2018 Spring Conference Speaker

Giles Almond

Giles Almond

A pioneer of Fee-Only comprehensive financial planning in North Carolina, Giles Almond, CPA (NC #14068, SC #3084)/PFS, CFP®, CIMA® came out of a strong CPA and personal tax background. Encouraged by a mentor, who was ahead of his time, to broaden this background and obtain his CFP® designation, a path was forged that has now grown for over two decades.

Certain defining moments have shaped the corporate values of Matrix along a path of objectivity from the very beginning. As a young man, Giles watched his father retire and be approached by brokers who wanted to invest his retirement funds and who were only proposing investment products with 8 to 9% upfront loads. He watched his parents ponder not only the high cost of these products, but the lack of objectivity of the person recommending them. Though not financially sophisticated, they could sense that there was very little objectivity. Independent and objective advice, by someone without a stake in which investment product was chosen, could not be found in the 1970’s.

Starting his career at the IRS, he saw the results of poor planning and questionable advice on countless tax returns. He recognized early on in his experience how critical it is to have proper representation and prudent tax advice. There he saw the need for a financial professional who can sit on the clients’ side of the table, not just to protect their rights in an audit, but to make sure all financial products they purchase make sense for them.

Later, as a young CPA in a local Charlotte firm, he looked for advisors he could work with and trust. Early in his tax career, he recommended brokers to clients and family members, as was normal for CPA’s in the early 1980’s. After seeing first hand the losses resulting from lack of knowledge, care, and prudent diversification, he realized that referring clients with portfolios to someone else was not working. Later, he witnessed his firm creating risky partnerships and received pressure to put tax clients in these investments. Once again, he recognized the conflict of interest and made the unpopular decision to decline. He knew that clients deserved better and resolved to become an objective, knowledgeable financial advisor in his own right.

After achieving his CFP® designation, Giles and a co-founder created a new kind of firm that would work solely in the interest of clients. When considering what to name the new firm, Giles envisioned a highly collaborative team environment, where everyone works hard for clients and he did not see the word ‘I’ in team. Matrix Wealth Advisors, Inc. was born in 1990, on the heels of this vision and early defining moments that have resulted in Matrix being one of the premier financial planning firms in North Carolina. The name “Matrix” was chosen, as the word represents an architectural design of tightly interconnected components, resulting in a structure of great strength and durability.

The personal experiences of Giles Almond around money have played an important role in the development of the vision and values of Matrix as a comprehensive financial planning and investment firm. Principles such as independence, not going along with the crowd, sitting on the same side of the table as the client, teamwork, and the importance of impeccable client service are values that have grown out of these early experiences and are now the hallmark of Matrix and the foundation on which the firm stands tall.