From an early age, Destry Witt demonstrated the spirit and drive of a true entrepreneur. For more than 30 years, Destry has cultivated his skills as a leader, businessman, and financial adviser to achieve success and establish his prominence.
The stock market has been an object of interest for quite some time, and when the crash of 1987 occurred, Destry Witt found himself intrigued by the nature of this crash as well as the market in general. He was an undergraduate at the time. On his own, he took to studying the stock market and realized that this area was one in which he could succeed professionally.
After working for Raymond James Financial Services from 1992 to 2008, Destry Witt started his own business, RELiANCE Investing, Inc., which is an advisory firm dedicated to helping clients grow and maintain their wealth. Knowing that advances in technology and shifting government regulations will impact the price points of advisory services, Destry Witt founded RELiANCE Investing, Inc. with the intention of providing products and services designed to address specific client issues and better serve his clientele. From financial planning, wealth management, and retirement preparation, Destry Witt and RELiANCE Investing, Inc. are determined to provide clients with optimal resources and services.
Though his expertise is largely in the financial industry, Destry Witt is not one to shy away from a challenge. In fact, he enjoys taking advantage of opportunities that come his way, even if they do not align with his professional experience. After all, success can be found in many venues, and Destry has witnessed the truth of this sentiment himself through personal investments and experiences.
Along with the prospect of unique opportunities, Destry Witt is also interested in the inherent risks associated with entrepreneurship. Regardless of industry, risk accompanies all ventures, but that does not make the business ideas unappealing. Instead, it serves to motivate Destry to achieve unprecedented success.
You can follow Destry Witt on Twitter @DestryWitt.
Our Interview With Destry Witt
Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.
Destry Witt: It may sound trite, but the most crushing defeat I’ve had to acknowledge was losing the state championships in high school football. I cried and moped around my parent’s house for days. In hindsight, my behavior was understandable at the time but embarrassing shortly after.
At that age, I couldn’t imagine anything worse, and I was sure it would be my last formal football game of my life. What a way to end my career! Today, I consider myself lucky to have even been there. And less than a year later, I was recruited by a small college and played on their team.
Certainly, I’ve had other disappointments the past 30-plus years, but this was a great learning opportunity. As a result of this loss, I seriously consider myself lucky to have learned at such an early age that there is always something more important than the temporary experiences I may deal with in any given moment, and that we really don’t know what’s next for us—what’s just around the corner. Maybe when I’m 90 I’ll have time to reflect and feel bad about something, but right now, with 40 more years to go, I’m really just looking forward to my next learning opportunity.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Destry Witt: The success of my children is most important. The opportunity to influence young minds into becoming as great as they might want to be is really exciting. I’ve taken that opportunity for granted over the years. In the Army, and in my own business, I had many opportunities to be a more effective influencer. I take it much more seriously now.
What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?
Destry Witt: I worked really hard when I first started out. I wasn’t going to be a statistic of this industry. I had mentors, but I had my own odd drive. I’m not sure where it came from—possibly coaches in high school and drill sergeants in the Army. They made me tough, and I was never not going to be a stock broker. It wasn’t an option, so there was no chance for failure. There was only wake up early, work all day, and keep working into the night until the numbers were met. Mistakes happened, but they weren’t a waste of time—they were learning opportunities. I didn’t dwell on them because there wasn’t time. There was only just enough time every day for success. When the day’s success was achieved, it was time to go home to family.
What is your favorite hobby and why?
Destry Witt: I’m a struggling golfer, and I love it! Golf for me is the great equalizer. No matter the successes I have personally and professionally, golf always puts me back in my proper place. The exercise is great, of course. For me, doing something that I enjoy is something I’m more likely to stick with. I wish I enjoyed countless push-ups, sit-ups, and jogging, as I was required to do during my military career, but I do not! I appreciate that, with golf’s handicap index, players of all skill levels can compete against one another—I am moderately competitive. The handicap index also gives me a convenient way to keep track of performance. When my index is lower, I know that I’m playing better. It’s not just intuitive—nothing about golf has been intuitive for me—but golf success is delineated in one’s index, and that keeps me coming back. Paddle Boarding also has a measurement process, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I just picked-up paddle boarding a few years ago as a means of bringing equilibrium to my work/life balance. I wasn’t sure if I would stick with it and started out slow, but it’s grown on me. I can’t wait to get out on the lake and go to new places, as well. Being an Aquarius, they say I’m naturally inclined towards the water. I’ve always enjoyed a large body of freshwater and even cool streams. I just started with the moving water this summer. That’s how I know I’m getting better at paddle boarding; I’m moving onto faster pieces of water.
What excites you the most about your industry right now?
Destry Witt: Again, call me lucky! I found my calling at an early age. I had tried a few things while in high school and while working on my undergraduate degree, but fortunately, when my baseball career ended before it even started, I was prepared and ready to jump in headfirst into the stock market. I’ve never had a day when I was motivated to learn more. With government regulations constantly changing, there’s always a new opportunity. The field is vast with so many nuances, and for most people, math and finance are difficult areas. I don’t believe I’ll ever run out of opportunities to help people invest.
What concerns you most about your industry right now?
Destry Witt: Consolidation. Things change. Smaller companies get bought by larger companies, not because the bigger company is better, but they are just bigger and can afford to buy out the smaller guys, especially in an environment where fees and expensing are dropping daily.
What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
Destry Witt: The greatest risk any of us can take is making a decision when we haven’t fully explored the potential outcomes. I’ve been known to make decisions in my personal life where I didn’t take the time to consider the outcomes and expenses, but I can’t remember a professional situation where I’ve ever been uncomfortable. Making the leap from a big brokerage firm is something a lot of financial professionals would lose a lot of sleep over, but I never did. It simply made it easier for me to get out of bed so early in the morning to get out there and do what needed to be done to ensure my and my stakeholders’ needs were being met. That’s the kind of stress I appreciated- the kind I put on myself rather than that of another party not fully vested in the outcomes.
Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.
Destry Witt: Getting up before everybody else. I’ve never had a problem getting out of bed and going to work. I love what I do, so it’s easy. I can stay up past my bedtime and still get up earlier than most people. I also feel like I’m already late when I do get out of bed, so I’m frequently hustling early in the day to catch up with all the information I missed the night before.
What book has made the biggest impact on your life?
Destry Witt: Technical Analysis Explained by Martin Pring. There are other important books, mostly textbooks from college, but this one book about understanding charts of stocks and indices provided me with a great deal of confidence in my investment decisions and the advice I gave to my clients. There is a great deal of time spent on due diligence in the investment business. Fundamental analysis tells us what to buy; technical analysis tells us when to buy.
What would you consider to be the perfect day?
Destry Witt: That’s easy! I’ve thought about this a lot. It’s Christmas morning I’m an old man and I’m in my fuzzy, warm pajamas with a fire nearby, sitting under the Christmas tree with my big extended family, handing out Christmas presents to everybody I love!