Jon Cook, CPA, CFP®
What is your financial superpower?
I’m really good at figuring out complicated stuff. Every client situation is a unique puzzle. We take all the facts and figures and put them together in a way that finally makes sense. Sometimes we find a puzzle piece just doesn’t fit and needs replacing – like an old insurance policy, for example. Sometimes we notice missing pieces, like a defined benefit plan, an estate plan, or a tax strategy. Then we consider the personal piece – who is this client, what do they really want out of life, what scares them, what makes them happy? It’s all part of the puzzle.
What makes you unique as an accountant and advisor?
My inquisitiveness and love of research. I do that all day long, every day. I started out in accounting, then learned the advising side later. Now I put tax and finance together and deliver supreme value to our clients. If I don’t understand something, I will not let it go until I do. That inquisitiveness pays off in this business.
What are your beliefs about your profession?
Work should be fun. If it’s not fun, you shouldn’t be doing it! What’s more fun than doing a puzzle every day? Sure, finance and tax changes, hoops, and policies can be aggravating sometimes, but I’m fortunate that I enjoy my career. I work because I’m interested in this stuff. The more I learn, the better I get, and the better off my clients are.
Is there anything in your life personally that has helped motivate you to improve the financial situation of yourself and your clients?
I never wanted to be rich. I just wanted to be comfortable. And I wanted that peace of mind for my clients, too. I’ve always been more interested in enjoying work and doing the best job I can every day, knowing the money falls where it falls. That’s why I ask clients who want to retire early, “What are you retiring to? Do you want to quit working because you want to do something else? Maybe you can do it sooner if we move some things around!”
When it comes to finance and tax planning, I like the challenge. It’s fun to find things – the tax laws or some strategy that will make the client’s situation better.
Are you drawn to a particular client type or situation?
I enjoy working with referrals the best. It’s a big deal for a happy client to tell their family and friends to call us. And it’s an honor I don’t take lightly. Referrals are also why our team growth is so important – it builds our capability to help more of our clients’ families and friends.
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