Happy Advicegiving

November 24, 2015 — Leave a comment

The Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are, by far, my favorite time of the year. There is cheer in the air and an overall feeling of generosity. Being in the financial field for the past 20 years I have also learned that this is the time of the year when advice is handed out most freely.

So take this as a word of caution for this “Advicegiving Season.”

Most of this advice is well intentioned however often unsolicited. It typically happens when the large meal of the day is finished, politics has been exhausted and the football games are winding down. Now enter the “rich uncle”, you know the one, everybody has one. (And they aren’t always rich) I can say everybody has one regardless of your economic situation or even knowing you. The rich uncle or relative is the guy that likes to tell you all of his huge successes throughout the year, whether they are real or not.

It almost always starts with a philanthropic tone of, “you should get into _________.” It starts this way so that everyone in the room feels like, wow! he is looking out for me or I am getting an inside tip. Then this person drones on and on about how well it has done. If it were to stop there I probably wouldn’t be even mentioning this non-event. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always stop there.

As I mentioned being in the financial field; Now I get to hear about all of these huge successes in the weeks following each of the holidays. It has happened repeatedly for the past 20 years. Which is both great and unfortunate?

It’s great to hear about these ideas/investments because I love to hear new ideas. Great because there are things out there that genuinely successful people do that I want to know about and be involved. Trust me, I certainly don’t claim to know it all and I also spend a great deal of time each year researching and learning anyways.

The unfortunate part is when it derails a financial plan that was totally on the right track. Unfortunately many of these proclaimed investment ideas aren’t always entirely true or even understood. Never does the afore mentioned rich uncle take the time to understand if his idea, be it good or bad, is appropriate for the season of life of the recipient or fits in to their overall goals.

So this holiday season take the advice and be gracious. However, I would caution you to think through who is giving the advice. Have they been successful? Are they in a different phase of life than you? Are their values in line with yours? Most importantly make sure that you overlay this advice with your well-coordinated plan to ensure that it fits into your families’ hopes and dreams.

Best of luck this Advicegiving season! I would encourage you to stick with throwing the football with the kids after lunch.


Do you have that Uncle? Let us know, maybe it would be even be fun to tag them on twitter or facebook as you respond:) 


Happy Holidays!

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Why I Love Twitter

November 19, 2015 — Leave a comment

Social Media is often portrayed as evil and killing our society. I will be the first to agree that social media has created some negative influences in our societies behavior. However, in this post I am highlighting some positives that this new virtual world has created for me. Twitter is far and away my favorite of all on-line venues and here are 8 reasons why twitter is my favorite of all social media outlets.


Twitter Is Fast Paced

The fast paced nature of twitter makes it very appealing. Twitter users rarely ever get push back for posting to frequently which often occurs on other media outlets. The continuous and fast paced flow of data has also allowed it to become one of the first places people learn of news events as they are occurring.

Virtual Relationships Create New Real Life Relationships

Getting know someone through following them on-line allows for real relationships to develop easily. This medium isn’t always as filtered with a glossy lens like most Facebook posts, thus allowing you to learn how someone really operates. The ease and non-invasive way of following and learning about people who live, work and play right around you allows users to create relationships easily with similar minded people.

Virtual Relationships Enhance Current Real Life Relationships

All virtual relationships, I believe, are enhanced through following on-line. It allows you to keep up with your friends in a busy world where time doesn’t always permit that relational commitment. However, the nature of twitter allows for a more personal look at all of peoples likes, dislikes, hobbies and ambitions. Again, i believe it is because of the less filtered nature of the posting method and socially acceptable frequency.

Twitter Makes Me A Better Writer

As someone who loves to write it is often easy to use more words than necessary. Being limited to 140 characters forces you to use minimal words, yet intelligently get your point across. It has also provided me with additional relationships and outlets to share my thoughts through blogging.


It is the online location where Hashtagging or using the # sign as a way to categorize subjects became prevalent. Thus, allowing subjects that interest you to searched for and grouped easily. The marketing ease that comes from hashtagging has created entire new campaign strategies for companies and their products. Searching hashtags, for me, has become a place where I can readily get the popular sentiment of our society on certain products or issues.

Twitter Develops Fans

Twitter allows for people, interests and even causes to go viral faster than any other media. You can create loyal followers or even fans in this outlet like no other (Arguable that YouTube and Instagram are competing now, but twitter was first). Fans are the 21st Century version of loyalty that marketers are crave to sell and rave about their products. It seems to be easier here because it has less to do with your friend base or geography than most other social media. On the flip side it has forced Customer Service or “Customer No Service Depts.” to be held accountable because negative service issues can also spread at viral rate.

I Read More

I find myself reading more because of the content that I source on twitter. As an avid reader it allows me to research authors, books and news stories quickly. In addition to the speed, I find content which I may have normally missed thus expanding my points of view for my writing, speaking and personal education.


