Sam Mickey is a Boston, MA financial advisor and founder of Sam Mickey Consulting. He provides customized tax-efficient financial, insurance, and estate planning strategies for individuals and their families, with specialization in the following:
- Savings and Investments
- Retirement and Estate Planning
- Life Insurance
- Long Term Care Insurance
- Disability Insurance
Sam Mickey began his professional career as a Research Analyst at 3i Capital Group, a leading international investment company focused on mid-market Private Equity and Infrastructure and later joined AXA Advisers, a global financial services company with $866 billion in assets under management (as of June 2018).
Sam Mickey successfully passed Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Series 7 and 66 licensing exams and is licensed as an agent for life, health, accident, and long-term-care insurance.
We were recently able to interview Sam Mickey and learn a little more about his financial consulting firm and his secrets to professional success.
How has the global pandemic affected your financial services consulting practice?
The global pandemic has created a predominant shift towards social distancing. Where a lot of people used to enjoy discussing their financial plans in person, this is largely not feasible anymore. The amount of business that is being conducted over the phone or the internet has increased dramatically, and as people get more and more comfortable with this, it may become the new normal.
Can you share your personal approach to managing an effective balance between life and work?
In order to manage an effective balance between life and work, you need to have goals. What is it that you are trying to accomplish through your job, and what is it that you would like to do outside of work? If you have a vast understanding of how much you’d need to work in order to provide for yourself, it is a lot easier to allow yourself some time off. As long as you understand where you need to be and you are on track with those goals, then you are doing alright. There is no need to overexert yourself without a purpose.
How do you manage your workflow effectively?
Managing workflow effectively comes through proper planning. If you do have your goals in place, then you must ask yourself: What steps must I take in order to achieve those goals? I typically break my yearly goals up into weekly goals and then spend some time over the weekend organizing my calendar so that every day I am somehow working to achieve what I have set forth for myself.
What is your approach to starting a new project or business venture?
Any new project or business venture needs an outline. You must first figure out what it is that you are trying to accomplish, and then establish a clear path towards getting there. I always make sure to spend a lot of time in the planning phase, so that it becomes easier to blueprint your course of action over the long haul.
What are some of the keys to effective decision-making?
Effective decision making requires an understanding of cause and effect. Oftentimes it is not possible to make a decision with complete information, so you must analyze the perceivable costs and benefits of each decision that you are to make. You must trust in yourself to make the best decision with the information that you have available, and be able to justify why it is that you made that decision.
What criteria do you use to decide what to do yourself and what to delegate to others?
In order to decide what is worth doing myself and what I should delegate to others, I focus on my own strengths and weaknesses. I know that I am an effective salesperson, for example, so I tend to leave most of the sales-oriented tasks to myself. If there is something that you do not particularly enjoy or that you are not as good at, it is okay to delegate or outsource those tasks. The bottom line of business is also to make money, so I try to focus on the tasks that are going to be the most productive to me. If I can pay someone to do something for me, while simultaneously freeing up time for myself to go make more money than I am paying that person, then it likely makes sense for me to do just that. This is the exact reason that a lot of financial planners or other professionals have assistants to process their paperwork. My time is often better spent generating new business.
How do you manage the stress of all the things you are not able to complete?
In my opinion, this goes back to setting goals for yourself and prioritizing. As long as you know that you have given careful thought to what it is that you are trying to accomplish and you are on track, you can be lenient with yourself with regards to some of the smaller things. I may not have gotten everything that I wanted to complete today out of the way, but in the grand scheme of things I know that I am still doing fine.
Can you share an example of a recent investment decision you made and the steps you took to reach your goal?
I classify myself as a buy-and-hold investor. A lot of people will try and capitalize on the upward and downward swings in the marketplace in the short term, but that is not what I like to do. I like to understand the underlying fundamentals of an investment and project out how I believe that the investment will be doing in at least a few years time.
Three years ago, I invested in the cryptocurrency Dogecoin and have since made over 100 times what I initially invested into the coin. Similar to as I discussed before, I paid attention to what the specific purpose was of this cryptocurrency, how active the community was, and then compared this coin to other coins that I thought were similar in the marketplace. This is called a comparables analysis and is very common in investing. It is important when investing to determine what you think the value of your investment is, relative to the price that it is currently trading at.
You must set a goal and be prudent about taking your money out when the investment has passed what you believe the underlying value is. It doesn’t matter if you sold off your investment and it continued to increase in value, all that matters is that you accomplished what you had initially set out to do.
Thank you to Sam Mickey for his time and insights.