On this episode of “Beyond the Click” we’ll talk to Ben Shamberger, CFP at Dixon & Co. Wealth Management. Ben is a certified financial planner at Dixon Company in Winston-Salem and co-host of the Financial Edge podcast. Ben got into investing at the age of 15 when he saw the ticker tape scroll across the screen on AOL. Ben’s favorite thing to do when he’s not consulting with clients is spending time with his family and playing music. He has a memorable client story of when a professor passed away right before his retirement and it changed the way he advises people. I really enjoyed talking with Ben and maybe in the future we can jam! Check out the episode!
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Beyond the Click Episode 4 Ben Shamberger
[00:00:00] Rob: Welcome to Beyond the Click, a show about marketing professional businesses today. Our guest is Ben Shamberg, certified financial planner at Dixon Company in Winston-Salem, and co-host of the Financial Edge podcast. Welcome, Ben.
[00:00:14] Ben: Hey, thanks so much for having me, Rob. I’m excited to be here today.
[00:00:17] Rob: So glad you could join us. So we’ll start with kind of your origin story. How’d you get into investing?
[00:00:24] Ben: Yeah, that’s a great question. Several interesting kind of points along the way. I’ll, I’ll piece ’em together as quick as I can in about 30 to 60 seconds. But I would say one, the first time I noticed my interest in investing at all was probably at about age 15. And I remember sitting at the computer table, in the kitchen this was years ago, right? Logging into AOL and remember seeing what was the ticker tape scroll across the screen and I thought, this is interesting. What is this? And nobody in my
[00:00:52] Ben: really knew exactly what it was, but just like, you know, it kind of talks about companies and stocks and stuff like that.
[00:00:58] Ben: Well, that was kind of the first thing. And then, you know, there’s always that one person in your family who actually knows something about money. So my uncle, he was that guy. And so I remember you know, when he would come around at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He just always seemed to be in the know about this stuff.
[00:01:12] Ben: And so that peaked my curiosity again. And then . At some point in, in college, I would say was kind of that third thing that really lit a fire underneath me. And so when I finished business at at Appalachian State University, you know, I graduated, got into business. Didn’t think that I could get into financial services until I started my own company at one point.
[00:01:32] Ben: And then while I started my own company, I knew I wanted to create a retirement account at that point. And then went to go meet with a financial advisor who just so happened to have his office in my neighborhood. And at that point, that’s when everything changed. So that was 12 and a half, almost 13 years.
[00:01:51] Rob: Wow. That’s, that’s a very interesting origin story. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that with us. . What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not consulting with clients on their financial picture?
[00:02:04] Ben: Yeah, that’s a great question. So I’ve got a family wife. We’ve been married what, 12 years now.
[00:02:09] Ben: And then we’ve got three kids. So I’ve got a daughter, age 11, a son age. eight another daughter who will be four in a couple of weeks. So my favorite thing to do when I’m not with them, or even sometimes when I am with them is after we’re done doing our family thing, you know, just, just rest. But we do a lot of things together.
[00:02:27] Ben: The kids love to be active. . , we’re always on a bicycle or a trampoline or throwing some ball around or something. So they’re, they’re getting ready to, you know, start doing spring sports here pretty soon. So I’ll just keep them a little bit busier, but I just love dealing with my family. I think at this point I didn’t know that I would enjoy, you know, if you’d asked me that same question years ago, it was like traveling and, you know, staying out and doing whatever, you know, teenagers and, and young adults do.
[00:02:52] Ben: Right. But at this point, . If you’d asked me 10 years ago if I would’ve loved being a dad the way that I do now . , I, I don’t think that I would’ve understood it this way, but I really do love it, man. It’s, it’s a lot of fun. And, and my kids are at that age where, for me, it feels like now it’s the time to invest in them.
[00:03:07] Ben: So that’s my, that’s my favorite thing. And on the rare occasion, I get a chance. Barcelona is my, my favorite club sports team. So I get to watch them on the weekends and I . Playing music. I’ve, I’ve played guitar and drums for a number of years, but I don’t play actively. I just kind of play whenever I get a chance.
[00:03:24] Rob: Wow. Okay, so family football. Right. And yeah. , that’s a different conversation. , , that’s varied for sure. Yeah. Yeah, like you with the musical instruments, I play the bass guitar when I can.
[00:03:41] Ben: Fantastic. I don’t think I know that.
