R. Lyndon Taylor’s vision for his firm is rather simple. He has one goal – to help people make smarter choices about their finances.
With more than 35 years of experience in the financial planning profession, Lyndon has found that the best path to financial freedom is through the clarity that comes with informed decision-making. That’s why Choice Financial Services, which he established in 1993, has developed a rather unique business model.
The foundation for that model is information and education. Lyndon says, “Our job is 80% listening and providing answers to questions. We help people answer life questions from ‘how will I take care of Aunt Jane’ to ‘should I buy a new car.’ Our job is to explain financial strategies so they’re understood. We give people choices; we don’t tell them what to do. That is why I named the firm Choice Financial Services.”
Lyndon started teaching classes at Oklahoma State University in 1994; the first was a 12-hour course in retirement planning. From there, he began teaching retirement principles to employees at dozens of large companies—including Lucent, Rockwell, Boeing and American Airlines. Soon he was hired as the guy that followed up after Suze Orman at business owner conventions in Tampa, Chicago and Las Vegas. From 1994 to 2004, Lyndon taught more than 15,000 people in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Florida; the firm works with clients all over the United States.
Today, Lyndon and his team provide classes on the principles of financial and retirement planning in a series of dozens of seminars held on university and corporate campuses. Topics include budgeting for beginners, financing an education, starting a business, financial strategies in divorce situations, business transition planning, retirement planning during market swings, optimizing Social Security, post-retirement drawdown strategies and many more.
Educational seminars are designed to help people understand the basic fundamentals and steps needed to attain financial success. The completion of a seminar includes a personal consultation, and Lyndon is proud that the vast majority of people who attend a seminar go on to take advantage of this one-on-one, complimentary session. “This shows a good measure of two things: the quality of the curriculum and the level of an attendee’s commitment to make smarter choices about their finances,” he says.
“After we take the time to learn how clients got where they are, their core values and their identifiable risks, then we can counsel them. We provide that next level of financial and personal education they need to help build confidence in their financial and retirement planning. We’ve done our job when families or business owners understand how they can work toward reaching their goals and creating financial independence,” he says. “We don’t lose many clients; we probably keep around 90%. We are really interested in helping families through multiple generations.”
Lyndon received a bachelor’s degree in economics from OSU. He has earned designations as a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC), which is awarded by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants, and as a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF). He is the co-author of two books, Financial Success in the Year 2000 and Beyond and Beating the Midas Curse.
In 1983, Lyndon was awarded the “legislative intern program” from Oklahoma State University’s Agriculture Department. As a junior in college, he spent six months working with Senator Gilmer Capps, Representative Bill Widener, Governor Nigh’s office and the Department of Agriculture as the liaison between the House and Senate AG committees, the Governor’s office and the Department of Agriculture for Oklahoma.
He began working for himself in 1985. “I always wanted to be independent—I wanted to be different. I am the guy that reads things others don’t read and does things others don’t do,” Lyndon says. The firm became Choice Financial Services in 1993.
Raised in western Oklahoma on a family farm, Lyndon grew up working every day. “Some days it was 6am to midnight. There were no weekends—we raised cattle, sheep and pigs. We even did wheat harvests for other farmers—we called ourselves ‘combine gypsies.’ My childhood was responsible for my work ethic, and I fundamentally understand how hard clients have had to work to accumulate what they have. We don’t wear suits around here,” Lyndon says. The 5,500+ acre farm is still managed by his brother.
Commitment is a core value to Lyndon in both his professional and personal life. He has worked with the Hugh O’Brien Foundation, which sponsors programs for teenagers. He has served as past president of the Northwest Kiwanis and maintains an active participation in Oklahoma State University alumni and Foundation events. He has four children—two boys and two girls. Son, Zach, joined the firm in 2015. Daughter, Jocelyn, is expecting the family’s first grandchild.