As your favorite Major League Baseball team heads south this February, we know that spring is around the corner, and baseball season is heating up. As a former pitcher with the Minnesota Twins, I must admit, I get a little envious seeing pictures on social media of my former teammates taking to the diamond and preparing for a long season. I am very blessed to have achieved a childhood dream of playing professional baseball, but the pain that shoots through my shoulder as I get dressed each morning is just a quick reminder that my days on the mound are, fittingly, long behind me.
Following my career in baseball, I understood that reflection and gratitude are very important aspects to human growth. I had the opportunity to play in some great stadiums, meet some amazing people, and wear the same jersey that many of my childhood heroes once wore. As Brad Pitt famously quoted in the movie Moneyball - “how can you not be romantic about baseball”? (Moneyball) I truly loved the game and all of the pageantry, but today, I know that the “game” gave me much more than that. The lessons I learned on the field are precisely what has helped me be successful today in financial services.
During my college years at the University of Pittsburgh, when the cleats were off, my time was often consumed by the demands of an economics major. The study itself was always intriguing, however I never really thought that understanding how economies work, or how calculating Gross Domestic Product would actually assist me in a career someday. Today, I am a licensed investment advisor with Capstone Wealth Management Group, and personal financial planning has became my life's passion, much like baseball was just a few years prior.
I never thought much about money when I was playing. I had enough to put gas in my car, food on the table, and pay the rent on time, so ultimately I was content. I didn’t really think about tomorrow, let alone planning for the future – and certainly, I wasn’t the only one. Discussions about money, outside of signing bonuses, rarely entered into conversations in the locker room and it wasn’t until my first off-season that I started to realize decisions about money needed to be taken seriously. I knew that I had to figure out how to plan for my financial future and, as many people do, I met with a financial advisor to get started. After reviewing my financial situation, I learned of all the aspects which go into a financial plan…As a client, sitting opposite the side of the desk where I sit today, I felt confident knowing I had a professional leading me through every detail in my personal financial situation that required attention.
My advisor showed me many things like, how to budget, create and protect an emergency fund, understand the benefits of saving, and knowing how much insurance I needed …And eventually, with great confidence, we put my contract signing bonus to work. It was a complete relief to take control of my finances!
As time went on, I noticed steady progress within my investments and financial plan, but, unfortunately, couldn’t say the same about my progress on the baseball field. I realized that my days as a professional pitcher were coming to an end.
As athletes, we learn to work as a team, providing any assistance we can to our fellow comrades – We motivate, compliment, encourage, and use our own unique expertise to help win games! In financial planning, its a very similar process. After I hung up the cleats, I turned from client to advisor at Capstone Wealth Management Group, and once I solidified my position as a financial planner, I realized that I can continue doing something that I always loved : helping people achieve their goals. What better way to change someone’s life than to show that individual how to work toward attaining financial freedom and retirement success?
I love the saying that if you do something that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Being a Wealth Manager is not a job, it's a passion, and something I truly love doing every day. The career has proven to be more rewarding than I ever could have imagined, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to help others. Whether it is the ninth inning of a big game, or the late innings of retirement, having a proper plan is paramount for success.