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Independent Advice

to help navigate life's journey


At Everest Wealth Management we provide comprehensive, fee-only wealth management services, integrating financial planning and investment management, to a limited number of qualified individuals.  We help our clients accumulate, grow, protect, enjoy and transfer their wealth, allowing them to focus on other things in life such as family, friends, career, physical health, spirituality and the enjoyment of life.  Our clients experience peace of mind, knowing they have partnered with a qualified professional to help them with life’s financial decisions and ongoing investment management. 

We differentiate ourselves through our qualifications and fee-only compensation, enabling us to provide high-quality, objective, comprehensive advice.  Our firm is not affiliated with any entities that sell financial products or securities and we do not accept any commissions, sales loads, or referral fees.  All we sell is our time and our knowledge.  

As our clients’ trusted financial guide, we help them navigate their life journeys by being their first contact whenever they confront life’s financial decisions.  We are committed to responding with answers or advice on the best course of action within 24 hours.

Our clients typically:

  • Have $1 million in investment assets
  • Hire us because they lack at least one of three things - time, interest, or knowledge to manage their own financial affairs
  • Are seeking a trusted advisor to help with life's decisions and attain their aspirations

We do this full time, have a passion for what we do, and have the education, experience, and credentials necessary to do it well.  Most of us seek a qualified individual to help with our physical health. Why should one's financial health be any different?

We offer a no-obligation, complementary consultation to assess the fit between your needs and our services.  We invite you to learn more about our firm by exploring this website or by contacting us.

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Everest Advantage

‘Trust’ is typically the #1 priority for individuals seeking an advisor. We believe we earn the trust of prospective and existing clients through our Qualifications and Objectivity.

  • Education, Experience, and Credentials are critical to providing sound financial advice and proficiency with investing.  
  • CFA, CFP, CPA, MBA, and 26 years of real, professional investment experience equip us to effectively evaluate the risk/reward tradeoff of a broad range of investments and to help clients with financial issues and coordination of affairs.  CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) is a challenging program, requiring a deep understanding of investments.  Many 'financial advisors' are not able to effectively evaluate risks of individual investment offerings and manage portfolio risk.  Fewer than 10% of financial advisors and fewer than 30% of mutual fund portfolio managers have earned the CFA designation.  Education and credentials demonstrate some level of intelligence and motivation, but must be married with experience to get results.  Book-smarts and street-smarts are both required for success.  Street-smarts comes from years in the markets, buying and selling investments, learning from successes and failures along the way.  
  • Comprehensive wealth management services (retirement, tax, estate, insurance, and employee benefits planning) are covered by your investment management fee.  We are our clients’ one-stop shop for financial advice.
  • Unique investment approach
  • No conflicts of interest ensure no doubts on objectivity.
  • Independence ensures we can pursue any investment for our clients where we deem risk/reward as attractive; we are not limited to the ‘company’ list where other firms may receive kickbacks from the issuers for ‘selling’ deals.  Independence also means more checks and balances, whereby client assets are held by a custodian unaffiliated with Everest, where clients can view their accounts at any time.   
  • Fee-only fee structure ensures objectivity in our recommendations.  Clients never doubt our advice is intended solely for our clients' best interests
  • Eat our own cooking; we participate in private deals we recommend to clients, for which we are eligible
  • When our clients call, they speak to the advisor they hired.
  • Limited number of clients - 60-70 currently.  We know our clients situations well.  We have no intention of adding advisors or junior professionals, offloading work so we can make more money.  We enjoy what we do – working with clients and managing investment portfolios.  Many advisors are seeking to grow their businesses and clients often don’t get who they initially hired.
  • Continuity of advisor - John Seitzer intends to do this 25+ years for Everest.  It is his company and he's not going anywhere.  Everest works with another advisor down the hall with a similar investing background.  Although legally separate companies, we work together throughout the day doing due diligence on private deals and discussing portfolio allocations.
  • Competitive fee structure
  • Well-respected in the community

