Start Date at Barber Financial Group: October 1996
Favorite Aspect of Working at Barber Financial Group: The reward of helping people is my favorite thing, whether it’s employees or clients.
When watching Usain Bolt compete in a 100-meter dash, it’s best not to blink because you could miss most of his race. The same thing can be said about watching Dean Barber check things off his daily to-do list.
While saying Barber has Usain Bolt-like speed might be a bit of a stretch, keeping up with Dean in whatever he’s doing has never been easy.
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Off to the Races
“My mom used to joke that I wake up first thing in the morning and never slowed down until it was time for bed,” Barber said. “I was always the first of my siblings who was awake and that’s how I’ve always been. It drives my wife, kids, and a lot of employees crazy.”
Barber gets out of the blocks … err, his bed, when his alarm goes off at 4:40 a.m. each day. Then, it’s off to the races to better himself, his family, and his clients.
“I jump out of bed, splash water on my face, brush my teeth, put on my gym clothes, and am at the gym by 5:15 to do a very difficult CrossFit workout. I do that five to seven days a week,” Dean said. “I then come home and read about all the news that happened overnight or important things that might be coming up that day as I’m getting ready. I’ll also go through all my emails and get everything that needs to be responded to that I didn’t get the night before.”
Dean is usually in the office by about 7:30 a.m., so he can be there before most other employees and finish anything else that needs his immediate attention. Once he completes those tasks, the rest of his day is predominantly accounted for with client and team meetings, co-hosting his radio show, America’s Wealth Management Show, with Bud Kasper, hosting his podcast, The Guided Retirement Show™, and constantly thinks about how he can provide the best financial education to Barber Financial Group’s clients.
“I think into the future every day and visualize ideas,” Barber said. “I sometimes start talking about those ideas because I can see them clearly to myself, but someone might not understand why I’m going over those ideas with them at that time. They don’t understand that we must do a lot of planning first to get to where we want to be.”
Hitting His Stride
Dean’s first day at Waddell & Reed was one of the most memorable days in the history of the stock market—October 19, 1987: Black Monday. He had no choice but to hit his stride or he was going to be left in the dust.
“I called my manager that day and said, ‘Hey, I’m licensed,’” Barber said. “He says, ‘I don’t have time to talk right now. The market’s crashing.’ I go, ‘I know; I see it. What do I do?’ He tells me, ‘Just pick up the phone and start calling people.’ I’m like, ‘Who?’ He asks me, ‘Don’t you know anybody?’ I tell him, ‘No. I’ve literally been in Kansas City for six months.’ He goes, ‘You’ll figure it out,’ and hung up.”
Passing the Baton: From Waddell & Reed to Barber Financial Group
Barber indeed figured it out, but the visionary in him wasn’t satisfied with how he was going about business after nine years at Waddell & Reed. It was of the utmost importance to Dean that the clients’ interests always come first. Dean realized that the best way to do that was to start his own firm, but he knew that it wouldn’t be that simple.
“I had three kids and one on the way. When I told my wife, Kim, that I thought I could start my own firm and build something that was better than where I was, she thought I was crazy,” Barber said. “She said, ‘Don’t do it. You’re making good money where you’re at. You’re making me nervous.’ I really thought there was a better way, though.”
While Kim was concerned about Dean’s plans and how they would impact them and their children, family and finances were actually huge motivating factors in his decision. Dean witnessed his grandfather going through retirement with concerns about running out of money, and he wanted to do something about it. By founding Barber Financial Group, Dean has proudly provided essential financial education to pre-retirees and retirees so they can have clarity and confidence throughout retirement.
Dean made it official by founding Barber Financial Group in October 1996. He started with himself and one assistant. Kim also helped him from time to time, and then he hired another assistant. It was in the early 2000s when the firm started to experience significant growth.
“We had a lot of happy clients, and they referred more clients. I got to a point in 2003, 2004, where I needed to hire additional help,” Dean said. “I hired three guys that are now partners, Bruce Godke, Eric Sheerin, and my brother, Shane Barber, within a six-month period.”
The Guided Retirement System™: Executing Your Race Strategy Throughout Retirement
It is Barber’s goal with every client to help them live their one best financial life. He and his team created The Guided Retirement System™, which is a comprehensive financial planning process that begins roughly a decade prior to the client’s desired retirement date and goes through the entirety of their retirement. Barber Financial Group’s integrated wealth management services include investment, tax, estate planning, and risk management.
