Josh Harris co-founded personal financial management firm Paracle Advisors with little more than good intentions, but they’ve paid off.
He left a secure position at a large local accounting firm so he could start Paracle Advisors in 2004.
Harris said the risk didn’t initially occur to him — despite the fact that he’d just become a father for the second time and the family depended on Harris’ paycheck to make the bills.
“I describe starting your own company as being similar to having kids — way more work than you ever could have imagined,” Harris said of those first months.
“My wife and I basically had no income,” he continued. “It was just a mentality of ‘Let’s get this done.’ It occurs to me now that it was very risky. But at the time, we just felt like we were doing the right thing.”
“Doing the right thing” has helped him turn his dream into a company that has more than $300 million in assets under management.
Harris, 37, called his passion for financial advising “almost a little selfish.” When Harris and his three co-founders decided to start Paracle, they wanted to provide a strong financial planning foundation for clients with moderate wealth.
“The satisfaction I get from doing this job — I get to help people,” he said. “You can quite literally see the weight of the world come off peoples’ shoulders when you’re able to help them make the right choice with their money.”
The company is now nine years old. Harris says it’s exceeded his orginal goals, and he loves the role of financial coach for his clients. “It feels like we’re just getting started, and I’m looking forward to the next 20 years.”
In his spare time, Harris is a volunteer for the Sno-King Area Hockey Association, a hockey coach, and sits on the business advisory board for X2Impact, a company that specializes in mouthpiece safety gear research and technology for athletes. All three are close to his heart.
“When I was 4 years old I strapped on the skates,” said Harris, who grew up in Michigan. “I’ve played hockey all of my life.”
Harris remembers back to when he had to decide a path for his professional future — pursuing hockey professionally or attend college. He chose college. And he chose his high school sweetheart.
“She was going to UW, so I followed her here to Seattle and got a degree in accounting,” he said. “As for that girlfriend, we’ve been married 15 of the best years of my life.”
Together the couple has two sons, who both play hockey — of course.