[00:03:42] Rob: What’s been your most memorable investing client or moment with a client so far?
[00:03:48] Ben: Wow. There’s, there’s really been a lot of ’em. , the one that’s probably impacted me the most. . is, is actually probably not even , a quote positive or a fun story. This was actually something that happened a couple of years ago prior to me working where I work now. And a client and his wife had come to me and he was a professor at a local university.
[00:04:09] Ben: And a couple of days we met, I believe we met on like a Thursday or Friday. And then graduation ceremonies were supposed to be that weekend. After the graduation, ceremonies were supposed to wrap up. He was then going to retire, and then he and his wife were going to go away, you know, and do their thing at the beach.
[00:04:27] Ben: They had a beach house and this, that, and third. And they were just looking forward to kind of turning the leaf on all of his years of work. He passed away that weekend. Totally disrupted her life. She never came back to see me ever again because it was, it was just too tough to deal with that.
[00:04:45] Ben: And all the things that they had been planning for, saving for had delayed and deferred they never got to do because his time was up. And so for me, it shifted everything I thought made sense. And everything I thought mattered in that moment shifted for me. And at that point I began to coach people and advise people differently than I did before.
[00:05:10] Ben: And so for me, it’s one of those things where it’s like, as much as people want to, you know, talk about, you know, retirement and talk about. Building up whatever wealth and accumulating that. None of that matters if we’re not
[00:05:22] Ben: here. And so as much as I do wanna see people, you know, save and make smart financial choices and the decisions, it’s all in balance, all in moderation, because we don’t know when our number is gonna be called.
[00:05:32] Ben: And I think it’s easy, even, especially for me being in the, in the. World that I live in on a day-to-day basis to get caught up in the 10, 20, 30 year plan. And it’s like, no, today Ben, you’ve got a wife and you’ve got a kid. Enjoy that today because we don’t even know if you’re gonna be here. So that’s, that’s my most memorable story.
[00:05:52] Rob: Wow.
[00:05:53] Rob: That’s really powerful. Yeah. I mean, the truth is, Ben, we’re, we’re not guaranteed tomorrow . Right. And we can plan for it as best we can, but unexpected things pop up. Well, it’s good that you’re there to advise us and maybe soften the landing for some people in those situations.
[00:06:11] Ben: Sure. Hope so. For sure.
[00:06:13] Rob: Yeah. What are the three biggest problems you see with investing right now?
[00:06:17] Ben: Do you want to talk about specific to investing or specific to kind of financial planning? Cause maybe some of that’s related. Maybe some of that’s not. Which one do you want to go after?
[00:06:25] Rob: It could be financial planning.
[00:06:27] Ben: All right, I’ll try to add one. I would say the three biggest problems that I see in financial planning one of those you just heard me talk about, right. Which is being too oriented to one extreme or the other, . , and this can come out in a variety of different ways, right? It can come out to deferring gratification till 20, 30, 40 years from now thinking that you are gonna be here. Or it could be having that instant gratification and never saving the aside a dollar, you know, otherwise, or not saving enough. Right. That’s one level of that. I think a second level of that is, getting caught up in making the perfect decision as opposed to just making a good plan. Sometimes, not all of the time, but sometimes in planning perfect. Can be the enemy of complete or, or the enemy of done. And so I think for some people, Having that sense of it’s gotta be perfect can keep them from simply just taking steps towards working towards that goal. And that’s why we call it financial planning because it’s a continual process in a journey day after day after day.
[00:07:29] Ben: It’s, it’s living and breathing the same way that we are. That planning process is something that we come back to. So if we just do one plan and. . Well, I already know the plan’s gonna be wrong the moment that you walk out the door. Cause the moment you walk out the door lifechanging. So, you know, I think that’s one of those things.
[00:07:45] Ben: And I, and then I think the third thing is just people think that planning sometimes is only for those who have already made it. And I would argue that point specifically because of what I have seen within my own career, which, those people who have made it, how do you think that they actually got there?
[00:08:05] Ben: Did they get there by happenstance? Did somebody throw, you know, right. Hundred thousand opinions into a well and keep wishing and wishing and wishing, or were there some in intentional steps along the way? And so, right. I think there has to be some level of intentionality, and this kind of ties into a little bit of what you do, but for me, that intentionality all starts with one word, which is why
[00:08:27] Rob: Right. So you’ve had a, a fairly lengthy career already in financial services and advising in the industry. What have you seen that’s worked best for you in helping you grow your business?
