Broker Check

Because dealing with finances on top of a life transition
isn’t something you should have to do alone

How much do I need to earn to support myself and my family?

Where can I afford to live?

Will I ever be able to retire?

If you’re on this page, you’re probably undergoing some type of life transition–whether divorce, loss of a loved one, job change or retirement–and have found yourself asking those intimidating financial questions above. This means you’re likely also feeling overwhelmed by your situation, anxious about the future, and hesitant about meeting with a financial advisor.

That’s why I, Scott Clarke, founder and financial advisor at Summit Private Wealth Management, want to share my story with you and let you know a bit more about Summit to help you see if Summit is a good fit for you.

How Summit Began: Swapping an Officer’s Uniform
for a Suit, and My Own Life Transition

Summit’s story began with me, a 21-year-old lieutenant and recent graduate of West Point United States Military Academy, sitting in a hard, plastic chair in front of a financial advisor to talk about money and life post-military. This was my first taste of financial advising, and I instantly liked the idea of being on the other side of the desk someday to help people make sound financial decisions.

This idea still stuck 6 years later even after I’d finished my active duty. Thus, I swapped out my officer’s uniform for a suit, and launched a career as a financial advisor with American Express Financial Advisors in 1995. I stayed with American Express for over 8 years (where I would eventually move up the corporate ladder to become an Associate Site Leader of the Hurst branch).

But then...somewhere along the way, my biggest life transition to date began.

My marriage of nearly 20 years was ending, and I had a lot of things to figure out. I now had to consider not only how to build a new life on my own without my partner, but find the best way to organize my finances to make sure my kids and I were taken care of long-term.

Luckily, I had the benefit of being a financial advisor myself. So, although I did not yet know how to navigate the world of divorce, I was able to navigate the world of finances comfortably. Yet, I knew that most people undergoing divorces or other transitions didn’t have this advantage I had. Instead, they were left to fend for themselves when it came to finances.

So, in 2003 I started Summit, a firm whose mission is to help people make wise financial decisions during life’s transitions. Shortly thereafter, I became a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst ™ (CDFA) on top of my longtime title of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®). Since then, I have also been heavily involved in the collaborative divorce community by becoming a member of Collaborative Divorce Texas, serving on the Board of Directors of the Collaborative Law Institutes of Texas, and by co-authoring the book Divorce the Collaborative Way: Is It The Way For You?  More recently, based upon the needs of my clients, I became a Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®), a Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) and National Social Security Advisor® (NSSA®).

Summit Private Wealth Management Today: Helping People
Make Wise Financial Decisions During Life’s Transitions

Today, myself and the team at Summit truly do know the challenges of managing finances on top of a life transition, and we’ve helped hundreds of families over the years make that uphill climb.

Here are a few final things for you to know about Summit:

  • We are a small firm and only work with a limited number of clients so we can get to know each person individually. This means if you work with us and give us a call, they’ll never be any need to reference an account number - we’ll know exactly who you are.
  • Myself and the rest of the team are guiden by the non-negotiable set of values excellence, integrity, honesty, compassion, and kindness.
  • We know how emotional and stressful life transitions can be – that’s why we pride ourselves on doing the opposite of most financial advisors and never pushing our clients into anything they are uncomfortable with. That means no signing of thick contracts, filling out frighteningly big checks, or making uneasy investments.

Whether you’re looking for long-term financial guidance or just have some tough questions you need answered, Summit is here to help.