Craig Cowles

Personal Finance, Retirement, Small Business
“Craig Cowles, founding partner of Mergent Group, is solely focused on his clients' needs and understanding of their individual financial objectives.”

Mergent Group

Job Title:

Founding Partner


Craig has been serving his clients for over a decade and is a founding partner of Mergent Group. As a CFP® professional, he believes that this symbol stands out as a mark for providing the best possible financial advice for clients.

Craig came from the aviation industry, which he believes is very similar to the principles of planning since going from one place to another, especially long journeys, require detailed planning and resources so that the destination can be reached with adequate reserve.

Attention to detail, good listening skills and great empathy are symbols of appreciation by his clients. He is effectively supported by a team of specialists in the investment and administration areas whose teamwork and professionalism help him build long-term relationships with his growing client base and provide excellent customer service.

Craig is a proud recipient of Excelsior College's Bachelor of Science degree and the University of Georgia's Graduate Certificate of Financial Planning. His focus is on professional Aviators, Doctors and health practitioners, and special needs families. He is an active member of the Dallas Chapter of the Financial Planning Association, and regularly gives talks to non-profit groups such as the YMCA and AARP.

Craig has been a professional aviator for over 25 years obtaining his first license in High School, and has been a member of the Aircraft Owner's and Pilots Association since 1986. He has been passionate about aviation his entire life and if you ask will be happy to tell you about aviation. He is currently rated as an Airline Transport Pilot, and has qualified on the Boeing 737, 727, Learjet 60, and Challenger 604/605. He has operated as a Captain, and an Pilot Instructor with examiner authority (simulator) for the FAA, European, and Hong Kong aviation authorities.

Craig is happily married to his lovely wife Rene and has two great sons. Away from the business, Craig enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, flying, and participates in the Dad's club of his son's school.


BS, Interdisciplinary Studies, Excelsior College

Assets Under Management:

$30 million

CRD Number:



Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. For hyperlinks to FINRA and SIPC, please refer to the contact info section above. Investment advice offered through Mergent Group, a registered investment advisor and separate entity from LPL Financial.

 Third party posts found on this profile do not reflect the views of LPL Financial and have not been reviewed by LPL Financial as to accuracy or completeness.

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    Career / Compensation, Insurance
What is the difference between the death benefit and cash value of an insurance policy?
75% of people found this answer helpful

The death benefit is the amount the insurance company pays at the death of the insured. In a term policy, it is normally a fixed number. In a policy that accumulates a cash balance, it can fluctuate based on the design. Understanding the basics of insurance is difficult at best, and normally life insurance should be considered in most cases an income replacement policy. In other cases, it is used for legacy and estate tax uses, and to fund buy/sell arrangements. It can be term or permanent, meaning for the lifetime of the insured in the latter case. So what is the cash value? It is the excess amount of premium paid to the policy that is above the normal expenses found in the policy. The cash value is designed to help "pay up" the premium for future years if there is enough. The cash will accumulate at an interest rate set by the company and can fluctuate. There are also other ways the excess balance can accumulate interest via variable or index accounts. Depending on the policy, the actual cost of the policy is the outstanding death benefit. For example, in a cash value policy, if the death benefit is $100,000, the cash value is $20,000 (assuming the cash builds inside the policy), then the amount of actual insurance is $80,000. So, the costs are based on the actual insurance the company has to pay at death. If you died, essentially the company pays the $20,000 to your beneficiaries (your interest) and the $80,000 comes from insurance. This is how most polices work. It can be confusing, but an educated planner will fully analyze your policy if there are any questions. I can do this fairly easily.

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    Debt, Personal Finance
Why is paying off debt always the biggest priority to advisors?
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    Financial Planning
How should I prioritize inherited money?
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March 2017
    Estate Planning
If my husband and I have a living trust, why would he also need a separate will?
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    Retirement, 401(k), IRAs
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