said. “In the heart of a recession, my grandfather unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack. He not only hadn’t done any financial planning but had done all the wrong things.”
The responsibility for putting his grandfather’s financial affairs in order fell upon Vazza, who said the experience was life- and career-changing.
“The happy ending was the calamity showed me how important this profession was,” he said. “I didn’t want to see another family go through this.”
Fast forward to the present, where Vazza is now both a chartered financial analyst and a certified financial planner. Which means, he said, “I combine financial planning and investment, helping my clients create and maintain financial plans to achieve their goals and invest on their behalf. I’m also a financial planner and designer which is more planning-centric, working with small-business clients helping them with their estate planning, investment, and insurance needs.”
Has the pandemic impacted financial planning for individuals or businesses?
“It hasn’t changed anything beyond the fact that people are realizing now, more than ever, how important this is,” Vazza said noting, “For the last 10 years people haven’t had to worry much with the bull stock market. It was real easy to get complacent. This has really woken people up to the reality that this (financial) stuff is something they need to pay attention to.”
Added Vazza, “I always tell my clients half-jokingly that their financial plan needs to work in and out, up and down and sideways in the market.”
Another important aspect of Wealth Driven Management is working with business owners on securing their bottom line.
“The unique thing about me is I can work with people’s personal finances, as well as helping them with their business finances. I’m really good at reading financial statements and helping them with profitability analysis and cash flow planning. I work with small-business owners helping them get their financials in good shape, then help them on their personal side as well.”
Driven Wealth Management was launched in 2018 to address problems and partner with business owners and their families by:
– Charging a fee for service (like a consultant), not requiring a fee on assets.
– Helping business owners grow their largest asset (company) using expertise gained through earning the CFA designation by focusing on business metrics and strategy.
– Using the expertise gained through earning the CFP designation to explain how business decisions impact the personal and family planning of the owners and ensuring they continue to build their net worth without overlooking any blind spots.
For more information on Driven Wealth Management, visit drivenwm.com or its YouTube channel.