Think Advisor delves into the stories of four former military officers who leveraged their hard-earned skills from the U.S. Armed Forces to transition into civilian life as successful financial gurus. At first glance, there seem to be very little similarities between the career of a soldier and of a financial advisor. One’s task is to win a combat in dangerous situations. The other discusses stocks, bonds, currencies, and other concepts with their clients in very comfortable, perhaps even luxurious, surroundings.
However, as pointed out in the article, the two fields, military service, and finances, do require certain core abilities from their participants if they are to perform successfully in their respective areas: clear communications, discipline, and a strong work ethic.
Like financial advisors, military officers operate within a bond of trust among its members. Clients need to place a great deal of trust on the people managing their monies and, in effect, their futures. Meanwhile, esprit de corps and the morale of the team must remain equally high if a military operation is to be successfully executed. Regardless of their personal differences, soldiers fight in battle knowing that their comrade will die defending them, or that their commanding officer will not send them knowingly into mortal harm or abandon them in the field of combat.
To make the matters clearer, these four former military officers elaborate how the skills, attitude, and other things they learned while serving their duty helped them become financial advisors. In addition to that, they are not simply financial professionals—their clientele trusts them and offers them repeat business.
Steven Horvath’s experiences include five years of active duty as an anti-submarine warfare operator. Horvath also did high-flight probing and bombing during the Gulf War. He is currently affiliated with the Professional Economic Growth Group. He learned the art of decision-making, which meant rapidly processing a lot of information, weeding out the inessentials, and then coming to an accurate solution of where to drop a bomb or hit the target. Horvath employs this skill in financial advisement, giving his clients an overall picture of the scenario, the many variables affecting their financial status, and the best possible solution to come up with the most desirable outcome.
MaRico Tippett is currently a lieutenant in the Air Arizona National Guard, due to retire next year. Prior to that, he spent 17 years in the Air Force as a pilot. The military’s knack for clear communication and precise attention to detail help him while he is building a career as a financial services advisor. He is now with The Hopman Group. For Tippett, clients are like generals and top-level officers. They are better served if they are given the information clearly and concisely. At the same time, Tippett notes down all significant details and analyzes their importance to the overall picture.
Formerly of the U.S. Air Force, Scott Wolf is currently with Foster Klima & Co. in Minneapolis. He brings resourcefulness and adaptability with him in client meetings. He improvises on the spot to respond to client concerns, in the same way, that he used to adjust to the combat environment if factors like weather or enemy back-up change the scenario. His knowledge in using limited resources to create possible results is also useful. He taps it in cases where clients ask him how to increase their wealth given their present limited funding.
Lucila Williams served in the U.S. Army from 1996-2001. Now, she’s the founder and president of Lotus Financial Partners. Her five years in the military taught her how to manage extreme levels of stress and still deliver. Ingrained within her spirit is the “leave no soldier behind” principle. This enjoins soldiers to watch over their own, including each other’s spouses and families. Williams says that her stress management skills enable her to withstand the unexpected fluctuations in the finance world, especially when stocks do not perform as indicated. She also feels a great sense of responsibility for her clients. Hence, she is determined to see them through financial difficulties.
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