Twenty-two years ago, I was a brand new army platoon leader at Fort Hood, TX. Shortly after my arrival to the unit, my platoon sergeant asked me to accompany him to the unit finance office to assist in straightening out a soldier's pay. My plate was full with new duties, but if West Point had taught me anything, it had taught me to always listen to my non-commissioned officers.
As we made the short journey to the finance office, I asked the sergeant if this was a particularly serious situation. What he told me next I’ll never forget.
“Sir, you always make fixing a soldier’s pay a priority, because if his pay isn’t taken care of, then his family isn’t taken care of, and if his family isn’t cared for, then he won’t be able to be a good soldier.”
20 years later, I’ve since traded army fatigues for a navy blue suit, but those simple words of advice freely given on a hot, dusty afternoon have become the foundation of the work I do each and every day as a financial advisor.
First, personal financial advice should never be given in a vacuum. “Tell me a little about your family,” is usually the first question I ask prospective clients. These simple words allow me to learn so much. I also make it a goal to sit-down with my clients at least annually. As I tell my clients, “Our lives are always changing, which means your strategy has to be ready to change too.”
Second, long-term wealth accumulation should not be the goal. Retiring early, paying for college, taking a special trip, those should be the goals. Saving money is what enables us to achieve those goals. I love asking the question, “What is this money going to be used for?”
It doesn’t matter if you are a business executive, a retiree or a transitioning military veteran — if you feel like your financial strategy is missing or off-track, then I would l love to hear from you. There is nothing I enjoy more than partnering with my clients to build tailored strategies focused on realizing their long-term financial goals.
- Wealth Strategies
- Retirement Savings Strategies
- Employee Stock Options
- Military Professionals & Veterans
- College Savings
- Entrepreneurs & Business Owners
My Personal Interests
- Spending Time with Family
- Home Improvement
Phone NumberPatrick A Nielsen at (704) 746-3511
More to explore
Find your financial starting point
Planning your financial future? Our Starting Point tool can help you take the first steps.Learn More
What are your priorities?
Need help determining what your financial priorities are? The "My Priorities" quiz can help. It's an important step in building a comprehensive financial strategy.Take the My Priorities quiz
Weekly market wrap
A summary of last week's market highlights and economic news.Learn More