Michael Thomas is an AFC® and full time Graduate Student at The University of Georgia. He strives to help clients and society take the shame out of financial conversations and discussions. He understands how important it is to: recognize mistakes, see why they were made, and assist clients in overcoming obstacles that may arise. He brings a warm-hearted approach – meeting clients where they are while helping them find their goals. Read on to learn more about Michael and join us for the 2018 AFCPE Symposium, to hear his keynote address, “Why Financial Empathy Matters”.
AFCPE: What inspired you to enter the field?
Michael: My inspiration comes from seeing how improved personal finances can have a positive effect on a household.
AFCPE: In 140 characters or less, describe financial empathy.
Michael: Financial empathy is the ability and desire to want to understand and share in the feelings of another’s financial situation. And, in doing so, knowing that having a more intimate understanding of a person’s financial situation can inspire insights that yield better economic outcomes.
AFCPE: That’s an excellent way to describe it. We can’t wait to hear more at Symposium!
Shifting gears tell us about your radio show “Nothing Funny About Money”. Do you have any advice for other professionals looking to pursue various media channels – radio, podcast, etc.?
Michael: Nothing Funny About Money is a radio show aimed at placing a lighthearted spin on an otherwise scary topic – money! Matt Goren is the lead host and originator of the idea. Our goal each episode is to help people find joy in talking about money. We provide practical tips on how listeners can apply what we’ve discussed as well as information to access local resources that may specialize in that financial area.
My best advice when it comes to creating a radio show or podcast is to be consistent. It takes time to build an audience. You have to learn how to be as excited about producing a quality show for ten followers as you would if you had 100,000 followers.
AFCPE: Great advice! Consistency is the key. As a keynote speaker at #AFCPE18, and someone who attends the Symposium regularly, what are you looking forward to the most at this year’s Symposium?
Michael: I am most looking forward to sitting in on sessions and learning how I can serve clients better. Although I will be a keynote speaker, there is so much more for me to gain than give, considering the wealth of experience and knowledge that is always present at an AFCPE conference.
Michael Answers the Friday 5
- My Why: To help strengthen families and build stronger communities.
- My Favorite Quote: “Preach the gospel everywhere. When necessary, use words.” St. Francis of Assisi
- My Hero: This is going to sound bad, but I don’t have a hero.
- My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: My mom.
- My best advice:
- For someone starting the journey to financial well-being: It’s hard to get excited about where you are going if you are only able to focus on where you’ve been.
- For a new professional entering this field: I would encourage new professionals to utilize the services and resources they recommend to clients. Clients place a great deal of trust in our advice. If we’ve never used what we are advocating that our clients use, how can we be confident that a particular service or resource can be entrusted with our client?
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