Even with Dean going at top speed day in and day out, he’s the first to admit that he can’t do everything himself. Dean knows that Barber Financial Group is at its best when everyone is bringing their unique skillset to the table. His team of CFP® Professionals, CPAs, estate attorneys, and insurance specialists works together to help clients reach their financial goals.
“With being a visionary and thinking 10-plus years into the future, sometimes you miss the things that are right in front of you,” Dean said. “That is why I have people in the organization that can slow me down just a little bit and say, ‘Hey, let’s think about what we’ve got to do tomorrow. It’s cool we want to be here in 10 years, but we still need to take care of tomorrow.’”
The Race Starts and Ends with Family
Dean’s team at Barber Financial Group aren’t the only people who make sure that he paces himself each day. Kim and Dean’s five children have supported him throughout his career, and he hasn’t lost sight of that. When Dean isn’t in the office or the gym, there’s a good chance that you will find him spending time with his family.
“As hard as it was to build a business, there was far more stress on raising kids. I felt like my job there was to make sure that my kids would grow up and become a healthy, productive part of society,” Barber said. “I decided when my kids were in grade school that I needed to spend more time with them when they weren’t in school. So, I took off every single day that they were off, whether it was spring break or whatever holiday they were out of school and spent that with them.”
The fall of 2021 was an extremely exciting time for Dean and his family. His oldest daughter. Lindsay, gave birth to Dean and Kim’s first grandchild, Piper Lou, in November.
“She announced her pregnancy when we had the entire family in Mexico. We said if it was a boy, the next family trip will be in Costa Rica,” Dean said. “If it was a girl, the next family trip will be in Hawaii. So, we’re going to go to Hawaii. My middle daughter will actually be living in Hawaii at the time, so that’ll be pretty cool.”
Barber’s Belief: You Can Always Do Better
As Dean adapts to being a first-time grandfather, he’s been reflecting on how he can be a great influence not only Piper Lou, but Kim, his children, extended family, friends, colleagues, and clients. Barber is committed to doing his best every day. He’s thankful to have a strong supporting cast to remind him that it’s OK to have bad days as long as he learns from them.
“One thing that is important for me to understand as the CEO is that mistakes are going to be made,” Barber said. “Those mistakes should always be looked at as a learning curve. I can’t go back and change mistakes I made yesterday, but I can learn from it, move forward, and get better. If I missed a lift today or didn’t hit a new PR or whatever, so what? I’m going to come back tomorrow and try it again. I do the same thing in my personal life with my business life.”
Bud Kasper has been a fixture in the financial world of the Kansas City area for over 30 years, offering targeted investment and planning solutions based on his clients specific and personal objectives. His goal is to create trust with each client by educating them about financial solutions based on his experience and in-depth knowledge of current economic conditions.
Bud is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and has passed his insurance and Series 7 and 63 securities exams. Bud is dedicated to creating effective solutions in the areas of asset management, estate planning, retirement planning, and insurance. Bud is also the co-host of the nationally syndicated show “America’s Wealth Management Show”.
For over a decade, Shane has dedicated himself to helping his clients achieve financial independence, allowing them to retire with Clarity and Confidence. As a father and a grandfather, Shane understands that there are far more important things in his client’s lives than money, and he works diligently to ensure that they can focus on those things. Having spent nearly 20 years behind the scenes in the manufacturing industry, he gained a deep and unbiased knowledge of how the real economy works. Because of that experience, he believes that understanding the complex relationship between the economy and the financial markets is paramount in managing risk, providing sound advice and implementing wise solutions. His approach, of building a well-crafted wealth management plan that integrates the four pillars of Asset Management, Tax Planning, Risk Management, and Estate Planning puts the focus where it should be, on the client’s best interests. For Shane, the saying “you only get one life, so you should live it the best way you can” is the driving force behind his work for his clients…helping them to live their lives, the best way they can.
Shane holds the Registered Financial Consultant (RFC) designation and has passed his series 7 and 66 exams.
Bruce Godke has been offering financial guidance and solutions to Kansas Citians for nearly his entire career, using an objective, process-driven approach that considers quantitative data as well as individual values, dreams, and desires.
