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Dan Danford

Personal Finance, Investing, Small Business
“Dan learned about business from a rented lawnmower. With over three decades of experience in the financial industry, Dan Danford is fully committed to his clients' success, rather than earning sales commissions or lavish prizes.”

Family Investment Center

Job Title:



"I built a lawn mowing empire using a rented Lawn Boy. Okay, it was 4-5 neighborhood lawns, but they seemed like an empire each hot and humid Missouri Summer. And, yes, my father charged me rent to use his lawnmower. Those pint-sized business lessons still drive me 50 years later.

In 1998, I founded Family Investment Center. It’s a full-service, commission-free investment advisory firm with offices in St. Joseph, Mo. and Lenexa, KS., Family Investment Center serves clients in the Kansas City area and across 13 states.

Before that, I learned how bank trust companies work from the inside … and I feel strongly that a commission-free firm offers a better way for most people to receive independent, objective advice at reasonable rates, with a high level of personalized service.

My love of reading, writing, and explaining comes from my school teacher mother. These are the real advisory skills that set me apart. Investing and finance can be complicated but explaining things without jargon is my strength. You need some financial help? I’ll help figure it out and move forward."



Dan is quoted extensively about investing. He’s written for or been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Kiplinger’s, U.S. News & World Report and dozens of other newspapers, magazines, and media outlets.

Dan has served in numerous leadership positions for civic and professional boards including the Missouri Western State University Board of Governors and as treasurer of the St. Joseph Area Chamber of Commerce. He was Chairman of the Friends of the Free Clinic, a support group for the Social Welfare Board in St. Joseph.

Dan has been president of the Missouri Western State University Alumni Association and was honored in 2003 with the Missouri Western State College Distinguished Alumni Service Award.


MS, Personal Finance, KSU
BS, Marketing, MWSU

Assets Under Management:

$250 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


All Articles
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June 2018
    Estate Planning, Retirement Savings, Retirement Plans, Retirement
August 2017
    Personal Finance, Banking, Investing
March 2018
    Investing, Personal Finance
June 2017
    Asset Allocation, Investing
May 2018
    Choosing an Advisor, Personal Finance

All Answers
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    Investing, 401(k), Bonds / Fixed Income, Stocks, Taxes
Should I keep my bond funds in a 401(k) or a brokerage account?
100% of people found this answer helpful

Putting bonds or bond funds in tax-free accounts is a very common suggestion. But I think it is kind of dumb. Or, at the very least, it places focus on the wrong thing.

It is always a good idea to consider taxes. But my experience says that many people place too much emphasis on taxes, to their detriment. Municipal bonds are a great example of this … many people who buy them are in lower tax brackets where the interest rate spread doesn’t really work. But they are so strongly opposed to paying tax that they buy them anyway! (Of course, the broker selling them couldn’t be happier.) They’d be better off after paying taxes on taxable interest.

So, let’s assume bonds are paying 3% a year. It’s right that you’d pay annual income taxes on that interest in a brokerage account. Truthfully, though, that’s not a lot of tax because it’s not a lot of income. Today’s rates are lower than usual, but a diversified investment portfolio will nearly always beat them on a long-term basis.

Put them in a 401(k) or IRA and you’ll save that bit of tax every year. But you’ve also limited the tax-deferred compound growth of your 401(k) or IRA to just 3% a year! The opportunity cost of that choice is huge. You’ve given up compounding (tax-deferred) at a much higher rate for decades. Compare the compound growth of $50,000 for 20 years at 3% to 20 years at 6%. The difference is over $30,000 in growth. And 6% estimated returns could be low for a diversified portfolio.

It is also true that the extra $30,000 will be subject to taxes when withdrawn, but those can be mitigated though good decisions when that time comes. In fact, 401(k) and IRA money stays in tax-deferred status for decades and decades.

The point of this entire discussion is to shift your thinking from tax savings to opportunity cost. Both should be considered in reaching solid investment decisions.

April 2018
    Retirement, 401(k), Real Estate
What do I need to do to comfortably retire by age 45?
100% of people found this answer helpful
October 2018
When analyzing a stock, what does "beta (three year monthly)" mean?
100% of people found this answer helpful
November 2018
    Estate Planning, Investing
Is it a good idea to have a brokerage manage my investments, and if so, how do I find a firm to do it for me?
100% of people found this answer helpful
October 2018
    Stocks, Starting Out
Why do stock prices rise over time?
100% of people found this answer helpful
June 2018