I’m a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with almost 15 years in the financial services business helping executives, business-owners, and millionaires plan their finances.
But it hasn’t always been that way. Fifteen years ago there was a whole different me — a guy so hopeless with money that I racked up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, bought a car I could barely afford on a double-digit interest rate, and couldn’t tell you the difference between a stock and a bond.
Looking back, it really isn’t that surprising, I guess. We just didn’t talk about money growing up in my family. My parents weren’t necessarily bad with it, but it just wasn’t something that we were taught, either in school or at home. On top of that, in my community we looked suspiciously on anyone with a lot of money. The only wealthy people that I knew were either shady, greedy, or both. It felt “dirty” to care about money, like I was selling my soul out to the devil of capitalism.
So after flip-flopping on a college major for several years, I finally graduated college with an education degree, thinking I could give back with that noble profession. So, I jumped enthusiastically into the world of teaching, eager to “mold young minds.” Then, the realities of life began to sink in. I still distinctly remember my salary that first year–it was the highest paying gig I could find and more money than I had ever made before… and I still had trouble making ends meet.
And that first year I worked my heart out.
Between lesson plans, dozens of papers to grade, seven different classes often with 30+ students each, outside-of-class “chaperone” duties PLUS an unpaid soccer coaching position, I was worn out at the end of each week.
So one night I sat down and decided to take stock of my situation. I totaled all my hours up working, and suddenly realized that I was making about $8/hour — with a college degree. Talk about depressing! I was living paycheck to paycheck and it didn’t look like there was an end in sight.
So, at the end of that first year, I decided to rethink things. I needed to learn how money worked, so that I could eventually escape the rat race and not have to work myself to death every month. I still wanted to do things like teaching and coaching, but without the worry and stress about how I was going to pay the bills and eat.
The trouble was, I knew next to nothing.
So I looked around and found a book called “The Millionaire Next Door.” And that book would change my life. It set me on a quest, and in the next year or so I got my foot into the financial services industry at a small financial planning firm. From there I went to grad school at night, earned an MBA, and then my CFP® certification. I learned by doing, and started investing in real estate, stocks, bonds, and eventually even my own business.
Now I’m mid-thirties and well on my way to financial independence. I’m certainly not rich, but I have a plan to achieve my goals and am making progress every month. More importantly, on a daily basis I get to see behind the scenes of the finances of executives, CEOs, and entrepreneurs. I see the tactics and strategies that the rich use to build wealth, and I also see the pitfalls that even the wealthy sometimes fall into.
So, the purpose for this site is to simply chronicle my own journey with regards to personal finance, and hopefully to also help other young professionals along on the way. It’s my investment journal, my place to think out loud, and share what I’m learning. Please note, nothing on this site is intended to be personal financial or investment advice–just my own thoughts, views and experiences. Please do your own research before making any financial decision, and consult with the appropriate professional when needed.
P.S. The lawyers also want me to include this disclaimer. 😉
More random stuff about me:
hot drink of choice:
Land of a Thousand Hills coffee
heart was pounding last:
almost always want to be:
on the slopes
cant be interrupted when:
Tottenham is playing
cued up on long drives:
favorite local eats: