Michelle Lee Wagner Financial Advisor in Tempe AZ

Michelle Lee Wagner

Michelle Lee Wagner – Financial Advisor in Tempe AZ

I am always fascinated by advisors who have distinctive branding, whether on their own website, or on their social media pages. This interview is with Michelle Lee Wagner, CFP ®, an advisor in Tempe AZ. She works with a unique target market, as you will see on her website and she has a very interesting story to tell about her practice.


Name: Michelle Lee Wagner, CFP ®

Company Name: Maxima Wealth Management

Website: http://maximawealth.com/

Blog: http://maximawealth.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleLeeWagnerMaximaWealth/

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-lee-wagner-mba-cfp%C2%AE-04b689b/



Q — Please give us the background on how you got started in financial services.

Michelle – After I received my BS in Economics I sought a career in financial investments. My first job was with Fidelity Investments and I’ve always considered that experience as my “boot camp” to the financial services industry. In 2001 I set out to realize my goals and took the opportunity to become an Independent Financial Advisor by opening up my own firm.


Q – How did you come up with your company name?

Michelle — I wanted the name of my company to speak to my clients, but I also wanted it to speak to me. I reached deep down inside and realized I wanted the name to illustrate my legacy. A big part of one’s legacy is one’s surname, mine being Wagner. But it also includes intangible gifts left by those who are no longer with us such as, experiences, memories and character.

When I was a teenager, my mother passed away. I learned a lot through this experience and it played into my overall development. I wanted to take the opportunity of naming my company to honor that legacy, to honor my mom. Her name was Maxine, so I set out to incorporate her name into the legacy I was creating. The ancient Roman form of Maxine is Maxima and it means the greatest.

I knew I wanted the name to describe what I do. As I thought of all the possible descriptive company names, I chose Wealth Management. To me, the word “wealth” speaks to abundance and prosperity and many times refers to material goods. It was my intent to choose words that illustrate both physical and abstract ideas.

And so, the name of my company became: Maxima Wealth Management.


Q – Who is your favorite type of client?

Michelle – My ideal clients are committed to improving their quality of life, they appreciate my effort to work their investment plan, they are willing to take my professional advice and take action. They enjoy the Client Service Experience with Maxima Wealth Management, are committed to being engaged in the financial planning process, and eagerly refer like-minded clients to me.


Q — How do you define success?

Michelle – My idea of success has evolved over the years which I am sure is expected. In the past I measured my success by accomplishments or other quantitative metrics. But now I recognize it is much more of a holistic view. Success to me is to have contentment in life. I measure success with the love and support I receive and the positive impact I have on others.


Q- What book has inspired you the most?

Michelle – The book that has inspired me the most is The Tao of Pooh, by Benjamin Hoff. This book is a creative way of discussing the philosophy of Taoism. Taoism is simply a particular way of appreciating, learning from, and working with whatever happens in everyday life. It is believed that the natural result of this balanced way of living is contentment.


Q – Why are you passionate about wealth management?

Michelle – I love wealth management and being a financial advisor because I love helping people. It also allows me to implement my analytical and planning skills with my knowledge and love of economics. Guiding a client in the development and implementation of their personal financial plan is very satisfying especially when my client’s level of anxiety is reduced or eliminated because of the work we did together.


Q – What is the secret to your success?

Michelle – I attribute my success to hard work and being genuine and transparent. My clients sense this authenticity and appreciate my comprehensive approach to organizing their financial life. I know I’ve been successful when I receive a referral from my clients because it means they see the value of working with me.


Q – What is it about you that makes you a great leader? I understand you are also a military reservist. Can you tell us about that?

Michelle – My personal leadership philosophy comes from my desire to be a leader with “high-trust”. I define “high-trust” as one with high character and competence. I consider my style of leadership to be what is called servant leadership. This type of leader helps people develop and perform to the best of their ability, reaching heights they had never thought possible.

Yes, I have been in the Air Force Reserves since 1987. I joined with a very specific plan – learn a marketable skill and obtain the benefit of the GI Bill to pay for my college education. But many times, the original plan bears more benefits than first thought. I found that I really enjoyed being a part of something bigger than me.

I have been so fortunate in the military. I started as a Medical Administrative Specialist in the lowest rank and have since gone through the ranks to Colonel. I am now the Commander of the 452d Aerospace Medicine Squadron, the Air Force Reserve’s largest clinic, serving more than 3,500 personnel at March Air Reserve Base, California.

My Air Force career has introduced me to such a wide variety of people, experiences, and ideas. I am so thankful for it all.


Q – Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Michelle – I see myself continuing to seek opportunities to serve my clients better. I want to continue to offer my services to new clients, as well, and to mentor new advisors. I also want to continue to give back whether it’s through my military commitment or with my local community.


To learn more about Michelle and her services, please visit her website: http://MaximaWealth.com.


7 Ways to Take Control of Your Practice Today

Take ControlAre you getting through the week by the skin of your teeth? Is there just enough time to get through paperwork, put out fires, tackle email, meet with clients, and before you know it, it’s the end of the week? If so, your business is running you ragged.

Successful financial advisors learn to take control of their practice through the use of a model work week and good business practices.

Only a small percentage of advisory firms will ever take control of their long term destiny. This is because many advisors don’t think of their practice like a business. It could also be because they haven’t had positive role models or mentors to guide them. Or it could be that they just have not been educated on what it means to create long term success in an advisory firm.

Here are three truths:

  1. You own your practice.
  2. You have the ability to make your practice work for you.
  3. The only thing stopping you is YOU.

Oh I know some of you will say “But Suzanne, I have work to do and little time to concentrate on anything other than what comes up daily.”

Moving beyond where you are today means taking the time to plan out what needs to happen. My most successful clients understand that it takes time and effort to build a financially successful endeavor, however, many advisors could use tips on how to do this.

Throughout the years I have compiled a list of best practices for use in growing at a faster rate. This list can be used as mid-year planning or end-of-year planning.


7 signs that you are not in control of your practice and what you can do about it:

1. You have only enough time to get through the week – create a daily and weekly success schedule and follow it

2. You don’t spend time THINKING about the bigger Vision of where you want your business to go – write a Business Plan and block time to strategize monthly if not weekly

3. You have no time for marketing, writing, and creativity – just do it! Block time to write and be creative. This is the way to set your firm apart from the competition.

4. You don’t create daily and weekly priorities – create a model work week and list of the top 5 priorities of the week every Monday morning and make sure you complete them

5. You don’t have a weekly staff meeting – commit to success – create a standard agenda, assign a person to run the meeting, and end every meeting with action items. No truly effective meeting ends without action.

6. You don’t have sufficient staffing to run your practice – decide where your bottlenecks are, commit to change, and create a job description to ease them

7. Make a plan to move your practice forward – efficiency equals success. Excellent service equals achievement. Determination is the great motivator.


The good news is that getting the results you want is possible. You didn’t get where you are overnight so you won’t get where you want to go quickly. The best thing you can do is commit to incremental change and work on your practice over time.

To learn more about taking control of your practice, request a consultation.

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