David Ruedi CFP® is the subject of our first “Advisor Spotlight” blog post – a series of interviews to help people get to know the advisors at Ruedi Wealth. David has been with Ruedi Wealth since October 2014 and currently serves as Vice President. He is also a contributor to the Ruedi Wealth Blog and regular guest on Paul Ruedi’s “On the Money” radio show on Newstalk 1400 WDWS.
Q: You grew up in Champaign like the rest of the Ruedi clan correct?
David: That’s right. I went to St. Matt’s through 8th grade and then went to Centennial High School. I played on Centennial's tennis team all four years and graduated in 2009.
Q: And after that you attended Miami of Ohio…
David: This story is going to sound familiar - we have 3 advisors at Ruedi Wealth who graduated from Miami.
I looked at several schools, but ultimately decided to follow in my siblings’ footsteps and attend Miami of Ohio. I majored in Finance with a minor in Decision Sciences, which is essentially statistics with more of a business focus. That might sound like an unusual combination, but I knew that understanding statistics would be valuable once I went into the investments and financial planning field. I loved my time at Miami and made some amazing friends while I was there.
Q: The summer before your senior year you did an internship at Dimensional Fund Advisors, a mutual fund company in Austin, TX, that ultimately resulted in you accepting a job there after you graduated. What was that experience like?
David: I was fortunate to be one of four interns in Dimensional’s Financial Advisor Services department that year. The internship was an amazing learning experience. Dimensional planned a series of meetings with employees from various departments within the firm to teach us about their investment philosophy and portfolio management process. I learned a lot through those meetings, but the most valuable part was probably just sitting in on calls with financial advisors. It was really helpful hearing how the Regional Directors explained various investment concepts and answered the advisors’ questions. I must have done something right during the internship because I ended up receiving a job offer and going to work there.
As a full-time employee, I worked with financial advisors on the west coast. I spent my time supporting existing clients - answering their questions, performing portfolio analyses, and helping them incorporate Dimensional’s mutual funds into their client’s portfolios. My favorite part of the job was taking new advisors through a series of live webinars to teach them about Dimensional’s investment philosophy and portfolio management process. It was a great way to practice public speaking and improve my ability to explain investment concepts in an understandable manner, which has been extremely valuable in my current job as a financial advisor.
Q: That experience clearly prepared you to transition into the role of an advisor at a firm like ours – a transition you made in October 2014 when you left Dimensional to join Ruedi Wealth Management. Why did you ultimately decide to make that switch?
David: Although I enjoyed my time at Dimensional, I always knew I ultimately wanted to be a financial advisor. As an advisor, you get to see the positive impact you have on your client’s lives, which is really fulfilling. People often think financial planning is all about numbers and technical planning. There are technical aspects to the job, but the purpose of that technical work is to help people use their money to do meaningful things – achieve financial freedom, help their children, contribute to their grandchildren’s college education, give to a charity they feel strongly about, etc. Without an advisor, people often forego those things unnecessarily just because they don’t know if they can afford them.
Q: In your role at Ruedi Wealth you serve as an advisor but also as Vice President… not just advising clients but overseeing the operations of the company itself. How did you end up in this role?
David: I’ve been unofficially fulfilling this role since I joined RWM. Before I joined the firm, Paul Sr. was the only advisor and had developed his way of doing things and communicating with clients through his 30 years of experience. He’s built an incredible business and has great relationships with our clients, so what he has been doing clearly works. I’m really just trying to learn as much as I can from him and systematize what he does to ensure we continue to deliver a consistent client experience as new advisors join the company. Along the way, I have honed his processes and implemented new software that allows us to perform more efficiently and effectively, but the core of what he does has remained the same.
Q: You were the first person at our firm to pass the CFP test and become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional correct?
David: That’s right – I beat my brothers to the punch! I passed the test in November of 2014 and was able to officially use the designation when I fulfilled my work experience in May of 2016. I had a very solid understanding of the investments side of financial planning from my time at Dimensional, but it was great to learn more about the other important areas like estate planning, taxes, and insurance.
Q: Not long after settling into your new role as an advisor you had a big life event - you married your high school sweetheart this past year. How is married life treating you so far?
