What I have is a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me an asset for people like you.
Twenty-four years. That’s the number of years I was a financial advisor before selling my practice and walking away into early retirement in 2017. My career took me to NYC for sales training with Dean Witter, to a Senior Vice-President, Senior Financial Consultant with a large regional bank then to owning my own firm.
There were parts of the financial services industry that I really liked, such as taking care of my clients. I really enjoyed taking complex topics and simplifying them so that anyone could understand them. I enjoyed my clients as they became friends and got to watch as they enjoyed their retirements. However, my favorite was educating folks on how best to reach their financial goals.
There were also parts of the industry that I didn’t care for. The general public had changed over my 24 years. I can’t tell you how many times we’d get a call to schedule an appointment, the day before we’d confirm the appointment but still, they would not show up. I felt that advisors were no longer respected for our knowledge or time. At the same time, the industry itself has changed. It felt dirty to me as I saw other advisors selling products may have been suitable but were not in the best interest of the client. They were not helping their client to truly understand how their money was being invested but rather selling products based on a commission. Like in any industry, there’s going to be the good, the bad and the ugly. At least I went to bed each night knowing I did what was in the best interest of the client.
During my first year of retirement, I’ve written a book, a matching workbook, an online course, been published in International Living and I’ve been interviewed numerous times by other advisors for radio shows and podcasts.
Yet I still missed working with people individually by educating them and helping them problem solve. I’ve asked myself “What if I could take all the things that I enjoyed about the business and eliminate the things that I didn’t enjoy, would I go back?” How would this look? For any project I do, I pass it through a test, which I’m sure some of you know by heart at this point, I repeat it so often. It goes like this:
“If I do this, can I still do what I want, when I want, how I want and from where I want?”. If it passes this test, then I move forward. I’ve been presented with several opportunities to join firms over the past year, all of which I have turned down. The offers did not pass my test.
Ask Eric is born
I enjoy the questions I get via email and Facebook, but due to regulations and laws I have not been allowed to answer many of them. By reactivating one of my licenses, I am now able to answer specific questions and give advice specific to an individual.
“Ask Eric“ is a platform I’ve created online that will allow you to ask me questions such as:
Can I retire early? (Hey, I wrote the book on this. Literally)
Can you review my 401k and make sure I’ve picked the right options?
I’m in a financial pickle (Yes, this is a real category) and I need some advice.
My advisor is suggesting a product I’m not sure about.
I handle my own investments but from time-to-time I need a little guidance. Can you help?
Here’s the great part about this whole advice only thing, I am not managing anyone’s money.
There’s no conflict of interest or commissions to be earned whatsoever. There is no limit on investment options out there and now I’m free to call a product a “piece of crap” if that’s what it is. If I believe something is beneficial to help you reach your goals it is not because it is beneficial to me.
As far as passing my test, I will be doing what I want, when I want, how I want and from where I want. I’m giving folks advice and educating, which are two things I love to do and have missed since selling my firm. I’ll take calls during one or two afternoons during the week and still have complete flexibility. I am an educator and financial problem solver, I am not a salesperson. And, I can do this from anywhere, so you may see some palm trees during one of our video calls…
I no longer want to be anyone’s primary advisor. Been there and done that. However, I’d like to help people who need a little guidance and prefer the advice of a neutral party. Now I don’t claim to have every answer, but I have a large enough network to find it.
If you’re in need of guidance or advice, go here first and let’s get you some help from someone with no agenda but your success.
Live free my friends