Managing principal, Simonet Financial Group
- Decorated Iraqi war veteran.
- Loves dancing.
- Mother and father are Haitian immigrants.
Bill Simonet learned the value of financial planning after his first tour in Iraq with the marines. In 2004, he returned to the United States from the Middle East and promptly blew through $17,000 in back pay, leaving him to wonder why he was having such trouble with money.
"I realized that there's gotta be a better way to handle money," he said. "I was broke. It was a light-bulb moment."
"I got into a car accident, totaled my new SUV and only got a portion of the money back," he said. "When I went on a second deployment, I said, let's be smarter."
Mr. Simonet, 33, eventually finished college and began his career as a financial adviser. He now has his own practice, is on the board of the local Austin Financial Planning Association chapter and is the host of its annual meeting. He also serves as a bugler for military ceremonies and mentors young students.
At the start of his career, he realized clients, no matter their wealth, could have problems with money. "I was working with business owners who did not have a good plan," he said. "I realized people had the same issues I had. You can be a high six-figures earner and still live paycheck to paycheck."
– Bruce Kelly