James has been in financial services for more than twenty years and is a founding member and partner at Watermark Wealth Strategies, LLC, founded January 2009. He and four his partners created the Watermark brand of companies with the mission to offer independent and unbiased advice with investment vehicles and products that best meet their client’s needs and expectations.
James was born and raised in Milan, Indiana. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Indiana State University, where he studied finance with an emphasis in economics and risk management. He is married to Molly and they have two sons, Tristan and Tanner, and a daughter, Ella.
He is an avid outdoorsman who loves hiking, camping, running, road and mountain biking and swimming. He has completed over 25 marathons and four Ironman triathlons and was the Arizona Individual Time Trial State Champion in 2012. What he loves most is taking his family on adventure trips to hike, bike, camp and explore from the Arizona desert to the northeastern coastline of North America, and everywhere in between.
James volunteers his time by coaching youth basketball and mountain biking. His basketball teams have won major basketball tournaments around Arizona as well as one Valley Championship in 2013. The mountain biking team he helps coach, Cactus Shadows High School Mountain Bike team, finished 3rd in High School State finals in the 2013 inaugural season through the National Interscholastic Cycling Association.
James began his career in the financial services business a stock broker in 1994. He believes that no two clients are alike so his process begins by performing a thorough analysis of the client’s current investment portfolio, a risk/reward performance summary and a complete review of their estate planning documents with the focus on beneficiary designations. Once the analysis is complete, he discusses every option that is available and makes recommendations based upon the goals and objectives, specific to each individual client.
Prior to establishing the Watermark brand, James was affiliated with Householder Group for the previous thirteen years: September 1996 until January 2009.
James also specializes in estate planning and estate administration. He focuses on estate preservation through the proper utilization of the living trust, and informs his clients on tax savings strategies for their estates and retirement accounts (IRAs, 401k, 403b, etc.). He works primarily with clients of high net worth, who appreciate being able to handle their affairs efficiently throughout their lifetime, and preserve their wealth as their estate passes on to their heirs.
He is certified by the Supreme Court of Arizona as a Certified Legal Document Preparer (AZCLDP) and is registered in securities with his series 7 (general securities), series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law/Blue Sky), and series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law/Registered Investment Advisor) and offers securities through Kestra Investment Services, LLC. As a result of working with a Registered Investment Advisory firm (Kestra Advisory Services, LLC), James is able to provide not only estate planning advice but also financial and investment planning strategies.