Greg Pillow is the owner of Conway Wealth Management, a locally owned, full-service financial planning firm in downtown Conway.
Conway Wealth Management offers retirement and investment planning, insurance analysis, tax and estate planning and more. Pulse of Conway conducted a Q&A with Pillow recently on financial planning and hot topics in finance.
See the Q&A below and read our February cover story to learn more about Conway Wealth Management.
What is the biggest mistake you see people make regarding financial planning and investment?
Pillow: 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 into 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?
Pillow: 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?
Pillow: 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?
Pillow: 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.