A Veteran Financial Adviser Relaunches His Practice

A Veteran Financial Adviser Relaunches His Practice
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After 35 years with a storied career as a financial advisor, one might think Walt Lunsford would be preparing to retire. Instead, he’s starting another act, reinvigorating his long career by opening a brand new financial advisory firm in Blue Ash named 9258 Wealth Management. 

“We are not driven by shareholder needs or company stock prices. We are driven by what's in the best interest for our clients.” – Walt Lunsford, financial advisor

“I have no need, or intention, to retire,” Lunsford says with a twinkle in his eye. “At this stage in my career, I truly wanted to build a firm that was independent from corporate influence. We are not driven by shareholder needs or company stock prices. We are driven by what’s in the best interest of our clients.”

9258 Wealth Management (9258 spells “WALT” on a phone keypad) opened its doors in January with a holistic approach, offering a full service suite of financial advisory services, including portfolio management, corporate retirement plans including 401(k) plans, retirement and intergenerational wealth transfer planning. 

Lunsford was instrumental in opening the first Raymond James and Associates office in Cincinnati 12 years ago. He previously had worked with Gradison, J.C. Bradford and Advest. The new firm will continue Lunsford’s relationship with Raymond James acting as custodian of assets and providing back office technology.  

Lunsford said another reason he’s launching a reimagined business is he simply enjoys what he’s doing. “I truly don’t feel like I work,” he says. “Instead, I have felt a calling to help others meet the challenges of operating their businesses, preparing for retirement or working through the unique challenges of sudden wealth experienced as a result of inheritance, selling a company or being employed as a professional athlete.” 

Walking into Lunsford’s new office, one will quickly learn something about his “secret” passion. A Texas Longhorn steer head mounted on the wall will be a clue. Over 20 years ago, Lunsford purchased a farm in Kentucky, admitting, “I don’t take vacation well, but I realized having some space to decompress would be good for me.” He has since bought two more farms in Kentucky, totaling 1,000 acres, and transitioned them to raising cattle specializing in the Texas Longhorn and Angus cattle breeds.

While Lunsford has never steered any clients into such an exotic investment, he says his agriculture project gives him a different perspective on markets.

“It lets me view and experience trends in the financial world that other financial advisors don’t see. I feel that’s an enormous advantage,” he says. “Agriculture allows me a view through the window of land values and commodity pricing, giving me a first-hand impression of economic cycles.” Lunsford took delight in designing a new office space from scratch, one that practically invites clients to “hang out.” There is a fourscreen TV display (that may or may not be tuned to financial news), a coffee bar, a spacious 250-gallon aquarium and offices with lots of ceiling-to-floor glass allowing for a sunny, airy atmosphere. “It’s about creating an interesting and calming influence to an otherwise high energy environment,” he says. 

Lunsford’s watchwords for the firm are service-first, transparency, working for clients in a fiduciary capacity and being an essential advisor. His investment strategy is straight forward: One size does not fit all.

“We realize that investors have different needs, risk tolerances and financial objectives. We build and manage portfolios around the unique characteristics of our clients.” 

Another unique perspective Lunsford brings to clients is his 20-year experience as the founding member of the Hatton Foundation. He says his philanthropic responsibilities led him to understand that done right, it’s not easy giving money away. “You have to find people ‘who know how to row,’ who know how to get things done. When we find them, we support them as much as we can.”

Lunsford will be joined in the practice by Matt Tranquilli, CPA, CRPS, Executive VP and Director of Retail and Retirement Plan Operations; Scot Cone, Executive VP, Investments and Director of Insurance and Risk Management; Clayton Reynolds, CRPS, VP, Investments; Margaret Saladin Lunsford, Director of Philanthropy; and Kris Tranquilli, Administrative Assistant. 

Lunsford says his team brings nearly 90 years of financial advisory experience coupled with his own devotion to client advocacy. “I now work with clients who are the third generation of a family relationship. I am energized every day and enjoy my business as much today as I did during the early years of my career.” 

9258 Wealth Management is located at 4420 Cooper Road, Suite 100, Cincinnati, OH 45242. For more information, call 513.791.9258 or visit www.9258wealth.com.

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