HISTORY OF RICHARD P. SLAUGHTER ASSOCIATES, INC.
In the fall of 1990, my wife Barbara and I decided to fly to Orlando, Florida for a vacation. We were to change planes in Dallas. When we boarded the plane in Austin, Barbara was seated in the window seat and I took the middle seat in the bulkhead. A gentleman took the aisle seat next to me and we struck up a conversation as people often do on planes. He asked me what I did for living and I told him that I had been working as a stockbroker in the brokerage industry with a title of Financial Advisor for the past five years. In our conversation, I shared with him that in learning the ways of the brokerage world that I was troubled by the conflicts of interest I observed. They arose from the fact that brokerage firms generate their commission-driven income by trading in client accounts, which could sometimes tempt brokers into putting their own interests ahead of their clients’. I told him that I was struggling with this and wanted to find a way to put my clients’ interests first. As we continued to talk I found out that this gentleman was a well-known Christian comedian and song writer named Mark Lowery who had been to Austin to perform for a church youth conference and he was on his way home to Nashville, TN. As we were beginning our descent to D/FW where we were to change planes, Mark suggested that we pray about my situation. When we had finished praying, Mark told me that he felt strongly that I needed to start my own company and then I could put my clients’ interests first. He urged me to do so. When we landed in Dallas I told Barbara that I now knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t know how to do it.
Even though I had worked in the brokerage industry for over five years, I had been investing in portfolios for myself, my family and some friends for over 30 years. I had even entered a stock-picking contest conducted by Barron’s Magazine, a national financial publication. Out of the thousands of entries in the contest, I placed 40th in the top 100 and Barron’s featured this top list in an article on the front page of their magazine.
The discussion on the plane to Florida opened the door for me to decide that I wanted to form a fee-only firm to offer my investment experience to clients with the goal of putting them first. After some research and with Barbara’s help, we contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. and the State Securities Board in Austin. Then on January 2, 1991, I made a trip to downtown Austin to file the paperwork to form a corporation. I was at the door of the office of the Texas Secretary of State at 8:00 a.m. when they opened. They said if I wanted to wait they would process my application right then. Therefore, we became the very first corporation formed in the State of Texas in 1991. Then we mailed the necessary paperwork to both the SEC and the SSB and received approval from both of them to open our financial advisor business. Thus, Richard P. Slaughter Associates, Inc. was created.
The goals I set for my company were to gain the trust of my clients by providing my expertise in investing with integrity for their benefit. I wanted a company where the client was King and Queen and I wanted their interests to be represented one hundred percent. A fee-only company allowed me to do this with no conflict of interest as the fee is based on a set percentage of the total amount of a client’s assets under management, not on commissions. My philosophy was that the client’s success was our success.
In the summer of 1991, Barbara and I attended the first Financial Advisors Conference held by Charles Schwab, Inc. in San Francisco. I discovered that our company was one of the very first fee-only investment advisor companies in the nation. There were about 100 people from all over the U.S. at this conference and I met like-minded people who had the same interests that I did. I discovered that some of them had the same goals that I had and we were able to exchange helpful ideas.
My first office was in my home, but it soon became evident that I needed an office to meet clients so I rented a small 3-room space in the Continental Building on Burnet Rd. and hired my first part-time receptionist. Barbara had a full-time job, but helped me out at night and on weekends with various tasks plus setting up and maintaining the company books. Brooks began working with me part-time in 1992 even though he had a job and was living in the Houston area. However, in January 1994, he came into the firm full-time and we shared my office. In 1996, Kirsten took over the task of maintaining the books and this completed the family involvement in the business.
As we grew it became apparent that we needed more space so over the years we have moved to larger spaces in the Briercroft Building on Research, offices in the Enterprise Building in the Wells Branch area, offices in the Stonebridge Building on Mopac, and finally to our present Tower of the Hills location. In 2010, we expanded when we opened a Dallas Metroplex office to serve our clients in that area.
Over these past years, we have been blessed with wonderful clients and caring employees and I appreciate each one. Some of our clients are people I had when I worked in the brokerage industry and they stayed with me.
The commitment that I made when I started the company is still the commitment that the company has today and that is
- To provide our clients with financial security
- To deliver advice and management with the highest level of expertise
- To deliver a superior long-term rate of return
- To offer customer service with integrity
- To provide each client with the peace of mind of knowing they are on a path to achieving their long-term financial goals
Written by Founder Richard P. Slaughter