Chad Harrison, Retirement Plan Advisor for OneAscent Wealth, has always desired to serve clients through a financial services career. Hear from Chad as he shares his story and how he helps individuals find confidence in their retirement plans!
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A Vision for a Future in Financial Planning
I’ve always wanted to be in the financial industry, but it didn’t happen right out of college. I started my career as an insurance adjuster and then transitioned into teaching math and coaching softball.
I enjoyed teaching and helping people but wanted to find a way where I could do this within the financial industry. I reached a point in my life and my career where I felt it was time to really focus on my bucket list. I had my mind set on financial education for decades – why not make that a reality?
I started taking some finance classes and reaching out to firms in the area. I was already interested in values-aligned firms because I believed strongly in stewardship and honoring the Lord with what he has given us. I connected with OneAscent just a few weeks before I started a new semester teaching math. We worked it out so I could finish up the semester with my students, and then I joined as a Retirement Plan Advisor at the first of this year!
The Importance of Stewardship
When I was 14 years old, my dad asked me if I wanted a car when I turned 16. Of course, I told him yes. So, he went out right then and bought me a brand new, shiny, green… push lawn mower. He told me to go to work, and I did.
From the time I was 14, I saved and tithed on every dollar I made. I’ve always had a mindset that understood the value of stewardship and saving, and that’s one thing I want to share with others.
(And yes, I was able to purchase the car.)
My Personal Investing Journey
I actually started my personal investing experience at age 21. I started by meeting with a financial advisor and drilling him with questions about the market and how to make strategic decisions. By age 25, I had moved everything to an online account.
I have been through many market cycles and learned how to make the best decisions through various scenarios. Over the years, I have used my knowledge and experience to help others with their financial planning and retirement accounts.
Teaching and Coaching Others
Now, I primarily work with 401(k) participants and retail clients alike. When we bring on new plans or get new participants, I will do an Education Presentation to teach participants the value of saving and investing. I also educate them on the details of their 401k plans and the tax advantages that come with them. I really enjoy this.
They may have questions about how much they should be saving in a Roth or Traditional IRA. Sometimes it’s about showing someone that before focusing on the 8% they are hoping to earn in their retirement account, they need to eliminate their credit card debt with a 24% interest rate. The financial aspects I teach them give them the tools to grow their wealth and thrive in their financial life.
Most importantly, I recognize everyone I teach is unique, and everyone’s situation is different. Not everybody needs to take the same steps to get to where they need to go. My goal is to get to know them and what they care about so I can design a plan that fits their needs.
Helping Free Others from the Worries of Money
I’m thankful to be passionate about what I do. I just want to help free people from the worries of money so they can focus on living life to the fullest and furthering the Kingdom. Once they have a plan in place and know someone is helping them honor that plan, they feel freed up to enjoy the other important areas of their life.
I always try to listen to a complete situation so I can understand all the aspects of it. Then I can use that to design a plan to help them get out of debt, save for long-term goals, invest for retirement, etc. and do all these things in a tax-efficient manner.
I have years of real-world experience as someone on the other side of the table. I’ve been managing investments and finances for so long it feels like second nature. This experience helps me help them be successful and be good stewards. In the end, we all just want to hear, “well done.”