We had the good fortune of connecting with Thanasi Panagiotakopoulos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Thanasi, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Evaluating and understanding risk is a daily task for my line of work so this is a great discussion. The reality is that we all view risk differently and our perception of risk is based on heuristics and biases. A doctor views a surgery that has an 85% probability of a successful outcome as very low risk. Meanwhile, the patient who had a family member die on the operating table with similar surgery views the 15% chance of complications as an unprecedented amount of risk. I view risk as just another factor to consider in my decision-making process. Taking calculated risks, or carefully considering the probabilities of various outcomes, the impact and the rewards have been paramount in my path. For me and my family, risk has been about managing trade-offs and understanding the results long term of not taking risks. In my journey, I could have stayed at a Fortune 50 company and coasted, however, I opted to control my own destiny, and take the financial risks of exerting my own influence to achieve our family goals faster and more efficiently.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
After spending 9 years working for public shareholders or other business owners, I am extremely passionate about why LifeManaged is unique. As a comprehensive financial life management firm, we do not sell any products. We sell stability, independence, and financial freedom. We gain a deep understanding of what money means to our clients and how it fits into their values, behaviors, and goals and attempt to put these into alignment. I am most excited about the ability to bring a solution to one of the most underserved markets in our community, young professionals with no money to manage. Traditional wall street firms and large financial institutions do not make any profit helping a family who earns $200,000 per year if they do not have large sums of money to invest upfront. The reality is, these are the families who need the most attention and help to get them on the right path before they run out of time. One of the biggest myths, largely due to the profit model of large financial institutions is that you have to have money to hire a financial planner. At LifeManaged, we aim to demystify personal finances, insurance, and investments with a transparent and consultative approach. Without a plan and the proper guidance early in one’s career, people risk ending up another statistic, full of regret that they wish they started saving and making informed financial decisions earlier. A life well managed is not ruled by numbers, but freed by them. By getting gritty with the numbers early in your career and committing to a plan with the help of a financial professional who is not incentivized to sell you complicated products, financial independence can be easily mapped out.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As a Phoenix Native, a week-long trip is not enough time to feed my friend in all the right places! Sticky bread at Lon’s or monkey bread at El Charro with the patio would be one of the morning destinations. Steak 44 or The Mission in old town would be on the list for “higher-end” fancy or “atmosphere” dinners. Glai Baan would be the casual Thai Spot go-to. An old-school Italian dinner at one of the oldest restaurants in Phoenix, Christo’s Ristorante would be in order as well. A Camelback Mountain morning hike would be much needed to feel better about all the calorie consumption. Checking out the scene in the Scottsdale bar district would be a must as well. I would of course tell him to visit during the week of the Phoenix Open and make sure to take him through the 16th hole skybox. Golfing with some friends that would host us at Whisper Rock or at my personal club, Phoenix Country Club would be on the agenda because we have such nice golf courses. Coffees, cocktails, and downtown tours are a given. All of these places would have exciting and interesting people of all backgrounds!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Without my family support system, I would not have had the confidence or stability to take action and build a business. My Wife is my biggest cheerleader and the champion of our family unit. She is the best listener and provides that much-needed shoulder to lean on when times are tough as my life partner. She provides me with a level of peace of mind that has enabled me to make quick financial decisions and to stay focused on the growth of my business. She manages the household and our children, communicates with our school teachers all while bringing home a second income! My Father has provided me with a core understanding of business, finance, and real-life advice and mentorship which has proven to be imperative in my endeavor. My younger brother has told me the truth nobody else would, all while encouraging me and honing in on business strategy and new ideas for my industry. Finally, my Mother, the ultimate optimist has provided that emotional stability that all entrepreneurs need!