LEARNING WHAT MATTERS Nick Sanchez Celebrates the Past and Future
High school was the first time I dipped my toe into the world of finance. My economics teacher ran a simulated stock market for the class, letting us make mock investments,
very nervous. After all, it was just going to be me and the president of the company I wanted to work for. Ken invited me into his office, and after I’d sat down, he got up from behind his desk and sat next to me as though we were equals. I immediately felt at ease; it was unlike any job interview I’d had in my life. I didn’t get hired on the spot. At the time, the firm only had seven advisors, and as Ken explained, there just wasn’t anyone available to train a planner who was fresh out of school. So I put my head down and stuck with the company I’d interned with. Four years later, I made the leap to Financial Architects, and I haven’t looked back. While the firm may be much larger than it was when I first walked through its doors, the friendly, down-to-earth attitude hasn’t changed. Ken and the rest of the leadership team are very much in the trenches with us, day in and day out. Meanwhile, our support team works incredibly hard to support us behind the scenes. The work me and my fellow Financial Architects do each day simply wouldn’t be possible without the diligent work of these professionals. The ways all levels of our team come together to collaborate sets Financial Architects apart as a firm. Thanks to this unique culture, I’ve been able to grow a lot over my 8 years at the firm. While I was able to learn the technical aspects of financial planning in college, it
was Financial Architects that showed me how much developing personal relationships matters. Our people-first approach didn’t just help me as a professional; it also helped me prepare for fatherhood. Just as I’d dreamed of in the career counselor’s office at CMU, I’ve married and started a family. My wife, Diana, and I have a 9-month-old son named Leo, and he certainly keeps us busy! As badly as I wanted kids before he was born, I was still blindsided by the amount of love I feel for this little bundle of joy. The happiest part of my day is hearing his excited laughter as I get home from work. As a new parent, I’ve noticed that everyone is quick to tell you how fast kids grow up. I can certainly see what they mean. It feels like we only brought Leo home from the hospital yesterday. When I began to feel the pressure between being there for my son and getting to work, Ken once again stepped in to put me at ease. “You’re a father and a husband first and an advisor second,” he told me, smiling. As he pointed out, how could I serve my clients if I was stressed about my home life? It’s this holistic approach to business that makes Financial Architects so special.
and tracked how our decisions would pan out in the real market over the course of the school year. Looking at my imaginary returns at the end of the experiment, my one regret was not investing real money. So, when I went off to Central Michigan University, I went straight to the career counselors to learn about jobs in finance. I quickly learned that the nine-to-five office work of a general financier was not in the cards for me. As someone who knew he wanted to start a family one day, the more flexible hours kept by financial planners excited me. Thankfully, the college had just added a financial planning program. Jumping into my studies, I soon found that the technical aspects of the field came easy to me. I knew I’d found my field. Toward the end of my schooling, I was working as an intern at a large company but wasn’t sure if I wanted to be there long term. After graduating, I sent my resume to a small but promising firm, Financial Architects. That’s when Ken Grace invited me to interview.
Here’s to the things that matter most,
I still vividly remember that meeting. It was 2007, I was just 21 years old, and I was
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