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Who is Storybook Financial?

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Kade Hammes headshot Coralville, IA Storybook Financial

Kade Hammes, CFP®

Owner and Financial Planner

Just like most people, Kade Hammes doesn’t necessarily have a story you’d see in a Hollywood movie. Just like you, he does have a story, and his has shaped both who he is and in turn this company, Storybook Financial.

Kade remembers that as a child they had lived in a double-wide trailer by the river – the Skunk River to be exact. A few years before he was born, his parents partnered with his aunt and uncle to start their own sawmill. While he doesn’t recall many details from this time, he does vividly remember that his family took a risk, worked hard and made sacrifices to find their version of success. He has always enjoyed their story because to Kade, the “American Dream” is represented by his family and to say that their experience influenced him would be an understatement.

With entrepreneurial values already instilled in who he would become, he ventured off to Iowa State University. While his objective to attend college resulted in degrees in Accounting and Finance, the bigger lessons he received came outside of the classroom in the form of diversity and inclusion. Just before he was to meet his Hispanic wife, his college home roomed a Muslim from Kosovo, a Physicist from China, and a Jainst from India – each with their own unique culture, way of life, and interesting view of the world.

Leading up to founding Storybook Financial, Kade gained great experience working on financial plans with pre-retirees and successful business owners. While he loved hearing their stories, he didn’t feel he was making the impact he had hoped for. These individuals were already successful, which is a product on the shifting landscape of the financial services industry. The trouble is, many firms are focused solely on fees associated with assets under management (AUM). While this is one of the most unbiased ways to charge for services, it results in financial service companies focusing their efforts on those who have a lot of money, people that have already found success and those nearing retirement. It, therefore, fails at providing services for younger people that need help now. It’s this failure that led Kade to a network of financial planners focused on providing unbiased financial planning to generations X and Y.

One issue Kade found with starting his own firm was that he was very comfortable where he was. By working for one of the largest CPA firms in the country, there was no pressure to make sales, he got to meet interesting clients and earn respect and freedom from fellow advisors. The dream of starting his own company was always five years away. Then, Kade’s personal story became more interesting, as his wife Karen gave birth to their firstborn child Mila Grace on April 5th, 2019 at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Life was perfect… until they received the dreaded phone call from their daughter’s pediatrician with a diagnosis for Cystic Fibrosis. For better or worse, CF and caring for his daughter’s health helped give Kade the nudge he needed to leave comfort and purse his own dream.

What do you want clients to know about working with you?

I prioritize listening above all else. Your personal priorities are by far the most important component of any meeting. Only in truly hearing you will I be able to assist in helping you to maximize your lifestyle throughout your entire life.

Why Financial Planning?

My passion for financial planning is fueled by the opportunity to learn about you in a deeper capacity than I would in any other profession. Not only am I learning about where you are financially, but who you are and ultimately who you want to become. Small decisions made through financial planning often add up to massive differences in quality of life. 

What organizations are you enthusiastic about?

Passionate about the Cystic Fibrosis community, I spend time fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Emily’s Entourage. These particular nonprofits hold a special place in my heart because they both have goals of curing CF, even for rare mutations such as my daughter’s.

What’s your favorite way to spend a free day?

My idea day I would wake up before the rest of the house. I would enjoy a cup of coffee and some mindfulness meditation outside on the screened-in porch in Coralville, IA. Once my mind is in a good place, I’d follow that up with my workout of the day. Now that I’m fully awake, I like to be the one that gets to pick up Mila from her crib because she always has a big smile on her face when she first sees you. She doesn’t talk yet, but I still enjoy speaking with her while she does her treatments. Ideally, I could get in a few hours of uninterrupted work time as free days are actually workdays. After work we could follow up with an outdoor adventure and/or uninterrupted play time. Having family over for game night, movie night, or as babysitters for date night all have their own appeal. We would cap off the perfect day with having everyone fall asleep at a decent hour so that we can be rested for the adventures tomorrow will bring.