I have always loved money. The concept of saving and then having the opportunity to invest those dollars, and grow it, has been something that has fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Even before I really understood the concept of saving, I began tucking money away. When I was a kid, my parents used to borrow cash from me every now and then when they needed a few bucks to pay the yard service or pizza delivery because they knew I always had some savings tucked away. When my father took me to open my first investment account, I was so excited. I made the stockbroker give me an actual stock certificate for one share of the very first company I ever invested in. I didn’t know it at the time, but this would become a valuable lesson for me because that certificate was from a company named Enron. We all know the story but needless to say, I sold all of my shares, well except that one.
I began my career working for large, well-established companies with tremendous name recognition. I did not recognize it at the time, but these companies tended to be more product focused instead of solution oriented. On the plus side, these companies had tremendous training programs for young advisors, so I was able to take advantage of excellent resources to build a solid foundation. However, as time went on, I realized the larger, more successful these companies grew, the less focused they became on sourcing and implementing creative solutions to meet the unique needs of clients. They focused on profit over principle and compliance over creativity, often requiring advisors to use higher margin, proprietary products, and other services that were not aligned with fiduciary values. At the end of the day, I felt like my time was spent chasing prospects, trying to sell insurance, annuities, and rolling over IRA’s, and never really delivering any true long-term value.
When I finally decided it was time to make a change, I evaluated numerous companies to weed out firms that exhibited those characteristics. I focused on finding a company that truly placed the interests of their clients first, regardless of the product or margins. I wanted a tax centric planning company, focused on delivering value, that not only allowed their advisors to explore any available solution that would address client needs, but encouraged and supported it as well.
Exponent Advisors and Smart Group Houston exceeded those expectations. We are a small boutique firm that has been around for over 50 years, specializing in finding solutions for individuals and business owners to address the unique and complex financial challenges they face daily. As a data driven, holistic planning firm, we assess and compare every strategy, product, or service available in the marketplace, in a simple, easy to understand format that we call The SMART Plan. This not only enables our clients to easily evaluate whether our recommendations achieve their goals, but also to understand the long-term impact each decision will have on their lifestyle in the years ahead.
I owe any success or accomplishments to my amazing family. They are the inspiration and driving force behind everything I do. I have 4 wonderful kids with my wife of 18 years and recently became a grandfather for the first time in 2022. I am a lifelong resident of Texas and a graduate of Sam Houston State University.