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About Forrest

Hi! I’m Forrest, and welcome to my site! I’m a dad, husband, Certified Financial Planner, tax practitioner, retired Navy veteran, and writer. I love to write articles on financial topics, particularly financial planning subjects that no one else has tackled before!

Me with my daughter in Montana!

How I started

I wasn’t always in personal finance. I joined the Navy as a hospital corpsman in the early 90s, when I was still 17 (turned 18 in boot camp!). After my first duty station in Camp Lejeune North Carolina, I figured I should make the Navy pay for my college, so I applied for the Naval Academy and was accepted (somehow). That free education might’ve been the first astute financial planning move I ever made!

I was fortunate enough to have found the love of my life, Tania, while still in college. Having been commissioned as a Supply Corps officer, we went wherever the Navy sent us, which was mainly up and down the East Coast of the United States, as well as Europe.

Somewhere out west…I forgot where!

As my career progressed, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do when the Navy and I parted ways. While I had lots of different ideas, financial planning was the one idea that kept coming back to me.

On a lark, I used the Navy’s tuition assistance program to pay for my financial planning certificate from the College for Financial Planning. But we were still 5 years out from retirement, so once I finished the certificate program, I kind of stopped. The only other thing that I did was write out my future business plan, should I eventually become a financial planner.

The very next duty station happened to be in Tampa, near my home town in Florida. And we decided to retire after that tour. So I started executing my business plan, which included:

  • Taking (and passing) the CFP exam
  • Becoming an IRS enrolled agent
  • Starting my own financial planning firm

In one calendar year. All while still wearing a uniform.

What happened when you retired from the Navy?

In April 2017, I took off my uniform for the last time, and hit the deck plates running as a new financial advisor. Running right into a brick wall.

Almost every financial planner runs into this brick wall where nothing happens. No clients, nothing. You go to all the chamber of commerce meetings, drink 1,000 cups of coffee, but no one hires you.

Eventually, something good happens, if you stick around long enough. Either enough clients hire you so you build your own practice, or something else fortunate happens.

In my case, another financial advisor needed an extra financial planner and decided to take a chance on me. With a handshake agreement, we agreed that I would:

  • Come to work as an employee
  • Buy into her practice and become a partner
  • Eventually buy out her practice when she was ready to retire

I did come on as an employee, and I did become a partner. But unfortunately, we ended up going our separate ways, and she bought out my side of the partnership instead.

Carefree kids!

What happened after you left the firm?

During my time as a financial planner (both on my own and with my partner), I wrote lots of personal finance articles. TONS!

Along the way, I found that it became natural to me, and that a lot of my articles became highly sought after in Google Search queries.

So I figured that I had some time on my hands, and decided to see what would happen if I tried this in real life. Writing articles, full-time, where I actually have the time to completely edit and proofread everything (instead of just sending out an article every other week in between client meetings and everything else a business owner has to do).

What’s this have to do with Teach Me! Personal Finance?

Then I came across Teach Me! Personal Finance, and talked with the previous owner. He no longer wanted it, and we came to an agreement on acquiring the website.

Since then, I’ve tried to help improve the articles already on the site, so current readers can appreciate them, while writing new articles on subjects and questions that aren’t quite covered out there on the Interwebs.

I hope you enjoy the articles, and please feel free to reach out!