D. Paterson Cope

My name is D. Paterson Cope, and I’m a CFP® in Birmingham, Alabama. I work with retirees and those close to retirement to grow their financial assets efficiently with the least amount of tax.

What has been one insight or lesson that has been most helpful in your career?

In my very early years in the business, a wise older financial advisor told me, “Don’t try to make your clients rich, most of them were rich before they ever met you.”

What has been your favorite mistake? A mistake that in retrospect led to a great lesson and progress.

Not a mistake, but I had cancer last year. I was treated with chemotherapy and radiation and now I’m free of it. Made me really, really appreciate life and not take anything for granted.

Project forward ten years. How will your industry or field be fundamentally different then? What opportunities do you see?

The average financial advisor is 58 years old. Tremendous opportunities for young people to enter this filed. In ten years, the average advisor will be much younger with books of business they have inherited or bought. Young people that get in the financial planning/investment advisory business now will be hugely rewarded in the future.

What are some bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

People that recommend trading. The market is very efficient and there is almost no way too trade securities in the short term profitably. Even if you somehow manage to eke out gains you will be taxed at regular income tax rates.

In the last two years, what have you become better at saying no to?

I have become much better at saying no to people who demand too much of my time.

What is the one book you recommend most often and why?

It would have to be “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. I think this one in particular is a great choice because we as a country are getting dangerously close to living it.

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

I would definitely say this: Ignore all the advice suggesting people to go out there and get advanced degrees. Those that train to work in businesses such as electrical installation and HVAC will make a killing in these markets.

What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23


Look me up. If you are looking to connect, I would recommend searching for me. Just type in “D. Paterson Cope” on Twitter or Crunchbase.