In many ways, I am a fortunate man. Coming out of high school in South Haven, Michigan, I had a strong aptitude for math and mechanics. At 18, I was busting my knuckles at a diesel shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan when I was given the opportunity to work at Palisades Nuclear Power Plant as an Operator. I came in as the low guy on the totem pole. With the combination of my mechanical and analytic skills, I was a licensed nuclear reactor operator by the time I was 22, among the youngest ever in the nation. Usually, people didn't reach this position until 30 or 40 years of age. So, picture this, I'm the guy in the control room and when problems occur, I needed to know what to do. It was a tremendous responsibility. I found it exciting and I rose to the challenge. I built a nice career there.
After nearly 20 years in commercial nuclear power plant operations, I was ready for a change. My wife and I left small-town, midwestern life for downtown Washington, DC. After a tough screening process, I landed a spot with one of the large investment firms where I spent four years learning the business. Then, I did the unthinkable: I went independent.
Those first few years were tough, far more than I had anticipated. Not only did I endure the lean times, but I had to do the sales & marketing, portfolio research & management, books, taxes, everything. What began as a 1-man business felt more like a 1-man band. As business and finances improved, I came to realize something important:
While I could not always control the flow of new clients, I could control the flow of cash and its impact on my taxes.
After finding my way back to the Midwest, my mission to master the world of investing opened the door to the world of taxes and cashflow management. I so thoroughly enjoyed the process that I eventually became an IRS Enrolled Agent* so that I can help others build freedom and wealth in similar fashion.