Meet: Tracey Anton
Owner, T. Anton Investment House, Inc.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Richfield, a small rural community northwest of Milwaukee. My parents had a hobby farm and my Dad worked at Evinrude Outboard Motors. I was the sixth of seven children. I had a wonderful childhood, but my mother passed away when I was eight years old. That was heartbreaking but my siblings rallied and we were very close and still are.
What was your first job?
I started as a dishwasher at a Greek restaurant. My first day on the job was Mother's Day. I washed dishes for five hours straight! After a year I was promoted to waitress. It was a great experience. I learned how to multitask under a lot of pressure, that the customer always came first and to be accurate and detailed with ordering.
What were your career goals?
I put myself though college and I knew that I had to pick something practical so I could get a job. My initial plan was business, but then I gravitated to finance. It was a great fit, and I thought it was really interesting and challenging.
The university really does put you to the task and was a great learning environment. And it taught me that if you want something you've got to go after it - and not let fear stand in the way.
Where did you go to work after college?
I got a job at Googins and Company when I was in college and worked there 23 years. Louise Googins was a great mentor.
You just launched your own firm. Tell me about T. Anton Investment House.
I always wanted my own shop. So I was very excited to launch T. Anton Investment House in March of this year.
We're a boutique investment management company. In addition to our primary focus of investing, we offer retirement and financial planning services, including estate and income tax planning. Some people come to see me because they want to know when they can retire, how to invest and grow their money, and how to create an income in retirement to maintain their lifestyle.
We are a Registered Investment Advisory and fee-only firm. By law, we have a fiduciary duty to act in our clients' best interest. I chose the "fee only" model in which all fees are transparent and it eliminates any conflict of interest in investment selection since we are only paid by clients and not products.
What are some key messages you share about investing with clients and on your WIBA radio show, "Straight Talk from the House"?
Once you decide on an investment strategy, stick with the plan. Don't think that just because markets go down that you've done something wrong. If you can learn to accept volatility you'll be able to participate in the growth of stocks over the long run.
It's important to understand that you've got to take some risk to beat inflation. You need growth in your portfolio so you can't have all fixed income securities and retire.
You should be comfortable with your portfolio mix of stocks and bonds. That's different for everyone and depends on your lifestyle, income needs, risk tolerance and investment horizon.
The eighth wonder of the world is the power of compounding. It's amazing what can happen given time.
Baby Boomers are retiring in huge numbers and living longer than ever. Any advice on retirement planning?
Don't let the retirement "number" scare you to the point that you don't even start planning because the number seems so huge. It all depends on your lifestyle, what returns you can expect on average and what you're trying to accomplish.
Don't let people, the markets or jargon intimidate you. Just sit down with someone you can talk to who understands your situation and can work on your behalf to achieve your goals.
What is the favorite part of your job?
Helping people. It's really great to see clients be able to do what they want to do . . . maybe that's spending time with their grandchildren or retiring and living in Italy. And taking the burden of investing off of their shoulders, they're grateful and it's so rewarding for me. I really love what I do, it's the best thing ever.
've been named to InBusiness Magazine's Forty Under Forty, and you're active in Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way
Tocqueville Society and Tempo. What drives your involvement in these organizations?
It's really driven by my faith. I feel very strongly about giving back. When I was a little girl without a mom I felt like I had some hard times. Now I can help people and make a difference in their lives.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love spending time with my husband, Doug. He's the love of my life and we just got married in January. We met on Match . . . we had this great email exchange, I prayed, he wrote (laughter) so we decided to meet at the dog park. We got married in a beautiful barn in Poynette and had a horse and carriage. My dad, who is 82, walked me down the aisle. It was really sweet and we had so much fun.