Charting a Path

As a pilot, Peter G. Miles filed many flight plans – an essential and mandatory task of that profession. No matter the size the aircraft, or the number of passengers, or the amount of cargo onboard, the pilot must chart a detailed route to a final destination.

Thus, it is no surprise that “charting a path” is essential to his work today as president of St. Croix Wealth Management based in Oakdale, Minnesota.

“The same is true when preparing for life’s biggest journey: retirement,” Miles said. “Everyone should have a plan in place and know that that plan will change while you are on that journey.”
Not everyone has flown a plane, but most have used a GPS on their smartphone to get driving directions, and Miles compares the technology to financial planning.

We’ve all heard the word “recalculating” when we’ve driven off the course the GPS suggests. The same principle applies to financial planning where detours and pit stops take the form of stock market corrections, a death in the family, or an unexpected job change.

miles600x400“A GPS gives the route from point A to point B, but often times in life, a point C becomes necessary,” Miles said. When that happens, it isn’t something to stress over. “We recalculate and get back on course headed to our destination.”

Miles had a major recalculation of his own on Sept 11, 2001, when the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City were destroyed by airplanes with terrorists at the helm.
The catastrophic event prompted him to leave the aviation industry.

Today, as he leads St. Croix Wealth Management, Miles still uses aviation lingo to describe the various levels of client engagement his firm offers.

The Navigator level offers planning and savings advice for individuals and families just starting out on their journey toward retirement. The Co-Pilot program is geared toward people nearing retirement that need to make many of the crucial decisions as to how their accumulated assets should be managed. The Captain designation is for clients that are moving past the accumulation phase and into distribution of the family wealth.

Miles designed these various levels in an effort to offer services to anyone in need of financial services.

“We believe in helping all people no matter where they are at in their financial journey,” he said.

That “help” includes navigating the acquisition of a mortgage or a new car purchase, or it can be evaluating the use of life insurance or asset management for planning for the future.
Whatever the client need is, St. Croix Wealth Management always includes education as part of their financial planning services.

“We let our clients know that we will be here to answer their questions and we use analogies of something they will relate to to help explain financial planning,” he said. “We do not dummy it down, but we break it down into terms they will understand so that the process is not daunting or overwhelming for them.”

Learn more about St. Croix Wealth Management online at:


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