On the surface, financial planning sounds like a numbers thing. You take a paycheck, apply it to your budget, pay off debt, perhaps save a little. Maybe you plan for retirement.
But for Tim Hale, financial and investment management is about so much more. It’s about closing the gap between wealth and what you value most – whether that be providing family stability, building a business or helping your community.
Perhaps all of the above.
“Wealth is a means to an end. Wealth is not the end. When you get into financial planning, you learn about the challenges people have with their lives. They have goals and values and what they want to accomplish. Wealth is not the end; it’s living the life you want to live.”
That, in essence, encapsulates the whys behind Hale moving his family to Afton nearly five years ago and founding Hale Financial Solutions.
“I consider it my responsibility to help [clients] find the most efficient and effective ways to allocate their resources to make those things happen,” the young husband and father told SVI Media in its regular Star Valley Chamber of Commerce business highlight. “That’s very much what we try to do at Hale Financial.”
The businessman, who lives in Afton with his wife, Kellie, and their children, came to the valley with a vision – something he helps clarify in his clients. From the earliest discussions, he guides them along a path of discovery and helps them clarify what they value.
This process began with Hale and his wife discovering what they – for their marriage and family – truly value. A native of Washington, D.C, Hale is related to pioneers who helped settle Star Valley. Kellie was raised here. But they met and married while working in downtown Salt Lake City. He was in banking. She was a professional genealogist who worked at Ancestry.com. They had a house in the Avenues, and he walked to work.
“I was doing fine. But I was not happy,” he recalled.
So when they began having children, they asked themselves, “Where do we want to end up? Where do we want to be for our kids?”
They looked to her hometown – and took a leap of faith. But they didn’t stop there. They’ve active in church activities, and he joined the Star Valley Arts Council and the new Main Street Alliance.
“We put down our stakes. Hale Financial has what I consider a long-term location. We’ve entrenched ourselves in the community. We love the community. We love our faith. Our kids are forming friendships. It’s home now.”
And his community perspective applies to his business. “I’m in the relationship business. I’m not transactional. Most of my clients are ongoing clients.”
But, Hale emphasized, he also serves those needing one-time financial advice, help with a debt-reduction plan or a look at tax returns. It’s why, in his case, he focuses on a simple fee structure, rather than commissions. However, he was quick to point out, both fees or commissions are viable payment options in financial planning – a diverse industry.
Focusing on clients’ visions guides Hale’s own vision for his business. “I’m an employer of one. I’m owner and operator. I don’t plan to make Hale Financial a full-blown army of people. I keep it small and intimate. That’s by design. At my peak, I might have another employee, but more than likely that’ll be it.”
And Hale has a message for anyone who thinks financial planning is only for those with money to begin with. First, reducing income taxes or paying off debt or saving for the future brings four to five elements together. “It’s amazing what can happen,” he explained.
Second, it’s never too late.
“I want my message to be hopeful for people,” he said. Financial planning is “an investment in yourself. We do all sorts of things to invest with wellbeing. I would hope that more people would invest in their investment health as well.”
Hale Financial Solutions is located at 80 East 1st Avenue, in Afton, near the Fairfield Inn, or call 307-201-9514. See Halefinancialsolutions.com for more information.