story by Melinda Lejman | photo provided by Morris Marketing Group
Thinking about finances can be a stressful experience. Money is inherently an emotional issue and for that reason, many people avoid dealing with financial decision-making. Unfortunately, not having all the bases covered could mean a loved one loses out on benefits or that you don’t save enough for retirement. Native Memphian Brian Douglas, member of the LGBTQ community and the only Accredited Domestic Partnership Advisor (ADPA) in the tri-state area, wants you to be financially sound and working with a financial advisor you can trust.
Douglas has been a financial planner at Guidingpoint Financial for 14 years and his practice covers the full financial planning spectrum. Because he has ADPA certification, Douglas is uniquely qualified to help the LGBTQ community, as well as anyone who doesn’t fit the traditional definition of marriage. In the past, laws surrounding financial matters were created for male/female relationships. “With the passing of marriage equality a few years ago, that’s helped out tremendously,” says Douglas. “But there’s still a ton of people who aren’t comfortable working with financial advisors who might not be quite as accepting.”
Although it might seem counterintuitive, a first appointment with Douglas doesn’t require financial documents of any kind. “I don’t want our first meeting to be about figures and dollars,” says Douglas. “That’s kind of secondary. I want it to be about what we can do together to figure out what the situation is.” What Douglas refers to as “landing one plane at a time” means touching on all the bases, whether it’s planning for a child’s college education, saving money for a bigger house, or putting money away for retirement. Also important, especially for members of the LGBTQ community, is making plans for power of attorney or the inheritance of property when a partner or spouse becomes ill or passes away.
Financial planning isn’t just for those with a large sum of money to invest. “One of my favorite clients is someone who is just out of college,” he says. Douglas is also dedicated to creating a comfortable relationship where all parties understand the nuances of their particular situation. “I don’t want a client ever saying, ‘I don’t know what he’s talking about,’” says Douglas. “Part of my job is to educate and make sure you know why we’re doing something.”
While the focus of Douglas’s practice is financial planning, he has created a culture that he hopes makes the process more comfortable for his clients. He sees the ADPA certification as an introduction to his values. “The biggest thing is acceptance,” says Douglas. “We do live in the South, and unfortunately there are a lot of folks who are not accepting of same sex relationships, so it kind of flies the banner more or less and says ‘Come see me, I’m happy to work with you.’”
For more information about Brian Douglas or to make an appointment, call 901.312.5099 or go to ameripriseadvisors.com/team/guidingpoint-financial-group.