We have acquired several clients from the big brokerage firms, including Wells Fargo, Merrill Lynch, and Morgan Stanley. These clients left the big brokers because they were never comfortable their advisors were acting in their best interest at all times, as evidenced by the many lawsuits these firms continually face. These large firms make money from client relationships well beyond just the advisor fees and clients are never fully aware of these conflicts of interest (largely because these brokerage firms have successfully lobbied congress to be excluded from having to disclose them).  Some clients became frustrated with advisor turnover at these firms.  Additionally, some clients fled these large brokerage firms in disgust with the 2009 taxpayer-funded bailouts.  

Other clients have come to us from other independent advisors, in search of an advisor that could provide comprehensive advice and that offered an alternative to riding the roller-coaster of buy-and-hold investing, something investors could do on their own, and that is focused on achieving their life goals. 

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Your Firm

John D. Seitzer is the President and Founder of Everest Wealth Management, a premier financial planning and investment management firm. After seeing the need for independent financial advisors with extensive investment experience, John founded his company to pursue his passion of helping individuals achieve their financial goals. He believes he is differentiated through his qualifications, objectivity, and comprehensive financial advisory services, as well as through his investment management approach - more active asset allocation, value/contrarian approach, and a broader opportunity set, including private investments and alternatives.

Everest's Investment Approach

  • Active asset allocation  - we proactively adjust out clients's portfolio allocations between stocks, bonds, real estate, equipment leasing, energy, etc., based on relative attractiveness of each category.  This approach contrasts with most other advisors that maintain a static allocation (i.e. 70/30 stocks/bonds).  We believe prices can stray well above or below fair market value, creating opportunities for active asset allocation.
  • Value focused - price paid is the key to long-term returns.  As such, we seek investments where and when we believe expected return is sufficient in relation to risk.  There are times when risky investments are cheap and should be owned and there are times when they are expensive and risks outweighs expected return.  In baseball terms, we are not compelled to swing at every pitch.    
  • Contrarian - we seek to take advantage of other investors' fear and greed, effectively going against the herd.  We adjust portfolios to increase exposure to risk in times of market fear and decrease in times of complacency.
  • Inclusion of alternative investments - investments less correlated with bonds and stocks improve a portfolio's overall risk/reward profile. Many advisors strictly use stocks and bonds, and those that are venturing into alternative investments are often not equipped to evaluate risk.
  • Access to private deals - generally, private deals provide an illiquidity premium, meaning investors should expect higher returns in exchange for their inability to turn around and sell them.  This illiquidity premium varies over time so our exposure to private deals varies.  Our background has prepared us well to evaluate such deals.
  • Discriminating with regard to private investment fees - we determine whether the investment manager's value-add justifies the fees and whether fee incentives are aligned with investor returns.  Many private funds, such as private equity and hedge funds, have smart men and women running them, but the fees are either too high or incentives are misaligned with investors, such that the only winner is the fund manager and not the investors.  Similar to our value approach with investing, we closely evaluate what we are getting for what we are paying.
  • Fee-conscious in traditional stock and bond sectors - we use  low-fee products where and when deemed appropriate, looking to maximize after-tax, after-fee returns to clients.  John Seitzer managed mutual funds for 11 years and understands where fees should be paid for value-add.  Often, investors pay 1%+ mutual fund fees and get little in return for that.  We believe investors are better-served allocating their fees to a competent advisor for active asset allocation and portfolio construction, including use of alternatives.

Investment Approach Explained

Everest applies a contrarian/value approach when managing clients’ portfolios, which is probably best articulated by Warren Buffet, Be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Successful investors are buying after prices have fallen and others are fearful, and selling after prices have risen and others are complacent.  As a contrarian, Everest is effectively going against the herd.  This approach makes perfect sense to most rational people, but most are not able to execute the strategy in the heat of the moment, when emotions take over.  It’s lonely outside the herd, but applying a disciplined contrarian approach is more rewarding over time.  

