Editor’s Note: The following story appeared in the July 5 issue of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “Then & Now” is a profile of a past member of the Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
Rick Lorence has spent the past 18 years working in wealth management after transitioning from the healthcare industry. Lorence, 57, is an investment adviser for WealthPath Investment Advisors in Little Rock.
At Rose Care in Rogers, he was general counsel when the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named him to its first Forty Under 40 class in 1997.
He became CEO of the nursing center at which he started shortly after graduating from Rogers High School. He earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Arkansas while working at Rose Care. Before his promotion to CEO, he said some employees had reached retirement age, and the opportunity became available for him to transition into the role.
“I worked a little bit with investments when I was with Rose Care and enjoyed that aspect of my tenure with them,” he said. He transitioned from healthcare because he was looking for something different.
In 2003, the Rogers native moved to Little Rock to become a financial adviser at Morgan Keegan. He worked there until 2005, when he joined the wealth management group at First Security Bank. In 2010, he became a financial adviser for Investment Professionals Inc.
He joined WealthPath in June 2013. The Rogers-based independent wealth management firm was established in 2011, and in 2020, had $468 million in managed assets and more than 750 investment advisory clients.
Lorence said he enjoys working with clients, helping them reach their investment goals and seeing them be successful with their retirement. He also likes to see young people start investing early because of its impact and how they can more easily accomplish their goals. They don’t have to save as much to have a financially secure retirement, he said. His goals are to continue to work to see his clients succeed and reach their goals. He is one of seven employees who work at the firm’s Little Rock office.
“We have an investment planning process that we use to try to maximize the gains and minimize the risk on the downside,” he said. “It’s worked out well for the last 20 years.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital documents. The firm uses Fidelity and Schwab investment platforms, and the Fidelity platform is all electronic, he said. Clients can complete signatures electronically. Also, older clients have understood the need for digital documents and have more willingly embraced them.
“With the turmoil in the markets last year, we’ve made some adjustments in our portfolio that have worked out well over that last 12 to 15 months,” he said. “Our clients have done phenomenal over that time because of some of the adjustments we’ve made at good times during those up and downs in the market. That’s always a positive when our clients do well.”
Asked how his law degree has helped him in his career, Lorence explained that he does a lot of financial and retirement planning and works with estate planners to help with estate planning.
“That’s given me a great base and background to assist clients in that regard,” he added. He noted that he’s known other financial advisers with law degrees, but it’s not common.
“A law degree is a great education for about any type of business that you go into,” he said. “It teaches a lot of critical thinking, issues spotting, and it’s just great background for about any business that you go into.”
Also, Lorence noted that his wife, Lindsey, is an assistant U.S. attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Little Rock.
He is a member of Rotary, which supports Camp Aldersgate, and recently provided childcare for the youth of healthcare providers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences amid the pandemic. He has four children and two grandchildren. He spends free time at his children’s sporting events, including baseball and basketball, and has helped as an assistant coach. He also enjoys cycling, but the pandemic put his group rides on hold.