[00:08:44] Ben: Yeah, I think for me there’s a lot of tools out there that can work. , what I have discovered is one of my personal strengths is being in front of somebody.
[00:08:55] Ben: Now you have to get to the point of being in front of somebody. But I think once I’m in front of somebody. I’m somebody who is really comfortable talking. And then I think one of my own personal superpowers is listening. Even though it might not seem that way at the moment, cause I’m doing a lot of talking, but I enjoy listening to people and the more that I can gather from you, when, when somebody’s talking to me, I’m starting with a blank canvas in my mind and I’m, I’m drawing a sketch, and then I’m filling in that sketch, and then I’m adding color and detail to that. And so the more that I can listen, the more fruitful that activity and exercise becomes for me.
[00:09:31] Ben: And so when I do. in front of people. That tends to be one of my greatest strengths as a as a business person. And then I think from there, adding in things like, you know, the, the branding and the marketing, which I’m sure you, you talk to people a lot about. Sure. Strategically that tends to help.
[00:09:49] Ben: But my business by and large is local. I do have clients all over the place, but a lot of my clients come from people who have known me from somebody else and say, Hey, you, you really need to go talk. For whatever reason, so.
[00:10:01] Rob: Sure. Yeah. That’s, that’s really great, really great to hear about how you treat every client.
[00:10:09] Rob: I’m sure. I’m sure They just, everybody loves to be listened to, so it’s just, it’s all the more better when you, one of your advisors wants to listen. Right, right. Yeah. As, as we kind of get to the final questions, what’s something you wished I asked you and how would you.
[00:10:27] Ben: You know, it was funny cuz I knew this question was coming and I still didn’t have an answer for it.
[00:10:31] Ben: I asked myself this question probably three or four times. Okay. Something that I wish that you had asked me. You know, I think maybe is there anything that, you know, Ben, you would do differently, right. And hindsight being 20/20. Yeah. There’s probably some things that I probably could do differently.
[00:10:49] Ben: I, I think one of those things would be, is not be afraid to be more intentional about about going after the opportunities that fit who I am as an advisor, right? There’s, all these things and, and you know, people, and. Podcast that will tell you like, you gotta go do this thing, you gotta go be this thing.
[00:11:10] Ben: Right. One of the greatest things that I’ve ever heard was like, Hey, figure out who you are. An advisor. Sure. Lean into that. Get the skills and the expertise that you need to . But lean into your abilities and your values. Right. And when you do that, you will begin to attract other people to you.
[00:11:29] Ben: And as long as your skills are there to match that.. , then you’re probably gonna be all right. So I think, you know, that’s my one question. I wish, I wish that you would’ve asked, like, what’s one thing you would’ve done differently? That’s probably how I would’ve responded to that one. Yeah. And just lean to that earlier.
[00:11:43] Ben: I’ve been doing this for 10 years now, and I think I finally just in the last two years, you know, really started leaning into that. But, you know, we all have our journey and it just took me a while to get there, so,
[00:11:53] Rob: of course. Yeah. All right. And then our final question, , how can someone find you?
[00:12:01] Ben: A lot of different ways people can find us. Now we have a website, which is www.dixonwm.com or Dixon as in wealth management.com. So that’s the website. They can find us on Facebook. We’ve got a podcast that we do as well, which is called the Financial Edge Podcast. , you can find that on pretty much anywhere you listen to podcasts, whether it be Spotify or Google Play or Apple Music, it’s all distributed there.
[00:12:28] Ben: You can find the podcast through the website. My email is also posted on there. If you do show notes, we can, we can put my email address in as well. . Our office is located in downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Like I said, I’ve got clients all over the nation, so, you know, if somebody wants to have a conversation, it really doesn’t matter where you are.
[00:12:44] Ben: I think my furthest client was either in California or Washington. And we also have a book as well called “Money and Stuff ” that was written by, collaboratively by the three certified financial planners in our office.
[00:12:57] Ben: It’s available in print edition, but it’s also available via ebook as well. So people can reach out to us through Facebook or through the website or call our office to get that. But those are a couple different ways that people can reach me.
[00:13:09] Rob: Nice. That’s great. And I want to thank those that have listened or have watched our show. “Beyond The Click” is produced by Why People Click the Premier marketing agency to personal injury attorneys and other professional businesses. Listen to the podcast on Apple, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Find out more about our marketing services at www.whypeopleclick.com.