Meet the Moneywatch Team: Our FounderSubmitted by Moneywatch Advisors on May 30th, 2019
I first met Bob Bova, founder of Moneywatch Advisors, in 1986 right after I had graduated from college and Bob was hosting my Dad, his client, for their regular quarterly meeting. For perspective, this was the year the Mets broke the hearts of the Red Sox by winning the World Series after Bill Buckner, who just died this week, let an easy ground ball roll through his legs. Economically, the U.S. was doing well after a recession in the early ‘80’s and the Federal Reserve was lowering short-term interest rates that offered the economy a bit of a tailwind. To me, the ease with which Bob explained his strategy for helping my parents as they were just starting to really focus on some long-term financial goals seemed like he had been born to do this – although he had just founded the firm 6 years prior.
Bob moved to Lexington in 1975 to work for Thomson McKinnon Securities, Inc. as Vice President & Director, Financial Planning. While personally successful, Bob realized that the commission-driven sales approach that stock brokers have wasn’t necessarily helping his clients achieve their financial goals. So, married with young daughters, Bob did what any reasonable person with a dream would do – he quit and, with no income, started work on his MBA at the University of Kentucky.
After completing his degree, Bob founded Moneywatch Corporation in 1980 as a financial planning and investment management firm offering its services for a fee, not selling products on commission. In fact, Moneywatch was among the very first in the country to try this new approach to wealth advising – provide clients the help and advice that is in their best interest, not the advisor’s best interest. What a concept!
Back then, the industry was dominated by stock brokers and insurance salespeople, mostly men, that were paid by commission. In other words, they were paid when they sold you a stock or an annuity – regardless of whether that product would actually help you achieve your financial goals. Bob’s approach was vastly different. Coming from the world of stock brokers, he knew there was a better way. So, Moneywatch was born with an objective to align the firm’s interests with those of the client – a fee-only financial planning firm.
As with any startup doing something new, it wasn’t always easy explaining what the firm did and how that would benefit clients more than just buying stocks a sales guy recommended. But, like any good entrepreneur, he persevered and built what is today a firm that – still locally owned and independent – employs 8 people who serve about 325 clients and manages their approximately $165 Million in investment and retirement assets. Bob currently serves as Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Moneywatch and his youngest daughter, Ramsey, serves as President, Director of Planning and Chief Compliance Officer.
Bob and his wife, Pat, live in Lexington close to their daughters, their husbands and a small team of grandchildren. They recently enjoyed a trip exploring Iceland and several Scandinavian countries.