Industry Start Date: 1993
KAR Start Date: 2004
Education: B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University (awarded the Cornell Tradition Fellowship for leadership and academic achievement and played varsity football)
Credentials: Certified Private Wealth Advisor®
Spuds is ranked #1 on Barron’s Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors list. This is the fifth year that Spuds has been ranked #1 (2017-2020, 2022) and the tenth year that Spuds has been ranked in the top 10 (2013-2022). He is also ranked on Forbes’ list of the Top 250 Wealth Advisors for the third straight year, and he has been named a Five Star Wealth Manager by Los Angeles Magazine, a designation awarded to wealth managers who scored highest in overall satisfaction, for the last eleven years since 2012. Spuds was recognized as a 2022 Banking & Finance Visionary by the L.A. Times B2B Publishing and a 2022 Leader of Influence for Wealth Management by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Spuds is a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® professional and he formerly served on the Fidelity Wealth Advisor Solutions® Client Advisory Council. In addition, Spuds is a frequent public speaker and has been quoted in the Wall St. Journal, Barron’s, Investment News, Investors’ Business Daily, Wealthmanagement.com, Forbes, and ThinkAdvisor.
Prior to Joining KAR:
Spuds worked as the National Mid-Plan Sales Manager for Financial Engines, a firm founded by Nobel Laureate, Dr. William Sharpe, to provide institutional-quality investment advice to millions of investors. Before working at Financial Engines, Spuds was a Retirement Plan Consultant for Retirement Plan Strategies, after spending the first four years of his career in a variety of roles at Franklin Templeton Funds.
When Not in the Office:
Spuds strives to have a balanced life and spend as much time as possible with his family. He married his high school sweetheart, Ann and they have four children; Emmet, Mary Clare, Finn and Margot. The Powells support The Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, St. Thomas the Apostle School, Westcoast Sports Associates, the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation and Loyola High School, among other organizations. Spuds enjoys playing sports and cooking and is a loyal fan of the San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Notre Dame Football.
What Do You Enjoy Most About Your Job?
Spuds feel very lucky to do what he does and there’s a lot about it that he enjoys. The most rewarding aspect is developing very close, personal and trusting relationships with his clients. He loves putting in the time and effort necessary to truly understand what they’re trying to accomplish with their wealth and developing a customized investment strategy to help them achieve that financial peace of mind that they’re looking for.
What Do You Enjoy Most About Working at KARWA?
Spuds loves working with so many amazing people! Our firm prides itself on having a corporate culture built on integrity, honesty and trustworthiness and the people here walk that walk. They’re very smart, experienced, friendly, warm and willing to help each other and our clients. Spuds feels grateful to be able to work with them.
How Does KARWA Approach Wealth Management Differently?
We have a proven ability to play great defense and protect our clients’ wealth during difficult markets. One of the ways we have had success in this area is through the utilization of asset classes that perform differently from equities and fixed income, what we refer to as alternative investments. One of the few guarantees in our industry is that there will be periods when the stock market does poorly. By allocating a portion of our clients’ wealth to assets that perform well during those periods when equities struggle, we can generate better performance with less risk than many of the firms in our industry.
Another thing that Spuds appreciates about KAR is that we manage the wealth of our senior investment professionals and principals. He’s always very proud to tell prospective clients and existing clients that we are a classic example of a firm that “eats its own cooking” by investing alongside clients in the same portfolios.
What Do You Hope to Achieve For Your Clients?
Spuds strives to provide clients with financial peace of mind, the notion that with the investment strategy that we’ve implemented for them, they’ll never have to worry about money again.