Andrew Schade, ChFC, CASL, RHU, REBC
Born and raised in Lansing, MI, Andrew Schade has been an influence in the financial industry for more than two decades. Earlier in his career, before becoming an independent advisor in 2009, he served a variety of clients in many capacities. Then, as he began to home in on specific areas that he could identify with, he gradually transitioned from a ‘general practitioner,’ to a specialist.
In 2018, Andrew founded Spartan Wealth Advisory Group, where he now serves as president, turning his focus toward two distinct groups: retirees that are moderate to low risk, and people whose employer’s retirement plan offers a Self-Directed Brokerage Account (SDBA) option.
To learn more about Spartan Wealth Advisory Group and its loyal client base, we asked Andrew about his career progression and why these he chose these two groups.
Andrew, what made you decide to strike out on your own when you already had a successful career in finance?
I went independent after working for about seven years in the financial industry because I realized that although there are many different structures that exist in this business, I wanted to tailor my services to a specific client base. The only way I could do that was to start my own firm, where I was able to cater to the particular segments that I enjoyed working with. I felt this is where I could help the most people.
The first group you mentioned was retirees that are moderate to low-risk investors, why the more conservative investors?
One of my roles as an advisor is to help people achieve their goals. Once someone has retired, one of the biggest keys to success is to avoid risks that can derail their retirement plans. While there is nothing wrong with having a high-risk profile in retirement, it can leave a retiree open to unnecessary risk. My personality aligns more with the person that would rather have a solid, sustainable strategy for retirement. I relate more to the retiree would wants to spend their retirement enjoying life, not looking for the next ‘big’ investment.
That makes sense. The second group you work with is obviously at a different stage in life. What do you differently for them? What is a Self-Directed Brokerage Account?
I provide a different approach for people that are still working. For people that are still working we help them determine their risk profile and higher risk tolerances are ok. More importantly, we stick to working with people that have a Self-Directed Brokerage Account (SDBA) option in their employer’s retirement plan. As the name implies, an SDBA option allows the plan participant the ability to manage the investments in their plan themselves. What most people don’t realize is that it also allows the plan participant the option to let a financial advisor like myself manage the investments for them. If the person choses to work with us in this capacity, it becomes a very easy way for them to add high level management with almost no work on their end.
Most people have not heard of the SDBA option, do all plans offer it?
Currently over 100,000 retirement plans in the US offer the SDBA option, and that number is growing as popularity of the option continues to grow.
How would someone find out if they have the SDBA option?
They could call their HR or plan contact and ask them if the option is available. If the person is interested in working with us, we are able to find the information for them as well.
Why did you choose Spartan Wealth Advisory Group for the name of your firm?
I have been a fan of Michigan State University sports my whole life. Michigan State University offers the SDBA option for its employees. Having started my practice in the Okemos Michigan area, I often worked with MSU employees when I was a general practitioner. Before I went independent, the firm I worked with did not offer the option for us as advisors to help people that had the SDBA option. I wanted to provide this level of service for MSU employees. Though the service we designed works well for anyone with the SDBA option, MSU employees were the inspiration, thus we went with Spartan Wealth Advisory Group.
Andrew is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), a Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL), a Registered Health Underwriter (RHU), and Registered Employee Benefits Consultant (REBC).
Andrew Schade, ChFC, CASL, RHU, REBC
President & Financial Consultant — Spartan Wealth Advisory Group