Why We Chose Careers in Financial Planning

Whitener Capital Management, Inc. |

By Rick Sanford, Sean Gilsenan, CFP®, and Doug Suhr, CFP®

You would never just turn over the management of your finances to someone you do not know and trust. Selection of a financial advisor is not a decision you should make without first having carefully considered whether or not you have found an advisor who has the knowledge, experience, and capabilities to meet your needs. 

Starting this selection process is a big decision, and we want to share some of our backgrounds, experiences, and values to give you some assurance that we might just be the right choice for you and your family. 

Meet Rick

I’ve always loved solving problems, especially when the solutions make a big impact. That’s why, as Whitener Capital Management’s president and portfolio manager, I enjoy helping people manage and properly invest their assets. My role is to design solutions that align with our clients’ core values. 

After I graduated from East Carolina University (where all three of us met) with a bachelor’s degree in economics, I started working as an investment broker. Now, more than 20 years later and with an added degree—an MBA with a concentration in finance from East Carolina University—I spend my days researching equities, making investment decisions, and making sure our clients’ financial futures are on track. 

Besides the fact that every day is unique and I have countless opportunities to grow, learn, and find creative solutions, I love seeing direct results from what I do. We’ve seen firsthand how our services and advice help others and how a customized portfolio (no matter the size) can be life-changing for someone’s future.

Meet Sean

Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you find a career that’s just a natural fit. In my case, it’s finance. While at East Carolina University earning my bachelor’s degree in accounting, I knew I had a natural affinity for numbers and was interested in the financial world, but I didn’t know exactly which direction that would take me. So, I took a career aptitude test to gain some clarity, and my top result was financial planning. I started researching the industry and peppering those in the business with questions so I could gain a full understanding of what a career in financial planning would look like. And, I came to the realization that it would be the perfect career path for me. 

Today, I’ve spent more than 25 years in the field, and I know I made the right choice. As a Senior Financial Advisor at Whitener Capital Management, I get to build relationships with my clients (and their families) and provide customized solutions and guidance that help them define their goals and stay on track to achieve them. 

I’ve found that many people avoid or delay financial planning because they’re worried they’ll be told they won’t be able to maintain their lifestyles in retirement. I love showing them that financial planning does the opposite—it gives them the tools and support so they can establish healthy financial habits and get all the pieces in place to make their retirement dreams a reality. It’s a privilege to have clients trust me with their money and their futures, and I don’t take this lightly. My mission is to give my best every day so my clients can look to their futures with excitement instead of worry. 

Meet Doug

Helping others is in my blood. I come from a military family, so I was taught to value loyalty, service, and integrity. I knew from an early age that whatever career path I took, it had to be rooted in helping others and adding value to their lives. 

I attended East Carolina University and graduated from Long Island University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, concentrating in finance and management. I spent many years working for several different respected financial firms, where I gained technical, hands-on experience in financial planning and wealth management and earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. 

Whitener Capital Management has a unique boutique feel that makes our clients feel like family. As a Senior Financial Planner, I get to spend my days interacting with clients and building relationships so we can match their goals and financial plans to portfolios tailored to their specific needs. 

Through my years in finance, I learned that many people avoid getting involved in investing because it can seem overwhelming and even intimidating. My goal is to clearly understand my clients’ financial positions, goals, and desires. Then, I show them how Whitener Capital can help them achieve their goals by developing and implementing detailed and personalized financial plans.  

We Do Things Differently

Our approach to financial planning and investment management is unique. Our clients benefit greatly from the specialized skills and experience our advisors bring to the table. With a focus on the right fit (rather than the amount of assets a client has), Whitener Capital Management exists to provide personalized service, a strong planning process, portfolios built from scratch, and financial planning that centers on the well-being of our clients. If you are ready to see what our firm can do for you and your finances, connect with us to schedule an introductory consultation by calling 800-962-4598 or emailing info@whitenercapital.com

About Whitener Capital Management

Whitener Capital Management Inc. is an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm that provides investment advice and financial planning services for individuals, professionals, and business owners in Rhode Island and Eastern North Carolina. The Whitener team is passionate about blending their skills and experience to provide comprehensive financial planning, alongside personalized portfolio design and management. The firm is known for prioritizing relationships and focusing more on the right fit than requiring a minimum asset amount. Whitener Capital believes that the right portfolio can be life-changing regardless of whether it holds $10,000 or $10 million. To learn more about what it’s like to work with Whitener Capital Management, visit whitenercapital.com.