Monty’s been a busy man lately-he’s been interviewed by a number of radio stations about his newest book, Happy & Secure in Sonoma County, and has had broadcasts all over Sonoma County! This has included KOWS (107.3 FM), a community radio station in West Sonoma County, The Michael Dresser Show, a nationally syndicated talk show, and the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. If you’d like to hear a clip from his interview on the Michael Dresser Show, click the play button on the audio bar below.
Michael Dresser’s nationally syndicated radio talk show has evolved over the years into an entertaining and thought-provoking something for everyone, featuring guests from all over the country and covering such topics as health and fitness, diet and nutrition, parenting, education, social networking, travel, business and finance as well as political and historical perspectives. Michael is well known for getting to the heart of the issue at hand. The following is a transcript (and audio) of Monty’s interview on the Michael Dresser Show:
Monty’s Radio Interview – Michael Dresser Show – June 10, 2015
(MD – Michael Dresser, MT – Montgomery Taylor)
MD – Welcome back, I’m Michael, you’re listening to the Michael Dresser show. Montgomery Taylor is with us. CPA, CFP, RIA and a CRDS and he’s the author of Happy & Secure in Sonoma County, Piecing Together the Puzzle of Financial Security and Happiness in this Chosen Spot of All the Earth. He is a Quilly Award winning best-selling author. Monty is known as one of the top wealth managers for high net worth individuals in the United States for his role in helping them have peace of mind with a sound road map for achieving their financial objectives. His firm passed the rigorous testing of the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices and he is listed as one of the top wealth managers. His book, The New Rules of Success, has been used as a textbook on achieving life success for university students. And let us say, Montgomery, or Monty, welcome to the show.
MT– Hey Michael, and thank you for having me.
MD – And thank you so much for being here. You know what we really come down to it, wealth management is a completely different world today and it’s like anybody else, you don’t go to court without an attorney, you don’t get your taxes done without somebody who knows what they’re doing, and you don’t invest unless you have somebody who’s been there and has done that, and has the ability to work with that market.
MT – That’s right. I think life has gotten more complex and that certainly is it for the financial world.
MD – When we look at the financial world, it’s changing, obviously, drastically, where have you seen some turns for you?
MT – In the complexity of the tax code and how that has changed and affects us all and what it means to the rest of our lives, financially. Our investments and what we invest in and the tax ramifications of that and all the number of new investment choices that people have these days – it’s very complicated.
MD – You talk about being on a very happy and very secure mission, what do you mean by that?
MT – I grew up in the country, and I had parents who grew up during the depression and they were very good role models for me about being happy and secure and I’ve gone into the business of wealth management and I deal with people who aren’t happy and secure. So, it’s my mission to help people with that and to be more happy and secure in their life. So, that’s what I’ve done — I’ve written a book about what I do to help people to be more happy and secure.
MD – You have the book broken down into three basic sections. What are we dealing with? What are we looking at?
MT – Right. In the first section of the book I interviewed seven different clients of mine and told their story. It’s very interesting, told in first person and talks about who they are and what was going on with them financially. Then I come in behind that and talk about what I did to help improve their situation and help them to be more happy and secure. That’s section one. In section two I went out into the community and asked eight different professionals from different backgrounds. There’s a mortgage consultant, a healthcare consultant and a few different lawyers who work in different fields and I asked them what is it that they do to help their clients be more happy and secure from their self personally as well as professionally. So I have eight more chapters from those professional backgrounds. Then I rounded it off with Section Three in this book which is a laundry list of financial independence resources because I think that some of the best books that I’ve read and used over the years having to do with working toward being financially independent.
MD – I think one of the biggest problems that we face today is an age-old problem, but especially in today’s world, the question comes up – Am I going to have enough money to be able to live after I retire? I think that in and of itself is very scary for most people. What do we do to get somebody “happy and comfortable” realizing that they can do this, that it is an achievable goal?
MT – Right. That’s kind of the subject of Chapter 2 in my book. It’s about John and Amanda, and that was their situation. They were very worried, financially. John had gone through a reduction in salary and his company was on the verge of bankruptcy and they were very anxious about what was going on financially. But, once we sat down and started working on a plan together, they were able to see that they were much better off, financially, than they thought. They didn’t really have the need to worry as much as they were and so it was a really good feeling to be able to bring that comfort to them. Really, what it meant was for them to have a plan in place, because that’s what was missing and causing the anxiety.
MD – You know one of the things that is very interesting that I saw in your newsletter is called consequences for your actions. What you do in being responsible and there are too many people out there who don’t really know how to be responsible with money. They need to be held by the hand. One of the places you learn about consequence, and there’s no better place in the world, is called Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. Let’s face it. And the reason I saw that is that I’ve got something I need to say to you and that is Semper Fi, brother.
MT – Thank you.
MD – But the point is, going through something like that, I went to boot camp in San Diego, but the point is that you’re taught consequence, and there are too many people out there who are running through life and they’re not concerned about financial consequence. And there’s where you run into problems. Thank goodness there’s guys like you out there.
MT – Well, you know this isn’t something that we learn in high school. There’s no Money Management 101 in high school and you don’t learn it in college either, so we’re left with learning it from watching our parents and watching those around us as we’re growing up and that’s where we develop those attitudes that we have about money and they’re not always the best. We need to improve those, so there is room for improvement. It just takes some study.
MD – I think the biggest problem we have with money is the definition of money. You’re 14 years old and you have a certain definition of money and it gets spent in a certain way. Now you’re 35-40 years old and money takes on a whole new meaning. Now you’re 65-70 years old and it’s got a completely different meaning. I think the biggest problem is that we have the 30 year olds running around treating money like the 14 year olds do and you run into a lot of problems.
