bill_schultheisLet’s face it: Whether you are the CEO of a multinational company or the CEO of a company called You Inc., we are all caught up in the process of getting on with our lives and trying to make a difference in our careers, our companies, and our communities.

Somewhere along this journey we need to start planning for another phase of our lives, and that is where I come in. This column will help you take charge of your financial resources so you have enough wealth to sustain you during the 30-year period of unemployment called retirement.

Fifteen years ago, I stepped away from a career as a stockbroker for a major Wall Street firm and created The Coffeehouse Investor concept, writing a book with the same title in the midst of the red-hot dot-com market of the late 1990s.

I created the concept with my seven brothers and sisters in mind. Like you, they are consumed by a passion for their careers and a commitment to their families and communities. And they are absorbed with giving it their all in an effort to make today count.

Amid these challenges of making it through each day, all of us face the challenge of saving enough money and investing it wisely enough to sustain us through retirement.

This responsibility has evolved over the past 30 years as corporations began replacing defined benefit (pension) plans with defined contribution (self-directed) plans. In a nutshell, the burden of funding your retirement began to shift away from corporations and onto your shoulders.

The immediate benefit of owning low-cost index funds is that it increases your chances of capturing the entire return of each asset class within your portfolio.

The not-so-obvious benefit is that it allows you the opportunity to focus on the other two principles — asset allocation and savings, the two components that are essential to your financial success and are in your complete control.

My goal is help you move away from the empty promises of Wall Street by showing you that the financial issues that matter most are not spread out across the globe; they are presented to you in the choices you make in your everyday lives.

From an investing standpoint, trying to keep up with the dynamics of change within companies and economies is a meaningless endeavor that is counterproductive to building wealth.

From a career standpoint, trying to keep up with the dynamics of change is what business is all about. It is about maximizing your own creativity to bring your own talents and gifts to the forefront of a world that is hungry for the same.

I know this to be true because I have been intimately involved in the growth of two thriving businesses on the Eastside over the past 15 years. To make sure these businesses continue to grow in today’s marketplace requires everything I’ve got. I can’t afford to spend needless mental energy on the short-term direction of stocks and bonds to reach my financial goals. And neither can you.

Each month, I will discuss the nitty-gritty of portfolio management and your financial future. The time is now for you to build wealth, ignore Wall Street, and get on with your life.

Bill Schultheis is the author of “The Coffeehouse Investor” and is a regular on NPR. He is a partner with Soundmark Wealth Management in Kirkland. Follow Schultheis’ column at