Building a family business with Schwab

Submitted by Marc.Jones on July 9, 2019

Video Transcript

On-screen text: Our story of independence. The O'Donnell Group

On-screen text: Mike O'Donnell, CFP
Wealth Manager, The O'Donnell Group

My name is Mike O'Donnell. I'm a partner here at the O'Donnell Group, a wealth management practice based in Chico, California.

It's a very entrepreneurial town.  Everybody's sort of got their own unique situation. If you want to do really well, you have to really create your own here in Chico.

On-screen text: Ryan O'Donnell, CFP
Wealth Manager, The O'Donnell Group

Our philosophy here at the O'Donnell Group is to help people make good decisions with their money.

It all starts with the investments, helping them make sure that they're on track, and then beyond that it comes down to, you know, helping them make good decisions in all the other areas of their life.

My business partner is my brother, and he's been my best friend ever since we've grown up.

We both got golf scholarships to UC Davis, and then he found his way into the financial world.

So when I graduated, I found my way into the financial world at the exact same firm.

As you're working for the big firms, under the big firm's name and umbrella, you're just so constrained on what you can do and the types of advice you can give.

We wanted to do more.  We want to get deep into our clients' lives and help them make the best decisions possible.

At one point, one of our clients said, 'Why don't you help me build this real estate portfolio.  I'm too busy. If you'll help oversee and manage it, that would be great.'

In order for us to really help this person, we had to start our own RIA, and we had to break free from our broker-dealer.

Schwab was incredible. 

We didn't really know what to expect on the transition, and Schwab helped us get all of the paperwork together to make the transition as seamless as possible. 

We got everything done in about a week-and-a-half for the entire firm, and there's no way we could have done that without Schwab's help.

Really, being independent helps us tailor everything we do to each client, and we end up growing faster than we ever thought we would.

Being independent obviously allows me to do the things I want for my clients, but it also gives me the independence to do what I want for my family.

A lot of people maybe live to work. We work to live.

Our kids are best friends. 

And we live right next door to each other.  They play together non-stop.

Experiencing happiness through their eyes probably makes me the happiest.

I want to enjoy my family, I want to enjoy my hobbies, I want to enjoy what I do, and the time I get to spend with our clients, as well.

I've been playing golf for probably 25 years now. 

It allows you to go out there, and try and do your best.  

If you want to do better, you have to practice more, you have to put the time in.

Golf has really been instrumental in helping us grow our practice.

Being able to take clients and really learn about them has just been a fantastic way to grow our business.

We talk a lot about where is our firm going. 

We want to continue to be a small family office, so this is truly something that we're building.

Being an entrepreneur, to me, really just means that I'm in control of my own destiny. 

The one thing you don't want to do is just continue with the status quo.

If there's another advisor out there looking to go independent, just do it. 

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