Drew Weckbach is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and the founder of the fee-only financial planning firm, Scaling Independence, LLC. He specializes in advanced tax planning and asset accumulation strategies. He is passionate about helping individuals accrue wealth more efficiently by properly structuring their savings strategies and investment holdings.
Before opening his own practice Drew gained valuable insights through his formal education and at his previous stops with A.G. Edwards, Stifel Nicolaus, and The Commerce Trust Company.
Drew’s introduction to the finance industry was during the financial recession of 2007-2008, where he interned at a local A.G. Edwards branch. He cut his teeth in the industry as a phone jockey with Stifel Nicolaus resolving complex tax situation for clients. He helped develop nearly 300 complex financial plans for Commerce Trust’s high net worth clientele. The client base was a mix of corporate executives, business owners, doctors, attorneys, academics, dedicated savers, and every other walk of life.
Through his experiences, he saw the characteristics of a strong retiree profile and the financial benefits of properly structuring retirement resources. A common theme he noticed were the opportunities missed by clients over peak earning years to efficiently structure their wealth. However, every firm he worked with was consistently targeting clients at retirement, when it was often too late.
Drew established Scaling Independence to use his insight of successful retirement planning and help the next generation reach their version of retirement, Financial Independence.
When he’s not reading up on the latest tax code proposals, you can find him grabbing rebounds and missing a majority of his free throws at a nearby basketball court. You may also catch him out collaborating with other entrepreneurs within the St. Louis start-up community. One of his most rewarding projects is mentoring entrepreneurs at Parkway’s SPARK! program. SPARK! is a high school entrepreneurship program where students create and profitably operate their own businesses.
Outside of Scaling Independence Drew is a partner with the tax software start-up firm, SPRY Analytics. SPRY is developing an application to optimize financial resources in retirement. He, also, serves part-time as a Personal Financial Consultant for the Department of Defense. He provides financial guidance to service members deploying and integrating back from active duty. He loves the challenge of coordinating active duty benefits, guard benefits, and civilian benefits.
The financial planning industry is primarily built around serving individuals that have already accumulated multiple six-figure investment portfolios. Clients are accustomed to using their investment portfolio as the mechanism to pay their financial professional.
This working relationship works seamlessly for mid-career professionals, near retirees, and retirees living off their portfolio. It frees clients from managing the on-going tasks and day to day minutia. They prefer the freedom and comfort that comes with professional asset management and oversight. It is a fantastic model we offer with the same fee-only standards.
However, this model leaves a segment of the population underserved, Asset Accumulators. Asset Accumulators are individuals that are in the wealth accumulation phase of life. Working with asset accumulators required a new approach and view on the future of financial planning industry.
We offer clients the ability to pay for planning services with a Monthly Retainer. The retainer removes the requirement of an investment portfolio or product to receive financial advice. Opening the doors of the financial planning profession to a wider array of individuals. Paying planning fees with cash minimizes the drag on investment returns and maximizes the dollars saved in qualified accounts.
Asset accumulators are seeking the same advice, guidance, and reassurance that retirees have enjoyed for decades. We set out to provide that service and be that resource.
We believe the days of commission based financial products and opaque hidden fees are slowly on their way out. While currently not the industry norm; consumers are starting to realize the lack of value being offered by high commissioned products and the hidden fees buried inside.
The future of the financial planning will be driven by higher level of advice, service, and transparency. We believe clients want to be an actively engaged in the planning process. Scaling Independence was created at the forefront of industry standards with the long-term vision of the company and clients in mind.