Today we’d like to introduce you to Sibyl Slade.
Hi Sibyl, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I had a stellar 21-year career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as a Senior Regional Community Development Manager, where I was responsible for ensuring that banks met their Community Reinvestment Act requirements by providing access to financial products and services to low-to-moderate individuals and communities as well as investing in community and economic development activities that demonstrated a measurable impact in underserved communities. I was intricately involved with curating collaborative efforts to bank the unbanked and underbanked population, affordable housing initiatives and development, and economic development opportunities that supported women-owned and minority-owned businesses.
In 2004, I noticed that although the homeownership numbers had vastly increased for all segments of the population, the mortgage origination data showed that an unsustainable amount of interest only Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMS) had been inappropriately made in Georgia. Once these ARMs reset, many homeowners would not be able to maintain their new mortgage payments. The pendulum had swung too far, and I felt it was a disservice to the public to focus on homeownership as the primary vehicle to building wealth for low-to-moderate-income individuals. As a result, I convinced my then leadership to sponsor my Certification for Financial Planning program (CFP) and in return, I would develop a financial education curriculum to help consumers understand the plethora of vehicles available for building wealth.
After completing my CFP certificate program, I was not able to start a financial services/financial planning practice because it was a conflict of interest while working at the Federal Reserve. I resolved with myself I would start a practice when I retire. Fast forward to 2014, my role at the Fed was restructured to conduct research and produce publications and I elected not to apply for the new position.
I am a people person, and my passion was to work directly with consumers and business owners who have been traditionally marginalized from the investing and wealth-building conversation. So, I decided “You Only Live Once” and I took the leap of faith and left the corporate world to start my own financial services practice. And here I am six years later.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Ironically, my business has grown in income, geography, and speaking engagements during the current pandemic. But, to answer your question, no, it has not been a smooth road at all. Although my first couple of years were a bit comfortable because I received bonuses from my initial advisory firm, and I had a 401k to keep me afloat when income was low, I struggled with structural and ideological barriers. In 2017, I immediately began to find myself constantly conflicting with the captive agent model.
I serve a unique clientele, mainly first-generation college graduates, professionals, and small business owners. And in many cases, a large percentage of my client base had substantial student loan debt. I was not allowed to provide workshops and training on student loan debt. It’s hard to talk to a client about funding other goals when they have $100,000 in student loan debt to repay. Likewise, with my small business clients, I was not allowed to design advanced tax savings strategies that did not involve proprietary investment products. So, in 2018, I took the leap of faith again and became an independent financial advisor to better serve my clients and stay true to my core values. This was by far the best decision ever. I am now the successor of a 20-year-old female-owned financial services firm in addition to my existing financial services practice and other business interests.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about LifePlan Financial Advisors?
I am a financial advisor by profession, but my background is planning and economic development. I just happened to carve my niche in banking and financial services all these years. This uniquely positions me to understand the personal and business financial needs of the clients I serve as well as the intricacies of the organizations and institutions that provide products and services to them. My clients typically don’t have a problem making money; they want to make sure their money is working for them instead of against them. They are looking to retire smart and to transfer wealth to the next generation. I help to ensure they leave nothing on the table while pursuing their personal financial and wealth goals.
While I would like to think my clients value my expertise, knowledge, and ethics most, they tell me that my ability to listen, explain complicated concepts, and to inspire them are what they value most about me as their financial advisor. That’s what sets me apart, which leads me to my next most requested services. I provide financial therapy workshops as well as personal and business financial workshops to universities, nonprofit program providers, corporations, and other types of organizations.
I am extremely passionate about economic inclusion and closing the wealth gap for groups that have been traditionally marginalized. When I am in my genius zone, I am inspiring, educating, and influencing the change I want to see.
What makes you happy?
Serving others is what makes me happy. It is my first love language. Spending quality time with my family and friends also makes me happy. That’s my second love language. And finally, traveling and new experiences top the list too. I am truly a wanderer. If you find me wandering, know that I am not lost, I am exploring, seeking a new experience, or just being plain old curious about all the endless possibilities available to me.
- Financial Coaching $50 per hour for short term periods
- Financial Consulting $150 per hour
- Financial Planning – $1,200 – $1,500 Individual
- Financial Planning – $2,500 – $5,000 Business
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.lifeplanfin.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sibylsslade
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SibylSSladeCRPCFinancialAdvisor
- Other: https://www.sibylslade.com
Shawn Dowdell Note: I didn’t know where else to include this disclaimer for my Broker Dealer. “Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., member FINRA, SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. LifePlan Financial Advisors, Inc. and Securities America are separate entities.”