What do you enjoy most about wealth management?
I really like the way trusting friendships develop over time. I get to use my experience and creative abilities to improve the lives of clients, which brings me great satisfaction.
What’s the biggest challenge?
For me, it is staying on top of changing technology and too many passwords needed for multiple devices.
What quality of yours makes you best suited to what you do?
I love the whole financial planning and money management process. I have always wanted to be financially successful and help others toward that goal. I am good at asking questions in order to get to important life issues.
How should people think about their wealth?
Each of us has to learn to be content with what God has given us in all aspects of life.
What do you love to do outside of work?
I love to play tennis (exercise and competition); cook and enjoy good food with a glass of wine; read the Bible and wonder at God’s amazing love. I also like to walk with my wife Bonnie of 52 years, stay in touch with our extended family, and garden.
What would you be doing if you weren’t working for Aspiriant?
I would still be taking care of my clients for Stanford Investment Group.
I was an owner in a small business for most of my career — over 40 years. First, I was one of four partners who started a communications company in the late sixties, which was acquired by a large public company in the early seventies. Then, after seven years of indoctrination into financial planning, I was fortunate to be able to found Stanford Investment Group with Bob Gee, who remained my partner for nearly 30 years.
What was the most influential book you’ve read and why?
It is hands down the Bible. It shows me who I am, and who I endeavor to be.
- B.S., Industrial Distribution, Clarkson University
With more than 40 years of working in the changing financial industry, Don brings a unique perspective to the Aspiriant team. His depth of experience with the markets and knowledge of alternative investments contribute to the success of the clients he serves.
Don joined Aspiriant through the merger with Stanford Investment Group, an independent wealth management firm he cofounded in 1982 in California’s Silicon Valley. SIG is not Don’s first success story. At age 30, he and his partners had already sold a small communications business they cofounded to a public company. After 10 years of competing in the telephone industry, he searched for the next professional challenge and entered financial services by joining a small broker-dealer in 1973. At SIG, he was instrumental in the growth and success of the company and presided as President from 1998 to 2004.
Don holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution from Clarkson University. When he’s not helping clients with their financial needs or enjoying his family, Don devotes his time to Bible study, gardening, playing doubles tennis and acting as an advisor to his church’s Elder Board.