- Designed and built a solar generating system, and plans to build an electric car.
- Attended West Point, and studied military science.
- Met his wife Stephanie on eHarmony; they now have five children.
"I'm kind of a weird person," said Phil Ratcliff. "I like to learn, like practical applications that built this country, like to keep changing things."
One thing he wants to change is the way the financial planning industry supports national and community initiatives, and he's giving 15% "off the top" of his company's income to that end, he said.
Mr. Ratcliff founded rebel Financial Foundation, which supports his company's lobbying efforts to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.
"That's much more effective than just giving [those groups] the money," he said.
He also built a 501(c)3 organization, 4 Advisors, that matches people in the investment industry with peer advisers who help them set up their own businesses or make their firms work more efficiently. He said the idea for the organization, which so far has helped half-a-dozen advisers, was the direct result of unexpected challenges he had experienced when setting up his own company.
Mr. Ratcliff's Columbus, Ohio, firm, rebel Financial, seeks to help people who are often overlooked by the financial services industry.
"We're beyond helping rich people get richer," Mr. Ratcliff said. "We want to use the same approach with the middle class, advise people excluded from our industry. Our mission is to feel good about what we do."
Mr. Ratcliff is a certified financial planner and serves as government relations director for his local Financial Planning Association chapter.
— Dan Smith; Photo credit: Brad Trent