Active investment management’s weekly magazine for fee-based advisors

Paul Walker • Waycross, GA
Parable Financial Network • Triad Advisors

When my wife and I decided to exit our floral and gift business and transfer it to our daughter and her husband, I felt a calling to continue in a new career. Financial advisory work was something I had always thought I would be very good at, given my background in finance and accounting, business experience, and love of the financial markets. For years, I had been informally helping people out with questions about their finances, was the treasurer at my church, and had taught church classes on financial stewardship.

Given the nature of our business, for close to 40 years we often worked with people in the most emotional moments of their lives, including the joy of weddings or births, or the sadness of illness or deaths in the family. While the tough times were never easy, I believe I learned valuable lessons in how to relate to people facing many different types of circumstances. We built relationships in the community that went beyond the surface, and that is something I will always treasure.

I have built on that experience in developing my advisory practice. I have a deeply held, faith-driven desire to help others be successful in different stages of their lives.

The discovery process, which includes finding out how clients see their personal goals and what their major concerns are, is at the heart of everything I do. I’ll spend whatever time is needed discussing any issues that the person or couple has. Ultimately, my desire is to help clients change their life for the better. Even if it has more to do with personal life issues than finances, I’m still on board. I’ll counsel people about whatever topic caused them to end up in my office. I feel like that is part of my personal outreach and my mission in life.

When I am out in the community and tell people what I do for a living, or when I am delivering an educational talk, I try to give people a message that helps to break down some barriers and encourages them to come see me:

“Many of you simply want to know how to get started with a financial plan and you really don’t think you should contact me unless you have some serious money in the bank to invest. You couldn’t be more wrong. I would rather talk to you than anyone else, because I was you. When I was you, I wish I had found someone to coach and encourage me. Ideally, it would be someone experienced and knowledgeable like me.

“Nothing would give me more pleasure than to meet with you and give you a free assessment and guidance about your specific circumstances. When God puts someone in my path with a question, I want to try my best to answer it. That is where I derive the most satisfaction and enjoyment in my professional life.”

  • Focus on gaining a deep understanding of clients’ life goals.
  • Be empathetic as clients face challenging life circumstances.
  • Encourage prospective clients to have a no-obligation first meeting.

Disclosure: Securities and advisory services offered through Triad Advisors LLC. Member FINRA & SIPC. Parable Financial Network and Triad Advisors are not affiliated.

Photography by David Osburn

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