Chip is a principal of Beacon Financial Strategies and serves as the firm’s investment portfolio manager. He grew up in Franklinton, North Carolina and received his business management degree from North Carolina State University. Chip also has a Masters in Business Administration from East Carolina University. In addition, Chip is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner.
Chip works closely with clients in the areas of overall financial planning, asset allocation and risk management strategies. As the firm’s investment portfolio manager, he is responsible for managing client investment portfolios.
Chip has spent his entire career in the financial services industry, including over 20 years working with clients in a fee-only capacity. He is a member of a number of professional and community organizations and enjoys spending his free time fly fishing, spending time with his family and attending N.C. State athletic events.
I knew that I wanted to be involved in the financial services industry at a very young age. I bought my first CD when I was 14 years old (6.2%!) and I began investing in mutual funds when I was in college. My parents instilled in me a very strong sense of practicality and taught me about “wants” versus “needs” very early in life. I cannot remember a time in my life when I was not curious about financial matters.
In 1992 while I was in college, I worked as an administrative assistant for a local “full service” brokerage firm for two years. I worked for both a successful broker (who still operates in Raleigh today) and an unsuccessful broker who was eventually fired.
The unsuccessful broker spent much of his time providing investment analysis and some basic planning to his clients and avoided prospecting and gathering assets.
In contrast, the successful broker spent all of his time prospecting for new clients and selling investment products. He was often rewarded with trips and other perks from the “home office” by selling high commission and often times inappropriate investment products to clients. One particular incident that happened during my time with this firm really shaped my career path.
The home office had recently purchased $50 million in NC Municipal tax exempt bonds. They sent a wire (this was prior to email) to all brokers in North Carolina telling them that the broker who sold the most of these municipal bonds by the weekend would win a trip to Hawaii.
My job was to look through the successful broker’s client list and identify anyone who had available cash to invest – that was the only criteria. The broker then used this list to sell as many of the 30 year maturity tax exempt bonds as he could.
While he did not win the trip, he did manage to sell quite a few of the bonds. Unfortunately, I realized that he sold many of the bonds to people above the age of 70 and in the lowest tax bracket – people who would receive very little benefit from long term tax exempt bonds.
This incident made me realize that the industry was not exactly what I thought it was and I reexamined my career path.
As a result of my experience with this brokerage firm, I decided to go back to graduate school and rethink my preferred occupation!
One of the most challenging elements of giving investment and financial planning advice is that many of the strategies that are recommended to clients are long term in nature and may take many years to fully materialize. Having been in the business for nearly two decades, I am fortunate to have seen a number of my long time clients reach their financial goals. It is very rewarding to know that I have played a role in their financial success.
I would remind people that their most precious and limited resource is time and I would urge people to make the most of their time by spending it with those people who matter most. Life is short!
I have discovered how rewarding it can be to donate (time or money) to a worthy cause.
I try and spend as much time as I can with my family. I really enjoy coaching and attending my children’s sporting events – currently basketball and soccer. When it comes to “me time,” I enjoy golfing, fly fishing, running and playing basketball. I also enjoy N.C. State athletics (sometimes)!