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2018 BEST Wealth Management Firm: JDH Wealth Managment

Author: Bo Kearns
May, 2018 Issue

“When we first meet with clients, we encourage them to talk about their goals and values. It’s a discovery process.”—Matt Delaney, managing partner

Building trust, guiding investment behavior and educating clients is what JDH Wealth Management is all about. Founded by Tim Delaney in 1999, JDH manages more than a quarter billon dollars in assets. Matt Delaney, managing partner joined his father in 2005 following the time he spent as a financial consultant with Smith Barney.

“When we first meet with clients, we encourage them to talk about their goals and values. It’s a discovery process,” Matt says. “Today, people lead busy lives and often don’t have much time for reflection.” The firm’s 110 clients span generations with ages ranging from the mid-20s to its oldest client who is 96. Most live in the San Francisco Bay area and Southern California, though some clients live in other parts of the country. Referrals come from existing clients, certified public accountant firms and attorneys. The minimum investable asset requirement for individuals and families is $1 million. “There’s a lot of noise and volatility in the markets these days. Often investors get nervous and are prone to make decisions based on emotions. That’s not good,” says Matt. “We spend a lot of time educating clients, so they can better comprehend trends.” JDH specializes in working to maintain a client’s assets. The focus is on protecting wealth accumulated over a lifetime. The firm also helps business owners’ transition from a rewarding career to a well-deserved retirement.

Managing corporate 401(k) plans represents 30 percent of JDH business. In these plans, savings are made easy. Amounts are automatically deducted from an employee’s paycheck and grow tax-deferred, or tax-free if a Roth 401(k) is elected. The savings accumulated are usually drawn down at retirement. “The 401(k) market became dominated by large financial services companies, many of which charged high fees with little participant interaction,” says Matt. “It doesn’t have to be that way. Plans can meet the needs of the company sponsor and participant, and in a cost effective manner.”

In their 401(k) managed plans, JDH works with the company’s employees, helping them understand their retirement picture. “We educate them on the importance of saving for retirement,” Matt says. “With the uncertainties of Social Security, contributing to a 40I (k) is even more important.” Matt learned Spanish in high school during a mission trip to Costa Rica and in college he spent semesters abroad in Barcelona and Buenos Aires. His Spanish fluency enables him to give 401(k) presentations in Spanish and English. This is helpful for many of the firm’s 401(k) corporate sponsors with Hispanic employees—particularly those in the wine and agricultural industries.

Giving back to the community is an important part of the JDH culture, and this is reflected in the Delaneys’ personal lives. Matt is active in the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa West where he served as president from 2014-2015. Tim is also a pilot, and is active with Angel Flight West, a nonprofit organization providing transportation for children and adults with serious medical conditions.

This year, the company plans to expand and bring in another portfolio advisor to help met the growing needs of the business. “We’re tremendously proud to receive the Best Wealth Management Company Award,” Matt says. “It’s quite an honor.”


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