Harrison Kennard wasn’t alone in his passion for collecting baseball cards as a young child. But while many kids collect cards and dream of being like the players on the front of the card, Kennard was more interested in the back of the baseball card. He liked stats and numbers which added up to how good the player was and in turn the value of the card.
“I started investing in the sixth grade,” says Kennard, the co-founder of Stonepath Wealth Management in Ann Arbor. “Growing up I was obsessed with baseball cards. I would collect them, trade them, sell them, and go to local card shows and I would memorize the Beckett (baseball card price guide) every month. My grandfather saw my passion and introduced me to the stock market and explained some of the parallels between what I was doing with baseball cards and how the stock market worked.”
Kennard’s parents paid him to clean the house each week and one time he took the money and instead of buying baseball cards, he bought some stocks.
“I was hooked,” said Kennard, who grew up in Cadillac, Mich. “I continued to invest through high school and even had teachers, friends and family asking me to help them invest (many are clients to this day). When I went to college I knew that I’d like to be involved in the stock market in some capacity so I studied finance/financial planning. I realized that what I loved could turn into a career.”
And that’s exactly what happened. After graduating with a degree in finance from Bowling Green State University, Kennard went to work for a large investment firm where he was able to help people manage their investments for a living as well as help them make financial and life decisions.
Kennard took his experience and knowledge and opened his own firm, Kennard Wealth Management, in 2010. Emily Bowen, CFP® joined the company in 2014 and the two soon formed Stonepath Wealth Management.
“I wanted to truly be independent and serve my clients the best way possible,” he said. “I went on to become a CFP® and learn more about taxes as well.”
Stonepath Wealth Management works with many pre-retirees to help prepare them for retirement and make sure they have the proper expectations of how retirement will look for them. The company also works with many university employees helping them with retirement planning as well as managing their investments and also focuses on socially responsible investing, where people can invest in companies that share similar values that they do.
Like he did when he was collecting and trading baseball cards with his buddies, his clients today also are friends. It’s a very rewarding part of the job.
“Many clients become friends, and I work with people that I enjoy spending time with,” Kennard says. “I really like being able to help people achieve their goals, educate their loved ones, retire on time and eventually leave a legacy.”
And the challenges?
“I have to keep up to date with the always changing laws, strategies and overall markets,” he says. “Each day is different. Each person has unique needs so there are many opportunities to learn more as well.”
Stonepath Wealth Management is an independent business so they are able to do what is in the best interest of their clients without sales pressures or quotas.
“We live and work in the community so we want to be good neighbors and continue to have a great reputation,” Kennard says.
And that “community” is Ann Arbor, where he not only works but lives.
“Ann Arbor is 25 minutes to the airport, has a great downtown, a very active community and plenty of opportunities to watch sports and eat good food,” says Kennard, whose local volunteer work includes helping as a wish granter for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of America and as a member of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club.
Kennard got married in 2016 to Liz, who works as a dietician and wellness coach with employees of the Beaumont Healthcare system. The couple has two rescue dogs, Charlie and Brody. Harrison’s parents, Stan and Deb Kennard, also live in Ann Arbor as does his younger brother Lee, an insurance agent for Liberty Mutual in Ann Arbor. His youngest brother is in health care sales in Denver.
Stonepath Wealth Management
About: Stonepath Wealth Management is a Michigan-based independent wealth management firm that practices comprehensive, holistic financial planning and asset management. “We are fiduciaries that act in your best interest, period. Our advisors spend time listening and asking questions; tailoring your financial plan to your personal values and goals. Our team has various backgrounds in finance and accounting, and experience working with a variety of complex financial situations. We use a team approach to make sure you receive the best experience possible.”
Location: 1925 Pauline Blvd A, Ann Arbor, MI 48103