David: We got married October 1st of last year after dating for over 9 years. It was incredible being surrounded by my closest friends and family for such a special occasion. My wife, Amber, is an amazing person and I feel very fortunate to be married to her. Married life has been great so far - we love our life together. We don’t have any kids yet, so we’re able to spend a lot of free time with each other.
Q: What do you do for fun these days? What will I find you doing on weekends?
David: I love to be active and spend time outside, so I’m typically playing tennis, lifting weights, and fishing on the weekends. I’m fortunate to have a lot of family in town, so I try to get in family time on the weekends too. We live right down the street from my parents and about a block away from my sister and brother-in-law, so we see them most weekends.
Q: You left out reading! You are constantly reading a wide range of books… do you have a favorite book or top 3?
David: I primarily read nonfiction and, although I read a lot of finance and fitness books, my favorites tend to be related to personal development living a good life. My top three, in no particular order, are: Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court by John Wooden, The Pursuit of Perfect by Tal Ben Shahar, and The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday. I read passages from each of these books on an almost daily basis.
Q: What is your favorite food?
David: I love food in general, so this is a tough one for me, but if I had to choose just one food I would say my favorite is ice cream. Although I’m pretty health conscious, I make sure to include ice cream in my diet almost every single night. My all-time favorite is Custard Cup’s Peanut Butter Snowstorm, but I like to rotate brands and flavors each week. As far as store-bought ice cream goes, I particularly enjoy Ben & Jerry’s “Milk & Cookies” or Graeters Blackberry Chocolate Chip.
Q: What is your favorite place to eat in Champaign?
David: I don’t know if I could choose a favorite restaurant…it depends on what I’m in the mood for on any particular day. Papa Del’s is one of my favorites. I recently discovered Sakanaya and have been there twice in the last two weeks. It’s hands down my favorite Sushi restaurant in Champaign.
Q: Do you have a favorite song, album, or band you feel particularly strong about?
David: I don’t think I could choose a favorite song, but one of my favorite artists is Chris Young. I didn’t love his most recent album, but the one before that (Neon) is one of my favorites.
Q: What about your favorite movie?
David: This is unoriginal, but I love Forrest Gump. I think I enjoy that movie more every time I watch it. I’m not much of a movie critic and tend to dislike artsy movies. I like a clear storyline that wraps up completely – cliffhanger endings drive me crazy.
Q: Who is someone you admire or pattern yourself after?
David: I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great role models in my life and I try to learn what I can from each of them. Like most people, my parents are my biggest influence. They’ve always put their children first and worked hard to provide us with opportunities few people on earth have.
Q: What are your ultimate goals in life? Getting pretty deep here...
David: My ultimate goal is to be a good person and live a happy life. I have a list of specific goals written down that relate to various areas of my life, but they’re all in service of that overarching theme. If I can have a positive impact on the people in my life and enjoy myself along the way, I will consider my life a success.
Q: What is your ideal vacation?
David: I’d really want to go to Hawaii. I like to have a mixture of relaxation and activity when I’m on vacation and Hawaii seems like it would provide the perfect combination. I would spend time relaxing on the beach, go hiking, fishing, and tour the island in a helicopter.
Q: If you weren’t a financial advisor, what else would you like to do for a living?
David: I really enjoy sports, nutrition, and fitness. I would love to be a physical therapist, dietician, personal trainer, or tennis coach. I have actually considered pursuing each of those careers at different points in my life. I love competition and love the seeing progress that is the result of hard work, so anything coaching related would be perfect for me.
Q: If you won the lottery what would you do?
David: I don’t think I would do anything too extravagant. I would work less and vacation more, although I wouldn’t fully retire. I would buy a house on the beach in Florida and spend my winters down there. I would set aside a fund to pay for education expenses for any future children and grandchildren I may have. From there, I would write down my ideal lifestyle, calculate the annual cost of that lifestyle, and set aside a lump sum that could fund that indefinitely. Whatever is left over would go to charities during my lifetime so I could see the positive impact my money had.
David works at our Champaign office on 2502 Galen Dr. Suite 102. Want to schedule a time to talk to David or meet with him in person? You can do so online by clicking below and choosing a day and time that works for you.