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Pain, Discovery and Prayers Answered: Celebrating 10 Years for Cogent Strategic Wealth

Do you have a story of a prayer answered? Mine was fully answered 10 years ago when I started Cogent Strategic Wealth. I have my Cogent Family to thank for making it a reality.  

There are some things in life which alter your trajectory in ways you can never imagine. Nearly 20 years ago, I needed to catch my breath after reviewing my portfolio tracker. To my amazement, a short-term bond fund which I used as my family’s reserve fund lost 44% overnight. At that moment everything changed.

Soon after that day in October 2000, after being mad as hell, I made a personal commitment to myself that what I experienced would never happen to me, my family or anyone I cared about again. I prayed that I would have the strength and the fortitude to stay true to that promise.  

It changed my life’s trajectory. Prayer answered.

We all experience pain and loss in our lives. But I believe in turning missteps into learning moments by reflecting on how to avoid them moving forward. So over time, I asked myself: What can I do differently in the future? How can I prevent this from happening again? What new knowledge and capabilities do I have to adopt. 

What I discovered felt really good: My own actions are the only determinants that are truly under my control an investor.

Over time, in conversations with friends and family, I continued to hear and see how these people were successful in many areas, but still struggled to manage their hard-earned money. I could understand their worries. I had lived with the stress and the lack of fulfillment myself. With increasing clarity, I began to imagine a career in which I could help others align their wealth with their personal goals and ambitions.

In February 2010, just shy of a decade after my October 2000 life-changing experience, Cogent Strategic Wealth was born. It wasn’t about me anymore; it was about my clients. And you know what? That felt great. 

This past February marked Cogent’s 10 Years Anniversary. I am so grateful to now serve many wonderful families by applying the principals and best practices I learned from my own situation to my clients. It is amazing to have kind, smart and purposeful professionals sit in front of you and say, “I need help.” After what I had been through and what I had learned, who could ask for more than that? 

Cogent was launched during one of the deepest financial crises our generation has experienced until that time. I’ve seen firsthand what can happen in the absence of best-interest, fiduciary advice. Now in the COVID-19 chaos, I’ve also seen the positive difference that good advice can make, granting people both the education and information they need to not only survive through chaos, but to come out better on the other side. It is so meaningful for me personally to partner with our clients who have made their own promise to themselves. My team and I at Cogent take great pleasure in providing the path and the plan to enable high-achieving individuals, like yourselves, in aligning their financial resources in securing their future.

Few things in my life do I personally value more than my wife, Colleen, and I, having the confidence in knowing we have the time and resources we need to enjoy the people we love and the activities that bring us joy. I am so grateful for the encouragement, support and partnership which Colleen and my three great children give me to pursue my passion of helping others to have what we have and value so much. 

There is a long list of many that have helped me in building Cogent, from friends, family and industry leaders and pundits. I am grateful for all who guided me in the beginning and throughout my journey in providing fiduciary advice. I have been so fortunate to attract great Cogent Team Members, who provide so much to our client families in the form of expertise, support and empathy when times are challenging.

It is our Cogent Client Families, who I am most grateful for when I look back at the last 10 years. They share with us their dreams, goals, triumphs, and challenges. Sometimes, we even learn of their nightmares. But what we really learn is how resilient, focused and loving they are. How they just want to live a very good life, capture their stellar earnings, build durable wealth and make sure they provide security, opportunity and safety for those they love along the way. 

It is such an honor for me to have risen above my own chaos nearly 20 years ago, to transition away from a life of trading to a life of providing to others, adopting evidence-based investing principals for my own family, while also sharing what I learned. My prayers were answered so much more than I ever expected.

In Gratitude,

Michael Evans, Fiduciary Wealth Advisor

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