Olly & the Search for Meaningful Advice

As some of you know, we recently added a Golden Retriever puppy to our family. His name is Olly, he’s about 10 weeks old, cute as a button, and excellent at going to the bathroom in our house.

I won’t pretend to be weathering the unexpected showers on the living room floor with grace. In fact, Emily’s had to remind me on multiple occasions that Olly is a puppy, this is normal, and potty training a dog takes time.

Time, my love? How much time are we talking about here? In search of an answer, I turn to Google:

Four to six months. Ok, not bad. Not as fast as I’d like, but I’ll survive. Let’s just scroll down a bit to see what other helpful advice I might find…

Five days? Two weeks? Four-to-eight weeks? Take their age in months and add one? Again, four-to-six months isn’t ideal, but at least it gives me an idea of what to expect. Now, I have no idea whether Olly’s on the right track or not.

If you’ve visited our website any time in the last year you’ve no doubt read our Mission Statement: Real Planning, Sensible Investing, Meaningful Advice. We could spend a lot of time unpacking each of these three statements and since the start of 2021 we as a firm have done a lot of work internally to do exactly that. And while we’ll have more to say about each, it’s the latter one that’s taken on special meaning for me.

Advice is everywhere. Searching Google for “Roth or Traditional IRA” yields 6,880,000 options in just over a second. “How much house can I afford?” provides 243,000,000 in .67 seconds. “When should I take Social Security?” proffers over 3 billion results! While the vast majority of them are useless, even wading through the first two pages of each is overwhelming. Podcasts can provide good content, but how do you find the right one? And when someone is speaking to such a large audience, how do you know if their advice is good for you? TV, friends, co-workers, everyone will offer advice if you give them the chance. Some won’t even wait for you to ask!

Which brings me to Meaningful Advice. Webster’s doesn’t offer a definition, but here’s ours: Meaningful Advice is delivered by someone with expertise and experience. Someone who takes the time to listen, who gives of their time, who is available, who knows you, knows what you want to accomplish, and is invested in your success. Advice is abundant, Meaningful Advice is scarce, it’s energizing, it cuts through the noise and positively impacts your life. 

We believe that’s what people are looking for. Not canned, rote recommendations. It’s what I was looking for with Olly. It’s what you’re looking for with your finances. It’s what we offer at Beacon Wealthcare.

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Ryan Smith
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Born and raised on the North Shore of Massachusetts, I moved to Raleigh in 2011 to marry my wife, Emily. We have two kids, Jack and Gwen, a golden retriever named Olly, and are members of Church of the Apostles. I have been a Financial Advisor since 2005 and earned a Master’s of Science in Financial Planning from Bentley University in 2007. I became a CFP® professional in 2009, a Retirement Income Certified Professional® in 2015, and a Certified Tax Specialist™ in 2023.