Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas
2 min read August 2021 — The uncertainty of the pandemic has pushed financial services to new heights, with individual investors and business owners looking to either shield themselves from risks or capitalize on available opportunities. Steve Dziuk, president of Mesquite Wealth Management Group, paints the picture of San Antonio’s financial advisory landscape in an interview with Invest:.
What were Mesquite Wealth Management Group’s main takeaways from the past year?
A lot of the clients that we deal with are business owners and C-suite executives. Several had plans of retiring at some point in the future. We have seen an acceleration in that because of people just being burned out and stressed out from the events of the last year and a half. There is a significant uptick in people transitioning out of business or selling businesses and accelerating their plans. People are in the middle of reprioritizing their lives and putting things into perspective from a quality of life standpoint as opposed to monetary considerations.
On the flip side, we’re dealing with a lot of clients who are in acquisition mode. Over the last 10 years, San Antonio has gone through quite a bit of a transformation. A lot of that has had to do with the energy industry moving into South Texas, with the emergence of fracking and shale plays, such as the Eagle Ford Shale. There was considerable movement of energy companies from Houston that have established a major presence in San Antonio, which has translated into a big boom for the city. We are also seeing a good presence of biotech and healthcare consolidating in the area. With those developments comes the next generation of business owners and entrepreneurs with an appetite to acquire businesses and advance their own personal agendas. We are working with our clients to ensure their financial position, acting as their financial therapists all while keeping them grounded and laser-focused on their goals and plans. Markets change but your plans should not.
What is your take on commission-free stock trading and investing apps?
Online platforms that have gone to zero cost trades encourage people to trade but the problem is education. It has become a game, to some extent. It’s always fun when you’re winning but there is always a loser too. That’s the downside. It’s always good to have that education and get your feet wet. It encourages savings and investment. Those are all positive things. The problem is they are getting too aggressive, thinking that it’s easy and that you can make money. You can but there is risk. Any time you make easy money, there is a big risk inherent to it. That is the part that we do not think some of the online sources vet properly.
Whenever the stock market is on a consistent upward trajectory, people always question the need for an adviser. Our business usually increases whenever the market goes down because all of a sudden people realize it’s not as straightforward as they thought. Part of it is human emotion at its core. It’s just a herd mentality for lack of a better term. Everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon when things go up. When they come crashing down, everyone wants to jump off.
What core tenets do you stick to when advising your clients on how to successfully manage their assets for the long term?
It starts with having a goal and a plan. Once we get that vision of the end result, we try to put costs around it. We can calculate what our clients need in order to get to their goals. The assumptions that we use are not 8 or 10%. The numbers will be in the 5 and 6% range as far as rates of return, depending on your risk tolerance. We also lean heavily on flexibility, capitalizing on the surpluses the market provides to either increase the end goal or retire sooner. Asset allocation is a key part of that. We manage from a risk aspect, not just through a return lens. We get our clients to where they want to be with a high probability of success using that strategy.
What is your outlook for your own organization and the wealth management sector in the San Antonio area?
We’re seeing much more activity. Hiring is picking up. I have hired two people in the last 12 months. That trickles down to all the other businesses in the area. The IT industry, healthcare services and biotech are picking up in the area as well. Cybersecurity is also big in San Antonio. It’s one of the newer industries. Many people are moving here for quality of life and are still working remotely. While we are not sure how remote work will play out going forward, employers here in the San Antonio area are in the midst of trying to figure out how to fill their ranks.
We see substantial growth going forward in San Antonio. If we can get some of the issues ironed out with the housing segment, such as materials and supply chain disruptions, and if interest rates stay low, the setup is there for continued growth. We are managing about $500 million of assets at Mesquite Wealth Management. Our target is to grow our revenue at 20% per year and we’ve achieved that goal. We’re still in growth mode, so to speak, and most of our clients come to us by referral. There is significant opportunity for us to continue to meet those numbers.
For more information, visit: https://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/team/mesquite-wealth-management-group/