Barrett Porter, CFP®

Chief of Advisory Services
Barrett Porter

My Story

I wanted to make movies as a kid. I watched them all the time, amazed at how they could imprint a moment in my brain forever. I still remember sitting in a matinee of the movie Fargo on opening weekend and deciding, “I’m moving to Hollywood to become a writer and director.” The move happened, but the career never really took off. 

I never got my moment. 

I entered my mid-20s as a credit-card-debt-loaded broke bellboy with no idea what would come next. I needed a paycheck badly. Just as my “film career” ended, someone I knew offered me a job as a recruiter at his financial services company. I nearly drooled at the thought of an actual salary and said yes without caring what the job was or where it would take me.

Three years later – surprise – I wasn’t happy. That’s when one of the guys I was trying to recruit dropped a bomb on me. He wasn’t a broker, he didn’t charge people commissions for selling products, and he was one of the happiest, most relaxed people I had ever met. I looked up the mysterious CFP® at the end of his name and devoured everything I could about the financial planning profession. I knew this would be my career. 

Instead of movies, I found Abacus through a book. The author worked at the company and wrote about dozens of peoples’ money stories, offering a deep understanding about “money maturity.” Raised by a father who spent $100 for every $80 he earned, these stories hit me hard. While his habits caused harm, this book was teaching people how to understand the “why” behind their difficult patterns, just like the ones my dad couldn’t break.

Today – surprise again – I’ve found longevity and happiness in a career I never would have imagined. I have years and years left in me given how rewarding it feels, how I get to help create financial security, how I get to teach. A few years back, one of my clients, a gay baby boomer couple, took a photo of themselves the day they learned they could retire and leave L.A. for a quieter life in Napa County. They sent me that photo and I felt deeply connected to them. 

Every day now, it seems, I get my moment.

How I’m expanding what’s possible with money

I help people think differently about their next life chapter. I created the Done by 60 Guide, which helps people learn how to achieve a sense of financial independence before they hit the “glory decade” of their 60s. It’s about shifting from an outright retirement mindset to experiencing a typical year more evenly shared among work, travel, hobbies, and charitable engagement. People seem happier when they maintain their sense of purpose after 60, and I feel part of my purpose is to help people have a happier life. 

Outside of work, my passions include

Snowboarding, scuba diving, roller coasters, mountain biking, concerts, movies, cooking, bourbon, adventure travel, and my partner, Eddie.

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