OUR FOUNDER'S STORY
Daniel C. Goodwin
I grew up in a middle class family in Montgomery, Texas during the 60s and 70s when money was pretty tight for most people. We never had money for vacations or extra things, but I always had good food to eat and clothes on my back. We did fun things that didn’t cost money like swimming, fishing, riding our bikes and squirrel hunting in the woods. I can honestly say that I never really thought much as a kid about our economic situation. We were living life like most folks around us were, we were making it.
During the late 70’s the Texas economy went into serious decline and as cheap oil flooded the market and Houston, Texas went bust. The oil industry and Houston have a history of great booms and busts. During this time my dad’s business crumbled around him and I knew there was no way he could help me with the college expenses that were coming up. I had just become one the first at my high school to win a state UIL academic competition and my teacher, Ms. Betty Jo Hill, encouraged me to study journalism so that I could become a writer. My dream was to go to college. I didn’t want to become a worker using my back and my hands to make a living, I wanted to learn and use my mind for a career that required education.
I worked very hard that summer and my dad did too. He was struggling financially so to talk about school registration and the money it would require just did not seem to come up. All summer I worked and had no idea if I would be able to go to college in the fall. On the night before I was to go, I asked my dad if he could help me. I remember feeling terrible for asking, and I think he felt terrible shame for not being able to. He told me that night he just did not have the money and I went to my room and cried my eyes out. It was the worst feeling I think I had ever had. I can’t be sure but I feel certain now, my dad was in his room doing the same thing. This was before easy money was flowing through student loan programs and grants and our family was not keen to consider debt as an option. Debt wasn’t nearly as popular in those days as it is today.
The next morning, my step mom Judy told me that she had been saving some money and that there might be enough for one semester. She helped me get into college for that first semester and from then on I worked 30 hours per week in order to stay in college. I ate canned spaghetti more than I care to admit during those days. I lost my enthusiasm for writing and decided that I wanted to learn to create wealth so that I would never again have to feel the pain of not being able to provide for myself or those I love. I changed my major and started reading every book I could find about investing, real estate, taxes, stocks, bonds and how wealthy people became wealthy and how they stayed that way. It was only after college that my real education began. Today our team spends hundreds of hours each year honing planning, investment and tax strategies for our clients' use and benefit.
It is my strong belief that we all have the opportunity to be successful with our money. Today my life’s work is sharing this message and encouraging those in our community to take time to “sharpen the saw” with financial education. I believe that you too can be successful with your finances and here at Provident we spend a great amount of time and energy educating people how to manage wealth so that our clients can look forward to a future that’s bigger than their past.
This is why I started Provident Wealth Advisors. – Daniel Goodwin