In spending any amount of time on this website, you’ve likely concluded that very little that we do would be considered “conventional”. Whether we approach a complex situation from a beginner’s mind (Shoshin) concept or institute a philanthropy referral partnership willing to give 40% of our referral revenue stream to qualifying 501(c)(3) organizations in an effort to foster change and truly put our money where our mouth is, we embrace a think different mantra.
I want to utilize this section for you to understand me/us. I want you to understand that our thoughts and insight frequently challenge the belief system of many, though our goal is to provide investors with the information and insight we’d want to hear if our roles were reversed. I want you to know that we look to educate investors on capital preservation concepts and strategies we personally utilize to protect our own assets from catastrophic loss, yet are infrequently mentioned by the majority of the industry.
We want to remind investors that the financial-services industry doesn’t exist to provide you with wealth. It exists because it’s extremely efficient at extracting it away from you and if we understand these concepts, we can skew your odds back into your favor.
We don’t expect you to merely “take our word for it”, but provide you with examples and studies which speak to each point we try to make.
“Your perspective is always limited by how much you know. Expand your knowledge and you will transform your mind.” ~ Bruce H Lipton Ph.D.
I’d ask that you think about this quote in a different context. Which individual has more perspective of the ocean? The one who stares at its crashing waves for 30 years or the one whose boat crashes through those waves to find different locations to dive beneath its surface to unfathomable depths; truly experiencing its vast, majestic beauty?
Perspective is always limited by how much you know, contingent on what you’ve seen, experienced or “been taught”. It is only when you dive beneath the surface of what you think you know, that you begin to expand you knowledge, altering your perspective, forever transforming your mind.
We believe “experience” is too often confused with perspective and knowledge.
Suggesting I have nearly 23 years of “experience” in the financial industry may be a marketable sound bite, but it literally tells you nothing about me or anyone who wears years of service as a badge of honor; in my opinion, this factoid means very little without context. Doing something for 23 years doesn’t equate to being good at it, especially if you’ve been trained incorrectly from the start. When my career began nearly 23 years ago, I wasn’t taught how to create and preserve wealth; I was taught how to sell; which is exactly what I believe this industry is filled with; great salespeople – that’s what most understand; how to sell…
So what makes me unique from other financial advisors? Robert Frost answers that question best:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Stated simply, my path over the 23 years I’ve been in this industry.
My career began as a financial advisor on the private wealth side of the business; a primary focus on bank stocks and municipal bonds. During that time period, I aided our corporate finance department facilitate many first- and second-step mutual savings bank/thrift conversions.
After eight (arguably successful) years on the “retail” side, I transitioned to a hybrid institutional sales and sales trading position, spending the next eight years working with private wealth, portfolio and hedge fund managers, accredited investors as well as C-level executives facilitating corporate buybacks, trading, exercising cashless options for corporate executives, executing 10b5-1 plans as well as working on numerous syndicated deals and capital raises, among other things.
I’ve experienced the emotions of retail investors during the bursting of the tech bubble in the early 2000’s as well as those of institutional money managers and c-level executives during the mortgage meltdown of 2008-2009. I’ve watched numerous securities plummet in price with not a downgrade in sight from the research departments of major Wall Street firms. It’s what drives our passion to educate investors on capital preservation strategies.
My career path has been anything but traditional giving me perspective that is unique to the masses.
You see the words of Theodore Hesburgh all over this website:
“My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy; you don’t make them because they are cheap; you don’t make them because they’re popular; you make them because they’re right.”
If this section is “about me”, there is no better way to sum up who I am as a person. There is no better way to understand me. There is nothing easy about what I/we do here. There is nothing easy about suggesting to someone whose amassed a large sum of money over his/her lifetime there might just be a better way that’s more beneficial to you (the investor), though, as countless individuals get closer and closer to their retirement ages, having less and less time to live through another market catastrophe, staying true to these words has never been more important to me.
We look for nothing more than a seat at the table; just to hear us out. Let us explain to you the Other Side of the investing story, who knows, maybe your perspective will change once you’ve done so?
Carla’s journey in the financial industry began working in Legg Mason’s wire room and operational center circa 2003, entering trades for 14 brokers while learning the rules and regulations of Wall Street. It became clear that the organizational/compliance aspect of the business was an area she enjoyed and excelled in.
After having experienced the industries significant consolidation wave working for financial behemoths Citi Group, Morgan Stanley and Smith Barney having never moved her desk, she found a home with (at the time) a mid-sized Stifel in 2010, working for 4 brokers as a client service representative coupled with additional operational responsibilities as well.
In 2012, Mitchel and Carla began working together when he joined Stifel’s Raleigh, NC office following his departure from the Institutionally driven Bank Services Group. Our aspiration from the onset of our working together has always been to provide sound advice tailored to our client’s financial goals with the highest standard of client service, which still holds true today.
Carla’s true joy is meeting new clients and making them feel at home, while striving to provide excellent service along the way.
Carla is also a wife, mother of 4 beautiful girls, grandmother of 8 adorable children and 7 fur babies. In her own words, “I have been blessed with a big family and we enjoy getting together as much as possible.”
Carla is an admirer of the great Maya Angelou with two quotes ringing true to her daily… The first being:
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”
Her belief is using this thought as a unit of measure; she will always be truly successful.
The second quote being…
“We are more alike my friends than we are un-alike…”
With a little bit of kindness and open conversation most of us can find common ground and get along!