Scott Kyle is the CEO and Chief Investment Officer of Coastwise Capital Group LLC, a boutique money management firm headquartered in La Jolla, CA. He was a co-founder of The Active Network, Inc. one of the original ‘unicorns’ when it went public at a valuation of over $1B in 2011 and where he served as CFO and Board of Director.
Scott holds degrees in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University (magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa), a General Course Degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics, and an MBA from Harvard University. Scott is a two-time world champion sailor, an Ironman triathlon finisher, and a third-degree black belt in Shaolin Kempo. Scott lives with his family in La Jolla where he organizes various events in the community. Meet Scott…
You are an author, but is it your day job? I’m a Financial Advisor at Coastwise Capital Group by day and author by night. I have written four books with two more on the way this year. I like to balance the left logic side of my brain dealing with numbers and finance during the day, with the right brain creative process of writing during my off hours.
Did you always want to be an author? Yes, from the time I was little I knew I wanted to write books. Both of my parents were teachers and authors (and entrepreneurs), so writing was in my DNA!
What is your most recent book and what inspired you to write it? I just completed The Compound Code: An Expert Guide to Trading Stocks & Options, my fourth book. As a Financial Advisor, I see people struggle (mostly emotionally) with money on a regular basis, so I wanted to provide sound education and advise on how to make smart money decisions to live a rich life (in every sense of the word) with peace of mind.
What are you most excited about with this book? With The Compound Codewe take a holistic approach to wealth and portfolio management and attempt to take emotions out of the equation. I am most excited about helping people make smart money decisions that will empower them and give them freedom to live the lives they seek and deserve. Money can be a great source of stress and actually lead to negative health issues. Being educated about money can help reduce that stress and create opportunities in many areas of life.
How did writing a book help your career take off? Writing a book in your field of expertise helps to create a stamp of credibility – along with opportunities for exposure. There is no magic bullet to building a financial advisory practice; it takes a lot of hard work and deep commitment to your clients. But a book can help to get the word out to new potential clients who are seeking help with their financial lives.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? Seek out those who have done it before and pick their brains. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel – emulate someone you respect. Be patient and always act with integrity. You need to be in it for the long term.
How do you handle setbacks and criticism? My parents taught me to have a growth mindset. From an early age I set very ambitious goals (at age 11 I set the goal to be a world champion sailor within 10 years. I achieved the goal by age 19). With big goals inevitably come setbacks. One can either quit or learn from them. I was taught – and practiced – the art of learning from mistakes and failures. I would always prefer the feeling of not succeeding from time to time over the emotion associated with never being ‘in the game’. I keep a journal and record ideas on how to improve things the next time around.
Being an author today is like running a business. How do you manage all your publicity, social media and keep your engagement up with readers? It helps to have a great team! I owe a tremendous gratitude to the many people who contributed to the creation and marketing of the book – from editors to PR folks who have helped to spread the word.
How do you hold yourself accountable and achieve the goals that you set forth? Both of my parents were big goal setters, so I established this habit from a very early age. Each year I take a week by myself, reflecting on the previous year and setting goals for the year ahead. I then review these monthly, making adjustments when I am falling short. I also work with others to set goals (my wife, kids, co-authors, business team members, etc.) and meet with them regularly to hold ourselves and each other accountable. Setting goals is a great first step, but you need to monitor them, track them, and make adjustments along the way in order to get the best results. After doing this for decades, this is now a very natural process for me.
How do you structure your day and make time for writing? I am a big believer in scheduling and blocking time. Each night before I go to bed, I write down everything I am looking to accomplish the next day. Of course, unexpected things arise, but at least I have a strong sense of my goals for the following day. I also visualize key events in advance – an important meeting, an interview, etc. Goal setting and visualization are very powerful tools that have served me well and that I would encourage others to try.
What do you find most fulfilling in the career that you’ve chosen? I am blessed to have found something (many things actually) that I love to do. In my role as a Financial Advisor, I often get emails from clients traveling the world saying in effect, “I am able to visit the most amazing sties because of you and your team!” This gives me a lot of satisfaction to see a real result from our efforts. In other circumstances, clients may tell us how they were not stressed during market turmoil whereas before they started working with us, they would be very anxious anytime markets declined. Being able to improve someone’s quality of life – financially, but more importantly emotionally – is very fulfilling.
What book uplifts you? There are so many wonderful books out there that are uplifting. One that comes to mind is The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. A great read on how to focus what is important in life.
Anything else you’d like to share with your readers? Take time periodically to visualize your ideal life. Think big! Relationships, money, travel, health, community…. If you are falling short, then create a list of goals to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Then take small steps each day to get there. Time will pass: the question is where will you be 6 months, a year, 5 years from now? The world owes you nothing, but the world cannot stop you from achieving your goals and dreams if you define clearly what they are and put in the work (which hopefully won’t feel like work at all) to achieve them
Connect with Scott via his website, where you can also learn more about him and his books.
Images Courtesy of PR By the Book, LLC