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Here’s What Makes Watermark Wealth Strategies A Top Financial Firm In The U.S.

Founding Partner Kyle Richardson’s 25-plus years of experience in the financial industry is a testament to the trusted reputation of Watermark Wealth Strategies. Along with the rest of the team’s expertise, it has prominently placed the firm within the Valley of the Sun’s community—and beyond.

Seeking financial help can be an overwhelming task, given there are roughly 330,300 financial advisors in the U.S. And when it comes to something as important as managing your retirement plan, choosing a trusted and proven partner is a weighty decision. Whether you’re looking for assistance regarding investments after retirement to strengthen your income, healthcare costs, or simply wondering about the best place to start, a financial advisory firm is the right choice—but not just any firm. One that begins and ends with putting you first. 


“If we’re the right fit for you, we want to be the last financial planning firm you ever use,” says Kyle Richardson, a founding partner and financial planning Fiduciary of Watermark Wealth Strategies LLC, and a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner). “We’re accessible and we’re knowledgeable. I give clients my personal cell phone number, and everyone thinks I’m ridiculous. But I only get five calls a year, and the client feels connected because they know if they need to reach me they can, and not go through the chain of command. I know it’s important.”


At Watermark Wealth Strategies—based out of Phoenix, Arizona—trust is the firm’s very fabric, and since its inception in 2009, Richardson and his team have been dedicated to seeing this through for every client. “It’s really just laser focus on our clients, making sure that every time we have communication with them, they’re taken care of, they should feel like the only client we have when we’re engaged with them.” Understanding that some clients are coming from another advisor where they had a negative experience, starting from the ground up is essential. 


The process is simple, streamlined, and customizable to each client’s specific needs: Phase I- Discovery, Phase II- Strategy, Phase III- Implementation, and Phase IV- Monitoring and Adjusting. “With every client, we will run a retirement analysis,” Richardson discusses. “First, we’ll engage them on what they’re trying to accomplish. How do they feel about money, and what do they want it to do for them?” This is an essential step to gain a deeper understanding of the client’s situation to craft a plan that fits their goals and objectives. 


“In the second meeting, we start developing a relationship and build all sorts of variables that could potentially change their retirement plan. We’re so conservative in our projections that I’ve never had a client who has to go back to work. That’s after 25 years, and I’m pretty happy about that.”


Richardson, a maven in the financial advisory world, completed the Series 7, Series 24, Series 63, Series 66, and SIE examinations, has professional registrations with LPL Financial, and holds Life, Health, and Variable Annuity licenses with Arizona and 30 other states. As a testament to his commitment to excellence, Richardson recently received a prestigious award from LPL Financial (the largest independent broker-dealer in the US) recognizing his firm as one of LPL Financial’s Top Financial Advisors. 


“I tend to put my head down and work hard, so it’s something I’m very proud of,” he smiles. “I know we have the best team we’ve ever had in place. They take great care of the clients, and we all have a mission of exceeding client expectations at every touch. So it just goes a long way.”


Watermark Wealth Strategies was named to LPL Financial’s Summit/ Club for 2024, an award presented to less than 2%/9% of the firm’s financial advisors for achieving excellence in financial guidance. Richardson’s firm is now part of LPL’s white glove service where they’ll have access to an elite group of advisors with access to 24-hour support—a service that further enhances the client experience. 


“I think my best talent is knowing I have weaknesses. So I’ve ended up with a team that really fills in my gaps and my holes and allows me to do what I do well,” he shares.


As the website states, they “value the team approach,” by putting the “e” in team; Education, Engagement, and Enrichment. As a community-based advisory firm, Richardson and the team are dedicated to building, maintaining, and keeping strong relationships with their clients. Through hosting events ranging from food trucks, happy hours, top golf, and more, it becomes a friendship, with Richardson joking that “after a glass of wine” he can get to know his clients on a more personal level than he can in his conference room. 


When the finance world can at times be a lucrative-driven industry, Richardson and his firm are that rare pearl in a sea of barren oysters. They are dedicated to ensuring all clients are successful, even if it means gently suggesting for them to depart and helping them find the right fit. “We do sometimes not take clients on or gently ask them to depart because we do care about them and we want them to be successful.”


“We’re not trying to be all things to all people. It’s controlled growth. My allegiance lies with my existing clients. That’s where my energy needs to go. And if we take care of them, they take care of us. It has worked out since I set out to make that commitment to them,” he shares. 


The firm does, however, work with a range of industries, including aerospace, microchip/tech, automotive, healthcare, and more. Watermark Wealth Strategies has been in partnership with Southwest Airlines “helping Aerospace employees grow and protect their hard-earned assets for over 20 years. Our expertise lies in helping to manage your 401(k) account and profit sharing WHILE you are employed,” the website states. 


“A lot of those employees have worked there for 20 or 30 years. It’s a family. And when they feel like a family and they see us like family, it’s resulted in a magnetic relationship,” Richardson continues. 


The team truly cares about each and every client they work with, from the Marketing and Office Manager Monica Cress, the Client Service Administrator Carlie Richardson, Financial Advisor Scott Van Wyngarden, Client Relations Specialists Ivy Ranere and Nicole Dillion, to the Director of Growth Management Kimberly Wentlejewski.  


“We don’t work with clients, we work with families,” he concludes. 


To learn more about the top firm in the U.S., visit Watermark Wealth Strategies’ website here. Connect with Kyle Richardson by reaching out on his LinkedIn


And for all Arizonans, mark your calendars on September 4th, 2024 for the return of monthly happy hour events, with the first featuring Burgers Amore!

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