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What led me to become a Financial Adviser...

Growing up in Freeport, IL, a small rural community afforded many things. Namely Quiet days, Star filled Skies at Night, the sound of far-off thunderstorms during the summer, and the need to be outside. All the time. Be home when the porch lights were on was the calling card. That, and over 100 acres to explore, fish and play in.

This rural upbringing also led to additional aspects of my life. A sense of community within our neighborhood (2 miles out of the city), Our church and the love of sports. Each of these groups have provided lifelong family and individual friends along the way. My sister and I were almost always in one of these three areas…Helping our neighbors, being involved in our church, or practicing some type of sport year ‘round.

This sense of belonging, of helping others, being active was the single driving force in my childhood. My mom Voluntold me to help friends, neighbors, and the groups we belonged to. Odd jobs like mowing yards, shoveling sidewalks, working on “gentlemen Farms” instilled a work ethic and cash flow for my piggy bank. This is when my father stepped in and “educated” me about how money works.

The time value of money. Opportunity cost. Saving for a rainy day. Planning for the unforeseen. All topics his childhood had not allowed him to do (World War 2 and the Great Depression), so these were topics he taught me from the start.

After a summer of working the odd job gig, one day after work my dad came home and told me to get my piggy bank and get in the car. Off to Freeport State Bank we went. No idea at first why we were bringing my money, but I soon found out. My dad explained this new thing called an IRA. And that since I had Earned Income, I could get one of these IRAS. Ok, not having a clue what he was talking about I agreed and on a sunny day in the fall of 1975 I opened my first IRA, with $50. My father told me that each year I had to add some amount to this account. Not much he said but, shoot for 10% of what you earn. The Rule of 72 was up next in my education.

Flash forward- 2007. Our third child was 5 years old now. I needed a new career path. Sports Medicine was no longer viable. What to do, where to go? We made a list of things I might be good at or had knowledge of. Financial items kept hitting the list. I was helping coworkers and friends pick investments in their 401k. The Family Investment Club was going strong, and I had held every position. IRAS and the like seemed like a great path forward. I jumped. Headlong.

Now, every day is spent educating people, differently than my father educated me, but the end results are the same. Helping to answer the BIG questions people have is now what I do every day. When can I retire? How will my income be replaced? What about taxes? Healthcare expenses! How can I pass my wealth to my kids? I think of my dad often as I meet new people. What would he say to this 30 something couple? What will I show them? How will these Strangers today, lifelong friends in 5 years be motivated to follow through with the ideas presented? What difference will those decisions make for their families? I don’t know, dad, all I can do is be honest and let everyone decide for themselves.



Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck
Check the background of this financial professional on FINRA's BrokerCheck