David Nilssen is the president, CEO and co-founder of Guidant Financial Group, Inc., of Bellevue, Wash. Guidant structures customized accounts that allow individuals to personally direct their retirement monies into traditional (stocks, bonds, mutual funds) and non-traditional (real estate, tax liens, personal loans, etc.) investments. A strong believer in broad diversification and hands-on investing, Nilssen is regularly invited to speak at top venues throughout the country as a leading expert in the creative utilization of self-directed IRAs.
Nilssen pioneered the concept of “one-stop shopping” within the self-directed industry. Under his leadership, Guidant developed an innovative service that includes all rollover steps, customized account structuring, discounted custodial fees, checkbook control, outside attorney consultations and lifetime customer service. The concept has made Guidant one of the fastest growing companies within the industry, and its success has earned it top national and regional recognition, including: U.S. Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Small Business; Bellevue Chamber of Commerce Eastside Small Business of the Year; Washington CEO Magazine Best Companies to Work For; and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Northwest Regional Small Business of the Year. In 2007, the SBA named Nilssen the co-recipient of the national Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
An avid investor himself, Nilssen has purchased millions of dollars in real estate and was instrumental in the development of a national sales team with a production of over $250 million in gross revenue. He has also helped to initiate many businesses within the service industry, including a real estate agency/property management firm and real estate development company. Nilssen has been highlighted in such publications as Fortune Magazine, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.