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10 Things I Know to Be True: R. Travis Terlau, CFP® Founder & CEO of Investment Answers

October 6, 2017

Our featured columnist is our company’s founder and CEO, R. Travis Terlau, CFP®. 

10 Things I Know to Be True    

1. I am not good at everything but I am REALLY good at corn hole.

2. I know that my job, along with my wife’s, is to raise our kids to be capable adults. They’re just children right now but they are growing into fine human beings. I cannot rob them of the experiences of learning how to run a home, answer a homework challenge or do the right thing with their friends. We are there to guide and to advise but they must be given the opportunity to rise to the occasion and to learn—along with the opportunity for compassionate counsel.

3. If we treat our vendors and business support teams with the highest respect, they help us rise to the occasion of serving our communities.

4. I am a proud Kentucky-born man and I am fortunate to have lived in many areas throughout this region. These experiences have not been in vain and for them, I am truly grateful.

5. I’ve learned that growing up in competitive sports has allowed me to be coachable. I have found that being coachable by my mentors is one of my greatest assets. I have also learned that I can no longer run Olympic times, though today’s Olympic athletes are still running mine.

6. I am a visual person and I am passionate about sound research. I believe that makes me visually compelled yet neurotic about credibility when we step forward as leaders. 

7. My competitors spend a lot of time trying to learn about me and my firm (in many lascivious ways) whereas I spend a lot of time learning about my clients and my communities.

8. It’s important to be independent. I truly feel that being an independent advisor allows me to do work in the best interest of my clients because I work directly for my clients. I could spend hours telling you horror stories of what happens to a person, their family and generations of descendants when their advisor has to meet a sales quota or is in it for themselves.

9. I am extremely proud of the education I have shared with the communities around me. I see the communities now compared to where they were before our educational outreach, and I am proud to say that only a fool would try to sell them snake oil. They know better.

10. When I became an advisor it was because of my aptitude for mathematics and research along with my passion for the aging community, understanding the unique challenges that they face. I grew in my apprenticeship in finance and realized that in order to truly serve the needs of our clients, I was bound to serve independently, so that I would be able to serve justifiably. No one told me how much I would truly love my clients and how much it would hurt to see them go through illness, suffering and death. However, it is my greatest honor to stand as their advocate in those moments —in the good times and in the unspeakable hardships.


10 Things We Know to be True is a series of posts sharing the accumulated wisdom of our partners, peers and colleagues, as well as members of the Investment Answers team.