We are here with Kate Holmes CFP. Kate is a Certified Financial Planner and Founder of Belmore Financial, LLC. Kate, thank you for being here, please tell us a little about yourself.
Sure, thanks for having me. I grew up fascinated with how people spend their money. I was the kid that saved every $5 I received at Easter and all of my tooth fairy money. Some of my friends had part time jobs in high school making $8 an hour and I watched them start to buy ten to fifteen thousand dollar cars. It was interesting for me to see how people chose to spend their money. For me it was traveling and photography. I used my college years to both get a degree and travel. I graduated from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia with a degree in photography of all things! I wanted to utilize my love for traveling and photography to travel the world, realized I was much better at the business side of things.
I left beautiful Australia and came back to the states to join my parents RIA firm. Through my travels I learned that money affects everyone, whether they have it or not, though money doesn’t equal happiness. I came in to the financial industry to help people create a life they love using the resources they have.
Please explain what an RIA is?
It stands for Registered Investment Advisory Firm. It is a completely independent firm which is not connected to a bank, or a broker dealer. They get paid directly from clients – not on commission – and are legally obligated to put clients interest first (meaning they’re a fiduciary).
Perfect; thank you. So you started as an investment advisor, helping people manage their money. What made you decide become a Certified Financial Planner and launch the business you did?
My prior firm worked with a lot of qualified retirement plans like 401(K) and profit sharing plans. I spent as much time as I could in the companies talking one on one with the employees. While doing this, I realized most of the things that were affecting people had nothing to do with investments or what the stock market was doing. The most common questions employees asked dealt with:
- How to handle a divorce
- Having ailing parents or an ailing family member taking up a lot of financial resources
- Being $30,000 in credit card debt
- Getting married
- Having kids
I kept thinking that there has to be a way to help all of these people. They didn’t need investment management, they didn’t need insurance sold to them and they didn’t need an eighty page financial plan. I was looking around trying to find a way to set up classes somewhere to refer them to, but when I couldn’t find it I, realized I had to create it.
So I left two years ago and launched Belmore Financial. I don’t manage assets and I don’t sell financial products. I work with clients all around the country for a flat monthly fee. I believe your financial plan should be as flexible as your life is. It is not about creating a forty year plan that may not be possible to adhere to. It’s about talking with people regularly, building lasting relationships and working together making adjustments when needed to fit their personal and financial life. I focus most on helping people realize what their happiest life looks like, then we create a plan to go after it.
On your website, you blend yourself with millennials. Is there something that attracts you to this specific age group?
Millennials are probably my favorite group to work with because we have our whole lives ahead of us and we have all of these opportunities right in front of us. But it’s easy to get caught up in what we think we should do or what our parents, family, friends or society expect us to do. There’s a great quote by Jim Carrey, “So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality”. I find that’s so true, which is why I focus on what people want their lives to look like, because we have endless opportunities to create and live our happiest life!
Millennials are continuously told to prepare for retirement and plan for their future. But as you said before, they have endless opportunities to create whatever they want their lives to look like. What are your thoughts?
I would love to see the word retirement banished from the industry. What I have seen almost without exception is that people who really want to retire are not happy with what they are doing. It is fascinating how often people say they want to retire in 3 to 5 years. We sit down and discuss what they are most looking forward to in the next phase of their lives and they realize they have absolutely no idea. But what they do know is they do not want to continue to go to the same job or have the same commute or continue with the day to day life they have had for decades.
So especially working with millennials, we talk about comedians, actors, CEO’s, politicians, musicians, and how so many of them are in their 70’s, 80’s and even 90’s that are still working because they LOVE what they do.
There is a story of a woman and she created a six figure online scrapbooking business. She launched the site 3 to 4 years ago; so we are not talking about something done in the 80’s. She loves scrapbooking and she found a way to make a 6 figure business doing what she loves.
Yes, it’s smart to plan ahead but rather than saving all you can now to be happy later, let’s figure out what you’d love to be doing and find a way to introduce that happiness now.
It is important to have a career that you absolutely love. People can feel that passion and are naturally drawn to you.
And the world just opens up when you do that. I know for myself, I launched my business 2 years ago and I had to take a step back recently; I dream big, I always have, but things are even exceeding my wildest dreams. Because when you put yourself out there and when you tell the universe what you want the universe has a way of conspiring to make that happen for you.
Kate, I really appreciate you taking time and speaking to us today on MoxieVoice. It is so important for women to understand that the universe is listening; all they need to do now is learn how to ask!
If you would like more information on Belmore Financial, please visit http://www.belmorefinancial.com/