by David Hamrick
GA! Todd, love your new office- great view of downtown Belmont!
Todd: Thank you. The building owners have done a remarkable job renovating the building. I began looking for new office space a year ago and am blessed to have found such a fabulous location.
GA! So are you from Gaston County? Did you go to school here?
Todd: I grew up in Concord; another NC town with a rich textile heritage. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree from Southern Wesleyan University, I earned my MBA at Clemson University. My wife is a teacher at Mount Holly Middle School. We met and were engaged while I was finishing my MBA. She said we could live anywhere I wanted as long as it wasn’t more than 30 minutes away from her Mama who lives in
Charlotte. So, I started my practice in Mount Holly; 8 miles away from my in-laws.
GA! You seem like a serious guy-a nice guy, but serious.
Todd: I’ve always been described as a “nice guy”. I hope that one day there will be a demand for nice guys. When it comes to my clients I guess I am pretty serious. I feel the weight of the responsibility I have to them. I am humbled by the level of trust they have in me and I guess I come off as serious at times. My family and close friends would snicker at that as I’m usually the one cracking a joke.
GA! You seem like you love what you do-why is that?
Todd: I know it may sound a bit cliché’ but at the core, what I love is helping people.
Being a numbers guy I found that I could help people most by helping them with their
financial plans. Part of what I do as a financial planner is more along the lines of teaching
The better a client understands his insurance policies, investments and how things come
together to form a plan the more comfortable they are. I get a lot of personal satisfaction seeing people at that “ah ha” moment when they begin to understand a certain concept .When someone feels comfortable with what’s going on with their money they’re able to
take their emotions out of their finances and focus on the people and passions in their life,I like being a part of that.
GA! I know you are a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER
practitioner. Can you tell us a little about that? ®
Todd: Though not as well known as the CPA designation, CFP is a recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. A certificant must complete courses in Insurance Planning, Employee Benefits Planning, Investment Planning, Income Tax Planning, Retirement Planning and Estate Planning. Following the education program certificant must pass a two-day 10-hour comprehensive exam. Only about half of those who attempt the exam pass. A Bachelor’s degree and three years of financial planning experience are also required. I became a much better Financial Planner going through the education and training necessary to receive authorization to us the CFP marks.
GA! Who is your typical client, and how do you meet most of your clients?
Todd: My typical client is someone retired or approaching retirement with between $100K and $2 million to invest. My clients are people who want more than just an account. They want someone they can have a relationship with, someone who will monitor their investments and work with them to pursue their financial goals. I’ve done very little marketing over the years. 99% of my clients have come to me through introductions from existing clients. I’m sure some of my clients will be reading this so let me say thank you. There is no greater compliment anyone can give me than to trust me to help a friend or family member.
GA! I know you manage investments, do you also
offer disability, life and long term care insurance?
Todd: Yes I do. Being an independent financial planner I’m not tied to just one company. By comparing rates from multiple companies I am able to meet client’s insurance needs more affordably.
GA! Say I am interested and want to meet to see if
we’re a fit. Do you have a free consultation?
Todd: There is no charge for our first meeting. We’ll meet, talk about your goals and the things in life that are important to you. I’ll share with you what I do and how I do it and we can go from there.
by David Hamrick