We all know raising a family takes a village. Like yours, ours is made up of parents, grandparents, friends, extended family, and of course, our kids (a.k.a. our perennial guinea pigs).
Our goal is to be a part of your village too, as we strive to empower and educate your kids and families ... together.
Over the past 17 years as both a financial advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner, Alec has had a front row seat to view the lack of financial education in our society. With the support of his family, Alec is making it a personal mission to avoid those trappings for his children, and to help other parents do the same. Thanks to his parents, Alec is also proof positive that conversing with your children about money at a young age can make a huge difference.
As an accomplished, and award-winning graphic designer and branding expert, Ashleigh has worked with many of the brands we all know nationally, as well as some of the most revered brands in South Florida. Whether it’s this passion project launched by her husband, Alec, or day-to-day family life, her support never waivers or ends.
Since her first allowance day in third grade, Grace has always been quite judicious with her spending and saving. Amongst the favorite items she has saved up for herself, Taylor Swift tickets take the cake. Now as a middle schooler, Grace is proud that she pays for the Apple Care plan on her own iPhone each month, amongst many other expenses.
Even after her early kindergarten allowance days, Eve was always more of a spender. Those cute erasers at the school store were calling her name. But just before her seventh birthday, Eve noticed how much more money her big sister was earning on investments, and that’s when it all changed. She now understands the magic of compound interest, and while she still likes to spend, she’s now an avid saver and investor. Amongst her proudest financial accomplishments is the time she kicked a nasty Starbucks habit after reviewing her own spending tracker.
Hailing from California, with a 10 year stint in Miami Beach, Julie hasn't strayed far from the beach. Despite knowing all about Alec's success in teaching his kids about money, she was hesitant to initially dive into an effort to teach her children about money because of her own lack of financial practice. But during the pandemic, Julie went all in, and the family hasn't looked back.
An avid runner, and one heck of a chef, Robbie has been all over the world. A well-rounded fun-loving good dude, Robbie is proud to be a part of Cents of Responsibility. It has honed the focus on his own finances in ways he never expected.
A natural athlete, John loves all things biking. Skateboarding and running are pastimes as well, but nothing thrills John like a huge jump at the bike park. He's most proud of his purchase of a new $1,000 off-roader that was paid for by a combination of his savings, and a loan from Mom & Dad Credit in which he successfully paid off over a nine-month span.
Cass is a spender. But she's also an earner. She loves to spend on all things fashion ... from flip-flops to eye shadow, she's a born consumer. But, Cass knows it and owns it. So much so, that she runs a thriving bracelet business. Thanks to guidance from Mom & Dad, her store has had increasing sales each month, and that income is a huge part of her Cents of Responsibility journey.
Lucky enough to be raised by two parents with careers in the financial services industry, Alec was brought up in a home in which good financial hygiene and literacy were extremely important. In part, Alec's comfort level with money and finance led him to a career as a Financial Advisor and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner after selling his business in 2005.
Very quickly into his finance career, Alec was startled to learn how little the average person knew about finance, and how many people practiced poor financial habits. To help combat those issues, he took great care to make education a cornerstone of his financial advisory practice. A key to that effort, was simplifying complicated and intimidating concepts into simple, relatable anecdotes and examples.
While he was working to educate those families he worked with, Alec was also coming to understand the challenge of raising two level-headed daughters in the glitzy, faced paced environment of Miami Beach. When his daughters were in kindergarten and third grade, a colleague gave Alec a gift that would change the course of their lives. It was a piggy bank with four magical slots: Spend, Save, Invest, and Donate. Almost immediately, Alec saw the parallels between his educational effort at work, and what needed to be done at home.
At first glance, the challenge seemed to be taking concepts difficult for adults to understand, and distilling them to a truly elementary level. But it wasn't. Alec merely needed to invent ways to relate his personal real-world life of every day adult finance to his kid's real-world life of every day child finance. And once he did that in the context of those four piggy bank slots, Alec merely needed to implement ways that would ensure his children could practice what they learned on a regular basis. Those two steps would first educate them, and then allow space for their practices to transform into habits.
That's exactly what he did. And it worked.
While still only in middle school, Alec's two daughters are rare examples of children in a flashy town, who amongst other things, understand the value of a dollar, the basics of investing, and the importance of charity. Furthermore, they have excellent fundamental habits around spending, saving, donating and investing. They regularly, and voluntarily delay gratification with their spending and saving choices. And all of that was accomplished in a way that any parent can implement, not just a Financial Advisor.
In 2018, Alec was invited by his close friend and neighbor, Julie, to explain his methods to parents at an event she was helping to plan. That event in Miami, Young Entrepreneur's Day, provided the perfect audience … parents to kid entrepreneurs flush with cash, but with no strategy to guide them. Immediately receptive, they took Alec's methods to heart. And somewhat unexpectedly, the dialogue fostered between parents during that session, also proved to be immensely helpful to all.
In an effort to reach more parents after that event, Alec has presented his methods in a more formalized workshop setting in South Florida. And partially in response the pandemic limiting in-person gatherings, chose to take the mission online. As he was preparing to do so, Julie was coming to her own realization.
With regards to a financial education, Julie's upbringing was almost the exact opposite to Alec's. Not only was finance rarely a topic discussed as a family, money usually only came up in conversations driven by stress. As a result, even in her adult life, the emotions surrounding money for her were fear and stress … both driven by a lack of comfort and education. And because her husband's financial upbringing wasn't so different, money had not been a favored topic at the dinner table. Because of that, Julie hadn't implemented Alec's teachings, despite being the impetus for Alec's first public presentation of what is now the Cents of Responsibility methodology.
One afternoon in late 2021, as Alec was telling Julie about his plans to offer Cents of Responsibility online, Julie realized she had reached the point where implementing the program in her own home was now a necessity. Driven by a desire to change the money conversation in her own home, Julie dove headfirst into not just the program, but the community that supports parents beginning and continuing their own Cents of Responsibility journey.
Just four years after that initial class in Miami's Wynwood Yard, our full online platform offers parents all over the world the opportunity for their own Cents of Responsibility journey through Alec's educational elements, and Julie's cultivated community.
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