Jim Wyland, founder and president of WealthStone, was lucky to find his life’s work at age 21. He’s even luckier that more than 40 years later, he loves it even more.
“I think God’s hand has been on WealthStone and my life for a long time,” he says.
He’s so thankful, he doesn’t plan to retire. He wants to follow in the footsteps of Billy Graham, where you keep doing what you love and just scale it back as you get older.
“Why would you retire when you’re pretty good at doing what you’re doing? You’re getting better at it as time goes on. It energizes you. You love it. It fits your natural gifts,” Wyland says.
It was the influence of a few mentors that got him started on the journey to wealth management and business planning strategy. His next-door neighbor in Indianapolis, L.H. Bailey, who loaned Wyland his Cadillac to take to the senior prom, was an investment adviser who recommended a college major in finance and accounting.
“I was one of the rare people that came to college knowing what I was going to major in, knowing what I was going to be — and all because I had a really good mentor,” Wyland says.
As an athlete at The Ohio State University who played lacrosse, Wyland was introduced to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes by all-American quarterback Rex Kern, who was an older fraternity brother.
“That changed my paradigm to ‘I want to do well for Jim’ to ‘I want to do well for others. I want to make a difference.’ So, I caught this vision combination of ‘I want to be a wealth adviser, but also, I really want to do it as kind of a ministry, as a way to touch lives, make a difference,’” he says.
Wyland started in his professional career thanks to another mentor, George McCloy, who was a wealth adviser with an insurance focus and a fraternity alumnus.
“I really started my company my senior year of college and worked underneath George’s umbrella, we’ll call it, for a couple years and then just went on my own. So, I’ve always worked for myself; never worked for anybody else,” Wyland says.
Incorporated in 1977, the company was called Professional Planning Consultants. Wyland rebranded to WealthStone a decade ago, taking inspiration from its office — a stone mansion in Upper Arlington formerly owned by landlord Albert J. DeSantis.
Wyland started working with entrepreneurs who needed some basic planning and insurance. He stayed with many of those clients — and their families — as they built their wealth to also help them with their taxes, investments and more.
Relationships got Wyland started, and it’s been the key to both WealthStone’s success and some of its biggest mistakes.