William H. Wilkinson III
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CASL®, AIF®
President, Managing Principal
William (Bill) Wilkinson has spent his entire career in the financial services industry. He grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Northeastern University in 1992 with a dual major in business management and international trade. “I basically took no elective classes at all,” Bill says. After graduation, he was accepted into the prestigious Master’s finance program at Boston University, which he ended up declining.
Nothing was given to Bill—he has worked hard for everything and he is grateful for that. He is a first generation American on his mother’s side; she was born in Portugal and grew up in North Africa. She spoke little English before moving to the U.S. and marrying Bill’s father, a Vietnam veteran unable to work much to provide for the family. Bill became the responsible one, helping his mother read and write out all the bills and other family correspondence. In order to attend college, he worked and got student loans and paid his own way.
One of the great joys of Bill’s life is being married to his high school sweetheart. He has known his wife, Renee, since 7th grade when they used to go to movies together as friends. But one cold, dark evening in February after the two got out of high school prep classes for their upcoming SATs, he gave her a ride home and they’ve been together ever since. In fact, Bill says he “wouldn’t have even considered applying for college” if it hadn’t been for Renee and her Ivy League family.
After high school, Renee studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology while Bill was at Northeastern, and after college, Bill followed her to New York City when she got a job there. He landed a competitive job literally on Wall Street—the firm’s address was 30 Wall Street—along with 29 other Ivy League guys at McLaughlin Piven Vogel, which specialized in selling fixed income bonds.
Together, Bill and Renee made $1,000 a month and lived in a $1,500 per month studio apartment. Within five months of moving to New York, only two of the original 30 new hires were left at Bill’s firm, and he was one of them. Within six months, Bill earned enough to support himself and his wife, and pay off his $75,000 student loan debt.
As a new hire starting out, Bill was a paid assistant to an actual advisor while he got licensed and gained more experience—Lloyd Pompeii was his mentor at McLaughlin Piven Vogel. Bill got in to work early and left at 10 pm at night. He began to “miss nature” because he was working indoors so much, and when J.C. McLaughlin began expanding the operation, against his mentor’s advice he went to San Francisco to open up one of their new offices there as an advisor. By that time, he and Renee had married and were expecting their first child.
His mentor was right, and he quit that job after a short time. He went independent, working for Round Hill Securities in California. The couple moved back to Boston briefly to be with family, but within a few years, Bill started his own firm in Phoenix—a more affordable place to raise their kids that was still on the West Coast. He has never looked back.
Bill says, “I am a very fortunate person. My life circumstances were tough, but I slowly and methodically proved my competence to myself and others by succeeding at college and mastering my career. I gained more self-confidence every year, with each life accomplishment, not the least of which was raising each of my five wonderful children with my incredible wife—my high school sweetheart. I am very lucky indeed, and I don’t take anything for granted.”
360 Wealth Management
Since 2003, when Bill started 360 Wealth Management, he has always gotten new clients from referrals. He still has many clients that originally came on board with him when he was in California, including a number of successful dentists. In fact, he is proud of the fact that he has never lost a client due to a client leaving him for another advisor. Bill attributes this to his absolute, unshakeable commitment to doing what is right for his client at all times. And his process for financial planning is extensive, he simply doesn’t understand how advisors can say they do comprehensive financial planning without doing the in-depth preparation first—including cash flow charts, net worth statements, gap analyses and more.
“The process of wealth management is of great interest to me; I continue to study and refine it, and as a lifelong learner, I always will,” says Bill.
Qualifications are of paramount importance to Bill and his firm. He has earned many prestigious designations, including CFP (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®), ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant®), CASL (Chartered Advisor for Senior Living®), AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary®). He has his Series 65 license as well as his life & health insurance license. In the past, as a broker, he held Series 7, 24 and 63 licenses, but he is a fiduciary now.
Bill is one of two NFL Registered Player Financial Advisors in Arizona. The designation from the NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) is hard to get, and Bill feels it’s very important to help players invest wisely so they don’t end up with nothing at the end of their football career, as far too many have. He went through rounds of interviews and background checks, and his years of experience and credentials were verified before he became a registered advisor with them.
He is a member of the FPA (Financial Planning Association), the NEA (National Ethics Association), and the NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors). The firm has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+ and uses the third-party administrator, TD Ameritrade, for added client protection. They have invested heavily in data security and are partnered with 55ip as fiduciary co-advisors. Their thematic portfolio options are often quite exciting to 360 Wealth Management clients, and 55ip’s ability to perform monthly tax-loss harvesting on client portfolios has proven to have had a positive impact on their net results.
Due to his early Wall Street experience in providing options to clients for fixed income, Bill knows the importance of safety in portfolio design. He points out that he is still creating income for people – helping them generate paychecks from their retirement savings. He believes in carefully balancing the risk-reward ratio in the portfolio, and he feels that tax considerations are paramount to real success.
In his spare time Bill enjoys spending time with family and friends, riding motorcycles, off-roading, and boating.