The Wenatchee Business Journal sat down with Angela Gaston and Tony Velickoff of The Solution People, a Cashmere-based independent financial advisor company, at the 59er Diner in Cashmere last month to find out how and if serving in the U.S. Navy influenced Velickoff.
This is Tony's take on the company he runs and owns with partner Gaston: "The Solution People's main purpose is to help people do things better than they are. Our focus building relationships and getting to know people and their families, this is how we know how to help them. Our main avenue for that is financial services but we don't just tell people things like 'just put your money here, leave it there and ride out the storms 'til you retire'.
Velickoff believes more in an activist attitude to handling other's money. "We have a much more holistic and hands-on approach. Our main
focus is to get people into or as close to the 0 percent tax bracket as
possible when they retire, in case taxes go up. This can also keep
their social security income from being taxed as well. We're teaching
a continuing education class at Wenatchee Valley College starting in January/February for anyone interested in learning more about this. It's in the Winter quarter catalog. We always offer the students (and everyone else) a complimentary consultation so we can get to know them and their
situation better, he said.
"From there, we evaluate and figure out the most tax-favorable roadmap for each person. Educating the community is a very important goal for us. We enjoy working with the college and appreciate the opportunity to work with them to bridge the gap between the business community and WVC. We hope others will join us and make educational proposals for the college to consider as well. We work to encourage people to come grow with us," Velickoff said.
Regarding his Navy service, Velickoff started serving his country as a teenager. "When I was 17, I served in the US Navy for six years. I learned a lot about people and how to serve. I was also blessed to see a lot of the
world. It gave me an even stronger appreciation for America and
everything we have access to here. I was trained as an Electronics
Technician and Nuclear Reactor Operator. I made it to Petty Officer Second Class (E-5) before my time was finished and made lifelong friendships with some very good people," he said.
Velickoff is a sociable fellow, as one must be in this line of work. Locally, he enjoys a cold brew and a good talk with old Navy friends and civilian "friends-to-be" at whatever venue he finds himself at.
"We still get together and share sea stories of our times onboard. I'm always open to having a beer at Badger Mountain Brewing and swapping stories with anyone who wants to share."
Velickoff's time on the high seas taught him more than just camaraderie and seamanship.
"We had a very high "OpTempo", which is a fancy way to say we were at sea a lot (about 75-85 percent) of my time on the USS Truxtun (CGN-35), a guided-missile cruiser. We traveled to every continent except Europe and Antarctica during my service. I have since been to Europe so Antarctica is the only continent I have not yet been to," he said.
"Being in the nuclear field prepared me for the regulations that come from being a fiduciary and for the attention to detail that is such a critical part of every good business. It also prepared me to study and learn new things and I have used these skills almost everyday since. One of the biggest lessons I learned is how important it is to capitalize on good deals. This has allowed me the ability to make good deals for others, which, in my opinion, is what being a good advisor is all about," he concluded.
Gaston and Velickoff have a brick and mortar location at 133 Cottage Ave. Ste B2 in Cashmere or you can call them at 509-293-7799.
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