Director of Financial Planning, Financial Planner
Director of Financial Planning, Financial Planner
The Sum is here to simplify your financial life. We provide full service financial planning, investment management, and tax-preparation services for a flat fee. - Mike Bard, CFP®, CWS®
Fee-Only financial planner located in The Woodlands, TX, serving clients locally and across the country
Mike Bard is a fee-only financial planner located in The Woodlands, TX. The Sum provides comprehensive financial planning, investment management, and tax preparation services to clients at a flat fee. Our goal is to organize, grow and protect client assets through life’s transitions. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, Mike Bard is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.
Come see what makes us different. Give us a call or send us an email and let's get your plan started.
Mike Bard, CFP® - Director of Financial Planning, Financial Planner
As an advisor, Mike provides wealth management for families, offering everyday financial advice that helps them reach their goals. With a “planning first” mindset that considers their holistic financial wellbeing, Mike focuses solely on what’s best for his clients. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, this fiduciary approach means everything to him, and he strives to be the person his clients can trust and rely on through difficult times and joyful milestones. By building strong relationships centered on his clients’ needs and desires, he hopes to one day leave the industry better than he found it.
Mike serves a wide range of clients, and he has specific expertise in helping people enter, transition, or live in the independence of retirement. His goal is to educate each client about their situation and options so they feel comfortable making wise decisions. In a time when everyone rushes from one place to the next, Mike prides himself in spending ample time with the families he serves. He never overbooks his calendar, and he asks open-ended questions that give his clients a chance to contemplate what they really want from life. When his clients don’t know what they want, he spends time brainstorming with them, helping them imagine different scenarios until they can articulate their goals with confidence.
To Mike, true financial planning isn’t about numbers; it’s about connecting with families and helping them realize their goals and objectives. As such, he develops close relationships with his clients, and he considers the people he works with his family. By spending focused time developing their customized plans, he aims to put his clients in a better position when they leave his office than when they came in. His greatest satisfaction is seeing his clients achieve all they set out to accomplish—whether that’s retiring early, taking more trips with their grandkids, or selling their business for a substantial profit. Mike joined the industry in 1996, and after years of working with people he calls friends and family, he says it’s been a very fast 26 years.
History & Education
As a boy, Mike grew up working in his dad’s optometry office, where he noticed his father making friends with his patients and their families. Mike noticed how much time his dad spent getting to know people, talking about their hobbies and what they wanted from life—and he knew that one day, he wanted to connect with people in the same way.
In 1996, while helping his father advertise his new practice at a convention center in Dallas, Mike met a financial professional who introduced him to the business. Mike was intrigued, so he got his insurance license that year. Later, after talking with a friend who worked at Fidelity, Mike submitted his resume and joined the company in 1998, where he worked as an advisor until December of 2021.
Mike attended the University of North Texas and has his bachelor’s degree in biology. In 2003, he earned his CFP® and an MBA with an emphasis in financial planning. He became a Certified Wealth Strategist in 2017.
Mike is passionate about giving back to the younger generation and helping other advisors enter the industry with a strong foundation. He is part of a mentorship program through the CFP® Board, where he mentors younger advisors as they complete their CFP®. Mike hopes that through his guidance, he can encourage other advisors to focus on their clients’ needs and adopt a similar planning-first model. He also performs pro bono financial planning for families living with cancer, and he’s been a member of the Dallas Financial Planning Association for several years.
Outside of work, Mike loves to spend time with his wife Eybeth and their two boys, Jonathan and Joshua. Their oldest, Jonathan, currently lives in Huntsville and attends Sam Houston State University. Joshua, now in 4th grade, is preparing to get his scuba-diving certification. Mike is a certified dive master, and as someone who loves spending time outdoors with his family, he’s incredibly excited to have a “partner in crime” since his son fell in love with snorkeling during a family trip to Hawaii. Mike also enjoys hiking, snow skiing, fly fishing, and regular summer trips to Colorado with his family. They try to travel as much as possible, and Mike’s goal is to visit all 50 states (he’s currently at 43). As a pilot (yes, he and Michael have flown together!), he loves how flying allows him and his family to be together without wasting time on the road.
