Peter Hundt, ChFC®
Specializing in advanced planning techniques for investments, risk management, and legacy enhancement, Peter Hundt has been working with clients to help achieve their financial planning goals at Hundt Financial for more than 20 years. Peter was an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve for 11 years ending in November 2011, when he was honorably discharged after reaching the rank of captain. Peter, a 1999 graduate of Thomas Aquinas College in California, has his FINRA Series 7, 24, and 51 securities registrations and is a licensed life insurance agent. He is married to Ashley and has six children: Andrew - 15, Susanna -13, Charles - 11, Paul - 9, Adeline - 7, and Beatrice - 5. Peter and Ashley live in a hundred year old house in Elm Grove and enjoy playing tennis, playing music, riding motorcycles, and watching the kids do all of these things and many others.
Paul Hundt was born in 1942, the fifth of the thirteen children of Bernie and Cate Hundt, and was raised on a dairy farm in the town of Middle Ridge, among the rolling hills and valleys of the Coulee Region of western Wisconsin. As a child he milked cows before sunup, walked to school, played baseball at recess, walked home and milked cows again before he did his homework. At night he dreamed about cars and tractors, and built model train layouts, which was a hobby he would pursue for the rest of his life. He attended a one-room schoolhouse, known as the “Little School”, which was a public school operated by nuns. It was in some ways a tough childhood and Paul endured some hardships. Two of his four older brothers died in tragic accidents, and when his eldest brother Bob went away to the seminary, he and his beloved big brother Stan were left to manage the farm along with his dad. But his family had the Catholic faith, which saw them through many good times and bad.
Paul took the bus to Aquinas High School in La Crosse WI, which took over an hour each way. He graduated in 1960 and matriculated at St. Mary’s University in Winona, MN that fall. He would go on to graduate in 1964 with a degree in history, having written his senior thesis on the early history of his own hometown. Though he would never live there again, Paul would always maintain very strong connections to Middle Ridge, to the extent of one day helping found a History Park dedicated to preserving the area’s historic structures. The summer of 1964 he spent in Newport, Rhode Island at the US Navy’s Officer Candidate School, and was commissioned that fall; he spent the next four years serving well and honorably in places like Pacific Beach WA and Adak, Alaska.
After his naval service obligation was complete, Paul moved back to Wisconsin and took a sales position wholesaling lawn tractors for International Harvester. He set all kinds of sales records but didn’t get much of a raise, and he was ambitious to better his station. He left and joined Merrill Lynch in 1969 and began a career in financial services that he pursued very successfully to his last day. Fascinated by the then-nascent field of financial planning, he established his own independent practice, Hundt Financial Services in 1973, and set up shop in Brookfield, where our firm continues to prosper and serve client families all across the country. Later in the 1970’s Paul began a career as a real estate developer and over the decades built dozens of apartment buildings in the La Crosse area.
Paul Hundt was a devout Catholic, and his faith directed him to give generously of the wealth and talent with which he had been blessed. In time he had become concerned with certain adverse trends in society, and his response to these challenges was to found a new, classical Catholic school, now known as Aquinas Academy. Aquinas is now over thirty years old, and is growing and thriving; the current student body exceeds 180 children. It was not always this way, and the story of Aquinas is one of great difficulty and sacrifice. But whenever he was confronted with the option of closing the school and chalking it up as a noble failure, Paul would grit his teeth, mutter “we’ve got to help those kids,” write a check and go back to work. He was always rewarded with peace of mind, prosperity and new challenges. He was working on the final touches of the gymnasium of Aquinas’ new middle school, opened in September 2021, on the afternoon before he died. There is no doubt that Aquinas Academy was his proudest achievement in a life of much success, but it wasn’t his only philanthropic initiative. He founded and supported the Ridge History Park, which among other things refurbished the Little School that he had attended 60 years before, as well as other buildings and historic farm machinery. He gave generously to many other charitable organizations, was a Rotarian for over 40 years, and enjoyed his time working with Legatus, an organization of Catholic business people.
Paul was a strong believer in the power of planning, because “when we plan, we create the future.” He loved this industry and our clients, whom he considered friends; as representatives of his firm, we are enjoined first and foremost to maintain those friendships. On the wall of our conference room for the past two decades have hung the words “Money is a tool, not a trophy”. This embodied Paul’s deeply held conviction: that through strong financial planning, our clients might lead more productive and meaningful lives. This is the legacy that Paul Hundt left, which we strive every day to sustain.