Sam Mickey provides customized tax-efficient financial, insurance, and estate planning strategies for individuals and their families, with specialization in the following:
– Savings and Investments
– Retirement and Estate Planning
– Life Insurance
– Long Term Care Insurance
– Disability Insurance
Sam’s began his professional career as a Research Analyst at 3i Capital Group, a leading international investment company focused on mid-market Private Equity and Infrastructure. Sam later joined AXA Advisers, a global financial services company with $866 billion in assets under management.
Sam successfully passed Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Series 7 (General Securities Representative) and Series 66 (NASAA Uniform Combined State Law Examination) licensing exams and he is licensed as an agent for life, health, accident, and long-term-care insurance.
Attention to detail, outstanding listening skills, and empathy are among the qualities most appreciated by his clients. Sam Mickey focuses on building long-term relationships with his growing client base and providing stellar client service.
Sam is uniquely qualified to help clients confidently balance volatile markets and uncertainty to reach their financial goals. Whether you want to save for a child’s future education, plan for a major purchase, or retirement planning, Sam can help you navigate life’s most important financial decisions.
How did you get started in this business?
It was my financial accounting course at High Point University that sparked my interest in the world of business/ finance. After enrolling in every business course I could find, my focuses began to narrow towards finance, culminating in attending Northeastern University’s MBA Program with a concentration in finance. It was through their co-op program that I got my first post graduate job in the field
How do you make money?
I provide free financial planning to all of my clients where I will evaluate everything for you and help you determine the best course of action to get you where you would like to be. From there, I will recommend certain strategies to implement. Should you choose to proceed with one of my strategies, that’s where I would begin to be paid. Most accounts have an annual fee, that is a flat percentage rate. This allows us to have aligned interests, for the fee is based on the performance of the account. It is possible to set up a typical brokerage account with commissions on a per trade basis. This decision is something that we would make together based on your financial outlook. I am certainly happy to just help you figure out some options, and again that is something that I do for free. It’s only when you open an account with me that I begin to get paid.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Most financial advisors have a difficult time starting out, as there are license and exam fees as well as the added burden of building your book of business from scratch. That being said, I was fortunate enough to break even about eighteen months into my professional career. It’s not uncommon for advisors to spend several years before they feel comfortably established.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
When you are starting a new business venture, it is common and healthy to have some self-doubt, so I was originally unsure if I was going to be able to make it work. The best way to handle this stress is to have a good support system and good motivation. I relied on having a mentor, my boss, telling me what has worked for him and I just made sure that I was motivated to do what I had to do every day.
One thing that I like to tell myself is to “go back to the fundamentals”. If I am ever unsure what to do, I think back on my most basic of training and just do it. Our main objective as financial services professionals is to meet with and help as many people as possible, so just constantly be aware of what you are doing to put yourself in front of people. It requires a lot of self-reflection and self-criticism: what have I been doing, is it working, what could be better, etc. Over time, you build confidence and you see the return on the investment of your time and effort, and so do your clients.
How did you get your first customer?
My first client was a friend that I knew was interested in purchasing a home, so I reached out to them to help make sure that they weren’t being too aggressive with their saving strategies. For most people, the purchase of a home will be the most important investment they will ever make. When saving up for a down payment, preservation of principal is extremely important.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
To generate new business I meet a lot of small employers and review their employee benefit packages. Oftentimes I am able to reduce their costs or increase their benefits, or both. After becoming such a valuable resource to the owner or manager, oftentimes they would like you to come in and explain financial concepts and savings and investment strategies to their staff, so I would turn this into a presentation and Q&A.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Deciding on whether or not to hire an assistant was an interesting dilemma. On the one hand, I really would have loved the help, but on the other hand, I had to conservatively estimate my earnings going forward and work out a contract that made sense for both of us. Ultimately, it did not make sense financially for me, and so a lot of the clerical tasks are still completed by me.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My empathy is what makes people connect with me. I genuinely care about everyone’s well being and would like to see my clients succeed before even myself. I think this coupled with my extraversion is a successful formula. I enjoy sitting down and meeting with people, and I think they can see that excitement.
My international business background provides me with an understanding of macroeconomic risk factors, and my experience in equity research allows for insights into fundamental analysis.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
The most satisfying moment in business is when a client comes back to you after a year or two and reaffirms a decision that you made together. Not only does this allow you to see how you have directly helped someone, but it also builds confidence in my decision making.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I would eventually like to expand my practice and open my own office. As I mentioned before, I am passionate about my own financial planning, so I have always intended to use some of my own savings to begin a real estate/ private equity firm. This would allow me to provide more holistic investment opportunities to my clients as well.
What business books have inspired you?
Peter Lynch’s book “One Up On Wall Street” was the foundation for how I determine the value of an investment. The book is easy to read and told in a conversational manner, not like listening to an economics lecture or struggling through a finance textbook. Peter Lynch just has this remarkable way of explaining complex things that makes sense to everyone.