About Us

Bryan Nelson - President and CEO

Bryan J. Nelson is the President and CEO of Balanced Plan Financial.

He entered the financial services industry in 2007 after working for 10 years as an educator. Drawing upon his experience in education, Bryan works painstakingly to simplify complex financial concepts for his clients so they feel comfortable implementing the strategies necessary to achieve their financial goals.

Initially drawn to traditional investments, Bryan started his financial services career with Edward Jones. During that time, he realized, that although clients want to see their money grow, his more conservative clients actually preferred safer and more controlled growth over more volatile growth instruments – even if they eventually outperformed the safer options. After years of stress testing a slew of financial products, Bryan became convinced that properly-structured life insurance products were often the ideal path to achieve this balance for his more conservative clients. This led Bryan to eventually transition over to ING Financial, which would later become Voya Financial, since they offered both investment and insurance products to their clients.

During his time at Voya Financial, Bryan became more interested in showing his clients how to use life insurance as their own private bank. He eventually became an “Authorized Infinite Banking Concept® Practitioner” as he became more and more interested in using Whole Life insurance as a true, non-correlated asset class to financial markets.

Recently Bryan decided that he must align himself with a group which offered him true independence as a financial professional so he could continuously offer best-of-breed products and strategies to his clients without allegiance to any particular investment or insurance company. As an independent, Bryan now enjoys researching financial/insurance products of all types and crafting strategies for clients without interference from a parent company mandating him to steer clients toward their “approved product” list.

Bryan enjoys volleyball, hiking, camping, surfing, and spending time with his wife and two kids.

John "Hutch" Hutchinson - Insurance Collaborator

John, or “Hutch” as he’s often known as, is not only a proponent of the strategy discussed throughout this site, but also a customer himself. Hutch specializes in taking a visual educational approach with clients, boiling down complex financial strategies to simple sketches and stories that they can easily understand. He is also a perpetual student in the continually evolving subject of wealth creation/preservation. Although he has earned some of the most respected classifications in the financial industry, Hutch learned some of the hardest lessons first as a consumer.

You see, Hutch watched his father’s life’s work as a successful entrepreneur come unraveled due to a premature death coupled with a lack of proper planning. After in-fighting among heirs of a blended family ensued, Hutch eventually was granted a sum of money to be “professionally-managed” in trust during what turned out to be “the lost decade.” Having no control and little say as to how the account was managed, Hutch saw his account churned more than once as the broker switched parent companies. He also saw the balance fluctuate violently after the tech-bubble of the early 2000’s and then again through the housing crash of 2008-2009.

After the first free-fall, Hutch used this as motivation to learn more about the mechanics of money as a consumer, and eventually joined the financial services industry before the second crash hit. Hutch was convinced he could build a more client-friendly model, and was determined to learn the business from the ground up. After working for two prominent parent companies, he eventually left a major financial company’s advanced business-planning team to create his own independent boutique practice, not to be “in bed” with any particular financial institution.

Because of his own entrepreneurial nature and what happened with his dad, Hutch especially enjoys working with business owners and self-employed real estate investors. He fully understands that an entrepreneur’s best rate of return will almost always come from within their own businesses where they have more access, knowledge, and control than they do with volatile financial markets.

Hutch lives in San Clemente, California with his wife of over 13 years, whom he met in elementary school. They have three daughters and enjoy going on travel adventures together as well as playing tennis, golf, going to the beach, and being of service through their church and other local causes.

Ben Vondrak

Ben was initially drawn to the financial industry from his college years when he first began to invest his own money. Ben first subscribed to the Wall Street journal at age 18. After taking coursework on the financial planning process, his intrigue and interest grew. Ben began his first job in the financial services industry in 2006 when he graduated from college in San Diego, CA. Years later, after working for two large financial companies, Ben saw that there was an inherent conflict of interest of working for an employer, especially ones who had their own proprietary products. Ben eventually chose to leave the safety of his employment and venture to the independent realm. With partner John “Hutch” Hutchinson, Ben started an independent boutique firm where he now has the freedom to pursue any strategy or product that will best fit his clients’ financial needs.

Ben’s affinity to working with business owners was instilled in him through his early years. Ben’s father owns a successful construction business and has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the same financial professional for over 30 years. Because of the freedom and financial stability provided through that relationship, Ben and his family created many wonderful memories together. Ben wants to see his clients have the confidence and freedom to focus on their business, family, and values knowing that their financial world is well cared for. Being in his 30’s, Ben seeks to create working relationships and strategies that will grow with his clients’ and last through the next two or three decades of his working life.

Today Ben lives in coastal San Diego, CA with his wife, Megan. They enjoy traveling together and love their outdoor lifestyle along the Southern CA coastline where they like to bike, hike, and golf as well as being involved with their local church.

Matt Sanford

Matt Sanford is a true northern Californian. Raised in rural Petaluma 50 miles north of San Francisco, educated in mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara, and currently living in the San Francisco Bay Area.

After more than a decade as a successful general contractor in the demanding city of San Francisco and working on extremely complex projects, he saw first-hand how impactful finances can be on a family. Most projects ranged from 2-20 months and for $50K –  $950K, which has taught him to be a trusted advisor to those he served. 

After years of learning about business and personal finance, Matt changed to the role of financial planner for families and business owners in 2018.  His experience in dealing with disingenuous advisors and his enjoyment of personal finance led him toward a new path to serve his clients.  He believes complex problems need proper analysis and a thorough process to find out what solution will fit each client.

Matt prides himself on being able to integrate investments, life insurance, real estate, and each client’s own unique logical and emotional factors into a cohesive plan.

Matt’s goal is to be your financial advisor for the rest of your life, one financial decision at a time.

He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters. In his spare time, he enjoys learning Portuguese, reading, outdoors, exercising, and participating in family activities.