Bettendorf Financial Group motivating millennials to plan for the future

Doug Wier doesn’t pull any punches when he advises millennials about the need to plan for their retirement.

Don’t let Wier’s Hawaiian shirt fool you. The owner of Bettendorf Financial Group, which marked its 25th anniversary in July, is direct. And he knows his business. He has decades worth of satisfied clients to attest to that.

Bettendorf Financial Group, with offices at 1717 State St., Suite 101, in the River’s Edge plaza, offers financial planning services, including retirement planning, college expenses, charitable contributions, gifting, wealth transfer at death, tax guidance, Social Security strategies, annuities and Roth conversions. The business also assists with insurance products.

“You have to educate, you have to motivate and you have to disturb them,” he says of talking to millennials about their financial future. “Disturbing” them takes the form of straight talk.

“Pension plans (“defined benefit” plans) are a thing of the past, and they’re watered down dramatically,” Wier said. “If you’re not participating in a defined contribution plan (such as 401(k) or profit-sharing, for example), you’re not going to have a retirement because the DB plans your parents had are gone.”

His biggest supporters are Bettendorf Financial Group clients. Almost 100 percent of his new clients are from referrals, he said.

Wier has come a long way since following in his father’s footsteps as a tool and die maker after graduating from Davenport West High School. “I thought that’s what I should do,” he said. “My boss told me I should be doing something else.” Tests he took indicated he had an aptitude for the insurance business. “I was 20. I had to wait until 21 to be licensed. I got in the insurance business when I was 21,” he said. He worked for another financial group for more than a decade before deciding that he wanted his own firm.

“We are an independent firm,” he said. “In our industry, that’s important. We are one of the few truly independent firms in the Quad-Cities. We are also fee-based and have been so for 25 years. We were kind of ground-breaking in that area in the Quad-Cities.” Today, the company he founded in 1998 has $230 million in assets and another $120 million in annuities under management. “We become people’s cheerleaders,” he said of the company’s staff. “We’re in the mode of helping people succeed, I like to say. We’re more like navigators for people; they want to know where to go and we give them directions.”

The Bettendorf Financial Group team includes Wier and four additional financial advisors – John Harrington, Shannon Domski, Todd Harris and Patrick Larkin; agent Steve Powell; Chief Operations Officer Dawn K. Wales and three administrative assistants.

Taking care of clients is the company’s top priority, Wier said. “We’re very diligent about solving problems. I’m very proud of that.” Wales said questions and concerns from clients are handled immediately. “If people call after hours, I get an email notification,” she said. “And I listen to that voice mail, and if I can handle it, and it’s 7 o’clock at night, they’ll get a phone call.”

A family-type atmosphere exists in the Bettendorf Financial Group office and extends to clients and employees. Wier said that with unpredictable financial markets, he finds that humor and realism work in talking to clients. “Tell them the truth whether they want to hear it or not,” he said.

Wier offers his thoughts on the financial world on Monday mornings at 8 a.m. on WQUD FM, 107.7. He also is called upon for television appearances. “We’ve had quite a few call-ins from me getting on the air,” he said.

Check out more information on Bettendorf Financial Group on the company’s website, You can call the office at 563-441-9903 or email at

Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC.  Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.  Bettendorf Financial Group and Cambridge are not affiliated.