Kyle Grevengoed works as a Military Personal Financial Counselor and a private practitioner. He was inspired to become an AFC® after beginning his career in the lending industry. As an AFC® he has a strong mission and vision to help his clients see the big picture – to “find the hero in themselves to make this world a better place.”
AFCPE: What inspired you to do this work?
Kyle: I have been in the financial services field since 2007 when I got my start at a small finance company in Durham, NC. It was in the sub-prime lending industry. Fortunately, the business was not predatory in nature but we were definitely sub-prime, as a good credit score was 620. Contrary to popular opinion there were people who were legitimately helped by this industry. One example that comes to mind is the story of a man named Ed*(name has been changed).
I knew Ed for a few years and, at that time, he had just been through a separation that left his world shattered and his credit terrible. By terrible I mean he aspired to obtain a 400 credit score. He knew where I worked and came to me for advice on purchasing a vehicle. He did not need anything fancy, just a basic car to properly do his day job.
Fortunately, we found a repossessed Honda Civic that cost $3000, which I was able to get financed for him with $1500 down. He now had a dependable car to get him from point A to point B, he paid off the loan in six months, and eventually passed the car on to his son. An interesting side benefit to this story – the $3000 he spent completely paid off the previous owners’ debts so this purchase ultimately helped two people ever so slightly move their credit in the right direction. Up until that point, everything in Ed’s life seemed to be going wrong. The loan and car were the catalyst for change.
I loved being able to help Ed in a small, but significant, way and I wanted to help more people. Unfortunately, this kind of story and ability to help turn the tide is rare in sub-prime lending. Most of the time I was able to “help” a person keep a nostril above water. I wanted to do so much more than this and it was not going to happen in this lending niche, so I began my path toward becoming an Accredited Financial Counselor.
AFCPE: Such a good example of how a small step can be a huge catalyst for behavior change. You have own financial counseling business called 320 Life (previously known as Vision Centered Finance). Tell us about it.
My day job is as a personal financial counselor for the military, but I do have a LLC called 320 Life, LLC in which I provide financial counseling to anyone. I’m opting for slow and steady growth to ensure that my mission stays front and center.
The mission of 320 Life is find the hero in our clients to make this world a better place. There are multiple “causes” in a person’s life, things like education savings for their kids, retirement savings for themselves, and buying a home, to name a few. These important goals, or causes, to strive for are only the beginning. The ultimate cause, the grander vision for a person, is even deeper, and outside of themselves. It may be eradicating poverty or disease, fighting human trafficking, service to country, and many more. 320 Life wants to help people bridge the gap between life and finance so that everything is pointing our clients to both personal goals, and finally to that one grander vision for their life.
The name 320 Life comes from Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
AFCPE: We love the way you are keep your mission front and center and your focus on helping clients connect their financial goals to their life goals and purpose. As we enter the latter half of 2018, what’s next for you?
Kyle: There will always be a “what’s up next.” Right now, I’m focused on adding financial advising to the list of services, but adding it as an hourly service or even for free to those who currently have a low net worth. Second, is a college valuation tool that will allow parents and prospective students to have a quick and easy valuation guide to college, similar to NADAGuides.com or KBB in the auto market. While low cost, high potential salary, and low debt after school may play a role in the overall value, the valuation is deeper than any one item.
AFCPE: Are you attending Symposium this year? What are you most looking forward to?
Kyle: Yes! There is not a particular speaker or session I am excited about. I look forward to the speakers I have never heard of, gaining new perspectives, sometimes on an old idea, that changes how I see something.
Kyle Answers the Friday Fast 5:
My Why: Honoring God in all I do by helping people be in position to accomplish more than they can ever ask or imagine.
My Favorite Quotes: “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Victor Frank
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
My Heroes: Too many to name! However, if I had to pick, I would say my parents and grandparents.
My Favorite Personal Finance Resource: The Bible
My Best Advice: Life is about so much more than money. Money can help you achieve much and it can cause undue stress if not managed, but ultimately money is merely one tool that helps a person pursue a Vision Centered Life. Be sure your money points to your vision, not the other way around.
Follow Kyle at: https://www.320life.org/