Now that we’re all done with taxes (read about the benefits of filing a tax extension if not), we thought it’d be a nice idea to introduce to you some of the people responsible for making the magic happen at Personal Capital. As valued users of Personal Capital’s free online financial dashboard and advisory services, we hope to help as many people as possible growth their wealth.
We currently have around 100 employees and growing with offices in Redwood City, San Francisco, and Denver. To kick things off let me introduce to you Kyle Ryan, head of our advisory services and one of our first employees who is based in San Francisco, California.
Name: Kyle Ryan
Education: B.A. with College Honors – University of California Los Angeles, Certificate in Financial Planning – New York University
Role at Personal Capital: Vice President of Advisory Services and member of the Investment Committee
How long have you been with Personal Capital: I started with Personal Capital on October 1st, 2010
Hobbies: All things sports. I play basketball twice a week, and enjoy watching/coaching my kids play sports as well.
Family status: Married to Jenn with 4 Children: Isabella – 8, Cassius – 6, Giavanna – 3, Riccardo – 3 months
Investment Style: Smart Indexing with Personal Capital
GETTING TO KNOW KYLE A LITTLE MORE
Why did you decide to join Personal Capital?
I had a great job as a Director at Merrill Lynch at the time. However, after I met Bill Harris (CEO) and he laid out the opportunity to provide a better wealth management service by truly leveraging technology with the right kind of investment advice, I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. To be able to truly deliver a great service that helps so many people and have the chance to build a business from the ground up at the same time, I just had to do it. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the success we have had taking an idea in to action and helping so many families.
What stands out about Personal Capital compared to its peers?
We are very different. I don’t think anyone has an approach like ours that genuinely provides the best of both worlds, technology and personalized advice to deliver a better overall service. It is the combination of how we leverage technology in everything we do, from our financial dashboard to our portfolio management techniques, with how we provide unbiased, customized, investment advice and planning to each and every client. We embrace and are built on innovative technology, but we don’t stop there.
Our Advisors spend the time to really get to know each client and make sure we address everything that is important to them and their family’s financial life. We then truly cater a strategy that we believe gives each client the best opportunity to meet their financial goals. At the end of the day, that combination of technology and custom investment advice delivers a better wealth management service at a reasonable value to our clients than our peers.
What are your favorite features about Personal Capital’s free financial tools?
I love being able to see my entire financial life in one place. Our team has built an interface that is so clean and easy to use. I most frequently check my investment balances and net worth. I have also found it useful around tax time for identifying all of my transactions, like charitable donations, in one place regardless of which account I paid them from.
If you weren’t working at Personal Capital, what would be the next best thing?
I genuinely love helping people financially, so I can only see myself working in the capacity of advising. The only out of the box job for me, well not that out of the box, would definitely be a high school football or basketball coach.
If you could only be rich, famous, or powerful, which one would you choose and why?
Rich. As a kid, I always wanted to be a famous athlete, and famous would have been my choice. However, at my current stage in life, I think I could have a larger impact with money than pure fame. Of course, having all three wouldn’t be all that bad, but I have to choose one.
How much do you think luck plays a part in achieving success? Please quantify as a percentage term and explain why e.g. 60% luck / 40% hard work.
I tend to believe that luck is created most of the time. I will go with 80% hard work / 20% luck. I definitely buy in to the idea that anyone can achieve success regardless of their starting point. At the same time, there is an element of luck, or right place right time, that cannot be completely denied.
What do you think is the ideal income where money doesn’t create more happiness?
Since I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, my personal answer would not be in line with most of the country. What is somewhat unique in my position is that I have the opportunity to speak with clients around the country from all walks of life, and it never surprises me how large the spectrum of personal spending habits and levels truly are.
Some people are completely content spending $30k a year, where others don’t feel happy spending in excess of $250k a year. It really is about the overall life each individual wants to live, not a specific dollar amount.
Are kids really as expensive as everybody makes them out to be?
Yes. Our decision to have children was definitely not a financial one. I am so tremendously thankful to have 4 healthy and wonderful children that give me so much joy that is completely priceless.
WRAPPING THINGS UP
Thanks Kyle for sharing a little bit more about you. Congrats on baby Riccardo! Up next we’ll profile Craig Birk, VP of Portfolio Management, a couple of my teammates from marketing and more!
Update 6/25/2014: Kyle was recently named one of InvestmentNews’ 40 Under 40.