It was 2001, just before my 30th birthday. I was working a job with a toxic environment so I invested all the money I had into retail stores that sold cellular services, computers and DISH Network on the Space Coast of Florida.
I had “memorable” TV and radio commercials that brought hundreds of people to my locations.
Everything was coming together until…
Like a lot of successful people, I was taught if you want to get ahead AND STAY AHEAD you have to THINK Positively, Believe in Yourself, work hard, take risks, and constantly be learning.
However, when I got diagnosed with CANCER THE FIRST TIME a few years later in 2003, I discovered the hard way, what I thought was the right way to do things, wasn’t the best.
I came to this realization when my bank, which I’d always paid on time, shut down my line of credit when they found out “my situation had changed” which effectively put me out of business causing me to lose EVERYTHING!
That was NEVER SUPPOSE TO HAPPEN!
This experience caused me to reflect on what I could have done differently to keep my business and my income while I was receiving treatment and set me on a journey of questioning everything I thought I knew and search for the best ways to position money for success.
Having experienced the emotional pain of losing control of my own life as a 31-year-old, I made it my life’s mission to help people understand what is important about money to them so they can play and win the game of personal finance while holding true to the values they have in their life’s.
I never want anyone to experience anything close to what I did.
The truth of the matter is a long-term financial success isn’t common at all. It is estimated that 20 out of 20 people want to achieve financial success YET only 1 out of 20 people actually do!
Life happens and poor decisions are made that prevent them from reaching the success they want. Many times they take too big of risks for too little return. Other times, they jump in and out of “the next big thing” that promises them they will get them where they want only to see it collapse.
The intensity of life has people reacting without a true vision of what they truly want and the clarity of the decisions needed to get there.
People do work hard, but they tend to take risks without understanding what can go wrong and protecting themselves from them while they learn from programming that is often just a sales pitch disguised as advice…
This is what I realize today and a big reason I left myself open to losing everything which brought me to this profession.
Since 2003, I have spent thousands of hours understanding how the financial game works. I earned my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification and started my company, Decision Tree Financial to help people understand the relationship between making smart financial decisions and fulfilling their values in life.
I do this through my Wealth Manifestation Process. which is a holistic, dynamic process to organize your life, be happy and realize the financial success you deserve.
The system has not only helped professionals, business owners, and retirees; it helped ME TOO.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 3 advanced esophageal cancer. It was given a grim prognosis with the odds against me BUT, because I clearly understood what I wanted to do before this diagnosis, I didn’t have to worry about money while fighting.
Of course, I have beat it so far and am in better shape today than most people my age. Now I am on a mission to share the system with those who want my help so they too can make smart financial decisions that help fulfill their own values.
I have the license to help you with financial planning, investing, insurance and mortgages. As a CFP®, I act as a fiduciary, always putting your interests first.
I created this site so that you can get to know me. The fact of the matter is hiring a financial planner is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life so you will want to choose someone you can relax with, have fun with, share ideas with, and of course trust that they have the knowledge and skill to help you achieve more.
I think the internet is super cool as it allows me to meet and work with people all over the country (and even a few in other countries!)
So take some time to read my blogs, watch my videos, enroll in my courses and when you are ready, let’s have a 30-minute conversation about how I can help you make more with the money you have!
B.S. Biology from SUNY Fredonia (1993)
M.B.A from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (1999)
CFP and CLU – The American College (2009)
Registered Investment Representative (Series 7) 2004
Investment Advisor Representative (Series 66) 2004
Taught Financial Planning Courses For the Company at The University of Central Florida and at NASA for employees as the Space Shuttle Program was coming to a close.
Decision Tree Financial 2009 – Present
Founder and President
Gold Coast Professional Schools 2019 – Present
Adjunct Instructor teaching both licensing and continuing education classes to insurance agents in South and Central Florida.
Live between Olean New York and Orlando Florida (with frequent visits to South Florida as well.)
Married to Fatima with (4) children – Luke (’92) Tariq (’14) Leena (’16) and Yasmeen (’20).
In my spare time, I like to hike in the woods, ride my bike and go to the beach. I am a huge Foodie too! My wife is an amazing cook whose family runs the best restaurant in all of Morocco – Al-Fassia, so I am extremely spoiled.
You will find me most mornings in the gym lifting weights and shooting baskets. I can’t play basketball anymore as a result of my surgery (I can only sprint for 3 minutes without being completely winded) but I still push myself hard most mornings.
Health and fitness is one of my core values as I believe a main reason I survived my cancer battle was due to being in peak condition (I had rode my bike 100 miles just a week before being diagnosed!)
I am a proud member of “The Bills Mafia”, as well as a huge fan of Buffalo Sabres Hockey, St. Bonaventure University Bonnies and Orlando Magic Basketball, Tennessee Volunteer, and UCF Knights Football.