Member - Portland, OR
I wanted to give you an update on my experience with the Society for Financial Awareness and thank SOFA for their on-going dedication to financial literacy.
In the eight months I have been actively involved with the organization I have had the opportunity to speak to a few hundred people at their place of business. What I have found has been eye opening, financial illiteracy is running rampant in our communities. People are not keeping budgets and tracking their expenses, they have no emergency fund, credit card debt is growing, and investment assets are not diversified and well matched with their time horizon, objectives, and risk tolerance.
But change is possible, and the success stories are starting to come in one by one, a budget created, a credit card cut up, a strategy for debt elimination established, a portfolio re-balanced. Even though the responsibility of educating a community is huge I see the benefit of doing so and have shared in the ancillary benefit of gaining increased visibility as a financial professional.
Being a part of SOFA is giving me the opportunity to give back to my community and improve my public speaking skills.
Member - Phoenix, AZ
Being in the financial industry for over 25 years, I have yet to come across any program that rivals SOFA. I can honestly say that choosing to become involved with this program has changed the lives of many participating individuals.
If I had to single out just one facet of my occupation that brings me the most joy, I would say it is educating others and empowering them to control their financial future.
Member - Culver City, CA
I've been a member since 2008 and I have to tell you that SOFA has been an invaluable part of my business. Back in 2008, because of SOFA I landed a deal to have an ongoing agreement with the Disney Corporation to provide lunch and learn financial literacy workshops.
This has been invaluable to my business and again I highly recommend SOFA because without SOFA and their non-profit status, I could have never landed that deal.
Member - Pasadena, CA
SOFA has given us in the ICM Pasadena office the opportunity to reach out to the community and places that can benefit most from our seminars and topics.
From Hospitals (White Memorial), Senior Centers (Jocelyn Center, Alhambra, Regency at the Fair Oaks), Libraries (Arroyo Seco, Alhambra, Colton, etc.), Colleges (Cal State L.A.) and many more to come in the near future. Most H.R. or employers welcome the opportunity to educate and serve the needs of their business, school, or center when available.
Member - Tinley Park, IL
It took me a while to figure out this whole process but when I did SOFA has absolutely changed my practice. I'm good at helping people but crappy at sales. The piece I had to learn was that its more a matter of making yourself known in the community which is a bit more of a process. It's filtering people out and never selling. It's looking for the people who are really begging for help but can't trust someone.
A small personal testimony but I went from being a very average producer making maybe $70,000/year working 40-50 hours per week to in the last 12 months with covid pulling in $19million in new assets under management (opened our RIA 12months ago), just shy of $9 million in annuities, and about $200,000 in annual life insurance premium. This was all while working much less than 40 hours a week. Sometimes less than 20 hours.
I have libraries calling Julie asking for me to teach a SOFA class and they will do all the marketing. All I have to do is teach. Really a big thank you to Jim and yourself for having this organization. It has really changed my practice and the quality of my life. I'm no longer a stressed marketer of financial services but an educator and a planner in the community.
Bervard Chapter President
We became members of our SHRM Chapter through SOFA 3 years ago and have been Platinum Sponsors each year. Out Platinum membership has allowed us to be involved in monthly meeting with a large number of HR professionals at all meetings. We have been given the opportunity to speak to the HIR professionals at meetings and to do Zoom meetings with many of them to show them our SOFA Retirement Workshop and have gotten the opportunity to go to a number of companies to do our workshops for their employees.
The amount of information provided at these meetings has been overwhelming to many of the attendees as they come to us stating that much of the information has never been addressed with their present advisors or CPAs. They set meeting at the event to come to our office to discuss their personal situation and to get information on what they need to do to have a successful retirement. We also offer workshops on Social Security, Medicate and Estate Planning, which are all big hits.
We also have been sponsors at the last rio SHRM Annual Conferences. We just attended the one for 2022 and there were 200 HR people at the conference. We along with a number of other sponsors have tables at the conference where we can provide information about our workshops and the need for HR people to provide them to their employees. We also do a raffle for The Power of Zero books which have been a great success. We are presently mailing out 36 Power of Zero books to HR attendees that wanted to know more about getting to the Zero % tax bracket.
We love to talk about our membership with SOFA and how we and many other professionals give their time to do these educational workshops and explain that there is no selling and no cost for the workshops. It has been a tremendous success for our business.
Thank you all for all the support, videos, Power Points and other supplies that you provide that enable us to project the professional appearance for each of our programs.
We presently have 8 advisors in our office with a tremendous staff that are now all using SOFA.