Growing up in a working class family in Lawrence, I was instilled with the values of family, education and hard work.
I was influenced by seeing my parents struggle and sacrifice to build a comfortable home and middle-class lifestyle for their two sons. My dad worked in the textile mills of Lawrence and my mom worked in electronics and eventually both retired from Raytheon.
I saw both impacted by forces beyond their control. My dad was regularly laid off as more and more textile manufacturing moved south and eventually overseas. But he was entrepreneurial (a trait passed on to me that he got from his father who was a shop keeper and mason and from my maternal grandfather who owned his own barber shop in Beverly) and steadily performed as a drummer in a wedding band, The Five Knights.
Because I saw the personal impact of their struggles dealing with things like the oil shocks of the early 1970s, the steep inflation under Jimmy Carter, and the deep recession of the early 1980s, I was drawn to understanding these forces and trying to make sense of them.
I eventually enrolled in college at ULowell (now UMass-Lowell) and studied economics and government becoming fascinated with how the two intertwined.
I always wanted to have a career in which I could help people and make a difference.
At first I thought it would be government or law but eventually I found financial services as a meaningful way to be a positive force for people.
As a mortgage banker sitting across the kitchen tables of individuals and couples buying a home, refinancing to pay for goals like a home renovation, starting a business or paying for college or something unexpected or painful like a medical emergency, a divorce or out-of-control debt, I thought that I could really help people if only I could become a trusted advisor knowledgeable about other money issues and have the opportunity to proactively discuss and plan for these issues ahead of time.
So eventually I found myself enrolling at Bentley College (now Bentley University) in the finance program and then through Boston University’s Boston Institute of Finance and Tallahassee Community College for the CFP® certification program.
After a long and winding road with various delays and detours, I was fortunate to complete the financial planning program, pass the certification exam on the first try (fewer than 60% do) and join the ranks of professionals with a goal to help people make smarter money decisions.
In my professional work I am humbled knowing that people entrust me with their hard-earned wealth — regardless of the amount — or seek my guidance on any number of life-changing issues that can affect their personal bottom line.
I am like many of my peers, a member of the “Sandwich Generation” helping to care for elderly parents while raising a family of my own.
I know what it feels like trying to deal with the frustrating details of Medicare and the Part D “donut hole.” I know what it feels like to juggle the responsibilities as an elder care giver with the demanding schedule of raising an infant.
I know all too well the sense of loss created by an unexpected corporate downsizing or downturn in business or sudden death of a loved one.
Like many of you who may read this, I lead a complex life – husband, father, son, homeowner, landlord, professional by day, weekend athlete (road cyclist in my case).
I can relate to the challenges my clients have faced or will meet. And I genuinely want to share my wisdom, experience and training to help others make the most with their lives.
While my parents did well enough for themselves and their family to achieve the American Dream, we live in much more complex times distracted by our many roles and daily challenges requiring more professional help to make sense of all the choices confronting us.
You don’t have to confront these varied challenges on your own when you can gain from the perspective of someone who’s been there, seen that and knows how to bring this experience to life to help.