1. What motivated you to start your own business in the financial sector? How did you know that this was your calling?
When I was in 9th grade, a teacher asked me what I wanted to do after I graduated from college. I was quick to answer and said I wanted to be a banker. I was born into a family of pastors (my dad and my grandfather) and I realized early on that I had a serving heart. So, as I pursued my career and looked at my options, I focused on three things. First, it was important that I stay local and stay connected to the community. Second, I knew that I needed to be in the realm of serving, helping, and changing people’s lives for the better. Finally, I desired to be compensated well for my hard work. When I bought a book and read about the most popular professions in the 21st century, all the pointers led me to finance!
2. What is the most important lesson you have learned in 2020?
Investment guru, Warren Buffett, makes an important point when he says, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are afraid”. For a while, I was preparing for the fact that the markets would start to dive. As soon as this happened in March 2020, I told clients with a long-term time perspective and available cash that this was a great time to buy shares. The fact that people prepared ahead of time gave them a huge boost in April and June. One of the biggest psychological challenges for most people is to overcome the fear of the future. In some cases, it’s scary to invest when the future is uncertain and perhaps your current portfolio has shrunk significantly. However, what Buffett wanted to say, and what I learned in 2020, is that when times are tough and investments of all kinds are falling in value, now is the time to control emotions and use the opportunity to invest for easy returns! Remember that the world is divided into two camps of people. The first type of crowing will always say that the moon is falling, the second will look for opportunities to make more money.
3. According to statistics, 78% of Americans live from paycheck to paycheck. What, in your opinion, is the main reason for this wrong relationship so many people have with money?
I believe that financial issues in a family or business reflect a person’s overall approach to life. Part of it has to do with how a person sees things. For example, I like to think of money as soldiers. Imagine that you have an army and you have to go to war tomorrow. It’s time to assemble your army, and as a leader, you have no idea where your guys are. At this point, your leadership has completely failed. Not only will you lose the war, but you will potentially have to surrender, and you will be forced to agree to the winning party’s given terms regarding how you will pay for all losses! (Of course, most people would rather borrow money from a bank and agree to pay interest.) In my opinion, the biggest mistake people make is that they put control of their finances in the hands of the government and banks. Also, I believe it can be financially harmful when income earners don’t apply the principles of discipline to how they manage money!
4. What are the top 3 common mistakes among your clients?
In my opinion, these are the most common mistakes in personal management: Excessive and frivolous spending, living on borrowed money and not adequately researching prior to investing in real estate, business or the stock market. The sad thing is that many people prefer to take risks. However, once a loss occurs, the usual tendency is to blame the investment mechanism for human shortcomings. As a result, poor money management and poor research lead to minimal trust and some degree of fear of these investments in the future.
5. How to achieve financial freedom? Where should we even start?
In all my meetings, we start with a deep understanding of the personal or business budget. Next, we focus our attention on debt management/repayment (not all debts are bad). In addition, as we work together, we are fully aware of the future of how and where we can start investing. Usually, my job is to guide clients through the entire process, assess all risks, and set the right expectations. As soon as people see the results, their motivation to continue the course skyrockets!
6. Tell us how you manage to combine successful work, family, and raising two adorable kids?
Work-life balance can be the biggest challenge for many people. I also constantly remind myself of my main responsibilities to stay ahead. My true goal is to have a consistent daily routine in which I develop my intellectual, spiritual, physical, and social abilities. To manage it in the best possible way, I create systems and habits through thoughtful planning. I know that once the agenda is set, I will be great at execution (everyone should know their strengths and weaknesses). As a result, I organize my daily agenda with technology. In addition, I distinguish all my tasks between urgent and important. My method is to constantly communicate with clients and family members if things don’t go as planned. At the end of the day, I always analyze my day, learn from mistakes (I call them gifts), adjust my process, and move on. My goal is to keep moving forward no matter what. And yes, there is no better feeling than seeing both kids running towards me when I open the garage door. At this moment, there is nothing more important, and I am completely at their disposal!