Thoughts of the Journey to Global View
As many of my friends and clients know, last year I decided to transition my career completely into financial planning. Over the last few years, being a CPA I had more and more families and small business owners seeking help and advice as they worked through the financial crisis and ongoing recession. These folks ranged from young clients with little money and lots of challenges to business owners with significant assets going through transitions. Some were seeking to sell their businesses or pass them to the next generation. Others were in crisis, even survival mode. The work was often challenging, but it really energized me. Being very goal-oriented, I found that I’m passionate about helping others reach their financial goals. Melissa and I began financial planning over thirty years ago, even before we married, and have benefited from the resulting peace of mind and financial freedom. Helping others achieve financial success is very satisfying to me both personally and professionally, so transitioning into this field full-time was a natural choice.
I began by taking the board exams to qualify as a Certified Financial Planner because I wanted to have the best possible credentials. The CFP is by far the most significant credential for financial planners, and the hardest to achieve.
Next, I needed to survey the industry and decide what business model was best for my clients. Investors can’t help being confused, with everyone from stockbrokers to insurance agents selling a vast array of products. In fact, most firms in financial services are sales organizations. Also confusing are the various credentials in the industry, a “virtual alphabet soup” which continues to grow. There are surprisingly few barriers to entry and most anyone can hold themselves out to be a “financial expert” or “trusted advisor”. Then there are the industry business practices. Volumes have been written on this subject and countless hours of congressional and regulatory time have been expended in attempting to address these issues. Recent business news reinforces the fact that the industry continues to fight change. At best, these practices may create a lack of independence and objectivity for clients. At worst, they can cause serious conflicts of interest, and basic consumer rights may be violated.
Knowing these issues, Global View stood out early to me because of its team of Certified Financial Planners. A gentleman who was a Global View client introduced me to firm partners Ken Moore and Joey Hines, and I began to read their website blog and follow the firm’s various events and webinars. They very generously shared insights and advice with me. I also found that many of my CPA and attorney friends held Global View in high esteem. Later on, I began doing some volunteer work with the South Carolina Christian Foundation and attending Kingdom Advisors meetings. Joey was also active in these groups. As we developed a professional friendship I learned more about the firm and the industry. There was much about the Global View business model that I found attractive.
After having joined the Global View team, I’m very pleased to tell my clients that we don’t sell financial products. Global View is an independent, fee-only, registered investment advisory firm, providing wealth management, financial advisory services and retirement planning services. This means we are paid ONLY by our clients, never from commissions or referral fees. It also means we must follow the Fiduciary Standard, which requires that we put the client’s best interest first, ahead of our own, selecting only those investments that are best for our clients.
In short, we make money ONLY by making money for our clients; our revenues rise and fall with the client’s portfolio, and our financial interests are completely aligned. We are not limited to, or encouraged to push any particular investment. Through truly independent research we are free to seek out the best investment opportunities available worldwide. And it is not by accident that we are named “Global View”. We have the in-house expertise to intelligently invest internationally, allowing us to pursue the best growth opportunities in the most favorable business climates, which are increasingly outside the US. At times when domestic markets may be overvalued, we have an excellent ability to diversify worldwide.
These are just some of the reasons I feel privileged to join the Global View team. This year the firm celebrates ten years, and continues to grow. I can only hope that my impact on the firm will be as positive as the firm’s impact on me.