Markets have always been cyclical with investors' emotions of fear and greed driving prices to extremes.  As such, bubbles and busts have occurred in markets for centuries, each one on the premise that this time is different.  In fact, the scientist responsible for the laws of gravity, Sir Isaac Newton, was sucked into the speculative foray of the South Sea Bubble of 1720, that for a time seemed to defy gravity.  In the end, gravity always rules.  Greed is an amazing phenomenon, clouding judgment of even one of the smartest people on the planet.  The allure of easy money can be intoxicating.  Greed can lead otherwise rational people to overlook downside risks in hopes of making more money.  Gluttony might be the better term - those unwilling to call it a night and stick around for one more round at the bar.  Having too much to drink, gluttony, causes people to lose sight of good judgement.  Even the most intelligent people can become not so intelligent investors when they allow greed and the irrationality of the crowd to overwhelm their reason.  Benjamin Graham, considered the godfather of value investing, mentor to Warren Buffet, and author of The Intelligent Investor, stated "Even the intelligent investor is likely to need considerable willpower to keep from following the crowd.  For indeed, the investor's chief problem, and even his worst enemy, is likely to be himself.  Individuals who cannot master their emotions are ill-suited to profit from the investment process."

Investment Approach Further Explained

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Your Advisor

John D. Seitzer, CFA, CFP, MBA founded Everest Wealth Management in 2004, but John has worked in the financial industry since 1989, including over 11 years for a leading mutual fund company where he was Vice President and Portfolio Manager. Prior to this, he was a Senior Tax Specialist with a large, international accounting firm.

John graduated magna cum laude from Kansas State University with a dual major in finance and accounting. Additionally, he obtained his MBA from Indiana University, a top-ten MBA program as designated by BusinessWeek magazine at that time, with an emphasis in finance and investments.  He graduated in the top 10% of his class.

In addition to extensive education and experience, John has achieved the designations of Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Charted Financial Analyst (CFA), and Certified Public Accountant (CPA), but he is not currently a licensed, practicing CPA. He has been recognized in a wide range of publications including Money Magazine, Newsweek, Kiplinger's, USA Today, Investors Business Daily, Wall Street Journal and Employee Benefits News.

Passion for Investing

John's passion for investing was sparked at age 15, at which time his grandmother gave him $1,000 to invest.  He and his mother met with a stock broker and put the money into a Templeton mutual fund and one individual stock, Telex (yes, a tech stock in 1982!).  Telex went from $12 to $17 in one month at which time he took his profits, and that sparked his lifelong fascination with investing.  

To fuel his newfound passion, he needed money.  His interest in making money began with his first job was at age 10, shelving books in a library, then working at a daycare, then cleaning Foam City after school at age 11 (mopeds were great transportation!), then Rax Roast Beef at age 12 (they believed he was 16??), then Cocos and Hayward's BBQ washing dishes, then a grocery store, bringing carts in from parking lot and cleaning bathrooms, all the while mowing lawns and doing other odd jobs for money.  He gladly worked holidays for the 50% premium!

His working allowed him to amass a small fortune for his age that he plowed into stocks.  At age 15 he opened a brokerage account with BC Christopher and was introduced to penny stocks (small companies that trade at less than $10 per share).  This was where the action was!  He'd speak with his broker, often weekly, about his investments.  John rolled his $3,400 Telex proceeds and savings into AVX, a semiconductor company, which he "patiently" held for 3 months and sold for breakeven, and into IRIS, a healthcare company, which he sold a month later for a 34% gain.  A famous investor once said, don't confuse brilliance with a bull market.  John just happened to begin his investing at the start of one of the greatest bull markets of all time!  The economy was just coming out of recession and stocks had been beaten down to under 10 p/e's.  

