1. What led you to work for Wealthbridge after many years in banking?
I had a lifelong love of investing and an appreciation of its power in building wealth, leading to a desire to help other people realize financial independence however they define it for themselves. I also enjoy relationships with people so being a financial advisor is a perfect fit for me because I can bring skill and experience to help others find financial and investment success by really knowing them and understanding what they need and want in life.
2. How do your degrees in History and Education help you to serve Wealthbridge clients?
Understanding our history helps us understand where we came from, who we are and where we are going. This applies to financial planning more than I had ever imagined, in addition to the value of my critical thinking and analytical skills learned from the study of history. I enjoy using my education background to help people either develop a new understanding of their own financial picture, educate themselves about money and investing, or enhance and build existing knowledge for more experienced investors. I believe in lifelong learning and my study of history and education are an asset to my clients.
3. What famous quote best explains or summarizes your financial philosophy?
“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali
There is no perfect “future” time to begin investing or planning or doing anything worthwhile in life, so the time is now. Life is not perfect, and we are not perfect, but we still can strive for something better for ourselves and our family. Getting there is more achievable with a plan that shows us how to make a path to our goals and, more importantly, leads us to take action by moving forward on the path with the flexibility for the unseen road ahead. For me, it’s about investing for what is really important (hint: it’s something bigger than money for most people), which are experiences instead of possessions for my family and long-term financial security. That is what investing and planning for the future is about to me and I hope that view aligns with, or at least complements, the views of our potential clients.
4. The #1 question you receive from clients is ____. How do you answer it?
How do I/we make our savings and investments work harder for me/us? The answer is to help them understand the power of time in investing, to start saving as early as possible preferably with automatic recurring contributions to capture the power of dollar cost averaging, and by truly making it a priority to think about the future while not losing sight of their significant responsibilities of today. We all talk about how fast time moves, so our job is to help clients maximize their time and form the discipline and long-term mindset to achieve financial success as well as providing education, guidance and support to do so.
5. Can you share the most important money lesson you learned growing up?
I learned to save money at a young age in a savings account. My Dad, a CPA and banker his whole life, made me invest half of my 8th grade graduation gift money in the stock market, and I never forgot the impact of that even though I wanted to spend it. I also worked as a bank teller starting at the age of 16, so those lessons of handling money and large financial transactions and customer service were very good for me as a young person.
6. Tell us about the most difficult financial challenge facing our clientele today.
We live in a high-cost and high-pressure world with an immediate focus on TODAY leading people to either completely ignore, delay, or sideline planning for their own future or saving enough money. Prioritizing saving and investing for the future and delaying gratification can be a challenge, so we believe our role is to help people make the decision to make themselves a priority. We’re the financial equivalent of a person getting back to themselves with a spa day or a fishing trip or whatever brings them calm and peace in a busy world with their rightful focus on career, family, children, and many other responsibilities. We’re a co-navigator and a real advocate for our clients. Our job is to help them face and overcome those challenges and build a path to success.
7. Tell us about the greatest wealth-building opportunity you see for our clients.
Investment is the middle-class bridge to wealth. Investing with a long-term view through a diversified strategic asset allocation strategy is the greatest wealth-building opportunity for clients. There is no other wealth generation mechanism that comes close to properly investing saved capital over the long-term through the public capital markets. Doing so takes a well-executed and monitored plan.
8. You’ve been active in the Greater Chicago community for almost your entire life. Why do you love serving clients in the area so much?
I love the Chicagoland area very much and I want to bring the value that I know Wealthbridge has to offer to people I care about in and around a city I love. I understand the power of investing and planning and just like my education background, I have a desire to help bring knowledge to others so that they can enhance and build their own understanding. Also, I believe the power of truly caring about the client and feeling like you are working for their family is something that can’t be quantified in numbers or words, although it is what sets us apart.
9. How did your amazing backpacking journey through Europe influence your outlook on financial planning?
Unlike many people, I planned my backpacking trip for two years with meticulous review of my trusty Michelin guidebooks and I learned that having a plan with flexibility leads to a superior experience. I had the trip mapped out with rough timing, destinations in seven countries, and hostel reservations while allowing total freedom of activity in each place. The time saving of having a nice safe clean bed with like-minded travelers when I arrived at my next destination helped me have freedom to do and see more. Financial planning is very similar because it is about having the freedom to do and see more by mapping the future and maximizing your resources. The future is unknown so the flexibility to change as life changes is another helpful lesson from my travels that can be applied to my planning outlook.
10. Let’s wrap up with the same trio of fun questions we asked Tim Randle, our founder:
How do you teach your kids about money?
We teach our two young boys that we work very hard to be able to make money to buy all the things they need and sometimes, but not always, the things they want. We help them save in a piggy bank and take the coins to the bank and talk about how that money moves to their college savings plans for their own FUTURES.
If you weren’t a financial advisor, what job would you hold?
If I weren’t a financial advisor, I would love to be an entrepreneur and own a small business or perhaps be an intelligence analyst or a full-time investor.
What song title best explains your approach to financial planning?
“Break on Through” by The Doors. If investment is the middle-class bridge to wealth, and it is, then we’re trying to help our clients open the doors and eliminate barriers to their financial success and break through to the other side of that bridge. We want to walk across the bridge with them and not just talk about the future milestones in their life, but to see and experience the milestones as they become part of their life story.