"[Family money troubles

in childhood] made

me want to get into

financial planning."

Reese%20Veltenaar

Reese Veltenaar

Reese Veltenaar38

Partner, Acumen Wealth Advisors

Fast Facts

  • Wanted to be an astronaut growing up.
  • Favorite city: Munich during Oktoberfest.
  • Studying to get his pilot's license.

Financial troubles experienced by Reese Veltenaar and his mother during his youth inspired the Phoenix native to pursue a career as a financial planner.

At the suggestion of a financial adviser, Mr. Veltenaar's mother invested a large chunk of her money in technology stocks in the late 1990s. When the dot-com bubble burst, his mother, a single mom, was left with nearly nothing.

"That made me want to get into financial planning," he said.

A University of Florida graduate, Mr. Veltenaar co-founded Acumen Wealth Advisors in 2012 at the age of 33, after having worked his way through the ranks of a local bank in Chattanooga, Tenn. His firm now manages $145 million in client assets.

Mr. Veltenaar has volunteered for the past decade at Hospice of Chattanooga, a nonprofit organization that, in addition to bereavement counseling, provides roughly $1 million in annual patient care for families who don't have insurance or the ability to pay for hospice care. He's currently chairman of the board.

Mr. Veltenaar is studying to get his pilot's license and has taken to flying to client meetings with an instructor on occasion, depending on the weather and distance, to log in some flight time toward his license.

"I'm knocking two birds out with one stone," he said. "I've always loved flying."

– Greg Iacurci

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