Have you ever met someone that is annoyingly organized and extremely passionate about a topic or two? Well … I’m that guy. My whole life I have always had an abnormal level of obsession about anything I became interested in, from becoming a maniac about volleyball while playing in college, to cars and garages, to home theater design, or something as simple as working out.
While I have an expertise in financial organization and planning, I’m an engineer at heart. My passion is problem solving and I seem to have a natural appetite for technical information. It’s what sets apart my approach to financial planning, business and all things in life. Everything I do is 100 or 0. As an engineering-minded person I find my obsessive nature helps clients have real peace of mind that their money is being carefully managed.
I was born in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, a rural town just north of Pittsburgh. My young parents showed, by example, what it meant to make a life for yourself out what you have. In their case, that meant making do in a single-wide trailer on a printer’s income with some extra cash from cleaning houses.
I learned by their example what hard work, organization, and a general pride in maintaining what you have as well as a responsibility for all things in life. There is a direct correlation to their careful planning and willingness to go without that allowed me to reach further and dream bigger. It is because of this that I have always had a strong drive to succeed and an insatiable appetite for knowledge on how to improve.
In 2002, I graduated from Villanova University with a degree in electrical engineering. I moved to Orlando, Florida, after graduation and now reside with my family near The Villages – the largest retirement community in the country about an hour outside of Orlando.
While I was in college I needed a part-time job. I began having great financial success designing complicated home theater systems for people that valued the passion I had for solving problems. While I continued to find success in this industry for a short time after graduation, my entrance into the business of providing financial advice happened rather serendipitously. An eventual mentor of mine sought my advice in thinking through costs and needs of a home theater system of his own. He connected the dots for me to see how my appetite for technical expertise and ability to explain complicated topics understandably is a very valuable and particular trait.
In 2005, I began as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch with unquenchable appetite for knowledge. I wanted to learn everything I could. While studying for the standard licensure exam, the Series 7, I immediately began pursuing other industry designations and acquiring investment knowledge. Today I hold five relevant licenses, and have completed thousands of hours of study to acquire six designations that make up all those letters after my name.
10 years into my career I had what I refer to as an OCD meltdown. I’ll spare you the details, but the gist is that I had taken on way too much and the weight of it all came crashing down on me. After months of therapy, I finally came to the realization that it was all about me. There needed to be others in my life instead of disappearing into the garage cave alone. This led to a blog, then a YouTube channel and website called Obsessed Garage, and eventually Obsessed Wealth Management. Deciding to let people in and share what is going on in my unique world has changed my life.
While the stepping stones of my life may not have always made sense along the way, I know that most have a journey of their own that needs to be traveled. Our stories help tell others who we are and what we value. It’s taken me to this point in my life to come to the realization that being “obsessed” doesn’t make me better, it just makes me very different.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., owns the certification marks above, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.