Having been in the financial services industry for over a decade now, I find my mistrust of the industry grows each year. Folks need resources that save them from the sales tactics and conflicts of interest pervasive in the financial services field. That is what this blog hopes to do. I hope to provide a different perspective on financial planning to help you improve your financial life and avoid being taken by salesmen (and women).

Why am I organizing this blog, and what makes me qualified? I use to be a consumer of the financial services industry, just like you. I never had any interest in finances. In fact, upon graduating from the Coast Guard Academy, I use to give my pay stub to a friend to ensure it was correct. We were both ensigns making the exact same so I figured why should I waste my time with these details. This didn’t mean I was wasteful with money, quite the contrary. I never spent more than I made and I saved 20% of my pay. I just figured I would utilize the “expertise” of professionals to manage my money. So I hired the family broker to care for my investments.

As the years progressed, I would file my account statements away without really looking at them. Just keep saving and I would be fine. However, after hearing some friends talk about some high returns they earned, I decided to really examine my account statements one Saturday. I realized that I not only had returns well below the market, but I had paid as much in commissions as I had in earnings. Whose retirement was I saving for…mine or the broker? So I immersed myself in all things financial. I read everything out there and really examined how Wall Street works. The more I read, the deeper the rabbit hole went. I finally decided that I wanted to work in the financial world after the Coast Guard and bring a different message – a pro-consumer one.

Before opening my own firm, I worked at the Motley Fool whose belief that the Wall Street wise hindered the individual investor matched mine. From there I worked at a fee-only firm in Florida for a few years. I earned my CFP and moved on to greener pastures with my own firm.

Hopefully, this blog will help you determine what wealth really means to you. It may be fancy hotels and champagne brunches, but for many people it is financial security and cookouts with family. This blog will focus on all things financial like many financial blogs, but we will deal with the life planning issues as well. I hope you find useful information and will get involved in this blog. I really want to hear about your concerns, triumphs, and goals.

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