Clint Walkner, Walkner Condon Financial Advisors

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Clint Walkner, co-owner and financial advisor, Walkner Condon Financial Advisors.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging aspect of the job is to encourage behavior that has very little immediate gratification attributed to it. Compounding of assets in many cases takes so long that it’s easy to derail a financial plan with large purchases or market timing. As a financial advisor for over 16 years, it’s been incredibly fulfilling to watch financial plans get executed and goals become satisfied.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

I admire just about anyone who has made a leap to start his or her own business and build it from the ground up. Zach Nigh of Green Clock Films has built a nice business in video and marketing, and Mark Schmitz from Zebradog did a tremendous job designing a lot of business experiences around the country. We were fortunate that they helped us with our new office design in The Glen on Monroe Street. I admire my wife, Courtney, who just left her job at a large financial services company to start her own eLearning development company, LX Creative Design.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

So far one the high points of my career was about six months after my business partner Nate Condon and I had opened Walkner Condon. At that point we realized that our firm would be sustainable and successful with the clients who had followed us, and it was nice to finally get a paycheck! As a result of the continued growth of our business I feel like every year is a new high point.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

The advice I’d give my 21-year-old self would be to not be afraid to take risks at an early age. When you don’t have mortgages, kids, and other “life responsibilities” it is the ideal time to take chances. We had an intern at our firm, Nate Straub, who lives in Madison and has really embraced this idea after he graduated. It’s been nice to follow someone who is really taking off.

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What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

Dane County offers it all — great schools, a vibrant community, and a college town atmosphere sandwiched in between two lakes. With all the incredible local businesses that we have here like Epic, Exact Sciences, and I’ll throw in my favorite pizza — Pizza Brutta — what more could you want?

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

Recently, Mike Suter of Naviant suggested I take a corporate culture test to better understand my personality profile. I found out that I scored as extraordinarily logical, which probably helps explain some things. I’m sure it challenges Nate and Kevin in our office to help me understand why people make decisions the way that they do.

What are your guilty pleasures?

We recently had a new tenant move in next to us — Madison Chocolate Company. I had no idea that I enjoyed chocolate and lattes as much as I do!

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