Drawn to friendly atmosphere, California wealth manager becomes Powellite
By Kevin Killough
Powell Tribune, Thursday, October 17, 2019 8:05 am
Powell loves to distinguish itself with its friendly atmosphere. Besides making life for its residents more pleasant, this quality can attract more residents to town. Golden State Wealth Management CEO Daniel Catone was so taken in by it, he moved his family here from California.
“I like to think we’re Wyominites at heart,” he said. “The community has been very welcoming.”
Catone said he and his family — which includes his four kids — have made more friends here in the last year than they made in 10 years in California.
There were a number of qualities the Catones liked about the Cowboy State, including the business-friendly climate and the beauty of the landscape. He said its sparseness is related to the accommodating nature of the people here.
“It’s not that people in California aren’t nice. Sure they are,” he explained. “It’s just a different openness here than there was in California. And I think it’s related to the environment here, because everything here is open.”
Wyoming’s culture is much more people-focused, he’s observed; people are not indifferent to others in big cities, but the priorities are different.
“It’s what people put first,” he said. “They put personal relationships first here. And that’s really been attractive.”
Despite complaints from people in this area about Californians coming to Wyoming and trying to transport their culture here, Catone said he hasn’t had anyone give him dirty looks when he says he’s from California.
“We’re the least political people in the world,” he said.
For that reason, he enjoys the local newspaper, as it offers something outside the polarizing politics that are so much a part of the big city newspapers.
“When we open the paper here, it’s interesting, local stories. It’s not just, ‘Oh here’s the latest crime.’ And the sad truth is, that’s how it is in a lot of cities. It’s, ‘Here’s what the president is doing and here’s some crime stuff.’ I like the ‘Local man shoots mountain lion to protect his livestock,’” Catone said. “There’s just something more wholesome about it.”
Catone grew up in Orange County, California, and he and his wife moved to Northern California in 2002. He said Wyoming has a lot of the same beauty as the vast, redwood forests of that area — except maybe the lack of trees. One of big selling points on the property he purchased was that it has a grove down by the river.
“It’s like a mini forest,” he said.
A few years after moving to northern Calinfornia, he started his own private wealth management company, Redwood Investments. Since then, he’s founded a number of companies under the umbrella company, Golden State Wealth Management. The companies provide a number of services to financial professionals. So, if someone goes to a financial adviser, that adviser could hire Golden State to run the assets for them.
“Rather than picking this stock or that stock,” he explained, “they are more managing the financial planning aspects of your relationship — so making sure you can retire on time. They select us to help that occur.”
With its partners, Golden State says it serves more than $1.5 billion in brokerage and advisory assets.
In order to run his businesses, Catone has had to contend with some travel. About one week a month, he flies out of Cody to other cities for work.
He has a house in Fort Bragg, California. While there, it takes him 2 1/2 hours to get to the nearest regional airport. With Yellowstone Regional Airport only a half-hour away, he’s actually closer to air travel options here in Powell. In that way, travel is easier here than it was in California.
“Luckily Cody is pretty good. Two flights a day to Denver, and from there you can go anywhere in the world,” he said.
For the rest of the time, he works from his office in downtown Powell.
“I needed an office where the kids aren’t screaming,” he joked.
Most of the work he does in finance is electronic. So it involves Skype conferencing, reviewing contracts, and conference calls — but it works.
“In that sense, it’s a real blessing to have the technology to make it possible to live where you want to live and still have the same exact career,” he said.
Last week, contractors were at his property south of Powell along the Shoshone River, pouring concrete for the foundation of his new home.
“It’s been a great experience, and we’re here to stay,” Catone said.