MT – Right. That’s true.
MD – One of the things that people run into, and this is tough, it’s called Choosing the Right Advisor. How do you do that?
MT – That is something that’s very critical and that’s one of the subjects of this book. There’s a chapter on Choosing the Right Advisor and the story of that client is that they retired with $1.5 million from a big VP position in a company, and took their money out and had a brokerage firm managing that money and they were just losing money right and left because they were incompetent. So they were discouraged and moved their money to a different firm and dealt with somebody there who was actually a crook and defrauded her of almost all of the rest of her nest egg. Then she got me involved and I helped her to get a hold of her life, financially, at least of what was left. I think that people just need to be a little bit more aware of what questions to ask a new financial advisor, just like anybody new that you might want to do business with. You need to ask them some questions.
MD – You know, it’s learning the right questions to ask because you can ask the wrong question and get the right answer to the wrong question and never get anywhere. It’s about going to people who know to find out what the right questions are.
MT – Right.
MD – Another problem I see, and I know you addressed this in Chapter 8 is about sustaining wealth from generation to generation. The generations change, the culture changes and mind sets change. New people join the family, get married and whatever and it’s got to be very hard to stay consistent for most families.
MT – Right. That is true. Back to the advisor question. I think that a lot of advisors are driven to beat the market, if you ask them they want to beat the S&P as the objective and I think that’s the wrong objective for a financial advisor and for the client, the individual, as well. I think that if you’re sitting down with a new advisor and thinking about hiring them, you might want to ask, what’s their strategy – is it to beat the S&P or what? Because that’s not the right strategy. You should hear your advisor, or potential advisor, asking you questions about what is this money about? What is it for? And who is it for? And when is this money needed? And then let’s build a plan to accomplish those objectives. It’s very personalized to that person, not to some stock market index.
MD – Now, by the way, and very important also, in dealing with this, in Chapter 6 you reference the book, The Millionaire Next Door. That’s about the short-term vs. long-term decisions. That, in and of itself, has got to be very tough for a lot of people. What do you mean by that?
MT – Well, that’s right. I think that that’s one of those things that people do is they make financial decisions on a very short-term basis. They’re geared toward what’s going on this month or this year. It usually relates to cash flow issues or debt management issues. They’re kind of living in the moment, day-to-day, and if that’s what they do that’s probably what they’ll always do. To get beyond that, they need to be thinking long-term. They need to change their focus from today to what do we want 5 years from now? Ten years from now? So they can start putting themselves on the right path.
MD – You know one of the things about this right path is that retirement age is very hard for a lot of people to decide when to do it. 62? 65? 70? How do you make that decision?
MT – Right. Well that is one of those independent choices that people have to make and it would be nice if we could financially get to that place in life where we could retire and just do what we want to do, but that takes a lot of planning. Some people wouldn’t want to retire at 62 if they could. It’s not an arbitrary number and it’s not the number that the social security administration tells you is your full retirement age benefit, it’s something that people have to decide for themselves. They need to ask themselves, what do they want their retirement to look like? I think they should define that themselves, and then work towards that end.
MD – By the way, I’ve got the Tax and Investment Newsletter in front of me. Monty – regarding the Happy and Secure Workshops. Now are they for local people or do you do them on Skype, can people get involved nationally with it?
MT – Well, we’re starting out locally and we’re offering them through employers or membership organizations to host the workshop, so it would be something done locally in my area. If there’s an interest in another way to do it, I’d be happy to entertain those possibilities.
MD – Because you know when they invented Skype I think that opens up a whole new vista of potential for people with financial offerings in every kind of an aspect you can think of that would help somebody out. Now, let me ask you this. When it really comes down to it, is there a common over-arching theme, a common problem that you find people coming into your office with?
MT – It’s two things. One is that there’s no plan in place. So they’re shooting in the dark, so to speak, and making financial decisions every day that don’t tie into an overall plan for themselves for the short-term or the long-term. So, that’s one and the other has to do with integration meaning that they might have a great CPA who’s doing tax things for them and they might have an investment advisor who’s doing great investment work and they could have an insurance person and they could have a tax person who talks to them about estate issues. They might all four be doing great things, but if they’re not talking to each other and communicating they’re inadvertently leaving holes and gaps and cracks in that person’s financial picture that could come back to bite them someday. So, that’s one of the things that I uncover when working with people, is where are those cracks that they just don’t see? People tell me that they’ve got everything taken care of and yet I’ll still find all kinds of things going on in their financial lives that they were unaware of and I can suggest improvements and take away the crises that’s looming down the road if it’s not taken care of.
MD – When you really come down to it, taking care of financial stability, it’s not just investments, you know, tax return programs, estate planning, income tax planning, insurance, annuities, retirement planning, college planning, investment planning – it’s an entire area for someone to look and it’s a completely different financial world and as you were just saying, you have to take a look at every aspect of this because it affects you, no matter what you do. If you look at taxes, for instance, how many tens of thousands of pages are the tax rules? Lots of them. And you don’t just go in there and know what you’re doing. You’ve got to go to the professionals.
MT – Right and a lot of people are trying to do this on their own, and maybe it’s because they want to understand it better. And, you know, my hat’s off to them for that, or maybe it’s because they’re trying to save a few dollars on professional fees in which case I think they’re probably really hurting themselves because financial advice can be very cheap when you compare it to what the alternative is and the mistakes you are likely to make without some guidance.
MD – No question. Monty, we’re just about running out of time, so let me ask you this: website we can find you at?
MD – Wonderful, and by the way, if anybody missed it, it’s up on our website. And I want to thank you so much for joining us today.
MT – Okay. Thank you, Michael. And thank you for having me.
MD – Okay. My pleasure. Take care. Bye, bye.
MT – All right.