Professional Advisor Spotlight: Michael Altringer

Michael Altringer, Giving back to a Community that Gave Him So Much

A self-described “ski bum” turned successful financial advisor, Michael Altringer is no stranger to hard work. He grew up in Dickinson, North Dakota and attended Montana State University (MSU) where he ran for the track team his freshman year. Falling in love with the mountains, he turned his sights on skiing when his track coach told him he had to make a choice, “to run or ski.” He chose skiing and took his fair share of bumps and bruises at Bridger Bowl near Bozeman, while learning to ski. Upon graduating from MSU in 1983, Michael headed to Vail, Colorado where he was a ski instructor for two years and worked many other part time jobs before he decided he needed a “real” career. He landed in Spokane where he stayed with family and decided to pursue a career as a financial advisor. He quickly learned there was not much demand for a 24-year-old ski bum, until a lucky encounter with a fellow skier and financial advisor helped him land his first job in the financial industry with EF Hutton.

As a financial advisor, Michael enjoys growing wealth for his clients, not just for the challenge, but because he cares about them and their families. Advising people to make the best decisions for their money is very important to him. He’s spent many sleepless nights worrying about the market and forces outside of his control, but over the years, he has learned that solid decisions for the long term have been a successful model that works well for him and his clients. Michael also believes in giving back to the community and with that belief, advises his clients to also consider doing the same. He has made numerous recommendations to his clients on the advantages of establishing a fund through the Donor Designated Advisor (DDA) program with Innovia Foundation. Innovia allows clients to keep their primary financial advisor, while working with the Foundation. He feels it is a unique and effective way to bring donors, financial advisors and a community foundation together to create a legacy of giving that allows his clients to feel gratitude for their giving while they are still alive. Michael has also created a fund for giving through Innovia Foundation, which includes, amongst others, annual gifts to Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, Ronald McDonald House, Montana State University, and Washington State University.

A Man for Spokane

Michael has found Spokane to be a wonderful place to live, work, play and raise a family. He moved to Spokane knowing only a few relatives but made many connections through his passion for skiing by coaching at both Mt. Spokane and Schweitzer. Initial connections worked into many long-term friendships for which he is thankful. Though he loves skiing, Michael also has a passion for the outdoors, which has led him on many adventures with his daughters, Nicolle and Courtney, and his wife, Sue. He enjoys sharing his love of the outdoors with family and friends who venture to the Pacific Northwest. He especially likes the “wow” he gets when those from his hometown and other areas of the country visit and experience the beauty of the Inland Northwest for the first time.

Michael realizes the importance of building a legacy of giving back to a community that has given him so much. He considers himself lucky to have chosen an industry that rewards hard work and wants to be remembered as being fun-loving, adventurous, a good dad, good friend and husband, as well as someone who gives back to the community. He says, “when I moved here, I was flat broke, and Spokane has been very good to me.” Michael plans to keep on giving and adventuring with his wife as they pursue more philanthropic work and volunteer opportunities when he retires.