Bruce, along with his team of subject matter professionals works closely with clients to customize, implement and manage comprehensive retirement plans that include investment, tax, insurance, and estate planning strategies. Bruce, a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) specializes in creating effective solutions for individuals, business owners, and professionals. His comprehensive, service-oriented approach to assisting clients is designed to help people transform their visions of retirement into reality.
William R. Doty serves as an advisor at Barber Financial Group helping clients make smarter decisions and avoiding costly mistakes in planning for their retirement. Will joined Barber Financial Group in 2007 after working as a Loan Officer. Now serving clients as an advisor, Will strives to view each situation from his client’s unique perspective to consistently provide wise counsel and excellent service.
With a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management, Will has a special appreciation for the educational basis of Barber Financial Group’s investment approach. Will is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and has passed his Series 7, 63, and 65 exams. This has positioned him to act solely in the best interest of his clients in order to help deliver a sense of confidence and peace of mind. Will lives in Shawnee, KS and enjoys fishing, camping, sports, aviation (he holds his pilot’s license) and spending time with his family and friends.
I have 100+ hours as a pilot in a Cessna 172R
Drew Jones began his career at Barber Financial Group in 2008 as a Call Center Specialist. After hearing numerous stories from people who had fallen victim to a “Financial Salesperson” rather than a true Wealth Manager, Drew became a Financial Advisor in October of 2012. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Drew specializes in working with those 55 years or older, offering holistic financial planning for those preparing for retirement by building solid written plans that complement his knowledge of financial and insurance products, as well as tax reduction strategies and proper estate planning.
“I really enjoy seeing the reaction from my clients when they understand their complete financial picture and realize that they have a plan in place to help ensure they won’t run out of money in retirement.” Drew is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) and has passed his series 7, 63 and 66 securities exams and holds licenses for Life, Health and Accident insurance products.
My great great grandfather, Alexander Rector, discovered coal in Macon County Missouri (my hometown County) in 1860 while digging a well.
Logan DeGraeve is a member of our team of wealth managers and has passed his Series 7 and 66 exams. He received his undergraduate accounting degree in 3.5 years from Baker University with a minor in Economics while playing football. Logan began his career at Barber Financial Group as a college intern before joining the firm full-time after graduation.
Logan fully embraces the holistic financial planning process and seeks to provide solid, professional advice on ways to work toward a client’s financial goals. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional (CFP®) and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®). He takes an active role in educating clients about matters concerning investments, tax reduction strategies, risk management, and estate planning. His goal is to deliver professional wealth management through sound advice, helping create value, focus, and understanding. Once a plan is implemented, a timely review and update are consistent with his investment process.
Chris Rett joined the Barber Financial Group team as a Financial Advisor in 2021. Chris is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and comes to Barber Financial Group from Metro Detroit and brings with him over 8 years of industry experience.
Prior to joining Barber Financial Group, Chris was a financial advisor specializing in Retirement Planning for the Motor City and surrounding areas. Chris takes great pride in the fiduciary responsibility of always doing what is in the best interest of the client and enjoys educating and empowering clients in their financial decisions.
Chris is a graduate of Michigan State University and is an avid Spartan fan. When Chris isn’t busy taking care of his clients you can find him on the golf course or watching football.
Jeff Ernest began as an Advisor at Barber Financial Group in 2014 and has passed his Series 7 and 66 exams. A graduate from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science in Finance, he assists clients with account requests and questions while also helping advisors prepare for client meetings. “If I can make even just one person’s day better, it’s a great feeling.” In his spare time, Jeff enjoys “all things Royals” as well as Nebraska and Michigan athletics. Along with his wife Kelsey and their two Shelties, Moose and Kali, Jeff likes to hit the road to the Colorado mountains and spending time with family and friends.
I am a Nebraska native who started driving at 13 and started going gray at 16.
Wayne was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. After serving in the South African military, Wayne received his Bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Restaurant management from Witwatersrand University in 1995.
Wayne immigrated to the US in 1996 and pursued a career in the food and beverage industry, ultimately working his way into upper management at the Shady Canyon Country Club in Orange County, California.
In 2005, motivated by family needs and his passion for helping people, Wayne changed his career path and pursued a profession in financial services and moved to the Midwest. After working for some of the most elite financial service companies in the role of sales and training, Wayne joined Barber Financial Group in 2014. Wayne has passed his Series 6, 7, 63, 66, and insurance exams and has his CRPC® (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designations.
