David Damm of Carolina Wealth Management in Greenville NC[/caption]Those golden retirement years everyone dreams about are the result of disciplined savings during your earning years and smart money management during retirement, says David Damm, co-owner of Carolina Wealth Management in Greenville.
The veteran financial advisor and Carolina Wealth managing parter knows, however, that many young adults just don’t know how to save. And older adults don’t know how to manage their retirement assets. He is on a personal mission to provide the education to both age groups through Carolina Wealth’s series of free seminars scheduled this fall.
“I really like to go out and teach younger people how to save for themselves,” he says. Older adults can learn investing principles and strategies that effectively manage their retirement funds.
“We are a firm that wants to help people get better educated about their investments because they should be. It’s their money, not ours,” he adds.
Carolina Wealth Management was formed in 2004. The firm is Security & Exchange Commission registered and manages over $180 Million in assets. Carolina Wealth is one of the largest independent investment advisory firms in Eastern NC, with Offices in Greenville and Pinehurst. Damms says “I enjoy working as an independent advisor so I can avoid conflicts of interest with my clients. Our firm does not accept any commissions.
Young and old adults alike fall prey to financial firms, including banks, that offer retirement investment opportunities, lots of fancy charts and graphs and confusing information to their customers, Damm notes. He adds these firms then charge fees before they even deliver on the investments.
“Our industry is built on greed and fear. The two strongest emotions of humankind. It causes a lot of people to make irrational decisions on their investments,” Damm says.
“ My job is to take away the emotion and focus on helping my clients make prudent investment decisions.”
“The first thing we do is open the door and show them what they have, why they have it and where they have it. We try to empower people to understand the fundamentals of investing including risk, returns, taxes and fees.”
The “empowerment” theme is at the heart of Damm’s educational strategy. “The first thing we do in our seminars is encourage people that they have to save” he explains.
“We are getting them to save for themselves, not relying on Social Security or the government for their retirement.”
“People don’t save properly for two reasons. Our industry does a poor job educating the public and the public does a poor job getting educated. Who’s at fault? To me, both parties. Employees are given packets to review with fancy charts and examples but rarely is there an advisor present to help answer questions. It is extremely important for people to start investing more and early but education is still undervalued. Now that the government wants to penetrate the 401k industry, we should all be worried,” Damm says.
His advice? “Money earned is either spent or saved. I focus on the saver and helping the saver become a better investor. What does this mean? First you put part of your savings away for safety and short term needs. Then you start to invest for your future. I educate clients on the best ways to invest (401k, Roth IRA, etc.) AND the best methods to make more money (lower fees, diversify, reduce taxes, etc.).”
David is certified as an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), by the Center for Fiduciary Studies in association with the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Executive Education. AIF designees are trained in investment fiduciary responsibility and portfolio management.
He was born and raised in Greensboro, NC. He received a BS degree from Appalachian State University and an MBA degree from East Carolina University. He and his wife, Lori have three children and currently live in Greenville, NC. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, playing golf, hockey and traveling.
This fall Damm will host educational seminars in Greenville on investment strategies for those saving and for retirement. Also, in October, he will be at the Great Harvest Bread Company every Monday morning between 7-8 am. This will be a time to discuss any investment topic of interest. If you would like to ask questions about your investments, please call his office at 252-439-1344 and mention that you read this article and want to become better educated about your retirement future!