What led you to create Paladin Wealth Management, and what makes you different than other firms?
"I created my firm so First Responders can find guidance without worrying about bias, commissions, or sales pressure. My experience as an Officer gives me a big advantage over an average firm. I have a passion for serving the community as an Officer, and I have a passion for taking care of first responder's finances."
What are some of the challenges that you see when dealing with first responders' finances?
"It's frustrating to see people serve their communities for decades just to end up broke because of simple mistakes that could've been avoided with proper care and diligence. It's tough to tell somebody, hey, you have to work another ten years to survive when they've already put 25 years into their career and worn their body and mind to the bone. My mission, or Quest as I call it, is to help educate people earlier in their careers and fix future problems sooner rather than later.
What exactly do you do as the CEO?
"Everything!" He laughed.
"I'm a one-man show for now. I manage the business, marketing, research, and manage member's assets. Eventually, I'll hire help as the firm grows, but for now, I'm running things on a cop's salary. All you need to be successful in this field is to love educating people and be able to make complex ideas easy to understand. They don't teach this stuff in school, so being able to break things easy down is mandatory."
What makes you feel good about your work?
"I love the lightbulb moment, the "Aha!". Watching the realization click that our plan is working and just being able to make a difference in a someone's life... it's a great feeling."
What are you looking forward to this year?
"The impact my firm will make on the first responder community. Finances are a sensitive topic for everybody, especially first responders, so breaking down that wall takes a special bond. I'm so excited to finally be able to provide a space for that right here in the Mid-South."
Before founding Paladin Wealth Management, Coty worked at Methodist Healthcare's Emergency Department before moving to the Memphis Police Department's Communications Division from 2015-2018.
"After spending a few years at MPD, I got my start in finance in October of '18. I earned my Series 7 & 66 securities licenses and a few other insurance licenses, and time has flown by ever since". I always knew I wanted to be a patrolman, and I wanted to own my firm, and I finally made that dream a reality."
So, why the name Paladin?
"I chose the name Paladin for two reasons, one reason.. the epic history behind it! Paladins were this ancient, warrior class of people in the medieval ages that lived by a strict code of honor and integrity, just like Officers do or should today. Reason number two... I'm a huge nerd!" he laughed. "I grew up with MMOs, and boardgames and the Game of Thrones style genre has always been so fun to me, so it just stuck."
It seems you've got your hands full being a full-time Officer and CEO!
"I think it's hilarious when people ask, when do you sleep? I manage my time very efficiently and use a lot of technology to keep things in order. The programs I use automatically know when I'm on patrol; I'm unavailable. When I'm on family time, it adjusts. If I'm teaching a class, or attending one myself, it makes time for it. Aside from unexpected emergencies, there isn't any overlap, so I get plenty of time with my family, especially now that I'm on day shift patrol, so it works out great."
What can people expect when they become a Member of your firm?
"I work hard to treat the members of my firm like my family. Sometimes we might meet at the Chamber of Commerce here in Southaven, and sometimes we may sit around the fire pit and share work stories over steak. No well-done steaks allowed though!" he laughed.
What's the biggest lesson you've learned in your financial career so far?
"Just like on patrol, or when I worked in the emergency room, you must always be prepared to "be there" for people despite what you have going on in your personal life. Every day might not be a good day – but we're going to make it through whatever comes our way - together."