Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Darrell Armuth, Founder and Owner of Sensible Portfolios, located in Reno, NV, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Sensible's mission is to provide a better investment experience for today's investors. We deliver really good investment advice to the mass affluent at a low cost, allowing everyday people to earn more while paying less. Since opening its doors in 1994, Sensible has adhered to a few basic rules:

  • Be nice to people.
  • Keep things simple.
  • And don't charge high fees.

Sensible Portfolios is an independent, fee-only investment advisory with offices in Reno, NV, and Austin, TX. We're a family business, and we treat our clients like family as well.

Tell us about yourself

I've always been interested in finance and investing ever since I won a stock picking exercise in grade school. After graduating with an accounting degree, I became a CPA and worked in public accounting. I didn't love the career. I jumped at the opportunity to be a stay-at-home Dad and help raise three children while my wife grew her dental practice. During this time, I became a hobby investor, helping friends and family manage their investment portfolios.

Naturally, this grew into a business, and in 1994, I founded Sensible Portfolios, a low-cost investment advisor. I'm motivated by the company's mission to provide sophisticated investment strategies to everyday people. Typically this is reserved for the affluent. Technology allows today's investors to have access to globally diversified investment portfolios at a reasonable price. Sensible harnesses this technology for the benefit of our clients.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is building a scalable business that operates as a true fiduciary. Wall Street and national brokerage firms use complexity and financial jargon to confuse investors and charge excessive management fees. Over a twenty or thirty-year period, an annual management fee of 1%- 1.5% can cause an investor to lose roughly a third of their portfolios' growth. In other words, over a long period of time, an annual fee of even just 1% of assets (which is standard in the industry) can add up to large sums of money. It can be so significant it can hinder an investor's ability to retire when they want to.

My firm is committed to transparent and low-fee pricing. We keep investing simple. Clients love working with us because we are different than the other firms out there. Clients get sound investment advice and retirement planning at a fee that is 70-75% lower than the industry. Because we charge low fees, we don't have to overcomplicate things. Clients can finally understand what they're invested in.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

Business owners often wear multiple hats. You have to be the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician. The challenge is keeping a balance across the three. It is easy to neglect one of the three roles. Often you neglect the role that comes least naturally to you, but you have to make all three work in harmony.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Start with a problem. Discover the solution. Build a business around the solution. Don't attempt to do this the other way around.
  2. Standardize your operations and daily workflows. Automate the tasks that don't require human attention and spend your time on tasks that deliver the most value. This allows for repeatable outcomes of success that lead to growth.
  3. Understand that client service is your best driver for referrals. Prioritize the customer experience. Delight your customers. This builds loyal customers who promote your brand. Free and effective marketing!

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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