The History of Sensible Money

Sensible Money was founded by Dana Anspach. She hosted the official Grand Opening party on Thursday, May 10th, 2012, on the patio outside the office, which was located on the corner of 5th Ave and Marshall Way in Old Town Scottsdale.

You can check out more pics on Sensible Money’s Facebook page.

History of Sensible Money

Dana began her career as a financial advisor in February 1995, working for Waddell and Reed in Grand Junction, Colorado. In November of 1999, she moved to Merrill Lynch, also in Colorado. She quickly realized she wanted a planning-based practice, not one focused on selling products.

In July 2001, she moved to Phoenix, Arizona to work in partnership with several local CPA firms to build-out their wealth management divisions. In January 2006, she purchased one of those financial services firms and merged it with Wealth Management Solutions, a fee-only registered investment advisory firm founded by a good friend. They continued to grow their practice together for many years, and during that time Dana acquired the Retirement Management Advisor designation and began to focus her practice on those near retirement.

Dana had a vision of a brand and as her vision grew, she decided to leave her partnership and found Sensible Money, LLC, in July of 2011. Initially, it was Dana, one full-time financial planner, and one part-time administrative assistant, Jody Hulsey, who remains with the firm today. The firm had about 40 clients and $30 million of assets under management. It has grown to an estimated $300 million of assets and a staff of ten as of year-end 2020.

For a few years, five staff managed to work out of 1,000 square feet and get along nicely! In March of 2018, Sensible Money moved offices to 4200 N. Marshall Way, around the corner from their initial office. It was such a short distance that everyone put their computer monitor on their chair and rolled it over to the new space. The new space had room for staff, and for the first time, a private office for Dana.

The office was branded based on the Juicing® theme of the Sensible Money brand. Dana spent hours online searching for rugs and bought every package of fake oranges she could find at every Michael’s craft store in the Phoenix Valley.

The Sensible Money Brand

The concept behind Juicing® began in 2011 when Dana was having breakfast at Butterfields, a popular place on the corner of Shea and Scottsdale Road. They are known for their fresh-squeezed juice. You can watch the oranges roll down through a wire chute, into the machine, and watch a delicious glass of juice fill up.

The prior weekend Dana had been making homemade margaritas and squeezing the oranges by hand. As she watched the machine at work she was wondering how much more juice that machine could get out of each orange. When she did it at home, there was always a mess and extra juice in the rinds. The lightbulb went on as she realized this is exactly the process she used with clients. With the right tools and a rules-based approach, you can help people squeeze more out of their money.

While so many financial services firms appear stuffy and intimidating, Dana wanted something approachable and transparent. It needed to feel fresh, and, well, sensible. The design process started and through many iterations, the brand was born.

What’s Next for Sensible Money

Sensible Money has been lucky to attract a very talented set of planners and will continue to grow at a reasonable pace. Existing clients take priority and the firm uses a weekly team meeting to check-in and see how everyone is doing in terms of capacity. To keep the workload manageable, there are times where we pause taking on new clients.

As the firm continues to grow, they plan to continue to hire planners. For those just out of school, it takes a thorough five year training process to learn all the nuances of delivering solid retirement income planning advice.

The firm is also building out a partner track, so that equity ownership can be purchased, and the firm will evolve to a multi-equity partner firm through internal purchases or through mergers with like-minded firms, while maintaining the Sensible Money brand.

What is Sensible Money Most Proud Of?

Sensible Money has clients the firm has worked with since 2001. These long-term relationships are one of the most rewarding things anyone could ever ask for in life.

The firm has built an outstanding planning process that is more thorough than nearly anything most other professionals in the field have seen.

Putting an incredible skill set together with life-long relationships that bring our clients peace of mind is an honor. It’s what we are most proud of, and what keeps us going every day.