Matt: I started in May 2019. When I first got started in this industry, Aimee Butler was my first real boss. We kept in touch, and she let me know about the job opening. It’s great to be working with her again.
Kim: What do you do at Merriman, and what’s your favorite part of the workday?
Matt: I am an associate advisor working with the advisors in the Eugene office, helping our clients by sitting in on meetings that have complex financial needs and working with a group to deliver a good financial plan, then creating a portfolio to back that up in a real way. I also enjoy getting out of the office to meet other professionals in the community to hear how they perceive how our community is growing and changing. I am currently studying for the CFP, preparing to become a wealth advisor and get more involved with helping clients plan for the big goals they have that don’t revolve around money. Money means different things to each client. Helping them figure out what it means to them and what’s the reason for having the money. Helping clients support local charities with monetary donations as well as them volunteering in the community.
Kim: Tell us about your family.
Matt: Laurel and I met when we were summer camp counselors in college. Ten years later, we have a 2 ½ year old son, Trey, and a 20-pound cat named Charlie. Trey loves Charlie, although sometimes we need to remind him to be gentle. We love living in Oregon and having so many breweries and vineyards to explore. On the weekends, we can be found exploring the local parks and eating at the amazing restaurants Eugene has to offer.
Kim: What was your favorite vacation?
Matt: My wife Laurel and I went to Iceland for our Babymoon, and it was the most beautiful place on the planet. Pictures just can’t do it justice. We enjoyed hiking to amazing waterfalls and checking out some of the filming locations for Game of Thrones. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, and after watching all of the Lord of the Rings movies and behind the scenes, I would love to go to New Zealand to see those places in the movie in person. I’ve heard the wine is pretty good there too.
Tyler: I had heard of Merriman from Paul’s weekly radio show. I was working at US Trust and they were going through some changes, and I had started thinking about opening up my own advisory firm. I would often talk with a fellow co-worker, Mark Metcalf, about what my firm would look like. Both of us had been doing research on advisory firms, and learned more about Merriman. Mark interviewed with Merriman and got a job as an advisor. He said it was a great place to work and that I should apply. I interviewed and thought about whether I wanted to be a competitor, or join a firm that was already doing a great job of taking care of clients. Here I am 13 years later.
Kim: What is your role at Merriman and what do you love about working here?
Tyler: I started as an advisor in 2006 and in late 2018 I became the Director of Advisory Services. Helping advisors and the company improve the services we offer to clients, by overseeing all things that impact advisors and the advice we give. There are many things to love about working here, from an employee perspective it’s a family-oriented atmosphere. We all support each other through the ups and downs of life. I feel that because we are all so well taken care of, we take care of our clients with the same intent. For clients, I love how thorough we are with everything we do, and we’re always making sure that we emphasize what is in their best interest, a true client first mentality. Everything we do is to better the client experience, while continually improving how we can provide better advice on all aspects of our client’s life as well as being transparent with the research that goes along with the improvements.
Kim: How do you spend your time outside of work?
Tyler: With my three kids who are all very active. My daughter, Ivy, is a sophomore and plays basketball year-round. She is an honor student, involved with the Associated Student Body, and regularly volunteers within the community. My son, Owen, will be a freshman in high school and plays basketball year-round, and is looking forward to playing football in high school. My youngest son, Caleb, is in third grade. His current passion is playing ice hockey. Our favorite family vacation spot is Seabrook, where we can take our two dogs. There are lots of kid activities as well as the beach that keep us busy and able to focus on family fun.
Kim: Merriman has employees take the StengthsFinder quiz so we can understand how to best work with each other. What are your top five strengths?
Custodians like Schwab sometimes have separate departments for managing “retail” accounts (for people working directly with Schwab) and “institutional” accounts (for people, like our clients, who work with an investment advisor). Often, these different departments have different forms that do exactly the same things.
I recently got a phone call from our representative at Charles Schwab (the custodian of many of our client accounts), and they received a form that the client sent in on their own to add a feature to their account. Unfortunately, it was a form for the retail side of Schwab which does not allow the investment advisor—Merriman—to act on what the client was trying to set up.
In this case, Schwab was fortunately able to do what the client needed, but I had to send the client another form with the investment advisor information so Merriman could help the client with this feature in the future.
Our clients pay us to manage their accounts, and we want to help in any way we can. If a client wants to add a feature to their account we encourage them to come to us so we can avoid this type of confusion. As a client, it’s always best for you to call us first to get the best out of your account.
To make the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) process easier, we recommend having the distribution set up to go out automatically each year so you don’t have to think about it. It’s easy to do, and most custodians provide a number of options. You can specify the day of the year it should be withdrawn and have it sent to you by check, direct deposit, or have it transferred to another taxable account at your custodian.
If you’re a Merriman client and you want to set up automatic distributions to take care of your RMD, please give us a call and we’ll help you set it up. To learn more about RMDs click here.
Get the latest blog posts delivered directly to your inbox