Neal NolanCFP®, CPFA, AIF®
Director of Business Retirement Services, Wealth Manager & Principal
What do you enjoy most about working at Modera?
People! I love working with our staff! We are a group of individuals that are solidly down to earth, friendly and humble, yet we are driven people that understand what is important – the financial security of our clients! I love the diversity and how we take a collaborative process to undertake the difficult challenge of taking something that is good and then making something that is great. In this greatness, not only do our clients succeed, but we do as well because we achieved the monumental task of changing things for the better, which isn’t always easy to do. I have such tremendous respect for my follow colleagues and the bright future our staff.
What do you value most in your client relationships?
So many of the people I work with have relationships that have gone beyond the “traditional” client/advisor relationship. One of the keys in working with people is understanding not just their goals, but also their values and discovering what their interests are. I can recall one of my clients who happens to be a fellow shutter bug giving me a tour of their home. They had turned one of their bedrooms into a studio and without missing a beat, he strapped on one of his bass guitars, plugged in and started playing along to some Beatles music. It made such an impression on me, that for Christmas I got my own bass and have been enjoying plunking to my favorite tunes… It’s in these small things that keeps relationships strong and builds commonality and community.
What’s the one thing people say you’re best at?
I think the biggest compliment I’ve ever received from a client is telling me that I’m “relatable.” Meaning, he could recognize how I understand that every person is different and unique, but we all have things in common. Retirement preparedness is one of those things that is common to so many. These differences and uniqueness mean that people are at different levels of understanding with financial concepts; many of whom have created invisible barriers and believe that the information is too complicated for them to understand. However, I disagree. Most financial planning concepts are not complicated. Rather, all that it takes is someone to guide them through a conversation so that they are able to make educated and informed decisions for themselves. I have always had a passion for helping people, which is what has driven me to be approachable, friendly, understanding, and the ability to explain seemingly complex topics using everyday terminology.
When you retire you’re going to…?
Picture a cool early spring morning with haze filling the air and just a bit drizzly. Every fiber of your being tells you to get back in bed under the warm covers. However, here in Western North Carolina, that’s the kind of weather that makes fly fishing enthusiasts grab a cup of coffee, don a set of waders and head down to their favorite honey hole where the fish are hungry. I want to be able wake up and whisper to my sweet wife that I’m going fishing and will be looking forward to every snag, snarl, and fish I ever catch (or don’t). When I’m not fishing, we will be traveling through our destination bucket list, our great nation’s national parks, and also volunteering at our church and favorite charities.