For the past five months I have been trying (and failing) to publish a new blog post every Tuesday. For the most part I have focused on financial topics that I feel will benefit my readers. I sincerely hope that whether you are a client, friend, or connection you have gotten some value from my ramblings and musings. When I write these posts, I attempt to discuss an area of personal finance that I have seen to be a misunderstood topic.
However, for all of the effort that I put into those types of posts, I am finding that my readers generally are more interested in my writings of a more personal nature. It seems that there is great interest right now in personal development and coping with current events. Given the state of our country and the global pandemic, I suppose this is only natural. Therefore, my question today is this: what types of content do you, the reader, wish to see in this blog? I had always intended to share my knowledge of financial planning and will continue to do so but I am curious if there are other topics that would be of interest to my audience? I would greatly appreciate your ideas and any questions that you may have. If I get enough questions perhaps, I will do a Q&A edition of this blog!
One question that I receive quite frequently is, “how did you get into the business?”. My path to becoming a financial advisor began as many others have. My father, and now partner, Todd Overbeek has been in the business for 25 years and I have grown up watching him taking care of his clients and growing his business. This sparked my initial interest in financial services and, with encouragement from my father, I took my first securities exams upon graduating high school and attained my life and health insurance licenses the year following. I was fascinated by what I learned both from my studies as well as from my father, so I decided to attend Davenport University to pursue a bachelor’s in Finance with a Financial Planning specialty.
With my initial securities licenses providing me with college credit, I was able to graduate from Davenport quite quickly. This of course prompted my then girlfriend to ask, “So when are we getting married then?”. A perfectly logical question, we got married a month after I graduated. With a new bride and dreams of starting a family together, I decided it would be best that I go off on my own and learn the industry for myself. After all, experience is the best teacher! My father was supportive, of course, and so I began the next phase of my career with MassMutual Life Insurance Company.
For many advisors, this story likely sounds awfully familiar. It is quite common for a new advisor to start their career at an insurance company. Likely your financial advisor started off the same way! Maybe even the same company! Which begs the question why, after a year and a half, did I leave? Well, the answer is twofold and fairly simple. First of all, I was flat broke. The financial advice industry has become incredibly difficult to break into and selling life insurance on straight commission while also paying rent for office space is not a recipe for success. Secondly, insurance companies are focused on selling their product. All of your income, bonuses and incentives are driven by how much of that product you sell. This felt like a conflict of interest to me and I resented the feeling of being a salesman instead of a trusted advisor. Do not get me wrong, there are true advisors that practice under the banner of an insurance company, but it just was not for me.
Upon leaving MassMutual, I was accepted into a financial advisor development program with Robert W. Baird. The program was designed to produce candidates ready to join an existing financial advisor team and make an impact. A key component of the program was spending roughly four months at Baird’s home office in Milwaukee, WI. With my wife still finishing up her nursing degree, this represented a huge challenge for us as it meant that for four months I would be living in Milwaukee, only coming home on the weekends. However, it also represented a huge opportunity for me to make new inroads in my career and support my family. And so, with my wife’s blessing, off I went to Milwaukee. I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to mention just how awesome my wife is. She was incredibly supportive during that time in our lives and I could not be more thankful.
After I returned home, I was paired with a successful financial advisor team who needed assistance taking care of their clients in Baird’s Holland, MI office. I happily accepted the position and went to work right away assimilating into the team. However, as time went on, I began to realize that I was not on the same page as my new partners nor the local office. Our ideas of the direction that my career was heading did not align. Once again, this time after three and a half years, it was time to make a change.
It is at this point that I would like to acknowledge that I do not regret either of those past career choices. Both taught me more than anything I learned in the classroom in college. By working with both MassMutual and Baird, I received the best five-year education in business and financial planning that I ever could have asked for! And while my time with them was short, I do appreciate the opportunities that both firms gave to me early on in my career.
Along with industry knowledge and experience, I also made many new connections and client relationships over those five years. When I decided to leave Baird, I hoped that I would not be starting from scratch and thankfully I was right. Many have reached out to me since forming Provisio Retirement Partners with my dad and I could not be more thankful for their relationships and trust.
Moving forward I am incredibly excited about what the future holds both for our business and for my family. On June 5, 2020, my wife and I were blessed with the birth of our first child, Lucy Jo. For those of you with children, you know what a wonderful disruption they are in your lives. Life is quite a bit crazier now but watching her grow and develop has become one of the greatest pleasures in our lives.
Professionally, I have never been happier with the direction things are going. For the first time in my career I feel like I can truly give objective advice and make a meaningful difference in the lives of my clients. Together with my father, we are able to act as fiduciaries for our clients meaning, we act in our client’s best interest regardless of how it affects our bottom line. That is how financial advice should be.
If you are reading this today and you and I have never had the opportunity to chat, then I hope this gave you an idea of who I am and who we are at Provisio Retirement Partners. We take our job seriously and work hard for our clients. I realize that is cliché, but it is the truth! I think what I enjoy most about this job is that we have the privilege of being able to assist people in reaching their most important goals. It’s not just about hoarding away money for the future. It’s about living intentionally and using money as a tool to live the life that you feel called to lead.