Twitter Impacts Leadership

Twitter provides an outlet for a leader to share the direction for their organization or company. When those around you follow you on-line you are forced to express your beliefs and desires. Twitter becomes the voice of your brand or even the culture that you desire to cultivate.


So, I invite you to follow me on my favorite media, Twitter. Try it out for yourself but if you aren’t convinced we can still meet up elsewhere…. Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Youtube, Pinterest. There are plenty to choose from in our virtual world but I still prefer to meet for a drink and a good ol’ face to face meeting!


Recently, I was asked a few questions from a local blog in Johns Creek. I wanted to share with you the questions and my responses here. If you would like to learn more about my campaign for Johns Creek City Council please visit my Campaign Site Todd For Georgia.


Describe your day job, and what skill set you bring to the dais.


For the past 20 years I have assisted business owners and families in their financial decision making process. Through that experience I have gained an ability to understand how to ask questions and actively listen in order to understand what is both urgent and important to all parties involved. The financial decision making process for small business owners and families alike can be emotionally and financially driven. I believe it is important to be able to effectively communicate a strategy of how to deploy income and assets in a manner which will satisfy short term short objectives as well as long term success for future generations.

The same principles which I have gained as a Financial Planner can be applied to the role of a Johns Creek City Council member. It is important to ask a lot of questions in order to understand the desires of the residents of Johns Creek today and for generations to come. Once that vision is established it is important to be able to effectively communicate to fellow council members in order to gain a consensus for the vision. As a body it is the Councils responsibility to efficiently deploy the available resources to meet the objectives for today and tomorrow.


What would you like to achieve as a City Councilperson?


As a member of the Johns Creek City Council I would like to protect to the residents/homeowners of Johns Creek’s lifestyle and financial well-being. Protecting the lifestyle of the residents of Johns Creek means working diligently to improve areas that impact them on a daily basis. For example, taking responsible steps to ease the burden of traffic.

  • Working with neighboring cities to increase traffic flow and best utilize smart traffic technologies.
  • Creating restrictive zoning, NO NEW LOW END APARTMENT COMPLEXES. So that we do not create additional cars on our already overcrowded roads.
  • Seek innovative ideas like continuous flow intersections and traffic patterns.

Ensuring the lifestyle of our residents also entails creating places in which families and friends can easily gather. For example:

  • Creating a better sense of connectivity of our neighborhoods and shops.
  • Maintain a family oriented nature to our businesses.
  • Protecting our Green Space. This helps us to not be overdeveloped but again offers places for people to exercise and enjoy being outdoors.

As a member of the Johns Creek City Council I believe that we are elected to protect the citizen’s financial interests. Two of the largest ways to protect the financial interests of our citizens:


As a Financial Planner, I often see that a home/personal residence is one of the largest investments that many people make in their lifetime. I want to protect the home values in Johns Creek.

Currently a large part of the services of Johns Creek are paid for through taxing the homeowner. I would like to reduce the tax burden to the homeowner, so that they can keep more of their income to save, spend and enjoy. As a City Council Member I would like to:

  • Shift the Tax Basis Ratio away from the Homeowner and more towards Businesses
  • Attract the right types of Businesses to our area
  • Create a More Business Friendly Climate, relative to how we tax and engage with them in our city.


Differentiate yourself from your opponent.


In this Runoff election my opponent is Scientist, Chris Coughlin. Mr. Coughlin and I differ in numerous ways, however the three primary differentiators are:


  • Fiscal Responsibility –

Mr. Coughlin desires to spend 93% or $50,000,000. of money in the Johns Creek City Reserves on one project. My financial background tells me that it is irresponsible to spend almost all of your money on one item.


  • Experience –


I have experience as a Financial Planner and also as a Small Business Owner in Johns Creek. This experience is valuable in terms of being able to understand how to balance the wants of today as a family but also to cast a vision for the future of a much larger entity.


  • Community Service & Involvement –

It is important as a City Council Member to be a community servant and involved in the community you represent. My wife, Jackie, and I have a long track record of involvement in Johns Creek and North Fulton. She and I take an active role in making the community around us a better place. We both are graduates of Leadership Johns Creek and remain on the Alumni Board of Directors. We both volunteer within PTA and Jackie is currently the Legislative Chairperson for PTSA at Northview High School. I have been active in groups throughout the city including The Chamber of Commerce, Youth Program Sponsor for The Johns Creek Arts Center, Johns Creek Business Association, Northpoint Community Church Guest Services Team, North Fulton Community Charities, World Vision, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board Member, Project Open Hand and numerous other community service projects.


Hopefully, you have found this helpful. Again, feel free to visit Todd For Ga or follow along on Facebook, twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn. I would love to earn your vote if you are a Johns Creek Voter.