1. What led you to work for Wealthbridge after many years in finance?
I was looking for a company that allowed me as an advisor to grow along with my clients. I knew Tim Randle previously as we both worked at another company together. A mutual friend told Tim I was looking to make a change and the same person told me how well Wealthbridge Financial Advisors was doing. After talking to and interviewing with several companies, Wealthbridge Financial Advisors seemed to fit with my change in directions. I realized that he had a similar approach to finance as I did.
2. There’s a growing body of academic literature that indicates women are better investors than men. What are your thoughts on the subject?
I think women are wanting to understand investing as they are not afraid to ask for more information. They are no longer just taking what they are told at face value. Nine out ten women will have to make financial decisions by themselves at some point in their life, and they want to learn sooner rather than later how to take care of themselves.
3. What famous quote best explains or summarizes your financial philosophy?
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" by Benjamin Franklin. My financial philosophy is to help people prepare for retirement by assisting them with budgets, making wise financial decisions, and answering their questions in terms they understand. As clients' needs change, so do my recommendations. I have to be flexible because every person has a different need.
4. The #1 question you receive from clients is ____. How do you answer it?
How will I know I can retire? I start by asking when do you want to retire? What are you doing now to save for retirement? Then I proceed to ask if they have a budget now. If they don't know what they are spending money on now, then we can't plan for retirement. Most people do not have a budget now, much less for 20 years in the future. It is a starting point of how much they will need. Someone who needs $4000 a month has a different financial need than someone who has $1000 a month need.
5. Can you share an essential money lesson you learned as a single mom?
Budgeting is the most critical lesson because you need to account for paying bills. I learned to plan out lunch and dinner for the week not just for the day. By having a lunch and dinner schedule, I knew what my son was eating as well as what would be left at the end of the week. If you don't know where your money is going, then how can you prepare for the unexpected?
6. Tell us about the most difficult financial challenge facing our clientele today.
The biggest financial problem is failing to plan for long term care needs. Most veterans assume they will get into a VA home, but the truth is there is a two-year wait in Huntsville, AL and you must be more than 50% disabled to qualify. Also, a majority of a veterans’ retired pay will go to the VA, so any spouse is losing income as well. Women need to have a long-term care plan as we tend to outlive our spouse by seven years and most do not want to be a burden to our children.
7. Tell us about the greatest wealth-building opportunity you see for our clients.
Don’t be afraid of a strong market. The market has been steadily increasing for ten years, so don't stay on the sideline. Clients need to be made aware that the ups and downs of the market are normal and not the mass hysteria that the news says it is. If you are investing, remind yourself that you are a long-term investor, not a day trader. Long-term investing is considered more than five years in the future. If you need your money sooner than five years, put it in the bank.
8. How did returning to college as an adult student impact your ideas on college savings/planning?
As someone who knew what degree I needed for my job, I was able to rule out the classes that I did not need. I did not take any extra classes that would be fun because I did not want to accrue more in student debt than I needed to. I stuck to my advisor's guidance on what classes I had to take and what classes would fit best as my electives such as a Leadership class.
9. What do you love the most about working and living in the Huntsville area?
I enjoy the big city feel but with a lot less traffic compared to the DFW Metroplex. It takes me 30 minutes to get almost anywhere in Huntsville versus at least an hour in Fort Worth/Dallas because of the traffic and construction. There are national chain restaurants here as well as great local places. Huntsville has a good mesh of things to do.
10. Let’s wrap up with fun questions:
a. How did you teach your son about money? My son had chores from the time he was six years old and did the dishes. If he did not clean them thoroughly, I put them back in the sink, and he rewashed them. I gave him one chore a day to do, so he did not feel like he had a long list. He got paid each Friday, and he used the money to buy his video games or go out when he got older. He opened a Roth IRA at 20 years old when he got a part-time job. It is something I tell all my clients to have their kids do when they start working.
b. If you weren’t a financial advisor, what job would you hold? I originally wanted to be a chemical engineer and I think I may have gone in that direction as I can get down into the weeds if need be when explaining something. I am detail-oriented, and I excelled at chemistry in high school and college.
Check out my background on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.