Matt Schafer

River scene

You might not expect an advisor to get behind the wheel of heavy machinery used for wildfire suppression, or to have a degree in animal science. But it’s exactly that unexpected mashup of two worlds – the outdoorsman connected to the land and the numbers guy connected to his clients – that helps Matt bring fresh perspective to complex financial matters.

His unconventional path – which, spoiler alert, does not include a stop at an Ivy League school – began at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, when he pursued the aforementioned animal science degree (in hindsight, he probably didn’t need to study so hard for that final exam on ruminant nutrition).

Degree in hand, he started trading commodities on the cash market for large agricultural and dairy companies. He learned risk management while dealing with notoriously volatile commodity prices, and realized his true calling in finance. In 1996, he made it official, joining A.G. Edwards as a financial advisor. He joined UBS in 2001, where he managed and developed the Cisco and Medtronic stock option program. Twenty-four years on, a decade of that with his independent practice, he is still pursuing the best interests of his clients with zeal. That includes poring over contracts for insurance and annuities and mapping out clients’ finances in great detail as part of his well-defined process.

River cattails

One of the first things you’ll notice about him is his straightforward style. He builds strong relationships with his clients through his pragmatic approach that is one part behavioral finance, three parts compassion. He spends as much time as it takes getting to know a new client because his recommendations are highly customized. “I place a lot of importance on knowing who you are because the investments are framed around that,” he says. He enjoys helping clients clarify and pursue their personal and financial goals, and the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Despite his love of rugged pursuits, such as hiking, fly fishing and shooting sporting clays, he is one of the most caring people around and believes that family is one’s true wealth (he’s married and has two children). He remains connected to his community and the land as a youth leadership development volunteer with 4-H, and as a volunteer wildfire heavy equipment operator working on direct and indirect fire suppression. Originally from California, Matt has lived in Massachusetts, Arizona, Oregon and Nevada.

“Advocating for my clients’ financial well-being is work worth doing.”

Matt Schafer