Wayne Robinson is an avid outdoorsman who loves nature, mountain biking, trail running, hiking, camping, bird watching, food, and wine. He is married with 2 children and also holds a certification as a Sommelier.
I am a bird nerd and have bird wars with my neighbor to see who can attract more birds. I think I am always in the lead, he thinks he is always in the lead, either way, the birds win.
Craig Snedden began his career at Barber Financial Group in 2016 as a Paraplanner after previously working in the financial services industry for over 15 years helping clients get the most from their investment savings by focusing on tax strategies, investment management, and strategic financial planning. Craig’s decision to work for Barber Financial Group came after working for several companies locally but sought to work for a company with extensive investment knowledge, well known throughout the community, and that had the same “Client First” mentality that was #1 on his priority list. “It’s nice to see how other firms conduct business and know that we do things the rights way. A lot of advisors can guide you on how to help grow your money, not many can educate you on how to withdrawal your money the most tax efficient way.”
Craig is currently an Investment Advisor Representative and has passed his series 7, 63, 66 exams and is licensed for Life and Health insurance products. In Craig’s spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Jennie and 3 kids, along with coaching his son’s baseball team.
I enjoy relaxing in the bleachers watching my son play Baseball!
Ryan Potts joined the Barber Financial Group team as a financial advisor in January 2022. He comes to Barber Financial Group after serving in three different roles during his year-and-a-half stint at WR Wealth Planners in Columbia, Missouri. Ryan began his time at WR Wealth Planners as a wealth management intern before working his way up to be a full-time paraplanner and then a financial advisor.
2022 was already lining up to be an exciting year for Ryan even prior to arriving at Barber Financial Group. He’s on track to receive his Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Missouri this spring.
When Ryan isn’t busy taking care of his clients, you can find him at the golf course, reading investment books, hunting across the Midwest, or at a Chiefs tailgate. Ryan spends a lot of his time with the local FPA Chapter and other business networking groups throughout Kansas City.
Matt Kasper began his career in the financial industry in 2005 as a Trader and computer operator for Financial Securities. In 2007, Matt became a Para-planner for Kasper Steck Wealth Management until joining Barber Financial Group as a Financial Advisor in 2012. A graduate of Missouri State College, he has passed his Series 7 and 66 exams. As one of the founding pioneers of LSA Portfolio Analytics and a current member of the investment committee, Matt understands how important his clients’ goals are and creates solutions to help them save and manage their wealth.
“What we do is intense. It’s about doing what’s right and having a plan in place for folks so they can work towards a retirement they have always wanted.” In his spare time, Matt coaches for the KC Legends Soccer Club and has completed 14 marathons and hopes to complete the 5 major marathons in the world (Chicago, New York, Boston, London, Berlin and possibly Tokyo).
Phone: (913) 275-2446
Darren Newell, born and raised in Shawnee, Kansas, is a broker agent at Midwest Professional Insurance (MPI). He writes both personal and commercial lines of insurance treating each client as an extension of his own family. Darren’s passion for insurance coverage and the security it offers the community, coupled with his experience in the hospitality industry, prompted his transition into insurance in order to help provide a better quality of life for his family.
Darren’s life as an insurance agent allows him to take care of people and their assets at a very high level. He takes pleasure in getting to know his clients on a personal level so he understands how he can best help them feel at ease in the knowledge that when their worst day comes, they are protected.
Thomas D. Clough joined Barber Financial Group in 2015 as the President, where he oversees the entire business operation including Marketing, Operations, Compliance, Human Resources, and Finance. Prior to joining BFG, Tom was District Director for the Kansas City District Office of FINRA/NASD and also served in the capacity of President and COO of Pension Resource Institute. Tom is a graduate of the University of Missouri, Trulaske College of Business as well as the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, Tom currently serves as the President of the Jake Clough Headstrong Foundation (their son Jake Clough passed away in 2005) and has been a past board member of the Finance Dept. Advisory Board at the University of Missouri and a member of the Chairman’s Club at the University of Kansas Hospital.
When not at work, Tom enjoys spending time with his wife, Otis and their children, Liza, Wen and Merrie at their sporting events along with Mizzou sports, along with traveling to the beach during the summer months.
Tom’s favorite singers are Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and his favorite drink is a Dirty Martini.
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