When new clients walk into Conway Wealth Management, owner Greg Pillow wants them to leave with a clear and extensive picture of their financial situation and how they can move forward to achieve their goals, whether it be saving for retirement, a house or a child’s future education.
“It’s a job where you can truly make a difference in someone’s life and help someone,” Pillow said. “It’s meaningful work. To see clients execute what we’ve planned over the years is fulfilling.”
Conway Wealth Management started in 2013 as a two-person shop with Pillow and Rita Stapleton, operations manager, and has since grown to a seven-person staff, including four financial advisors with decades of experience.
“I’ve learned through the years that having good people is probably one of the most important things because you can’t do everything yourself,” Pillow said. “We have good, good people who are helping us grow and provide great service to our clients.”
Pillow is joined by fellow financial advisors Nancy Jackson, Taylor Shouse and Jeff Wicks. Receptionists Kathleen Strack and Sandra McCoy round out the local financial planning office.
As an independent firm, Pillow said it allows his team to provide the best of both worlds: the services of a big-name firm from a local staff of experts.
Conway Wealth Management offers comprehensive financial planning.
“We do a full, comprehensive plan that involves retirement, investments, insurance analysis, and talk about tax situation and estate planning,” Pillow said. “We look at all the areas of their finances.”
Many prospective clients are scared to visit a financial advisor, Pillow said, but it’s something everyone needs to do.
“A lot of people are worried they won’t stack up, they’re not prepared or they’re just apprehensive. They don’t want to be embarrassed,” he said. “We don’t do that. We meet with our clients, work out a plan and if you’ve done all these steps beforehand, that’s great, but if not, we help set you on the path to achieving those things.”
The typical new client at Conway Wealth Management comes in for an assessment and a follow-up appointment with recommendations. After that, there’s a meeting once or twice every year to make sure things stay on track.
Pillow said the firm’s approach gives its clients the confidence to navigate the ups and downs of the market, strengthen their financial standing and build wealth over time.
“If we’ve done that comprehensive planning on the front end, it’s designed to withstand these kinds of events,” he said. “We anticipate these events in our planning so that our clients can weather those things.”
Conway Wealth Management is located at 825 Parkway St. It is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
Q&A with Greg Pillow, owner of Conway Wealth Management
What is the biggest mistake you see people make regarding financial planning and investment?
People continually try to time the market. They will try to decide when to invest based on the market, when in reality, the best thing is to invest on a regular basis in good, quality investments. Just this last year, there were some who cashed out in the spring of 2020 over concerns over COVID — at the time the market was down 20 to 30 percent — and missed some of the best investing periods of their lives.
Another common mistake is never getting started. You can start with $50 a month. Instead, people put it off for years and miss valuable growth.
Another is putting money in gimmicky investments that make unrealistic promises that never come to fruition. A lot of these are insurance products or non-registered products, so there is no accountability or recourse when they don’t perform as promised and are difficult to unwind.
What are some of the misconceptions you encounter about financial advising?
Number one is that we just sit around and trade stocks all day. Yes, we provide retirement and investment services, but we do so much more for our clients on a daily basis. Another is that we charge an exorbitant amount for our services. We do charge a fee, but we don’t receive complaints from our clients about them.
What are your thoughts on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?
I feel like it is incredibly speculative, so if a person has a portion of their portfolio that he or she considers to be speculative, that is when it’s appropriate. People have been successful using it as a speculative investment, but I would not recommend it being the main thing a person invests in, just based on experience with similar things in the past.
Everyone has a different percentage they are willing to commit to speculation, but that’s how I look at every speculative investment.
What are the signs or red flags of a bad financial advisor?
If there’s not an initial interview and assessment where they try to learn as much as possible in the beginning, you know, how would they know what to recommend? Now, there are times when that’s not needed, but most of the time, you need to sit down with an advisor and give them a clear picture of what’s going on, so they can be informed and provide sound advice.
I would say the same thing for someone who doesn’t listen to you as a client. We make our recommendations, but we also listen to our clients. If someone wants to do something that I don’t think is a good idea, we’re courteous and respectful, and we share our opinion. We don’t shame our clients or ignore them.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.