Getting ready for a flight in the AT-38 in 2004

Getting ready for a flight in the AT-38 in 2004

From fighter pilot to financial freedom advocate

My first profession was an F-16 pilot with the United States Air Force followed by short stint as a commercial airline pilot with US Airways.  As a pilot, I honed my ability to stay focused on “the mission” while adjusting to unplanned circumstances like bad weather, equipment problems, and even enemy aircraft.  This ability serves me well as a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (CMPS).

The decline in commercial airline careers took place about the same time the bestseller “Who Moved My Cheese” made its debut.  After leaving the skies, (my cheese had indeed been moved) I decided combine my college education in finance / engineering and my family history in real estate to pursue a second career in financial services.

Location, location, location

I maintain a daily discipline of an hour’s study of financial markets and financial planning, and mortgage strategies.  Thinking through the financial services career options I realized the fastest way to impact a home owner’s finances was to start with their mortgage, so I joined a local mortgage company, and eventually into a management role.

As the Loan Origination Manager of 25 loan officers, I grew frustrated when I saw that too many people thoughtlessly obtained their mortgage.  Most were totally focused on the seemingly obvious “Location Location, Location” of their real estate, but were never told to consider the more important “Location, Location, Location” if their wealth and home equity.  I couldn’t break through the industry indoctrination that taught loan officers to compete only on price, and never bother to take the time to make sure that the advice offerred was right.  In fact, most loan officers I saw didn’t offer any advice, they simply took orders for loans without assessing how a loan choice would impact the home owner for good or bad.

Lessons learned

Often I saw people select mortgages that hampered their short- and long-term prosperity.  I saw too many loan officers and real estate agents encouraging people to make short-sighted decisions by focusing exclusively on the interest rate or closing costs.

Time and again I saw the need for mortgage shoppers to consider how the structure of their mortgage can impact their other important financial decisions: retirement savings, debt reduction, college savings and life and health protection.

Loan officers and the media taught people to shop for their mortgage based on the interest rate, when they really needed to shop for the best plan for their unique circumstances.

A mortgage is like a long flight

With both a long flight and a mortgage, you should start with a destination in mind, a plan for how to arrive there, and adjust your course along the way.  With a mortgage, the destination is paying off the loan and living in the right home.  You make course corrections by paying extra on the mortgage, using a home equity line or refinancing.

In a long flight, however, missing one simple thing at the beginning, like checking the oil level in the engines, or setting the heading wrong by even just one degree, could have disastrous consequences later on. Same with a mortgage.

As I studied, invested and learned more, I discovered that I could break out of the herd mentality that encouraged people to “shop for a mortgage” without considering the rest of their financial priorities.  Along the way, I earned designations as a Certified Mortgage Planning SpecialistTM and as a Certified Liability AdvisorTM.  These organizations support my professional goal of helping homeowners use a mortgage correctly.

Ambitions for you and for me

I have big ambitions for my mortgage practice.  While most mortgage companies just strive to close as many loans as possible, I believe that if I closed the right loans for people who wanted to get the most from their mortgage, I could make a difference.

My desire is to help home buyers develop an integrated mortgage strategy that would help them increase their financial security, minimize their tax obligations, and increase their net worth over time.

As a Mortgage Planner and a CMPSTM, I’ve developed a great understanding of how a properly-structured mortgage can impact a home owner’s finances.  I help people think differently about their liability management and encourage them to make choices that will improve their financial ability to respond to the “enemy fire” and “stormy weather” that are a part of this earthly life.

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