Thank you for checking out Telos Financial’s “Planning for your Purpose” blog. The financial planning blog for millennials. The purpose of the blog is to introduce financial planning topics I believe are important. I want to start discussions that will educate, benefit, and improve your financial life. Ultimately, to help you focus on your telos!
I thought for my first blog it would be best to just introduce myself, my firm, and who I work with. Here goes. . . I’m Dennis LaVoy, I’m a Southeastern Michigan native and have always lived in the area. It’s my tenth year (in 2018) as a financial planner and that milestone and the confidence in my abilities through my experience lead me to open my own firm.
My wife (Kristin) and I met on match.com in Ferndale where we eventually got married in 2014. My wife brought our daughter Evelyn into the world in 2016 and our son Henry in 2018. We moved to Plymouth in 2017 after Evelyn was born to be closer to our families. My wife is from Plymouth and much of her family lives here. My family is mostly in the Temperance and Dundee area so the move put me much closer to my family as well.
I enjoy working on old cars (we have a 1966 Mustang), projects around the house, cooking, and family time. We also usually have a garden, though it’s shrunk with the kiddos.
I came to financial planning after many years in restaurants. After high school, I got a degree in culinary arts, that was the only field I knew at the time and I enjoyed it. The next step for me was a business degree in finance from Eastern Michigan University. I got a job as a financial analyst and a great mentor and friend of mine guided me into the financial planning business. I took a leap of faith in December 2008 (right in the middle of the market falling and the beginning of the Great Recession) that has worked out really well and I’m grateful to be where I am today.
While working as a financial planner, I completed the requirements to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional. I also completed the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designation. I wanted to have the education and proof of competency and dedication to this business. These take years to earn with classwork, testing, and experience requirements; not to mention dues and certifications. Both require me to act as a fiduciary for my clients and that is another factor that drove me to get certified.
As an experienced planner, I’ve had the opportunity to work with clients of all types. I have come to the conclusion that I enjoy working with the younger families; millennials, generation x, basically – folks around my age or stage in life are easier to relate to and work with.
I’ve met a lot of advisors don’t cater to younger clients. Some have high client minimums younger investors can’t meet as older investors typically to have accumulated more. The average age for financial advisors is over 55, so some want to work with clients at their stage of life. I’ve always believed our industry should serve everyone; especially since the younger you are, the more benefit you will have long term. Telos Financial was created to focus on work with younger and underserved families. That’s why I opened my firm and who I strive to serve and partner with.
Financial planning to me is so much more than managing investments. It’s sending kids to college, buying your first home, saving for your wedding, or setting a course to achieve whatever goals you have. I work with many individuals who are high earners and they have a special set of problems, albeit good problems to have. Maybe it’s cash flow related. Or they want to know how much extra to pay on the mortgage or student loan. Or how to balance college savings with retirement savings. Every family has different questions and concerns. A financial planner can analyze your goals and provide personalized advice to help answer these questions in the way that suits your family the best.
Many millennials are entrepreneurs and small business owners. This is an area I have a lot of experience and provide great insights. I started my first business at age 27. I’ve been a small business owner and entrepreneur and have walked the emotional road associated with it. It can be lonely and when I started my first business, I wish I had had someone to help guide me. There are many tax and business decisions that are really complicated and outside the scope of most businesses, so it’s great to have someone who is knowledgeable about it help walk you through and make the tough decisions.
Some younger clients will have a side hustle. Some get into it out of passion, some out of necessity, some just to get ahead; no matter the impetus that led you to it, it usually leads to complicated decisions on taxes and savings. If the side hustle happens to be a business you’re starting, there are a lot of decisions to be made. If it’s a company you freelance for, there are different considerations. I already mentioned this earlier. Again, these are good problems to have, but you should make an informed decision or seek a professional who knows you well enough to guide you.
If you are a millennial, young professional, have a young family, or are seeking financial planning guidance; Telos Financial may be able to help you. Contact us to schedule an introductory meeting and we can talk more in person or on the phone. Telos is Michigan’s financial advisor for high income, high net worth, wealthy millennials, recent college graduates, small business owners, and entrepreneurs.
Telos Financial is a fee based, holistic financial planning firm located in Plymouth, Michigan serving young professionals and families. Dennis LaVoy, CFP®, CLU® founded Telos in his tenth year as an advisor and now serves clients around Metro Detroit, Ann Arbor, southeastern Michigan, and across the great United States of America.