A Few Words
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®), EA, Founder and Advisor
Hi, I’m Robert Lindstrom, founder of Provision Financial Planning.
My own unique journey has culminated in Provision Financial Planning. Just like it is important for me to understand my clients’ past experience as it relates to money, it’s important that you know my history.
For some reason I was interested in investing and personal finance from a young age. I was going to be doing something related to finance but I began my career in 2010 on the heels of the Great Recession. I felt fortunate to find any job, much less one in “financial services”. What a blessing this turned out to be. Beginning my career in “wealth management” planted the seed.
It was here where I was encouraged to obtain the Certified Financial Planner designation. This really opened my eyes to financial planning instead of just investment management.
The CFP® designation covers dozens of areas of financial expertise and claims to be recognized as the standard of excellence for the financial planning profession.
Pursuing this desire to do more than investments, I ended up taking a position that would allow me to do that. While I could do financial planning there, this position was primarily a commission-driven sales role. Needless to say, this was not a good fit for me.
It wasn’t all bad. I now have a much better understanding of how various products work (and don’t work) and the sales-driven financial piece of my industry that is unfortunately so prevalent.
It was my next role where things really started to take shape. I ended up working at a Fee-Only firm that had a heavy tax focus. I immediately felt at home in a fee-only compensation model because I could focus on the client instead of having to figure out how I could sell something useful.
Being a Fee-Only advisor means I don’t sell any financial products for a commission or receive other revenue sharing. This means I’m only compensated by my clients, which eliminates many of the conflicts so prevalent in my industry.
I’ve also been exposed to several different investment philosophies in my career. A lot of industry experts claim to be able to time the market or identify the next hot sector or stock, either themselves or by picking active funds that try to. The data says this is unlikely, and even risks large underperformance.
While it may sound counterintuitive at first, you’re paying us to prudently manage a portfolio for you instead of seeking to outperform by timing the market.
This brief history has culminated in Provision Financial Planning being launched in 2019 as a proud fee-only firm.
After reflecting on the first few years of PFP, I realized I had developed a specialty working with people retiring solo. This could be someone who has lost a spouse, been through a divorce or been independent their whole lives.
The combination of the services I offer (financial planning and investment management) and how I offer them (proactive and collaboratively) resonate with people looking to have more confidence and less worry about their money. I think adding in my patient demeanor makes me a great fit to work with those retiring solo.
On the personal side …
I take tremendous satisfaction in the work I do with my clients, but it is just one piece of my life.
My wife, Laura, and my 3 boys are literally the center of my life. Having the flexibility to spend more time with them was a core driver of my decision to start my own firm. I consider myself lucky that I get to work out of my home and spend more time with them.
Golf is another large part of my life, but not in the “all financial advisors play golf” type of way. I have been playing since I was a child and really got the bug around age 10. From then on, I’ve played competitively. I played junior tournaments, played in college and now continue to play in various amateur events. I was never quite good enough to turn pro, and don’t get to play as much these days with my 3 young kids, but I still have great passion for the game and enjoy trying to get better. To give you an idea of this passion, I won an award in college for best book collection with over 100 golf books. It’s only grown since then…