John had several big winners and by the time he was heading to college, between work and investing, he'd accumulated $15,000 ($42,000 in today's inflation-adjusted $s).  At that time there was a company called International Texas Industries that had a motion technology that was first applied to wheelchairs, but was also being evaluated for larger applications, like forklifts, and moving shipping containers. He bought some, it went up, he bought more, it went down, he bought more, it went down more.  Eventually, most of the proverbial eggs were in one basket.  He ultimately sold and took a big loss, but pocketed much wisdom from this experience - overconfidence and over-concentration kill!  Most of his remaining $s he "invested" in a Mazda RX7 Turbo. 

However, he continued to follow the markets in college and reengaged on October 19, 1987, the day historians later dubbed "Black Monday".  He returned from class early afternoon to discover the stock market was already down 20%.  He immediately checked his bank account, then called his mom for a loan, then called his broker to buy Marion Laboratories, Liz Claiborne and Nova Pharmaceuticals that afternoon.  Warren Buffet says, be greedy when others are fearful and fearful when others are greedy.  

Shopping for sales didn't begin on Black Monday 1987.  In middle school, he and a buddy enjoyed shopping the sale racks for clothes, reveling in paying 70%-off for Dillard's sweaters in January.  He couldn't understand why others would pay full price in November when every year prices would drop in January.  This same principle applies to the stock market, where we know it to be cyclical, but many lack patience to buy right.  In fact, stocks are probably the only item where demand goes up with higher prices and down with lower prices, defying the laws of economics and instead, reflecting investors' emotions of fear and greed.  

We all have experiences that shape our investment behavior.  John's experiences, successes and failures, have shaped his approach to investing today.

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Client Solutions

Beyond preparing a financial plan for all clients and managing our clients' portfolios to achieve their life dreams, we have helped clients throughout the years with wide range of decisions and situations, including:

  • Advised clients as to where the next savings dollar should be directed - debt paydown, tax-deferred account, savings account, or investment portfolio
  • Developed creative, tax-efficient strategies for wealth transfer to charities and to client's children and grandchildren, in keeping with client's wishes to not spoil them
  • Educated clients' children upon college graduation or marriage on basic financial matters, including budgeting, saving, investing, debt, and taxes. 
  • Referred clients to other professionals, including estate attorneys, tax professionals, insurance agents, business appraisers, plumbers, electricians, and HVAC. 
  • Advised on college funding, loans, and college selection
  • Recommended tax-efficient charitable giving strategies, including using employee stock purchase plan stock and appreciated stock
  • Suggested tax strategies to implement by end of 2017, in response to tax law enacted December 2017, including accelerating real estate taxes paid and establishing donor advised funds for charitable giving
  • Evaluated and recommended employee benefits selections annually
  • Determined adequacy of insurance coverage, including life, health, and disability
  • Advised clients on merits, or lack thereof, of long-term care insurance
  • Provided plan for managing executive compensation (RSUs, stock options, ESPP, deferred comp plans), minimizing tax burden and balancing portfolio risk 
  • Developed tax-efficient strategy for disposing of company stock within ESOP
  • Thoroughly analyzed and provided advice on clients' new business startups and purchases
  • Valued private businesses for sale and purchase
  • Counseled clients on investment opportunities they've received from others, such as real estate, whole life insurance, private businesses, etc.
  • Recommended best financing source for business startup
  • Met with clients' estate attorneys for estate planning
  • Determined optimal time to begin social security
  • Met with clients at social security office to signup for retirement and Medicare benefits
  • Educated client on how timing of remarriage impact social security benefits
  • Advised clients considering a second home purchase
  • Provided investment-related tax documents to clients' tax professionals annually
  • Prepared income tax projections for estimated tax purposes
  • Formulated plan for repatriating dollars from the Middle East
  • Researched best avenue to dispose of a crypt

Our years' experience with varied client situations and our personal experiences allow us to help clients with many issues. 

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Working together to

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We offer a free initial consultation to see if there is a fit between your needs and our services.  We look forward to speaking with you and thank you for your interest.