William “Will” Ichioka graduated in May 2015 with a degree in business administration. He is currently a self-employed investor and financial advisor working in downtown San Francisco at the TransAmerica pyramid building. Ichioka has been investing stocks, real estate, and startups, and he is already a multimillionaire at the age of 23. He credits much of his success to USF and wants to give back to the University, as well as to the students. To help out current USF students, Ichioka wants to provide them with free financial advice and has offered to invest their money without taking commission. “I want students to know that I’m relatable and I have knowledge that will make them richer,” said Ichioka.
Ichioka was born in Hawaii and moved to San Francisco when he was 18 to attend USF. When he graduated, he took time off to travel and spend time with his family. He began working as an independent financial advisor this year and is contracted through Northwestern Mutual. “I came back to San Francisco because there are a lot of start-up companies, it’s very tech savvy, and there are a lot of investment opportunities,” said Ichioka. Within a month of being back in San Francisco, Ichioka found his career in financial advising, “I wanted to start here because this is where I found myself,” said Ichioka, “and I believe that I have an edge over other financial advisors because I genuinely love investing and helping other people make money.”
Ichioka’s current investments have the industry-leading dividends in the country. According to his projections, if $10,000 are invested every year, in 20 years they will have $300,000 in your bank account. College students have a unique advantage in that they have so much time, the rest of their lives, in fact, to capitalize on their investments. “The biggest advantage is time, and the sooner people get started, the more they will earn in the long run,” Ichioka said.
Ichioka is unique in his approach to advising in that he is very young, especially considering that his clients are typically middle-aged or older. He wants to help students who, like himself, want to invest in their future, “I just want to open students’ eyes,” he said, “because you could retire with more money than you’d ever thought you’d have.”
When a client arrives at his office, he first creates an analysis of their current financial situation and compares it to a projection of where they could be financially if they invested with him. Ichioka currently works with some alumni from USF and has helped USF senior Mohammed “Nonoo” Bazarbay manage his stock portfolio and plan for retirement. “If you invest with banks, they will charge you for something,” says Bazarbay. Also, if an investor decides to pull their money out, the bank may refuse or charge a minimum of 5 percent commission to return the money. Ichioka, on the other hand, will not profit off of USF students who sign a contract with him, and he will not take commission. “It’s gonna take a different time frame depending on each individual, depending on how aggressive they want to be or how much money they start out with, but eventually, I’m going to get everyone…a taste of the 1 percent money,” said Ichioka.
Ichioka warns against investing without the advice of a professional financial advisor. He is experienced to the point where he feels comfortable handling other people’s’ money, whereas USF students may not be as experienced or knowledgeable about the fluctuations of the stock market. “I’ve been a student, I’ve been successful, and now I want to give back,” said Ichioka. “I want to advise students in a way that most haven’t thought about.”
If you are interested in taking advantage of Ichioka’s offer to receive financial advice, email him at [email protected]