Whether you are an existing Ridgevale Financial Planning client or found your way through a Google search, I’m glad you’re here. I launched my firm in June 2020 with you in mind, and I hope you find this blog interesting and useful.

Let me start out by providing some background about me–not my life story but some context that will help you understand what Ridgevale Financial Planning is all about.

My father was an entrepreneur, owning a small business for most my time growing up, and I spent a lot of time doing odd jobs at his shop. I always thought it was cool that my dad was the boss, but I also took pride in it and, when I was old enough, started doing some customer service here and there to help out to the extent that I could. I didn’t realize it then, but there was something about being the owner and helping people that clicked for me.

I found my way into financial services because it was the only internship I was able to get my junior year; it was 2002, and the economy was still in recession. It wasn’t something I knew anything about or anything I was really interested in at the time. My experience during the internship was okay, but I did find it intellectually stimulating and learned you could essentially be your own boss and earn a great living. As tends to be the case, my naïve 20-something self focused mostly on those two attributes, envisioning a future making tons of money, driving expensive cars and owning a big house.

As my career evolved, however, it became much clearer to me why I’ve stuck with this vocation after more than 17 years. I truly love helping people, more specifically, helping people with the knowledge and experience I’ve gained over the course of my career and, even more specifically, helping people in a particularly important area of their lives where I can have a real and positive impact. That is the core value of Ridgevale Financial Planning: to have a real and positive impact on our clients’ lives by focusing on what’s important to them, not to what’s important to us.

As people, our relationship with money is very complicated, and we often make decisions and do things for what we believe are completely logical reasons but can be counterproductive to our financial wellbeing. Financial services also is a very complicated industry with a myriad of options to choose from and a million ways to make mistakes that hinder our ability to reach our goals. Our lives are also very demanding and don’t leave a whole lot of time to dive into the details of every financial decision we make.

So, we rely largely on heuristics: simple strategies or mental processes used to quickly form judgements, make decisions and find solutions to complex problems. Never heard of it? I didn’t either until I started learning about behavioral finance and our psychological relationship with money. Basically, it means we tend to fall back on what we’ve learned from our parents and other life experiences to make decisions when we don’t have time or motivation to really determine what the right solution is for a given problem we face. It’s not necessarily a good or bad thing, but it does mean that simply the lack of time and motivation can lead to poor decision making as it relates to our money.

Ridgevale Financial Planning strives to understand you by truly listening to what you have to say with an open mind and without judgement. By learning what matters most to you, we can focus on the things that will have a real and positive impact on your financial life.