At Out of the Office Planning, One Niche Business Takes Center Stage

New RIA of the Year nominee Colton Etherton helps tattoo artists prepare for the future.

Colton Etherton (Courtesy Photo)

Colton Etherton

(Courtesy Photo)

In the run-up to naming the winners of the inaugural RIA Intel Awards on September 14, 2022, RIA Intel will publish short features highlighting the accomplishments of this year’s nominees and Rising Stars.

There are plenty of things that have slowed down in the wake of the pandemic, but spending money on tattoos isn’t one of them.

“Many artists I talk to are booked out for months,” says Colton Etherton, who established his own RIA, Out of the Office Planning, a business that focuses entirely on tattoo artists and is based in Beaverton, Oregon with $1.9 million in assets under management. “You would think it’s something people would forgo, but that hasn’t been the case so far.”

While business is currently booming for his clients, Etherton says that they never know what tomorrow will bring. It’s those unknowns, says the father of two, that he loves to work with.

“[Tattoo artists] really have control over their income because they can control how much they’re working,” says Etherton, who helps his roughly ten clients with everything from their taxes to cash flow and retirement. “It provides more flexibility for planning — with the typical employee, it’s like, ‘Okay, you have your 401k.’”

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Before he founded Out of the Office Planning, Etherton worked at Johnstone Financial Advisors, a Beaverton, Oregon-based wealth management firm, where he typically dealt with older clients who were approaching retirement age.

But now, he says, he finds excitement working with younger adults. “You can make quite a big impact when you help them look at their finances over the long term,” he explains.

Etherton is often helping them plan for the next twenty or thirty years — and retirement isn’t always their goal. “It’s more about financial independence,” he says. “A lot of my clients love tattooing, so they don’t really see themselves stopping, like most people do in their regular jobs.”

Along with planning where they want to be decades from now, these clients are often concerned with the financial planning that goes into opening their own shop, or perhaps taking time off to travel. For Etherton, near-term goals like these help make his job more rewarding.

“Those kinds of opportunities are fun to plan around,” he says.

The inaugural RIA Intel Awards is a celebration of financial advisors, wealth management firms, and industry leaders. Winners will be on announced on September 14, 2022 and will be honored in-person at upcoming RIA Institute Forums.

If you have any questions, please contact your relationship manager at II or RIA Intel.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the winners would be announced at a dinner and ceremony at the Metropolitan Club of New York on September 14, 2022.

However, due to an unanticipated scheduling conflict with the venue, we regret that Institutional Investor’s inaugural RIA Intel Awards Dinner & Gala on September 14 in New York will not take place. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The Awards themselves remain unchanged. Winners will still be on announced on on September 14, and will be honored in-person at upcoming RIA Institute Forums.

Each winner will also be the subject of a feature story on

Caitlin Keating (@Caitkeating) is a freelancer at RIA Intel and based in New York City.

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