PHONE | 919.322.4113
FINANCIAL ADVISOR ISN’T ENOUGH WE NEED TO BE FINANCIAL EDUCATORS
Sometimes, to accomplish feats you never thought possible, you simply need to be held accountable. Mr. Smith was my 11th grade history teacher. He was one of those guys who wouldn’t dance around anything — a real straight shooter. But even more so, he had this innate ability to look past the shell of a person and see the potential for greatness inside of them. What made him a phenomenal teacher was that he didn’t stop at just witnessing promise. He’d find that spark inside you and do everything in his power to start a wildfire. Sometimes that meant pushing you beyond your comfort zone, but he would never do so condescendingly. If you responded to his challenges, he was right there by your side encouraging you past your breaking point. It inspired me then and inspires me now. So much of what we do in financial advising revolves around helping our clients achieve their financial goals, but that can’t be done without investing in modern-day best practices. If you’re not constantly on the knife’s edge of what’s relevant in your field, you can expect to be left in the dust. As a steward of our clients’ finances, we have to continuously grow so we can make a meaningful difference in their portfolio — and subsequently, their lives. In today’s information age, the internet provides a wealth of teachings via blogs, podcasts, and videos to name a few. From a personal growth prospective, I find they can be powerful tools in providing access to the brightest minds in the financial arena. Learning is just one step toward the ultimate goal of empowering our clients. The next step is even more crucial because it translates directly to the foundation of what we do. If we have information, we need to use it to benefit people. Every advisor should be a teacher. Our broken system exemplifies sales over education. The fundamental flaw with this concept is that it doesn’t put the client’s best interests at
heart. The drive for profit becomes more of a concern than the client’s understanding. That’s why we started teaching our own classes. We saw the potential impact we could have on our community by sharing the knowledge we have. Nearly six years ago, we started teaching classes at NC State (Go Wolfpack!). After the great responses we received from teaching classes, we saw there was a need to provide smart financial and retirement classes nationally, on a scalable and efficient level. This is when Rick and I co-founded Retirement Wealth Academy, alongside Jason Wenk, CEO and Chief Investment Strategist of FormulaFolios. The Retirement Wealth Academy exclusively welcomes like-minded educators who share our values: to teach a disciplined approach to financial planning, to provide an objective outlook on retirement investing, and to empower students with a comprehensive understanding of complex financial topics. A great educator has to take a complex topic and communicate it in a way that delivers that “aha!” moment. If I start talking to a normal person about a moving average crossover, that’s not going to help them at all. We need to break down each targeted approach to its essential parts and relay that information in a way someone can understand. If a client can’t grasp the concept, then we need to regress to progress — dissect it further and then slowly build it back up. Mr. Smith was a great educator because he held me to a standard and never let me settle for anything less than what I’m capable of. I take that inspiration, and I attempt to share it with my clients every day. I may never be the teacher he was, but I will never stop trying.
— Wes White
Investment Advisory Services offered through Retirement Wealth Advisors (RWA), a Registered Investment Advisor. Patriot Wealth and RWA are not affiliated. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. No investment strategy can guarantee a profit or protect against loss in periods of declining values. Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
PATRIOT WEALTH | 919.322.4113 | P1
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