I wouldn't be where I am today if not for music…It's a shame that arts education is not as integral in all Americans’ upbringing as math, science, and English. I believe that music beautifully pulls all areas of learning and thought process together in a way that nothing else can. The benefits to brain development and the cultural learning you get from music are just a few of many benefits of being involved in music.
- Matthew Williams, Founder & Owner, Williams Wealth Strategies
Our dinner before Xuefei Yang’s concert is sponsored by Matthew Williams, owner and founder of Williams Wealth Strategies.
I first met Matt in 1996 when we were both studying music!
If you’d like to join us for our dinner and concert, information is online here or you can always call us at 512-300-2247.
Our dinner will be in the private gallery of Chez Zee, includes appetizers, wine, delicious Chez Zee entrees and signature desserts including Sharon Watkin’s “Sticky Toffee Pudding” (which she promised us at the last dinner!).
It’s been great to reconnect with Matt. We shared many musical experiences years ago, and it’s wonderful to still be in touch years later. I’m super grateful that he is sponsoring our dinner on the 26th, and I asked him a few questions about his path in the years since we were both in school at UT.
Matthew Hinsley: We've known each other for a long time, Matt. We met as guitar players at UT in the 90's, I went on to become Executive Director of ACG, and you went on to found Williams Wealth Strategies - I'd love to know a bit about your path?
Matthew Williams: After music school I decided to go back to my roots playing in a band and started performing in Austin clubs with my original project Apostrophe! It was a guitar-led instrumental group with typically guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard instrumentation with horn players at times. It featured original "charts" that I wrote and included a lot of improvisation and soloing of the core members and often auxiliary players on horn. We played all over Austin and were featured on KUT twice including LiveSet and Eklektikos with John Aielli. I was doing all of the writing, hiring, firing, marketing, branding, logo and flyer design. It was not only an artistic endeavor, but also a business, sales, and entrepreneurial one as well.
At the same time I was helping nonprofit performing arts organizations such as One World Theatre, UTPAC, Paramount and State Theatre, KMFA, and others raise money. After being top seller and campaign manager for some of these nonprofit campaigns - helping them raise hundreds of thousands of dollars - I was recruited into the financial services industry by New York Life and shortly thereafter founded my practice. I won several agency and industry awards including Rookie of the Year, MDRT membership, and we’ve been growing ever since!
More importantly, I got married, and I now have two beautiful children, a 5-year-old daughter Amelia and my 18-month-old son Quinn. I’ve been so busy growing up in my industry and supporting and raising a family, I haven’t had a chance to look back!
MH: There are many worthy causes to give to in Austin, what do you like about Austin Classical Guitar?
MW: I wouldn't be where I am today if not for music. Even though I live and work in the financial world now, it's as much an art as it is a science. The tenacity and dedication that I learned studying music at a high level, has transferred to what I do today. I have marketed myself in a way that (hopefully) communicates that my artistic background provides a unique prospective to my interpretation of financial products and planning strategy. In fact, we sometimes call what we do for clients “the orchestration of their assets,” in other words, all of the pieces we put together are meant to play off one another and work in concert to compose a meaningful sum.
I think what ACG is doing is important and I think the more folks that study classical guitar, and music in general, the better. While most won't end up as GFA winners and enjoy the fulfilling and challenging careers that few players achieve, they will all be better equipped to add value to their community in whatever capacity they find themselves in. It's a shame that arts education is not as integral in all Americans’ upbringing as math, science, and English. I believe that music beautifully pulls all areas of learning and thought process together in a way that nothing else can. The benefits to brain development and the cultural learning you get from music are just a few of many benefits of being involved in music. I needed all the help I could get!
MH: Tell me about Williams Wealth Strategies?
MW: We are a full service financial planning firm. We offer advice to business owners, high net worth individuals, and professionals to help them meet their financial, investment, and estate planning goals. Once we have analyzed a client’s situation and walked them through our process, we can help them implement our recommendations using a variety of financial products and strategies including but not limited to life and disability insurance, professionally managed investment advisory portfolios, as well as deferred and income annuities. We pay close attention to the tax implications our clients have, and while coordinating with their CPA, and are able to recommend strategies and types of accounts that help minimize their income taxes as well as potential estate tax liabilities. Regardless of the returns that might be great in some investment products, I have found that you can provide tremendous dollar value to clients by simply building more tax-efficiency into their strategy. We also make sure that they have their legal documents in order as far as their wills, trusts, and business documents. There are a lot of opportunities to improve contingency planning for privately held business owners, who’s net worth is often very over-concentrated in the value of their business. With partnerships, partners’ spouses, and key employees all having a potential impact on the success or failure of a private enterprise, there is a lot of business planning that most owners just haven’t done. Our expertise is a great match for these folks. In an ideal situation with our ideal client, we serve a “quarterback” or “personal CFO” role helping them delegate the complexity of tasks that need to be accomplished to enhance and enact their planning goals.
Successful people didn’t get where they are by mistake, and many of them have learned the value (often the hard way) of delegating away things that do not fall within their core competency, so that they can focus on their family and the success of their company. We have a team of credentialed financial professionals in Dallas, TX called The Nautilus Group that consists of over 30 attorneys and CPAs that help us with these complex cases. It’s a group that is integral to my scope of service and is an offering above and beyond what I have seen that many of my colleagues have at their disposal.
MH: Are you still able to play some music?
MW: While I haven’t been playing as much guitar as I once did, in recent years I have been playing a lot of piano. Piano was my first instrument starting around age 6 and it’s been nice to slowly learn and play some repertoire that I’m sure any piano teacher I studied with would discourage (because it’s probably too difficult for my chops)! I have really enjoyed learning again, slowly, some Bach and Beethoven piano rep, and also improvising and playing more mainstream styles of music.