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Business

Monarch Wealth Strategies of Santa Barbara Celebrates Five Years

Santa Barbara-based Monarch Wealth Strategies has achieved what many of its larger investment competitors have not: surviving and even thriving during one of the most difficult economic periods in recent history.

Aaron Clark
Aaron Clark, president and founder of Monarch Wealth Strategies in Santa Barbara. (Monarch Wealth Strategies photo)

As large investment companies and banks were considered to be responsible for the economic collapse, investors lost faith in these behemoth companies that were obsessed with making money for themselves and the interest of the client took a backseat for institutional profit.

Aaron Clark, president and founder of Monarch Wealth Strategies, worked for some of those well-known firms before striking out on his own. He saw an opportunity to stand apart by taking a personalized and ethical approach to financial planning.

Monarch Wealth Strategies was founded in 2008. After experiencing firsthand the poor business practices and conflicts of interest plaguing the financial industry, Clark decided that it was time to proactively make a positive difference in his field and take matters into his own hands.

“People might have thought we were crazy starting Monarch in the middle of one of the most difficult economic periods in recent history, but ironically, I think that has a lot to do with our current strength,” he said. “I believe we gained a lot of respect and credibility by taking a chance in a time when no one wanted to challenge the status quo.

“While working at a large firm, I felt a significant disconnect between what I wanted for our clients and what the firm desired. We had a vision that a financial services firm should operate under the highest code of ethics, have no proprietary products or conflicts of interest, and consider each client’s entire life picture before making any recommendations.”

Today, Monarch Wealth Strategies is an experienced firm known for philanthropy, integrity, exceptional and competent services, and integrated planning strategies.

Monarch Wealth Strategies’ clients Joe and Barbara Godley agree: “With Aaron and the folks at Monarch, we get full service financial planning and strategies over the long haul verses arbitrary investments ‘in a vacuum.’ They take a comprehensive approach which is really reassuring and led us very comfortably into our retirement.”

Each year since its founding, Monarch Wealth Strategies has managed more and more assets. In fact, the company has grown over 300 percent in the past four years. Clark believes their growing revenue stream is a result of their engagement and consistency with clients as well as a firm ear to the ground about all aspects of investing, the economic industry as a whole, and even new technologies. It doesn’t hurt that Clark is also a native to Santa Barbara and feels he has an innate sense of what his clients are looking for in a financial planner.

Clark graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice administration and a minor in sociology. He then pursued his master of science graduate degree in personal financial planning.

His career began at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., which operated as a full-service securities broker-dealer in the United States and Europe. Clark was duly recognized as being one of the firm’s top financial consultants while working with high net worth individuals. He was employed by Wachovia Securities LLC after their acquisition of A.G. Edwards & Sons. He founded Monarch Wealth Strategies in 2008.

He was a member of the financial abuse specialist team for Santa Barbara County. He served on the board of the Mental Health Association in Santa Barbara County, and is on the Board of the Montecito Rotary Club.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing Monarch Wealth Strategies.

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