Three decades of military service has served Phil Owens well in establishing and running his insurance and financial services business Owens Financial Group.
"In most career fields working with people and communication is key," said Owens who spent thirty-four years serving in the military first in the Army and then the Michigan National Guard. "That is the case for the Army as well as the financial services industry."
Owens noted that while there isn't a direct correlation between something like setting up a Roth IRA and knowing how to establish an ambush or provide convoy security, the people and communications skills are similar. Owens said the discipline and organizational skills he and his son Lee, who is also his business partner, learned in the military has benefited both of them in making their business a success. Owens enlisted in the Army in 1982 and retired in 2016 as a Brigadier General.
He began his insurance career in 1987 and founded Owens Financial Group in 2002 in Greenville where he lives. When Lee, after serving six years in the Army, joined him in 2012, they moved the business to its current location at 4582 West River Dr. NE in Comstock Park because it's about halfway between his home in Greenville and Lee's home in Cascade. The approximately 750 square foot space features two offices, a conference room and reception area. His wife Sue and daughter Jillian also work at the office doing accounting and administrative work.
Owens said he likes the easy on-off access of the 131 Expressway both for himself driving to work and for his clients. Also the location of Fifth Third Ballpark right at that exit makes it easy to give directions to his customers. A big bonus as far as Owens is concerned is the restaurants in downtown Comstock Park which he says "have better tasting food than chains."
The bulk of the business is retirement planning that includes IRAs, Roth IRAs, 401K rollovers, annuities and life insurance. Owens said the number and types of products such as mutual funds and annuities have increased dramatically during his thirty years in the insurance and investment business. With all those products to choose from, Owens has developed guidelines for individualizing investment strategies for clients.
"It's important to hear from them what's their risk tolerance, their debt load, and investment experience," said Owens. "Our job is to take into account all those factors to meet their objectives."
He also has general advice he gives clients. "You need to develop a plan that is tailored to your goals, and you need diversity to protect you from the risk of inflation and market fluctuation."
Another big change Owens has seen in the insurance and investment industry over three decades is the use of technology. Paper applications are a thing of the past of course, and ratings are all done on computers.
Owens Financial Group received the "Elite Producer" award in both 2014 and 2015 from Questar Capital, the broker/dealer they are licensed through.
Owens and his wife Sue live in Greenville. They've been married 33 years and have two grown daughters and their son Lee. Owens lived in Comstock Park when he was young and graduated from NorthPointe Christian High School. He attended Cornerstone University earning a Bachelor's degree in business administration. Lee also graduated from NorthPoint Christian High School and earned a Bachelor's degree in business management at Davenport University. He and his wife Sara live in Cascade and have two sons ages four months and two years old. When they're not working, both Phil and Lee enjoy fishing and boating.