Meet an Advisor: Samuel Deane of Deane Wealth | ETF Trends

Exchange: An ETF Experience is coming February 5–8, so Evan Harp is talking with some of the advisors who will be there. Today’s edition is focused on Samuel Deane of Deane Wealth.

Evan Harp: When and how did your practice begin?

Samuel Deane: I launched my firm in 2018, that is the “when.” I’ve been running my own firm for about four years now. For the “how,” I’ve always had a desire to be in business in some fashion. After I graduated college, I got the opportunity to work with my mom, who was venturing out to fulfill her entrepreneurial endeavors. I was fortunate to play a role in one of her companies, and that solidified my decision to be in business altogether.

Prior to that, I actually went to school to be a physician, as a pre-med major. I graduated and realized I didn’t want to go back to school for another eight years. [Laughs.] And, again, I got really lucky that my mom started her entrepreneurial journey as well. Being able to play a role there and get that firsthand experience and learn what it was like to run my own business.

I then went to Hofstra University, which is in Long Island, which is where I’m from, and pursued my MBA. Like most MBA students, I naturally gravitated toward finance. That was my real introduction to the finance world, interviewing with different firms, and so forth. It was really through those interviews that I realized that the industry was relatively the same. Every interview I went to, they said, “here’s a list, I want you to write down 25 names of folks who have over a quarter million dollars or more.” And I’m 23 at the time, a relatively young Black kid from humble beginnings. I don’t really know anyone with a quarter million dollars or more! And then that they’ll give it to me. [Laughs.]

I was writing a business plan for every class, and when I looked at the business model of a lot of the firms I interviewed with, it was pretty much selling products for a commission and using that firm’s brand as a way to build your business. I decided that that was very similar to me building my own business, except using my own brand, so I decided to just take a bet on myself and learn. I spent a lot of time being a student of the industry and learning everything I could about the industry, and then eventually going on out and launching my own firm.

Evan Harp: What is your investment philosophy?

Samuel Deane: It’s pretty much consistent consensus that the most effective way to invest is to have a plan that you can actually stick to for the long run, right? So, I think having exposure to globally diversified income-producing assets through low-cost vehicles like ETFs are ideally the way you want to invest if you want to be able to live your life and not focus so much behind the screen.

I think anything more than that takes a lot more due diligence, a lot more time, and a lot more research. I don’t think one approach is better than the other per se. The reason I use the word efficient is because we have other things that we want to do in life other than just invest money — like spend time with our families and spend time with our kids, rise in our careers, and so forth.

In my firm I work exclusively with tech employees, and most of them, if not all of them, have some sort of concentrated employer stock, and there are probably liquidity events on the horizon, or maybe they are at big tech companies where the stock could be very volatile, and so that is my area of expertise. I recognize that there are some complexities that a tech employee may face; it may be more advantageous for them to do a little bit more active management of their stock or just be more strategized in general. So that’s what we focus on with our clients. In terms of my personal investment philosophy, it really is a low-cost passive investment approach.

I will say that, over the recent years, I have dabbled in crypto a bit, which is probably unlike that investment philosophy. I do think an asset class that I’m interested in the potential of is the venture capital angel investing space. I think there’s a lot of opportunity there that most advisors don’t tap into, and I’m not one to shy away from that.

Evan Harp: What’s one big obstacle you’ve had to overcome, and how did you do it?

Samuel Deane: Man, that’s a great question. There are so many to choose from. I think, just candidly, speaking, being a Black man in America, in general, there are a lot of hurdles that you have to overcome. As it pertains to starting my business, I would say probably just having the confidence to do it, and do it in a space that there aren’t many people that look like me. I think that was one of the things I really had to learn how to deal with and learn how to build. I remember there was a survey I read years ago that talked about how most people of color prefer to work with a white person as it pertains to a financial advisor, rather than another person of color. That was so shocking to me. When you’re in some of those, I guess other spaces, you have people talk to you in condescending ways. So I think just having the fortitude and knowing who you are, and knowing where you come from, and knowing what you’re capable of if you put your mind to it, I think that’s one of the things I’ve learned to do to help me overcome some of those challenges.

Evan Harp: Exchange is slated for February 5–8. What do you think the biggest story in the market will be at that time?

Samuel Deane: February 5 to February 8. You know, I’m really interested to see where we will be in the world of crypto. I’m not sure how familiar you are with the asset class altogether, but there’s kind of some big things happening in the space right now, and I’m interested to see how that all unfolds and what that means for the world of crypto and even some of the traditional finance firms that were involved in that space. It will be interesting to see how that ripples into our space, if at all.

Evan Harp: Who is another financial adviser that inspires you and why?

Samuel Deane: Dasarte Yarnway is someone that really inspires me. We have a similar background in terms of where we come from and the things that we had to overcome to build our firms into what they are today. He’s definitely someone that I look to for advice as I continue to build my firm.

For more news, information, and strategy, visit VettaFi.