What I think is important in priority order: faith, family, and finance.
My faith is in Jesus, who claimed he was the Son of God, the hero sent to be a light in a very dark world. Through that very faith, I learned life is not defined by our time on Earth till we die, but is instead defined by feeling full forever. Eternity is set within my heart, and it is by that light I make my decisions and help others make theirs. My faith alone has made me a rich man.
My family consists of an incredible wife (whom I met in preschool), Sara, three children (Billie Ann, Hanner, and JJ), sisters and brothers (most through marriage, all classified as some of our closest friends), parents, grandparents, friends, high school friends past and present (through Young Life), and many incredible neighbors. They are all family, united to us by love.
My dedication to finance comes from one simple thought: a man has all he needs for a full life, yet most live empty. So much in life is but a shadow of what it could be because of waste. The effective application of financial principles can fix that. To me, finance is about discovering the best and highest use for all that we have, including our money, our skills, our time, and our energy. Finance, done right, equals more life. Life that is greater than what we are currently living.
Those three factors form who I am, however, here’s a couple more for you:
I love to learn. I haven’t always, but now I border on addiction to learning new things. Whether through other personal relationships, books, podcasts, documentaries, or YouTube, I love to learn things that can change the way I or people I love can live their lives for a better and higher purpose. I have managed to overcome my fear of being wrong, which is liberating.
My love for learning really started with Sara, who taught me so much about full living through the way she lived her own life. It continued at Northwest Missouri State University, where I got a degree in finance, then led to continued learning through work with Robert Den Ouden and his investment advice business in St. Joseph, MO. I worked with Bob for 9 years, and it shaped me in more ways than I likely realize.
In 2010, I became a Certified Financial Planner™ professional so the outside world could know a young man was competent to deliver financial planning. Today, you can judge my competence based on this site, my blog, and the fruit that comes from working with me.
Besides learning, every bit of free time we have is dedicated to being with people. Sara, Billie, Hanner, and JJ are top priority, but if you could sum up our life and time it would be like this: it has a lot of people in it. And that’s the way we like it.