For Jared Reynolds, you could say fishing is in his blood. The year he was born, his parents, Walt and Emily Reynolds, built the first marina on Truman Lake. Walt was a professional bass angler who fished the national B.A.S.S. tournament trail.
Jared, now 30, has parlayed that upbringing into a niche career as an independently certified financial planner to the fishing industry, he and his partner Carroll Wilkerson founded Wilkerson & Reynolds Wealth Management and aer licensed by Waddell & Reed Inc. at 200 East Southampton Drive.
“You could say I was born into the fishing world,” he said. He is the only financial adviser he knows of who specializes in serving the fishing industry.
“In the early days of the fishing industry, there wasn’t much money there. You had guys literally living out of their cars. Now it is following the lines of NASCAR, with sponsorships and corporations,” he said.
Money is flowing into the industry, and with that comes a need for personal wealth management and tax considerations, he said.
His clients include the bass fishing industry pioneers and icons such as Roland Martin and Jimmy Houston, who both have national television fishing shows and several sources of income, including their own product lines and product endorsements.
“The bigger names such as Martin and Houston are so busy that they do 180 to 200 personal appearances a year, film their TV shows and are on the road non-stop,” he said. “The tournament trail also is so competitive that it requires the focus of participants. It’s a great value to them to pick up the phone, and I know absolutely everything that is going on in their financial world.”
It takes a great deal of money to fish professionally, he said.
“There are a lot of successful business owners who fish in bass tournaments, and these are our bread and butter clients. Our two specialties here are custom design of qualified retirement plans and personal wealth management for those in the fishing industry,” he said.
Last year was devastating for the fishing industry, especially for boat sales. When the credit markets froze, the boat market seized up. Many companies withdrew sponsorships, he said.
This year has seen a turnaround. “Everybody who is not dealing with the boating industry is going gangbusters,” he said.
Higher unemployment is something that adds to the comeback of the fishing industry, he said. “Unemployed people have time on their hands, and, even on an unemployment check, if you have most of the gear, you are going to go fishing, maybe buy a new lure or a new rod,” he said.
Manufacturers have dropped making top line gear and are concentrating on mid-priced products, he said.
Jared says he fishes when he gets the chance. “Fishing is my golf,” he said. He is licensed to practice in 16 states, and many client appointments are conducted while fishing. “Once you are out in a boat fishing, there’s nothing else to do but converse,” he said. “Fishing is a passion for prospecting.”
His mother and brother manage the Osage Bluff Marina. Reynolds, a 2002 MU graduate, is married to Nikki Reynolds (2009 CBT Young Entrepreneur of the Year).