Matt Sapaula, a Chicago-based financial advisor, coach and a former host of MSN Money’s personal finance show The Invested Life, has made a career out of serving middle-class households whose annual incomes do not exceed $100,000, and he is determined to continue doing so.
“There aren’t many firms that reach out to that client base, because the financial services industry in general still targets the most profitable clients,” he says.
But Sapaula, who began his career at a large brokerage firm in Southern California, realized that middle-class communities were in far greater need of financial education and planning tools.
More importantly, he says, “If I’d continued where I was, I wouldn’t have been able to help my mom.”
Sapaula, who used the GI bill to attend DePaul University’s financial planning program, strongly believes that middle-class families in America need personal and professional mentorship to get ahead in life. His goal is to redefine his clients’ future by giving them the information, tools and guidance they need to take charge of their finances — in particular managing their personal debt — and create a better life for themselves and their families. For more than a decade, he has proactively educated the community in financial strategies, helped clients identify hidden assets and he encourages his audience to turn missed opportunities into second chances.
“So many Americans are sitting on trillions of dollars of debt and they pass this onto the next generation,” he says. “Then, there are the issues of stocks and bonds, but also insurance, estate planning, disability and so on. Wealthy Americans have been talking about these subjects for a long time, but for middle America, the conversation is completely new.”