Michael Hathaway, CFP®, CFA®, AIF®
Our experiences in life shape us and can often lead us to pursue opportunities or make changes so that we don’t have to relive the past. My most durable early memories related to “finance” were 1) watching my parents “gear up” for tax time each spring—arranging papers, receipts, etc., and taking over the kitchen table for a weekend; 2) overhearing my parents remark to friends and family that the stock market was “rigged” by the “crooks,” and only very rich people could participate without getting fleeced; and 3) getting Christmas presents each year while being told that I only even got presents because of “layaway,” whatever that was. I now know what that is, and if you don’t know, just ask your parents the next time you see them.
First Career Steps
As the first person in my family to go to college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to study, or how that choice would play a role in what I would go on to do professionally after I received my degree. I was good at math, and I became comfortable learning to apply logic, as well as the process and flow of computer programming. I received my undergraduate degree and worked in software development for a few years after college. At that first job, I remember having no idea what to do when I received my first packet to participate in the company’s 401(k) plan to “save for my retirement” and make my first “investment selections”—I was 24 years old. So, I ended up doing what most people would do: I asked a friend (an older colleague) how much he took out of his paycheck to “save for retirement” and what he selected for investments. Then I copied what he did. Five years later, to learn more about business and finance, I went back to graduate school to earn an MBA. I ended up learning a lot.
A Second Career
With my new MBA in hand, I went to Wall Street and began my “finance career” as an investment banker. In this role, I gained a much deeper knowledge of investments and the capital markets. I was also influenced strongly by several books I read during this time. As an investment banker, I helped company founders and executives realize great personal wealth by taking their companies public, and by helping companies complete merger transactions. Later, I worked directly for larger, public companies, where I helped CEOs and CFOs analyze company performance and create projections for the future to share with their boards of directors. I learned about personal and small business taxes as an Enrolled Agent, running my own tax preparation business, and I taught high school students advanced math and computer science.
Making It Personal
Along the way, I have bought and sold two houses; I have been married twice and divorced once; I have four children, including one in the U.S. military and another who is about to graduate from college. I want to take the skills and knowledge I have acquired and put them to use helping individuals and families like the one I grew up in. I want individuals to be able to take reasonable risks and benefit from the risk-based returns available on investments. I want to make sure nobody pays more taxes than required, and to structure clients’ investment portfolios to generate the most after-tax wealth for them to spend, give, or enjoy however they desire. I enjoy working one-on-one with people and building long-lasting relationships, so I can help people through every step of their financial journeys. I moved away from the corporate finance world and earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Financial Analyst™, and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designations so I could better serve my clients and their unique needs.
My Career Today
In 2018 I joined Epsilon Financial Group and now spend my time building relationships with my clients and taking the time to listen to their concerns and struggles. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to investment, retirement, or estate planning, but together we can build a financial plan that optimizes after-tax wealth and financial well-being.
The Best Part
I have the privilege of partnering with my clients and walking alongside them as we work through any financial difficulties or confusion together, so they can feel empowered to make sound financial decisions. I get to be a resource for them, support them, and best of all, I get to celebrate with them when they live out a financial future that was previously beyond their imaginations.
What Are You Waiting For?
Whether you’ve been saving and investing for years and are looking to grow your wealth and optimize your tax strategy, or you’re just getting started and need a little bit of help figuring out the basics of investment, retirement, or estate planning, the most important thing to know is you don’t have to go it alone. A dependable advisor and advocate can make life’s financial challenges easier. If you’d like to know more about how our team at Epsilon Financial Group serves our clients, I encourage you to contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call me at (707) 428-5500, or schedule a 15-minute call with me at https://calendly.com/mike-efg.
Michael Hathaway is a fiduciary financial advisor at Epsilon Financial Group, Inc., an independent, fee-only wealth management firm. Mike has worked in the finance industry for more than 20 years and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in sophisticated financial planning to help his clients make sound financial decisions. He is known for caring deeply for his clients’ well-being, being compassionate, and thinking creatively to help clients attain their financial goals. He prioritizes building long-term relationships and takes the time to listen, understand, and explain so that his clients feel confident in their financial plan. Mike is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, a Chartered Financial AnalystTM, and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®; he has a bachelor’s degree in cybernetics from UCLA and an MBA in finance and accounting from the University of Virginia. When he’s not working at Epsilon, you can find Mike enjoying anything related to exercise and fitness. He especially loves activities in the great outdoors, such as mountain biking, camping, hiking, and snowshoeing. In the fall of 2016, Mike successfully climbed to the top of Mount Whitney in a single day, the highest peak in the continental United States. To learn more about Mike, connect with him on LinkedIn.