In his own words: TCI Wealth Advisors’ Justin M. Thomas
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company.
Justin M. Thomas: TCI as it exists today was formed by the merger of two entities: AQN Advisors, which was founded in northern Nevada by Doug Nelson; and TCI, which was founded in 1990 in Tucson, Ariz., by Bob Swift. These companies joined forces a few years ago, forming a larger, multi-state advisory firm with the goal of capitalizing on the economies of scale to enable their continued independence. TCI provides a place that clients, regardless of age or assets, can receive fee-only, independent, objective investment advice. Although the firm has expanded its service from just education to comprehensive wealth management, that basic mission holds true today.
NNBW: What role do you play in the company?
Thomas: My role largely centers around meeting with clients, understanding their goals and current situation, and recommending and/or monitoring a course of action that will give them the highest probability of achieving their goals without undue risk.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Thomas: My wife and I were meeting with our personal financial advisor a number of years ago and he noticed I had serious interest in our quarterly meetings. At the time, I was going back to school to obtain a degree in education in addition to running my own athletic coaching business. Our advisor thought with my combination of attributes, I would be a great advisor and I should consider the industry, which led me to where I am today.
NNBW: What’s necessary for someone to succeed in this job?
Thomas: It starts with having the ability to listen closely to what clients are saying and asking. Some advisors may spend too much time thinking about what they’re going to say next, rather than listening. Advisors also need to be able to think and discuss the big picture regarding a client’s life but also be in tune with many of the small details that can have an impact on a client’s financial plan. Possibly most important is the ability to clearly communicate.
NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn’t it your first choice?
Thomas: I would have chosen to go into the military. I respect everything the military stands for and appreciate the structure and discipline involved with a military lifestyle. I grew up as a military brat and was never pushed in that direction by my father who was a Naval Commander. My parents encouraged my sister and I to go to college given we had the opportunity.
NNBW: What are some of the important trends you see in your industry?
Thomas: Due to clients demanding independent, objective advice, I believe there will be more advisory firms operating in a manner similar to ours, with no potential conflicts of interest. Although much of the industry was built around large brokerage firms, I believe these firms will have to consider altering their business models to keep pace with the rapidly growing independent model.
NNBW: What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Thomas: Spend time with the family, whether we’re at the park, pool, skiing, biking or running. I really appreciate it when we can all get together, enjoy the outdoors, and do something healthy.
NNBW: Would you rather be younger, thinner, richer or smarter? Why?
Thomas: Definitely smarter because you can leverage that aptitude into becoming richer, which could be leveraged (or cosmetically enhanced) into looking younger and thinner.
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Thomas: Focus on the things you can control and don’t worry about the things you can’t.
NNBW: What are five things you can’t live without?
Thomas: Family, friends, sunny days, cycling, coffee.
NNBW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why would you want it?
Thomas: Probably Superman strength to be able to ride up mountains really quickly only to turn around and ride down those same mountains at speeds on the edge of insanity.
NNBW: What does the content of your refrigerator say about you?
Thomas: Probably that we shop at Costco and we have a 2-year-old son that loves milk products.
Name: Justin M. Thomas, financial advisor, TCI Wealth Advisors
How long in this job? I’ve been with TCI Wealth Advisors for about 1.5 years
How long in the profession? Five years
Education: Bachelor’s of science from The College of William & Mary
Best book you’ve read? Something I read recently and enjoyed, “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” Pretty unique, told from the perspective of a dog.
What’s on your iPod? How about iPhone: The White Stripes, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Pink…
The best movie ever? “Wall Street” of course, ha!
Spouse, kids or pets? That almost sounds like “Which one do I prefer?” Um, all of the above. Wife Julie, son Charlie, dog Luna
The agreements are designed to split the costs of improvements such as traffic signals between Carson City and developers whose projects generate the traffic increases that trigger the need for improvements.