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Advisor Spotlight: Zach Nelson

In April 2023, we celebrated 25 years since the founding of Rock House Financial.  They were humble beginnings—effectively just Bob and a telephone.  But through the years, we have been fortunate to serve so many wonderful clients with world class advice and excellent service. 

We continue to serve with four advisors, all CFP® Professionals, and a dedicated financial and administrative staff.  Our goal has remained the same—to provide thoughtful, world class financial advice which will lead to better outcomes in the lives of our clients.  That can manifest itself in several ways—tax savings, investment returns, clarity and peace of mind. 

We will be celebrating throughout 2023 with stories about our advisors and a celebration. To kick things off, here is a background piece on advisor, Zach Nelson CFP®.  We hope you enjoy!

Born to play basketball

Zach Nelson was born to play basketball. Coming into this world at 10 pounds and 27 inches, at birth he already had a solid head start on the competition. By eighth grade he was over 6 feet tall. By the time he hit high school and 6 feet 5 inches (he would grow another three inches before heading to college), basketball had become more than just a game to him — he wanted to make a career out of it. The problem was, he was on a small, unknown high school team in Sacramento and neither his height nor his talent had been recognized much. That is until the night he scored 56 points for his Yuba City High School team.

“The next day my phone never stopped ringing,” Zach recalls. Some universities offered him full-ride scholarships, making the dream of playing college ball a reality, and putting him one step closer to a professional basketball career.

After considering his options, Zach ultimately chose Utah Valley University for all the growth and progress it was experiencing, which he wanted to be a part of. Zach got off to a rough start his freshman year at Utah Valley, tearing the labrum in his left shoulder and having to sit out the season. His second year the Wolverines won the WAC championship, which Zach says brought him pure joy. “It was such an exhilarating feeling… knowing that everything we had worked so hard for was all worth it.”

But in his junior year he suffered repeated injury, tearing his meniscus and MCL, and fracturing his tibia and femur. And in the surgery to repair his knee, he developed a dangerous blood clot in his calf, which broke off and became lodged in his lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. It was then he realized a career in basketball could end at any minute and that he would need to find another passion in life.

His entry into financial planning

Zach explains: “I enrolled at UVU as an accounting major because I was good with numbers. But it didn’t take long for me to see that it wasn’t the career for me. I just hated how impersonal it all seemed.” So with the encouragement of a professor who taught an introductory course in financial planning, Zach enrolled in his class and began learning about the many ways he could still be involved with numbers while getting up-close-and-personal with people at the same time.

Soon his thoughts turned to his mom, Belinda. “I couldn’t stop thinking about how much she had needlessly worried about the family’s finances,” says Zach. “While I grew up in a comfortable, middle-class home and we didn’t really struggle, my mom always stressed about money, more than anyone I have ever known before or since.”

Zach began to see that if she’d had a solid financial plan and been shown how to follow it by someone who cared, all her suffering might have been alleviated. He knew then that financial planning would become his second greatest passion in life, allowing him to help people like his mother feel more confident about their money.

“Finding something to fill the gap that basketball left behind wasn’t an easy task,” says Zach. “But I was determined to find a career I could be just as passionate about and that was just as rewarding as the game I love, and I found that in financial planning. I love the very personal side of presenting people with a plan and seeing their biggest financial fears evaporate over time,” he says. “It’s so satisfying to help give them the courage to go after their financial dreams.”

Pursing his second greatest passion at Rock House Financial

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in personal financial planning and going on to earn an MBA from UVU, Zach became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional working at Rock House Financial, where he’s not only able to use his sharp analytical skills but his passion for serving others, something which was instilled in him from an early age.

He remembers a Friday night in high school — after winning one of the biggest games of the season — being committed by his parents to set up a large Christmas creche exhibit for Yuba City. He admits that while in the moment he would probably have chosen a night with friends, in the days and weeks that followed it was really rewarding to see how much that service was appreciated by the community.

Experiences like this over the years, Zach explains, have really had an impact on him and have been important in shaping his values and the character traits his clients really appreciate, including his fierce loyalty and commitment. That commitment to building trusting relationships continues on in his work with clients at Rock House Financial.

These days Zach spends his time in other relationships that are equally important, such as with his wife, Prezley, and their new baby daughter, Zuri. The office in which Zach Nelson meets with clients to help secure their financial future is a long way from the high school and college basketball courts he once tore up. But the Can’t-Miss Kid is still a sure shot in the financial lives of the clients he aims to serve.

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The opinions expressed herein are those of the firm and are subject to change without notice. The opinions referenced are as of the date of publication and are subject to change due to changes in the market or economic conditions and may not necessarily come to pass. Any opinions, projections, or forward-looking statements expressed herein are solely those of author, may differ from the views or opinions expressed by other areas of the firm, and are only for general informational purposes as of the date indicated.