Saving money isn’t always good for the bank account.
Sound counterintuitive? Perhaps, but Nick Arndt learned this lesson while working for an outdoor specialty store in Edwards, Colorado.
Arndt received a 50% employee discount that was sometimes too tempting to ignore. Though he could save $100 on a $200 pair of hiking boots, it didn’t change the fact he was still spending $100.
“You’re going broke saving money,” he joked.
More than a decade later, Arndt remains focused on finances – but on a much larger scale as a senior sales consultant with Transamerica’s Advanced Markets Group.
Arndt, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, tackles questions about estate planning, tax strategies, IRAs, RMDs, and countless other topics, but annuities prompt the most phone calls from Transamerica’s sales desk.
“Annuities can be complicated – not only for consumers, but for the advisors who don’t use them very much,” Arndt said. “Maybe they have a new client with an existing annuity contract. A lot of times, they want to know how it fits into the financial planning puzzle.”
It took some time for Arndt to find his own fit after earning his marketing degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. After visiting Colorado for snowboarding trips in high school and college, he joined some friends living in Vail and spent two years “enjoying the mountain life” waiting tables and working at Ptarmigan Sports.
Arndt moved to Denver in 2006 and “kind of stumbled into” financial services. He landed an internship with Jackson National and later joined Jackson’s annuity sales desk before returning to Vail to work for Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Advisors. After a year back in the mountains, he realized he missed the collaborative aspect of financial planning, and the siren song of the annuities desk led him to Transamerica.
“I loved the camaraderie of the sales desk and being able to bounce questions off people,” he said. “Not only that, but I enjoy talking with the advisors and building relationships with them. You might not see them face-to-face, but you get to know them on a personal level.”
Arndt takes a similar approach with Transamerica internal wholesalers, particularly those who are relatively new to financial services. When the phone rings, Arndt compares the ensuing conversations to a familiar scene from “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”
“I refer to Advanced Markets as a phone-a-friend lifeline,” he said. “I encourage a lot of the newer internal wholesalers to reach out if they have any questions about conversations with advisors or their own personal career path.”
Arndt credits his mom and dad for shaping his personal financial values. His mom, Evy, worked for West Bend Cookware for 40 years, and his dad, Bill, spent most of his career with the Gehl Company, a farm equipment manufacturer.
“My parents emphasized hard work, earning your money, and spending it wisely,” Arndt said. “A penny saved is a penny earned. I know it’s cliché but it’s something both of my parents instilled in me at a very young age.”
His love of the outdoors is also an inherited trait. Arndt was about 5 years old when he started fishing and hunting with his dad. Walleye, duck, quail, pheasant, turkey, and venison were among the items that found their way to the Arndt dinner table and into Nick’s lunch box.
“My parents packed me a lunch every morning for school,” he recalled. “I’d always have a venison sausage sandwich. Everyone at school would try to trade me for their processed ham or processed turkey.”
When providing for his family, Bill Arndt often reminded Nick that “you have to plan your hunt and hunt your plan.” It’s a mantra that can apply to financial professionals as they help clients create sound investment strategies.
Having a plan in place can make it easier to cope with the inevitable market fluctuations along the way.
“Everything in our industry is cyclical,” Arndt said. “Financial professionals have to have high emotional intelligence and stay even-keeled. You can’t get too high in the good times or too down in the bad times.”
The Advanced Markets Group has dozens of great resources that are often featured on New Age of Advice. Check back for more profiles on members of the team in the coming weeks.
Sr. Sales Consultant, Advanced Markets
Whether they’re discussing taxes, Social Security claiming strategies, or controlling the distribution of retirement assets, the nine members of Transamerica’s Advanced Markets Group have the knowledge and experience to help financial professionals deliver the best service to their clients.
Between them, they hold 13 CFP®, CLU®, and ChFC® certifications, two law degrees, one M.D., an MBA, and a master’s in law in taxation. But we want you to get to know the people behind the credentials.
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Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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