Starting my career with John Hancock Life Ins. Co., I discovered the fascinating world of Estate Planning and Business Planning. I took every course available that John Hancock offered. Along with their two 26 week training courses, numerous training events, and obtaining securities licensing along with my life, health, and accident licenses. I took two years of the Life Underwriters courses and three years of CFP study. It was a steady stream of learning for over five years. I could not get enough of the information regarding techniques, strategies for building wealth, preserving wealth, and passing on wealth. In addition, I learned a lot about living and the realities of life. Quickly I learned that living and making a living are two very distinct activities! I was able to meet with many clients and learned quickly what the successful ones were doing to build their net worth and, just as important, what they were not doing.
Some of my most impressionable moments occurred when I delivered checks to beneficiaries after the insured passed away. It was a real eye opener on what proper planning could accomplish for the families left behind. It was heartbreaking at times and yet somehow rewarding to deliver these checks. I resolved then and there to improve the lives of the people I came into contact with so their outcomes would be better.
Another revelation came to me while working there. I noticed that there is not much difference between success and failure. It often has nothing to do with real intelligence, but mostly depends on a little discipline and having a financial or life plan. That then became my mission. Add value to people’s lives by giving them more of the right information.
Back in 1981, many insurance companies felt that since a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional represents the clients interest first that they could not adequately also represent the company. So I was at a crossroads… stay with John Hancock or operate as the type of professional I want to be. My life’s course was set. I accepted my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner designation and resigned the same week. I set up my own office and never looked back. Thank God, times have now changed, and companies now encourage their representatives to hold these types of designations.
Since that time I went on to having a long running financial radio show that lasted for five years on WCAR, and another show on WPON. I did an award winning educational program for Livonia’s local cable access channel called “Let’s Talk Money” which ran for several years.
I have written four books, two of them dealing with financial topics and numerous articles for publications such as Bottom Line. I also taught for Financial Education Network in many different school districts and was involved with putting together many of the books for classes. Even today, I still speak on topics such as Estate Planning, Tax Planning, Investment Planning, and Social Security planning.
Financial Planning done right is one of the most rewarding endeavors that one can do. It is also one that you can get better at as time goes on. I hope I can be of service to you as well.