“Team Support.” with Clark Kendall and Tyler Gallagher

Some people may not consider themselves “wealthy” but have accumulated over $500,000 or more in investable assets through disciplined saving and investing, a timely inheritance or a combination of all three. It is at that time an advisor can be of great value to help you plan your financial future. As part of our series […]

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Some people may not consider themselves “wealthy” but have accumulated over $500,000 or more in investable assets through disciplined saving and investing, a timely inheritance or a combination of all three. It is at that time an advisor can be of great value to help you plan your financial future.

As part of our series about what one should look for when hiring a financial planner or adviser, I had the pleasure of interviewing Clark KendallClark Kendall has more than 30 years of investment management and wealth management experience. He has a distinguished combination of academic knowledge obtained from the Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA), Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) programs. Clark is a former equity seat holder on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and a member of the Washington Society of Chartered Financial Analysts®. Prior to founding Kendall Capital in 2005, Clark was the chief investment officer at Potomac Asset Management (1999–2004). Before joining Potomac Asset Management, Clark served as vice president, Investment Committee member and portfolio manager for Pell Rudman Trust Company, an international investment firm. Clark also served as a global private banker at the Royal Bank of Canada. From 1990 to 1996, Clark was the first investment officer at Sandy Spring Bank, where he was responsible for all investment functions of the Trust Department, while serving as a senior investment officer and a Bank Investment Committee member. Clark is a graduate from James Madison University and holds a BBA in Finance and Economics. He resides in Sandy Spring, Maryland with his wife Diane.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Bythe age of 12 I had a grass cutting business cutting 12 yards a week at $5 per yard and was earning $60 per week. Life was good. I used the cash to buy a fancy Schwinn bicycle. After that I started putting money into a saving account at the bank. My father saw what I was doing and guided me with my first stock purchase. My first stock was Computer Data Systems at the age of 12. I liked the results and started buying more stocks: Washington Real Estate Trust, Mattel toys, Bob Evans restaurants. In middle school my father took me to shareholder meeting and we discussed terms like dividend yield, earning yield, P/E ratios, return on equity. I am thankful for my father’s guidance at an early age, because I was hooked on the investment management industry.

After earning an undergraduate degree in Finance and Economics, I started my career as a retail stockbroker until having the opportunity to be the initial Chief Investment Officer at a regional bank trust department. The knowledge and education that I acquired at that regional bank gave me the exposure to become a global private international banker. Then in 2005, I saw the need for an independent fee only fiduciary investment advisory firm in the Washington DC area.

Can you share a story about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting in the industry? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?

Back in the 1980’s I was in a small bible study when a fellow member said that his daughter was working for a coffee company in Seattle Washington and they were a well run company growing at a fantastic pace. They were also raising additional capital needed to expand through an IPO (initial public offering). I read the prospectus and thought, who is ever going to pay $2 for a cup of coffee. To say the least, Starbucks has sold a lot of $2 cups of coffee since first coming public. The lesson learned is not to base your success or failures on any one decision, but rather a series of logical well thought out small decisions that allow mistakes along your long-term journey to success.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I published my first book, Middle-Class Millionaire: Surprisingly Simple Secrets to Grow and Enjoy your Wealth, in June of this year. The book is my vehicle to take what I’ve learned in over 30 years of working with middle-class millionaires and share that information with the public.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lesson that others can learn from that?

Defined our unique market differential. A Washington Post report wrote an article about Kendall Capital and stated within the article we serve Middle-Class Millionaires. That was a light bulb moment for us. We trademarked Middle- Class Millionaire™ and that has become our brand that people can identify.

What pieces of advice would you give to your colleagues in the finance field to thrive and avoid burnout? Can you give a story or example?

Define your market competitive advantage. Go back to management 101 and define your SWOT

Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.

Ok. Thank you for all of that. Let’s now move to the core focus of our interview. As a “finance insider”, you know much more about the finance industry than most consumers. If your loved one wanted to hire a financial advisor (not you :-)), which 5 things would you advise them to find out about before committing? Can you give an example or story for each?

1) Fee-only fiduciary- We do not receive commissions from anyone for recommending specific investments. We sit on the same side of the table with you in order to serve your best interests.

2) Experience — Our team has 3 CFP’s, 2 CFA’s, and a CAIA. It is this wealth of experience that gives us the depth and breadth and knowledge to manage clients of all backgrounds, goals, and asset levels.

3) Team support- Kendall Capital offers a team of professionals who are intimately familiar with each client’s goals and assets. Our client to employee ratio is 40 to 1. A prospect should look around and see if they are walking into a factory, or if they will receive customized financial planning and investment management service.

4) The value they provide beyond the portfolio- At Kendall Capital we help people not only manage their money but with decision making for their families, careers, future, and anything that may impact their financial future and well being.

In my book, I use the example of the house that my wife designed and we built together. We could have gone to the county clerk’s office and gotten our permits, gone to Home Depot to buy the two-by-fours, and hired a plumber, an electrician, etc. Instead, we hired an experienced professional homebuilder to take care of it all. He had built more than 100 homes before we had built our first. When we showed the builder our plans (drawn on graph paper), he said, “This looks great, but you need to move the stairwell to make the house structure sound. You need to think about small details, like where does the light switch go? Most times it’s next to the door as you enter and exit a room.”

Lastly, when the house was being built there was a problem with the plumbing. I didn’t realize it because I’d never built a house before, but the builder did and he told the plumber, “Correct the Kendalls’ plumbing problem if you want to work on my next 50 homes.” He, and other professional homebuilders, have the experience and buying power that the one-time homebuilder simply does not have.

The same holds true for the do-it-yourself financial homebuilders. They go to a do-it-yourself website, answer a few questions, and receive an asset allocation model that will vary widely depending upon the questions asked and the way you answer. Some examples of questions the do-it-yourself website may ask are: will the individual have a pension? Can they take a lump sum? Do they have charitable desires? What should their risk tolerance be (everyone has higher risk tolerance in bull markets and low risk tolerance in bear markets)? So, even with something as fundamental as that, depending on the website or investment firm, the online financial advisors might have an entirely different asset allocation blueprint that’s supposedly tailored to them, but it actually reflects the built-in biases of each investment firm’s risk-assessment model.

5) Comfort- We never want a client to sign on if they are not comfortable and confident in our team. We pride ourselves in our retention rate and customer service and want our clients to feel positive about us from the start.

I think most people think that financial advisors are for very wealthy people. This is likely not actually true. Can you explain who would most benefit from hiring a financial advisor and why? Can you give an example?

Some people may not consider themselves “wealthy” but have accumulated over $500,000 or more in investable assets through disciplined saving and investing, a timely inheritance or a combination of all three. It is at that time an advisor can be of great value to help you plan your financial future.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Our best source of new business has been our current clients. On a recurring basis we have current clients refer their family and friends to us. I consider these referrals as one of the highest forms of a compliment.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am a big believer in charitable giving. We encourage our clients to do the same when possible. I would love if all the people who benefitted in any way from charitable donations, paid it forward in some way. Even if it is donating their time back if money is not a viable option. There needs to be more giving back and paying it forward from people of all walks of life.

How can our readers follow you on social media?


Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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