Mike’s wife loves keeping the family active. He and Eybeth have done several half marathons, 10Ks, and fun runs together and have also climbed Mt. Elbert and Mt. Washington. In 2007, he also started competing in triathlons. He spends many of his weekend hours swimming, biking and running, and his goal is to complete at least one more triathlon in the spring of 2022 after he turns 50. He also completed an Ironman in Florida with Marc in 2009.
Sports have always been a big part of Mike’s life; he played football for the University of North Texas in the early 90s, and now much of his time is spent watching his sons play soccer and coaching Josh’s soccer team. With one son in college and one who’s just 10 years old, Mike says the years go by fast, and he cherishes every moment he gets to spend with his boys.
All in all, Mike strives to put God first in everything he does, and he and his family spend much of their time in Bible studies and participating in their local church.
Fun Facts About Mike
What’s your favorite book or the book that has most impacted your life?
- Give and Take by Adam Grant. It’s about how you get more in the long run from giving rather than taking—whether that’s from people, opportunities, or conversations
If you had to eat just one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- Anything my wife prepares—if you want to stay fit, don’t marry a phenomenal cook! Everything she cooks is fantastic.
If you could choose any superpower to have, what would it be?
- Probably the ability to help more people somehow, though I don’t know what that would look like—I just want the ability to affect more positive change in the world.
What’s your favorite quote or saying?
- “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back.” — Harvey MacKay
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
- Either an optometrist or a football player. One summer when I worked in my dad’s office, I was filling in for someone, and when they came back, they said, “Your week is up; go home and enjoy the summer.” The next Monday, I was sitting in my bed crying because I wanted to go to work with my dad!
Do you have a random talent or hobby?
- I’d say completing multiple Ironmans and being able to fly a plane is pretty unique!
The Sum is a Registered Investment Advisor firm located in The Woodlands, TX. We provide fee-only financial planning, investment management, and tax-preparation services.
The Sum is our answer to years in the financial services industry that haven’t felt quite right. The industry can be complicated and isn’t always client friendly [In some cases, misaligned compensation structures drive advisor behavior]. Motives of companies and advisors don’t always align with those of their clients. Advisors, however, have a duty to serve those who put their trust and their family’s wealth in their hands. At The Sum, we have a perspective that our work is more than a duty, it is a privilege. We’ve taken on the challenge of providing a better place for advice; a better place for you. So if you’re tired of status-quo, give us a call, send us an email and let’s get your plan started
Fee-Only, Fiduciary, Independent: Three Important Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Financial Advisor.
- Comprehensive Financial Planning
- Retirement Income Planning
- Investment Management
- College Education Planning
- Tax Planning
- Retirees and Near Retirees
- Growing Families
- Business Owners and Executives
- Sudden Money Situations
- Novice Investors
- In-Office Meetings
- Virtual Meetings
- Clearly Defined Fees
- No Product Sales
- Complimentary Initial Consultation
Professional Designations & Affiliations
Mike Bard is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional - Click for Verification
CFP® professionals are held to strict ethical standards to ensure financial planning recommendations are in your best interest. What’s more, a CFP® professional must acquire several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients and pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam before they can use the CFP® designation.
Mike Bard is a is a Certified Wealth Strategist® (CWS)
The Certified Wealth Strategist® utilizes a blended learning approach that includes instructor-led training, 13 Wealth Management Issues study guides, online mastery exams, conversation skill builders and eLessons. The learning experience culminates with a Capstone Project: a written document demonstrating a sustainable framework which applies the new knowledge and skills to the practitioner’s business. The program provides the knowledge, the practice management formula, and the critical client interaction skills to create and build a dynamic Wealth Advisory practice that works effectively with complex client issues.
Contact Mike Bard
4526 Research Forest Dr
The Woodlands, TX 77381