As we enter the new year, we highlight our newest Financial Advisor, Ben Hicks. Before working at Soundmark, Ben built a successful career in the banking industry, managing banking needs for clients that included Soundmark Principal Bill Schultheis. With a knack for building long-term relationships, Ben’s approach to client services is tough to argue, “The client is everything. Period.”
A cum laude graduate of California State Fullerton, Ben is a goal setter who enjoys restoring his mid-century home, hiking the Pacific Northwest mountains, spending time with his wife Amanda, and leading an organization he is passionate about – Cancer Lifeline, as Board President.
Why Finance? I fell into banking because of the flexibility it offered. I had the opportunity to see behind the scenes of a person’s life and learned to avoid feelings of envy for the guy driving the fancy car - he might be up to his eyeballs in debt! Getting behind the scenes was what ultimately led me to Soundmark. Helping people beyond savings and loans is the pinnacle of what I want to do in my career.
Ideal weekend: Finding a new spot without phone service.
Favorite movie: The Shawshank Redemption.
Most likely to spend a spare hour: Rewriting my to-do list.
Early Money Management: We used to visit a pizza place weekly with my grandmother. She would give me $1.00 to spend on games and $1.00 for sweets at the candy store next door. At the time, Beanie Babies were the hottest toy, and at $5.00 each, we could also “save” our money toward the purchase of a Beanie Baby. My grandmother would keep track of our savings on a notepad. I learned all sorts of things from that experience: budgeting, saving, patience, journaling, and even gambling responsibly. As badly as I wanted the new toy, I could never save the entire $2.00 allowance. I would gamble at least a quarter on the claw arcade game in hopes of “winning” some candy.
What matters to me: Enjoying life. We only have one shot at this thing; you better make the most of it.
Travel: My wife Amanda and I visit a new national park every year for our wedding anniversary. Part of our annual tradition is to take a photo at the entrance sign commemorating the event.
Credo: Something good will come from every bad situation.
Inspired by: Anyone that is trying to better oneself.
How I stay busy: I believe there is always something to do; that does not necessarily mean there is physical work to do. There is always something to learn, explore, etc. My wife and I believe differently about this but it is probably why we found each other. Without her, I would never slow down, savor life, and reflect on all that we can enjoy.