Meet an Advisor: Jonathan Wright | ETF Trends

Evan Harp sat down with Jonathan Wright of Wright Time Financial to discuss his journey as a financial advisor.

Evan Harp: When and how did your practice begin?

Jonathan Wright: It started back with my father being a finance officer in the military. He taught us at an early age the importance of being financially literate and understanding how money works. Imagine being in middle school and high school, and we were having money talks at the dinner table! Those talks resonated with me throughout my life and career. Ultimately, I decided to go to Hampton University and study corporate finance and ultimately the University of Maryland College Park for my Executive MBA.

Right out of undergrad, I had the opportunity to work on Wall Street as an investment banker – I quickly learned that this was not the path for me after I spent the night in my suit multiple times and the fact that I was not able to make the impact that I originally thought.

But I fell in love with personal finance. Even though I’ve worked in corporate, worked in government organizations – worked at the Pentagon for a number of years in various capacities including aerospace and defense, mergers and acquisitions, and the small business office.

Working in these organizations was a great experience, but working for people was more rewarding. That was the path that I chose to go, supporting my church, starting there, and creating ministries. I wanted to do something more and I wanted to change the world. One of the ways you can do that is through financial literacy and building generational wealth.

Wright’s Investment Philosophy

Harp: What is your investment philosophy?

Wright: I don’t focus on just one approach, because I believe that everyone’s story and everyone’s path is different. There are multiple ways to accomplish the same objective or goal. But, in a sense, some things are common across the threads when I look at how to create a legacy, and it starts with having a longer-term view.

People tend to do a lot better if they start early and they are consistent. It sounds easy, but it’s difficult for many people to comprehend and actually follow through. I teach those basic mechanics of just being a saver. Whoever can save the most, whoever can invest the most for the longest amount of time and then have the right financial team around them guiding them, is going to do a lot better than someone who doesn’t have that.

On Career Obstacles

Harp: What is the biggest obstacle you had to overcome and how did you do it?

Wright: My biggest obstacle… There’s plenty in life, and that’s why they say life is a journey. Because the more obstacles you go through, the more you learn, and you become wiser. I look at the obstacles from the standpoint of business – getting laid off at an early age. I entered the mortgage business right around 2007. I quit my full-time job working for a large aerospace and defense company, and said, “I want to get into mortgages.” And then, literally, a year later, I lost my job and got laid off.

That was a big lesson for me. But also, it helped me learn that everything happens for a reason. Because during that time, I joined a church that had a ministry called the Money Smart Ministry. I also learned to never burn bridges. The gentleman that I used to work for in my previous job became a senior executive, and he got me into the government. He gave me a $90,000 job, and I moved back to my home church, and they didn’t have a Money Smart Ministry. So I developed and built the Money Smart Ministry at my home church after being laid off. And it’s been in existence for 16 years now and helped hundreds of people reach their financial destination.

Two things I learned: never burn bridges and everything happens for a reason!

Why the Technicals Matter

Harp: What’s something happening in the market right now that not enough people are paying attention to?

Wright: Geopolitical risk – big thing right now. Interest rates and inflation – big thing right now. But, I think, for me, I pay a lot of attention to the technicals in terms of how the charts are performing. The charts are leading indicators. I’m looking at a lot of the trends. I think most people are fundamental, but I think the technical needs to be revisited as well to see if they’re giving you any indication of where the markets are going. Pairing the fundamentals with the technicals is critical when investing. I understand a lot of fundamentalists will be hesitant to consider the technical in their assessments, however, the pairing of the two reveals a lot.

Wright’s Mentor

Harp: Who is another financial advisor that inspires you and why?

LeCount R. Davis. He is the first African American CFP, certified financial planner, and he is also my mentor. He’s very seasoned – I won’t give away his age, but he became a CFP in the 70s. He’s still practicing and he is amazing. He actually gave me, well, I earned a scholarship in his name through the CFP Board. I’m going through the CFP program as we speak and he’s been a great supporter as I’m going through this process.

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