Jason Van Duynage 36

President and founder, AQuest Wealth Strategies

I am an Entrepreneur

40 Under 40
40 Under 40

I am a Leader

40 Under 40

I am a Trailblazer

Trail Blazers

I am an Entrepreneur

40 Under 40

I am a Visionary

40 Under 40

I am an Idealist

40 Under 40

Meet the Leaders

Whether in their own firms or in their communities, these young people are leading the charge toward innovation in financial planning, bringing new opportunities to advisers and clients alike. Here, they share the best leadership advice they’ve received in their careers.

Meet the Trailblazers

This group doesn’t subscribe to groupthink. They are spearheading new ways of practicing and delivering financial advice — in some cases reaching populations previously considered unprofitable to serve. We ask them about the most unique and unusual ideas they’ve had.

Meet the Entrepreneurs

In addition to helping clients reach their financial goals, some in the advice industry face the challenge of running a business or a team. Others have started companies to support this pursuit. These young people are flourishing amid the balancing act — and some got an early start.

Meet the Visionaries

It’s not about what is, but what will be — and what can be — the future of the financial planning industry for this group of forward-looking advisers, educators and executives. Their insights pull the rest of the profession into the next stratum.

Meet the Idealists

Life experiences shape our ideals, especially for these young professionals who see challenges in the advice industry and the world — and set out to meet them. They also have words of wisdom for the next generation.

About Jason

Like many high school students, Jason Van Duyn was no big fan of algebra. But one day a substitute teacher captured the young man's imagination in that class by showing him a cost-of-waiting calculation. It showed specifically how much saving, instead of spending, is worth. The premise is simple and the mathematics compelling: save now, be wealthy later. That realization launched Mr. Van Duyn's career.

"People try to make it confusing, but it's a few very simple things," he said. "If you just follow these simple rules that anyone can follow, their lives will be dramatically better because they'll have a lot more money."

Mr. Van Duyn started his own firm, AQuest Wealth Strategies, an LPL Financial-affiliated firm, in Sterling Heights, Mich., in 2009 as the financial crisis weighed on the industry. He considers the timing propitious. After all, monkeys throwing darts at stock tables can pick winners in an up-market, but people really needed help during that once-in-a-lifetime market rout.

"When things are good, the monkeys don't need me, let alone human beings," he said.

Despite his admiration for the individualist writer Ayn Rand, the broker and adviser is a philanthropist. He said he's gone to a local Kmart and paid off the layaway accounts for every person with children's toys on their wish lists. The former math skeptic, now a candidate for a doctorate in business administration, has no trouble making calculations these days. He said making purchases on layaway is more responsible than using credit cards.

— Trevor Hunnicutt

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Fast Facts

  • Ideal dinner party guests: Alexander the Great, Milton Friedman and George Washington
  • Wanted to be a marine biologist in elementary school
  • Has a signed and framed picture of Sheldon, the character from TV's "The Big Bang Theory," hanging in his basement

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