Tyson Jon Ray, founding partner of FORM Wealth Advisors, likes to say that his full-service financial firm gives clients “three advisors for the price of one.”
“We like to say we serve as a teacher, coach and advocate for our clients,” he says.
A teacher, Ray explains, educates so the client is better positioned to make good financial decisions. A coach creates the plan and helps hold the client accountable to their stated goals. And an advocate encourages the client to reach for his or her best life, and then celebrates the achievement of that goal.
Ray is FORM Wealth’s CEO, a firm now managing $300 million in assets for clients and their families in Southeast Wisconsin. Ray’s business partner and co-founder, Luke Kuchenberg, who serves as FORM Wealth’s chief operating officer, has been Ray’s best friend since the two were in the sixth grade at Woods School in Lake Geneva. With over 20 years of experience and working out of their office at 431 Geneva National Avenue South, Ray and Kuchenberg employ a staff of eight, including three Certified Financial Planners™, to help serve their client relationships.
Before teaching, coaching and advocacy can begin, Ray says that FORM Wealth’s financial planners spend time getting to know their clients and what’s most important to them.
Many clients come in with three to five years left before retirement, according Founding partners of FORM Wealth Advisors, Tyson Jon Ray & Luke Kuchenberg FORM Wealth Advisors office in Geneva National to Ray. They’re looking for a financial advisor they can trust to help them plan for the years they won’t be working.
The name of the firm, FORM, is very intentional in helping guide those client discussions. Conversations start by talking about a client’s family, their occupations, the recreations they pursue and lastly about the mission they wish to live out in their retirement.
A FORM Wealth advisor then walks the client through a planning exercise to help breathe life into their goals and also explore the concerns they may be thinking about in the journey ahead.
After those in-depth discussions, an advisor can then begin to create a plan that not only illustrates where the client stands today, but also the probability of reaching those stated goals for their future. Should there be a gap or shortfall in that plan, the advisor will then review recommendations to help the client see how they may get back on track.
While many people think of financial advising in terms of investments, Ray says that four out of five clients have planning they should address before they discuss their investments. That might include a discussion on paying down debt, or how an update to the client’s estate plan would be the best first step.
For those who want assistance, FORM Wealth offers help with cash and liability management, insurance, investments, and retirement, tax and estate planning.
“We can help in all aspects of our clients’ financial lives. We exist to help make their life better,” Ray says.
The planning gets down to the fine details. They even record the mileage on their clients’ cars. According to Ray, people have a pattern for how often they replace their vehicles. Knowing that pattern helps us create a plan to pay for their next car.
For the past three years, Ray has been named to the Forbes list of Best-in-State wealth advisors, an award that Ray calls “a pretty special thing.”
He believes that the ways in which FORM Wealth does business sets his company apart from other firms.
FORM Wealth does not require a minimum portfolio value in order to be served by the company, nor does it sell financial products for a firm or bank. Furthermore, employees are paid a salary, rather than on commission. Compensation comes from an advisory fee that clients pay.
“We always want to do what’s best for the people sitting across from us,” Ray says. “By being focused on that, good things will happen.”
By Susan W. Murray