As an engineering student at Lafayette College, D. Tyler Vernon never thought he’d end up here. Now the go-to financial expert for the likes of CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and Fox Business Network, Vernon manages almost half a billion in assets and recently moved his Biltmore Capital Advisors (BCA) company headquarters to South Florida.
In school, the New Jersey native had a knack for math and science but realized he also loved interactions with people and detested being stuck alone in a lab. Thus, Vernon went from analyzing molecules to analyzing markets at Merrill Lynch, where he stayed for nearly a decade. He was even named one of the youngest vice presidents in the company’s history.
He had both security and success at a prominent firm, and then he gave it all up.
“I wanted to do something meaningful and make an impact,” Vernon says. “I didn’t come from a wealthy family, and money wasn’t a happy conversation. It was a struggle. So now I want to help people and give them guidance.”
With that mission, he started BCA, a financial planning and asset management firm, in 2007. The following year, Vernon was invited to be a guest on Fox Business Network. He talked about how the economy was showing signs of cracking—something few analysts were expressing at the time.
The international exposure gave Vernon credibility, relevance and a jump-start for his budding business.
Now, more than a decade later, BCA works with more than 200 families from across the globe to offer customized, intimate and holistic resources. He prides himself on having people’s best interests in mind, even offering complimentary portfolio reviews for non-clients.
“The cool thing about having my own firm is that I know my clients by name, I know their children, I know their goals and I’m always asking them what we can do better,” he says.
Vernon reminds his clients that life is a marathon, not a sprint, so they should be disciplined in saving money and being watchful not to live outside their means. He also warns people of taking unnecessary risks, especially when markets are high, and to always sell high and buy low, as much as it seems counterintuitive.
Vernon was increasingly advising clients on the move south when he realized he too should heed his own advice. He decided to move BCA’s headquarters out of New Jersey to Boca Raton. The tri-state area, with its high cost of living and high taxation, has become a hard place to retire, he says. Boca Raton offered an opportunity to be closer to his clients, great schools for his two daughters, stellar fishing and, as an avid traveler and pilot, the area’s several airports.
Now as a South Florida business owner and resident, Vernon is looking forward to growing BCA by hiring local talent and immersing himself in the community. He’s not the guy who sits on a charity’s board just to see his name on the letterhead.
“Money is great, but the relationships we make is what’s really important,” Vernon says. “It’s all about doing the right thing, putting our clients first and treating them like family.”