About Our Founder, Bill Camp
In April of 2013, Bill Camp passed away at the age of 89. He added much to our lives, as well as the lives of many people. Bill founded Eclectic Associates back in 1984 at the age of 60, after finishing two successful careers in agriculture and real estate. At a time when most people would be retiring, Bill became educated in financial planning and received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. He then took his life savings and started Eclectic Associates, having no prior investment management or financial planning experience. Bill’s vision and determination saw the company through those difficult early days and set it on course to become the successful firm it is today.
Bill was an early adopter of the fee-only model that continues to grow and drive the industry today. Fee-only financial planners are registered investment advisors who do not accept any fees or compensation based on product sales. Fee-only advisors have fewer inherent conflicts of interest, and they generally provide more comprehensive advice. Bill, seeing the inherent value that this would give his clients, based his company on this model.
Eclectic was set up as a fee-only firm with no attachments to brokerage house and commission/sales driven firms. Bill earned his CFP® designation in 1984 and was one of the early NAPFA members. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the leading professional association of fee-only financial advisors. NAPFA is distinguished both by the competence of its advisors and their method of compensation.
Eclectic started with just Bill Camp and Barbara Eldredge, Bill’s administrative assistant. She ran the entire office and made sure everything got done. Today Barbara and her husband Tom still work as Eclectic’s bookkeepers. For 29 years, they have served Eclectic well and continue to remind us that everything that represents Eclectic should be done well. They are both greatly appreciated.
In 1992, Eclectic added two more employees. Masako Sumita, now a para-planner, started with Eclectic shortly after graduating from Cal State Fullerton. Dave Little, now a partner of the firm, actually began as an intern in his senior year at Biola University (his only remaining class was whale watching).
From its inception in 1984 with only three clients, Eclectic has grown to 600 clients today. It took 6 years to reach the first 50, and 34 of those are still clients. Eclectic gained its 100th client in 1993 and it’s 200th in 1996. Eclectic now employs seven advisors.
Over the years, Eclectic has received numerous types of recognitions, from Small Business of the Year in Fullerton, to having its advisors recognized as top advisors by several national business magazines. Several of Eclectic’s advisors have been quoted in such nationally recognized publications as Money Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.
All of this started from one man’s vision. Bill was willing to stake his retirement monies on this vision. He was very proud of the impact of Eclectic, and derived much satisfaction from helping people plan and achieve their financial goals.