Ryan McGuire, Wipfli Financial Advisors LLC

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Ryan McGuire, financial advisor, Wipfli Financial Advisors LLC.

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

The psychology of money and financial decision-making is the single greatest challenge I encounter in my job. We all have unconscious biases and preconceived notions around money and money management. Some of these can be constructive and help clients make sound financial decisions. Others are not as constructive. Helping clients feel confident in the health of their financial future can require a lot of education and dialogue, especially in situations where there are multiple variables at play. This challenge, however, also generates the most rewarding part of my job, when I can help clients achieve peace of mind.

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

This is a hard question to answer. One of the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most is my daily interaction with area small business owners. It’s inspiring to see their passion for their businesses, as well as their grit and determination in meeting the challenges they encounter every day. I look up to them for their personal characteristics, but ultimately what I admire most is the profound impact they have on the people they employ and their families, as well as the communities they serve. Our communities would be poorer places, economically and culturally, without our Main Street businesses and the owners and employees who make them thrive.

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

In the fall of 2017, I was asked to be a panelist at the Charles Schwab IMPACT Advisor conference in Chicago, speaking on the next generation of advisory firms. It was such an honor to be asked, especially as a young advisor just starting out in my career. It was also a phenomenal opportunity to meet talented peers from across the world and share ideas about what the future of our industry may look like.

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

Enjoy each step of the process of launching your career without getting too ahead of yourself. There is no substitute for time and experience! Also, make sure to schedule time for physical activity and hobbies.

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

Quite simply, Dane County offers many of the things that make life richer and more enjoyable. Things I’m grateful for include: our beautiful lakes and parks, an iconic downtown, UW–Madison, a short daily commute, and proximity to many wonderful places to spend a weekend.

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

I’m very fortunate to have been trusted as a wedding musician for many of my family and friends over the past 10 years, and I consider it such an honor and joy! Outside of more formal performances, covering oldies or country hits with my guitar around the campfire is a favorite summer pastime. I’d also count officiating high school wrestling as an ability of mine, even though the fans can be a little tough on us from time to time.

What are your guilty pleasures?

While it might be unoriginal, I’m a sucker for Ian’s Pizza. It is very difficult for me to walk down Frances Street or the top of State Street without stopping in to grab a slice of “Smokey and the Bandit.” I think it’s safe to say I developed a lifelong habit when I was a freshman at UW–Madison — I was assigned to Witte Hall as an incoming freshman, which is about 700 feet away from the Frances Street location.

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