Out of the gate I achieved both my Bachelors Degree in Finance and my Master's Degree in Business Management. My ambition was, second to none, to become wealthy and worked very successfully as a retail stockbroker and investment banking of small companies which were mostly all high risk speculative investments. I was achieving my goal quite well when something profound and cathartic happened in my life. My second born son Chase was diagnosed with a brain tumor at only 21 months old in 2002. We were given the gift of a small miracle as it was benign and we also removed it in time. During this process I took a deep look at myself and the doctors that had saved my little boy's life and realized that these fine people were adding value to the world and still doing well financially.
I wanted to help people and add value to the world as well so I immediately began studying life insurance, vital documents and estate planning and began my CFP Certification which I finally received in 2007. I went further and received my Estate Planning Masters Certificate. Continuing to add expertise I received my PPC, which stands for Professional Plan Consultant, for advanced Retirement Planning as well. I think its important to know what drives the professionals in your life.
My mission, quite simply, is to use my continued expertise in Financial Planning to help as many families, small businesses and people as I possibly can while achieving personal success along the way. It is a dream and special goal of mine for people to look back 30 years from now and say "Thank goodness for that CFP Michael, he really sent us down the right path". Life, I believe, can be a win, win which is permanently enthreched into my character. Happy and blessed that Chase is doing fantastic and living a normal life with no remnants of the tumor that haunted him at such a young age. Wealth is defined in many different ways and I learned from that experience that Health is probably at the top of the list. I hope you will give me the opportunity to help you to achieve financial independence both in your younger years and your retirement with dignity and respect and protect you, your family, and your small business from unexpected life events.
I have over 25 years of experience in this industry. I have been through market crashes, quite a few recessions both domestic and global, tax cuts and tax increases, Republican and Democratic Administrations etc., etc., Bull and Bear markets and have learned through experience how to best guide you through them. I started my career as a retail stockbroker which grew into vast experience in trading and investment banking. I currently hold Series 7, 63, 65 and 24. I also formerly held a Series 55 trader license and had my own trading deck for quite some time. I also held the Series 4 options license which allowed me to trade options and hedge investments and was the CROP (compliance registered options principal) at 2 firms formerly. In 2002, my career path changed to more geared to Financial Planning (see “My Mission” page) and Advisory Investing.
When trading and investing, and hedging through all these years you learn to understand technical analysis, fundamental analysis, along with micro and macroeconomic factors that can affect timing and pricing. Industry and sector rotation can also be affected by many different factors, of which, I have witnessed many. The common thread here is that the world is intertwined. Perception and emotion can drive an investment high or low whether it makes logical sense or not. I also learned fast that the market trades on future, not current, values and expectations.
In addition to experience I have a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's Degree in Business Management. This was complete right before I started in the industry and gives me a great insight into consulting the small business person from their perspective. In the early 2000's I acquired my life and health insurance license and started my CFP training. I received my CFP certification in 2007. I truly loved the Estate Planning area so I continued and received my Master's certificate in Estate Planning in 2012. Then in 2015, I acquired my PPC which stands for Professional Plan Consultant to be able to work on Advanced retirement plan cases. I am constantly learning new things inside my industry to give you the very best in planning, taxation, hedging and investment opportunities. I love what I do and love helping people achieve their goals and objectives. I also learn by listening what is truly important to my clients and with that understanding to help steer them properly along with necessary changes sparked by unexpected events such as death, divorce, marriage, college, disability, long term care needs, and unemployment.
When you call, or email you will receive a response in 24 hrs. or less. Sometimes I do not know the answer as perfection is not my claim. Accurate info is the core of my work. Accurate advice is necessary to insure the future is not riddled with mistakes. I always tell everyone that I have never been that natural salesman that can sell on a whim. For me, research and knowledge in that area or product is crucial and necessary before the sale begins. I call it fact-based selling. Of course, you must add your experience and intuition learned over the years into the mix which I believe makes me quite knowledgeable in my industry.
Some of my clients and colleagues are surprised and tell me that I am not aggressive enough. I do not believe in tough tactics for sales. I take the longer-term approach with no pressure or obligation. This area of my character in this industry also allows clients to refer me knowing they won't receive a complaint of pressure or obligation which serves my business well. I pride myself on answering all financial questions that arise in clients lives or small businesses even if I do not manage that area for them. I sometimes compare it to being a personal CFO (Chief Financial Officer). I think that its important to have a knowledgeable confidant that can offer an educated opinion on an issue and holds all information and facts extremely confidential. Don't you?
When it comes to fees in my industry, I have been criticized for either charging low fees or no fees for many hours of my expertise by colleagues and former managers. I also have very reasonable portfolio fees. My colleagues are correct in this area only because of one word.......perception. For some reason, many people believe if you charge a reasonable rate you're not that good. If you were you would charge top dollar. Or if you give great planning advice and don't charge an additional fee you must. If you read my mission statement you know I look to serve people first. A reasonable fee I believe is the necessary stewardship of any fiduciary. Another reason for this strategy of lower fees in my business plan is, of course, to add so much value, and be priced so competitively that you never even consider leaving me for another CFP or Investment advisor.
Being an independent advisor is great for clients because the planner/advisor is not bound by a certain set of products or money managers or strategies. A common misconception I run into by being independent and that some believe we are not regulated as much, or at all, by a firm or governing authority. This couldn't be further from the truth as I have a broker-dealer I have been with since 2009 and most likely will for the rest of my career, that supervises all my brokerage and investment transactions and in many cases I need approval prior to moving ahead. I am also subject to all the governing bodies all other advisors are subject to. The real beauty of independence is simply more choices for the client. I can choose from almost any fund company, over 200 money managers, I can manage your portfolio myself and have availability to alternative investments many large brokerage or warehouses cannot offer you.
A more well-rounded product type and choice can add diversification and sometimes tax advantages. This is also true in life insurance for example. When I have a case I give the essential facts to a national wholesaler through my broker-dealer and they price the top ten companies in that space. It is quite difficult for a life agent to compete when I can price almost any company you can think of at any time. Life insurance companies also work in demand and supply. When a company has written many policies in a short period of time they raise prices. When a company has been lagging they lower prices. Different companies also have different products and solutions, such as using a portion of the death benefit tax free for long term care while you are living if you need it. So many choices allow for better client solutions, pricing and protection. Understanding and staying current with your best choices is a lot of work and necessary. That is more added value for you. Clients need to believe their Advisor is knowledgeable, fair, current, trustworthy and competent. I feel I live up to all and hope I am given the chance to prove it.
Of course, there is no crystal ball and no magic potion to getting you or your family or your business to an optimum place with investments, insurance, estate planning, retirement planning and all that encompasses a financial lifetime. But give yourself someone who can offer you all the above qualities. Someone who cares. Someone who is positioned to offer you competitive products and strategies in the industry. I hope you choose me as your financial guide through life and I promise to do my very best to help you, your family, and your small business to achieve its lifetime financial goals and objectives. Let your plan start today and click the "Contact" button at the top of this page and either call or email me for an appointment right now.