A message from our founder, Steven Fox
Hi, I’m Steven Fox and I’m the founder of Next Gen Financial Planning, a fee-only financial planning firm dedicated to helping young professionals make better decisions with money.
I decided to start NGFP because as I began my career in financial planning, I noticed that there is an enormous gap in the availability of personal financial planning services.
Most financial advisors have high investable asset minimums (often times $1 million or more) that many people, particularly young families, are simply unable to meet. Additionally, their service models are often tailored to the needs of retirees in their 60’s and 70’s rather than meeting the unique needs of those in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.
Imagine that doctors only worked with people who were already in perfect health, and positioned themselves as providing a service to maintain your health and improve upon it. Wouldn’t that be completely absurd?!? That’s exactly what most of the financial planning industry does when focusing solely on providing for clients who are already wealthy.
Moreover, there’s a common (but completely inaccurate) perception in the industry that young adults simply don’t need financial planning services because their financial situations aren’t complex enough. I couldn’t disagree more!
I don’t have to look very far to find an example of just how untrue it is that young people don’t have complicated financial issues to figure out. Here are a few examples of events that occurred just during my twenties that impacted my finances:
- I started, bought, and sold a few small businesses
- I bought two houses, one as a rental and one to live in (in different states)
- I was married, divorced, then later married again
- While serving as an active duty Marine, I moved around the country and around the world multiple times
- I received a large re-enlistment bonus from the Marine Corps and had to decide what to do with it
- I incurred tens of thousands of dollars in debt and then paid it off
- I selected and purchased multiple types of insurance policies
- I dealt with the separate deaths of both of my parents and some of the financial issues that can arise in such situations
- I attended a university and earned my degree
- I bought 2 cars and 3 motorcycles
- I started investing for the future
- My wife became pregnant with our first child
Do you think that the younger me might have benefitted from professional financial advice when these events occurred? Absolutely! In fact, I would argue that people in their 20’s-40’s have far more tumultuous lives and need financial advice even more than typical retirees do.
Unfortunately, most young people are not able to find trustworthy professional financial advisors to work with. Many of them are forced to either seek out answers to complex financial issues on their own, or rely on the opinions of brokers selling investments or insurance products on commission who may not have their best interest at heart.
Even among those advisors who don’t work on commission, they often have minimum accounts sizes that are far out of reach for most people who are just starting out. At Next Gen Financial Planning, we do not have a minimum account size.
These experiences have taught me that the decision to seek out financial advice should not be dictated by how much money you have, but by your desire and motivation to understand your financial life and position yourself to reach your fullest potential. Professional, objective, and caring advice can help you to define and achieve your goals.
Here are a few of the core beliefs that I adhere to while serving clients:
- Everyone can benefit from working with a well-trained and competent financial advisor, not just those who are already wealthy.
- Real financial planning starts with your personal values and life goals. You deserve to be treated like the living, breathing, thinking, and feeling individual that you are, not as a spreadsheet with a series of financial formulas for your advisor to solve.
- Providing financial planning services on a fee-only basis (meaning that no commissions are collected for any financial products recommended) removes conflicts of interest and results in more objective advice.
- Every client deserves qualified, proficient advice and guidance. I have a duty to learn as much as I can about every area of financial planning in order to give the best possible advice. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I’ll find it. When subject matter experts are required to solve a unique problem, I’ll refer out to them.
- If I do everything in my power to provide clients with excellent service, then they’ll stick around for a long time and we both win.
Steven Fox, owner and financial planner
Steven Fox is the founder of Next Gen Financial Planning, a Registered Investment Advisor in the state of California providing comprehensive fee-only financial planning services for young professionals who want to learn how to use money as a tool to balance today’s pressing needs with tomorrow’s dreams. Steven is also the founder of the San Diego Financial Advisors Network, a member of both the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and the XY Planning Network, and currently serves on the board of the San Diego chapter of the Financial Planning Association. Pro-bono efforts to give back include serving as Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator for the non-profit Financial Independence Training, which provides financial education and individual counseling to active-duty military members.
Prior to starting Next Gen Financial Planning, Steven served over 8 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. After separating with an honorable discharge, he attended San Diego State University where he graduated with honors while earning a bachelors degree in financial services, a certificate in personal financial planning, and a minor in entrepreneurship. He has also held positions with several other financial planning firms.