Matthew Hague CFP®, EA, and Principal of Guide Wealth Managementgrew up all over the UK. His family moved every year or so until settling in a town called Swansea in South Wales. As an adult, he's lived in many U.S. cities and Japan. Although he's now settled in New York, his love of exploring new places follows him.
"We like to travel a lot," Hague says of adventures with his wife, who he met while traveling, "Though that is a splurge, the costs are low due to my travel hacking side."
Hague cracked the code to affordable travel so well that it led to his career as a financial advisor and owner of his own firm. "I started my journey into helping people via a hobby blog where I talked about topics I found interesting," he said, "It ranged from travel hacking (traveling the world for free, which we still do) to finance and tax."
The rest is history, as they say, and Hague went on to launch a successful fee-only firm. The field suits him so perfectly that his peers at XY Planning Network recently named him Member of the Month. "Matthew contributes a level of technical specificity and attention that has in several cases noticeably re-shaped my thinking on issues," said one member about Hague. Another offered, ""If we all gave to one another the way Matthew has...we would all be better for it."
7 Questions with Matthew Hague
XYPN: What do you want to be when you grow up?
MH: I’d like to grow more into a mentorship role where I work with clients, but also with developing new team members for my firm, and eventually add in a more formal teaching position in the field of financial advice.
XYPN: What should we know about finances that we didn’t learn in school?
MH: Don’t get me started! There’s essentially zero financial education in school. Compound interest (both earning it and paying it) would be a good lesson.
XYPN: Did your background give you any special skills to help others reach their financial goals?
MH: I guess, but I don’t know what part of it does exactly. I think the most useful skill I have is being unafraid to ask the same question a dozen different ways to understand it. I find that when people talk ‘money’ they often talk in buzz words or phrases, and it compounds a base of confusion. Asking people to rephrase things into simple words, and not being afraid to look stupid when doing so is huge.
XYPN: What are you most proud of in your professional life?
MH: Choosing to work in an ethical manner. Fee Only Advisors have all the skills to do all sorts of roles in the financial space, and many of them can pay more money. Choosing to do the right thing by our clients is one that allows me to help them without the conflict of being paid by someone else.
XYPN: What or whom inspires you to do great work?
MH: My clients. Each of them are individuals with unique needs, there’s no greater feeling of accomplishment for me than helping them figure out what they need to know, and helping them get where they need to go.
XYPN: What is most challenging and/or rewarding about your work?
MH: Keeping on top of everything. I’ve made large investments in technology to help track things, but even with that it is hard to know if I’m always working on the thing the client needs the most, or when they might be planning something that they should be consulting with me about before they do it, rather than after!
XYPN: What is the one piece of advice you find yourself giving over and over?
MH: Just because your friend does it, that doesn’t make it legal, advisable, or in any way OK.