35 Years of Experience

About us

Darby J. Minnick & Associates brings over 35 years of experience in helping businesses and individuals enhance financial results. We have accompanied our clients in a variety of situations, from consulting a widow on her retirement income with the assurance that she would not run out of money, to helping a business owner secure one of the largest SBA loans in history for his business expansion.

We treat our clients with the utmost respect and care, guided by our tri-fold mission.

  1. Do No Harm

    We are committed to making a positive impact in other people’s lives, to enhancing any good planning work already in place.

  2. Education Model

    We teach suitable clients through a uniquely educational model rather than a sales-based model as many other firms do.

  3. Co-create a Strategy

    We acknowledge that each person and business is unique, so we co-create strategies with each client.

Darby J. Minnick CLU©,CHFC©

Mr. Minnick’s financial savvy has been cultivated and tested right here in Big Sky Country.

In 1913, Darby’s family homesteaded in Rudyard, Montana and farmed for over 50 years. Darby was born and raised nearby, in Havre, Montana.

While working at his family’s Hi-Line Auto dealership from 1975 to 1980, Darby became leasing manager and then owner of Hi-Line Leasing Company. During the tough economy of the late 1970s, many dealerships went bankrupt, but he powered through. This experience enabled him to help other businesses through tough economic times.

In 1979, Darby began helping farm and ranch families with estate planning. This small start grew into advising business owners across the United States.

Today, Darby’s passion is to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. He works on the behalf of clients around the country with the help of his business partner and son-in-law, Michael Hixson.

Mr. Minnick attended MSU Northern and the University of Montana, where he studied accounting.

Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY.

Registered Representative of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), 5 Centerpointe Drive, Suite 150, Lake Oswego, OR 97035, (503) 207-4550. Securities products and services are offered through PAS. Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY (Guardian). PAS is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Darby J. Minnick & Associates is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. PAS is a member FINRA, SIPC.

Check the background of our investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Michael W. Hixson

Michael is passionate about educating and collaborating. He breaks down complex concepts for clients to co-create tailored financial strategies.

Michael has served with Darby J. Minnick & Associates for ten years, joining the firm in 2006. Trained in many aspects of planning with the intention of some day leading the firm, Michael is very well-versed in succession in business planning.

Michael’s passion is to help small family businesses grow, develop, overcome challenges and move forward. He finds it energizing to see people be creative, give it their best and be successful in their fields and loves to be a part of the process to make that happen.

Michael has lived in Montana since childhood and graduated from Mount Ellis Academy in Bozeman. He then studied engineering at Walla Walla College in Washington. He, his wife and three children are rooted in Bozeman and enjoy the outdoors and travel.

Financial Representative, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, NY.

Jacob Larkey


Originally form Kansas City, Missouri, Jake Larkey joined Darby J. Minnick & Associates in 2017. With a background in managing organizational growth, it was Jake’s desire to help businesses grow that brought him to the firm. Jake studied economics and political science while on a football scholarship at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He earned a Masters of Business Administration from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. After getting married, Jake relocated to Bozeman in 2017 to join his wife, a PhD student at Montana State University.

David Lakowski


David Lakowski has worked with Darby J. Minnick and Michael Hixson since 2016. David's
previous experience is in life insurance and stock and commodities markets. After training with similar firms, he came to Darby J. Minnick & Associates to assist in moving the business
forward.

A desire to help others attracted David to this industry. Now, he works with individuals and businesses to plan and build wealth.

David has lived in Montana for 10 years. He graduated from Montana State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.