It dawned on me I really shouldn’t assume you know much about me and my practice. So, let me share some quick bullet points. It is a 3-minute read.
THE FORMATIVE YEARS
- I grew up in the Akron area, went to St. Vincent – St. Mary High School (home of LeBron James), Kent State for undergrad and Ohio State for grad school.
- After finishing OSU I moved to Michigan (not a wise decision during the Cooper years, but great in the Tressel ones).
- I spent over a decade working for local governments doing anything and everything with numbers. Grants, developments, budgets, etc.
- To advance in my profession you had to move every few years. It was fine when it was just my wife and myself. Once we had two kids my perspective changed.
- Because of my numbers background I was recruited to move into the world of Financial Advising and we moved back to Ohio.
- I started at Merrill Lynch in 2006 and five years later I was the only one left of everyone I started with. The Mortgage Crisis was not kind to trainees.
- At that point I realized I did not want to work for a big bank constantly chasing assets for them, so I moved to a smaller firm.
- After a few years it came to me there had to be a better model for clients than charging fees based on a percentage of assets.
- I wanted a way to charge based on my knowledge and experience. Specifically, a flat fee.
- To accomplish this I had to launch my own firm where I could use my skills as a Certified Financial Planner™ instead of worrying about just gathering assets.
- Forward Thinking Wealth Management was launched in 2016 and has been flat fee and fully virtual since I opened my doors. I have clients coast-to-coast. When Covid hit and everyone panicked about being virtual I was like “no big deal.” Some might say it was forward thinking😉
- I am different from most financial advisors beyond how I charge (a flat fee) based on knowledge, experience and service level.
- My focus is on something called the True Wealth Process. This is comprehensive financial planning with a real emphasis on qualitative data gathering. It is important because the Certified Financial Planning Board does not actually teach data gathering, so I went through extensive training in this area. I mean, it is only the most important thing in a real financial planning process😊
- The short version is I thoroughly diagnose before I can write a prescription. I promise this is the only time I will use a medical analogy as my DNP wife says I have no medical knowledge😉
- There is also a heavy, heavy dose of tax planning with my clients. It’s not what you make; it’s what you keep.
- This brings me to the focus of my firm. I cater to high-stress physicians seeking a better life balance.
CURRENT STATE OF IT ALL
- My firm continues to grow, however, I have made the decision to cater to clients who are physicians wanting a better life balance.
- The annual flat fee for my select clients is $12,000. This includes everything from investment management to creation of a financial plan to tax planning and more.
- As a comparison, my average client size is $3 million and the “average” financial advisor charges $22,000. And for most clients this is paying $22,000 a year just to manage investments. No financial planning. No tax planning. No distribution planning. No True Wealth. Yikes!
- You will see in my writings I spend a lot of time with clients on tax planning. I will continue to share why in the articles, but it mainly comes down to my clients are often in the top tax bracket and we have more control over taxes than which way the stock market moves. Plus, no reason to tip Uncle Sam!
- On the personal side, my older son is now out of college and lives in Colorado. The younger one is a junior in college studying animal science. Finally, my wife is a nursing professor. As to me, I try to be outside as much as possible and am doing my best to institute my own True Wealth Plan. Stay tuned on this.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and learning more about me and my focus. I promise we will get back on topic next week and talk more about areas my physician clients say are important and make a difference in achieving that life balance.