ABOUT ANDY PROCTOR
LIFE ACCORDING TO MY RESUME...
Andy Proctor is a financial coach and investment educator and the founder and president of andyproctor.com (a financial coaching and investment education business) and Proctor Community Enterprises (an affordable housing finance and development consulting business). Andy was in the United States Navy for eight years and the Army National Guard before that.
He’s worked around the country for more than 20 years helping communities provide affordable housing for their lower-wealth residents. He was a housing development specialist for the State of Colorado and served as manager of the City of Boulder Colorado’s Housing Division.
As Founder of andyproctor.com Andy works with clients to understand and meet their financial goals and focuses on clients who are in the military or will soon transition out, as well as veterans. He also works with non-military clients. The path to meeting financial goals includes investment education with clients who are interested in building their wealth intelligently and sustainably.
Andy lives in Colorado and loves writing, movies and a couple of hobbies a little too dorky to mention in public. He volunteers regularly for several Colorado-based nonprofits, including Dairy Arts Center in Boulder, the Butterfly Pavilion and Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation, both in Westminster and mpowered Colorado where he will soon join the Board of Directors. He also enjoys the occasional skydive. But only as a tandem jumper!
WELL, THAT KINDA SUCKED…MY EARLY STORY
My parents were divorced, and I bounced between them. Neither were in the military. By the time I was 16 and in 11th grade, I had been to 12 schools in four states and two countries. Fun as that may sound, that was just about all the chaos that I could stand! I left school, left home, got a job working at a movie theater and got an apartment. By the time I was 18, I needed to belong to something larger than myself and needed more direction in my life. I joined the Army National Guard, and four months after graduating basic training I enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where I served for the next eight years. So yeah, I had the great privilege of going to Army basic training and Navy boot camp within a few months of each other. Let me just say that was not one of my better years!
For my first four years in the Navy, I ran a personnel office for an anti-submarine warfare squadron and made two Western Pacific deployments on two different aircraft carriers (the USS Constellation and the USS Kitty Hawk). I’m also a “Shellback,” which means that I crossed the Equator on a Navy ship and went through an ages-old, humiliating initiation tradition. (My friend Eddy, shown in the photo below, commemorated the moment on his shirt, even though I was the one who was about to humiliate him!).
For the next four years I was a Navy job counselor working with potential enlisted recruits to find jobs in the military. While in the Navy I first got my high school diploma, then started taking college classes, and eventually left the service to pursue college. Since then I’ve gotten two associate's degrees, a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from the University of Colorado-Denver. If I can stand the jokes around being “Doctor Proctor,” maybe I’ve got one more degree to go.
I also started investing while in the Navy, so I’ve been investing for well over 30 years. I’ve done well at it, building a nice retirement fund and non-retirement funds in order to have a financial cushion. That’s been really important to me as I consider my early life. I bring the lessons that I’ve learned over this time to my financial coaching and investment-education clients.
I BRING THE LESSONS LEARNED FROM MORE THAN 30 YEARS OF INVESTING
TO MY CLIENTS
I know this isn’t the traditional story you’ve probably heard financial people tell about themselves. Not many financial professionals that I know of will brag about leaving school and home when they were a kid, working at a movie theater, then enlisting in the Navy. But I think that background is important since I can relate to the struggles that my clients have grappled with. And my message to you is that financial success is within reach - even if your background is kind of on the wacky side - with effort, focus, the right information and a little coaching.
BUT WHY VETS AND THE MILITARY?
I got out of the Navy nearly 30 years ago and left my first squadron nearly 35 years ago. But those guys are still my Brothers. No one in my life has gone through with me what I went through with them. We speak the same language and share many of the same experiences. I organize a reunion of my squadron buddies every other year, and when we get together, every time, even if it was 30 years since our last meeting, it’s like picking up a conversation from last Tuesday!
When you get out the service, it’s easy to feel like you’re isolated and that the rug has been pulled completely out from under you. Financially? Absolutely. But emotionally and socially, too. Because when you get out all of a sudden nobody speaks your language or shares your experiences (or may not even be able to understand your experiences). And people dress funny, too.
When I got out of the service – a long time ago – they sent you to a workshop for a couple of days then showed you the gate. Now, with the Transition Assistance Program (TAP) you’re supposed to be much better prepared for the transition to civilian life. But why do so many of our Brothers and Sisters fall through the cracks? I think it’s because many who are transitioning, or transitioned, out of the military are still unprepared for the financial and emotional shocks that getting out can trigger. That’s why I focus on veterans and those in transition.