I remember, growing up, that our Thanksgiving meals regularly included a guest at the table who didn’t have family, and our family vehicle was considered a gift that my dad seemed to always loan out to someone in need. Those are just a couple of the memories I had growing up as the son of a Presbyterian minister. My father was always helping out folks in the community. When I was growing up, Pastors didn’t make much money. However, there seemed to always be enough, and it was always clear to me that by helping others and being obedient, God took care of you. And although I didn’t follow the career path of my father as a pastor, I wanted to find a profession that served others.
My first experience with financial planning and investments came when it was time for me to apply to college. My uncle wanted to help the family out by paying for my college tuition. An astute investor, he had been buying stocks for me, growing a healthy college fund. Those stocks paid a dividend that was taxed so every year when I received the tax return paperwork where the stocks were listed, I would write down the names of the ones that were doing well, and spend the next year watching them and studying the market.
This resulted in me choosing to study business and finance. I envisioned a career in which I could seamlessly combine my faith with my financial knowledge, helping people make better choices with their money. It was at college that I met my wife Cathy, who shared my passion for giving to others and living a life of service.
Generosity doesn’t happen by accident, not even when we acquire more wealth. Generous people give in all seasons of life. It may not be easy at first, but if we’re diligent we find that we are always able to give to others.
During graduate school in Texas, I connected with a former customer from a bank where I had been employed and learned about an opportunity in Virginia Beach with CBN where a new ministry had begun in financial planning. It felt like a perfect fit and in 1985 we moved to Hampton Roads, where we started our family.
After a while, my entrepreneurial drive challenged me to step out and try something new. Wealth management was starting to be recognized as a real profession, with professional certifications, and I decided to get in on the ground floor. I studied to become a Certified Financial Planner professional and began advising clients with their financial planning.
Managing money is the visible part of my field, but it isn’t really what I do. I help people achieve financial freedom, which to me means more than accumulating enough funds to stop working; it’s about making memories while doing things that are important to you every day and at every stage in life. Often at the first meeting with a new client, I ask them to “paint me a picture” of their retirement. My goal is to help them see the big picture, then make a plan to achieve that dream. Not just to acquire wealth, but to accumulate experiences and memories along the way.
“Retirement is a worthy goal, but not in and of itself.”
I am so excited with our team at Tull Financial Group where we daily help folks paint their own picture and achieve their own dreams. Looking back over the past 30 years of helping people accomplish more, I think my father would be proud. Maybe we can help you as well – we’d love to sit down and talk about your goals and dreams and how we can help you get there!