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One word this RIA will never say to his clients

“These aren’t little nuggets of gold that we’re trying to find in a river—these are human beings,” - Mike Policar, NGP Financial Planning 

As a 10-year-old growing up on a peninsula west of Seattle, the NGP Financial Planning founder buried himself in books about currencies and kept his eye on the oscillations of the stock market, assigning arrows to each ticker symbol based on whether the price moved up or down that day. He bought his first stock—Microsoft—a few years later, after hustling up every neighborhood job he could find: mowing lawns, painting fences, pulling weeds.

That first foray into the stock market ignited a lifelong passion. After a stint working in the broadcast industry—a career stop he credits for his skills as a communicator and success as a podcast host—Mike realized that he could combine his deep interest in markets with his desire to help people by becoming a financial advisor.  

Mike readily admits that going from the broadcast booth to being an advisor wasn’t the smoothest of transitions. “I failed the very first time I tried to be a financial advisor,” he says in the latest episode of The Human Advisor. Mike says he was encouraged to sell one-size-fits-all products to all of his clients, a strategy that felt antithetical to his reasons for getting into the business. His guiding light has always been a desire to help people make prudent financial decisions and grow their wealth, which is why he eventually transitioned out of the wirehouses and into a role as a fiduciary. 

Mike marks that career transition as a moment of clarity, and he found the opportunity to concentrate on the personal needs of his clients rejuvenating. Being a fiduciary resonated with something in Mike; he was now obligated to be the financial caretaker and advocate that was always in his DNA. He sums up that professional epiphany in three words: “I found me.”  

That discovery has paid dividends, as has Mike’s focus on building authentic relationships with his clients. He refuses to identify potential clients as “prospects”: “These aren’t little nuggets of gold that we’re trying to find in a river—these are human beings,” he says. He strives to meet his clients where they are and prides himself on listening to their financial aspirations and anxieties before creating a solid plan to help them. 

Mike started NGP Financial Planning with that people-first mentality at its core. It was a leap that let Mike be himself both in the way he runs a business and in the way he builds relationships with clients. NGP is unapologetically Mike as well: You’re equally likely to see astute analysis of emerging economic trends as you are a deep-cut Tupac lyric in official emails from the firm. The opportunity to mold a firm in his own image has been uniquely rewarding for Mike, and he encourages any advisor considering striking out on their own to take the chance, even if it seems daunting.

The Road to One Hundred Million

About The Human Advisor

Everyone has a story about what money means to them. When someone sits down in your office, it’s so much more than doing business. Your client comes to you with some of their core beliefs about success, identity, legacy, and relationship.

The Human Advisor Podcast is dedicated to changing the conversation from how big a financial advisor’s book of business is to how well they take care of their clients and actually help people. There’s a new breed of modern advisors who want to make a difference and do something meaningful. And in our series, we’re telling their stories. 



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