You practice what you know, reasons Batiste, the firm's founder and president.
And Batiste knows the military firsthand - he joined the Air Force as an enlisted member and retired as an officer. Now he focuses on helping military families balance financial priorities with life and career planning.
"I take the approach that financial fitness is important for service members and their families, and identify it as a major factor in their overall military readiness," Batiste says.
There are a number of financial planners who make a specialty of counseling military personnel. Like Batiste, most are former service members who see their work as a calling - they deeply want to help others who may be less savvy. They understand the stress that can plague those who are ready to stand in harm's way, and want to help to ease their burdens.
For Randy Gantt, a financial advisor with Artifex Financial in Oakwood, Ohio, "Ninety percent of my clients are either in the military or civilian employees of the government, which is where most of the military retire to after leaving the service."
The client roster of Ana Torres, a financial advisor at First Command Financial Services in Fairfax, Va., is also weighted heavily with service people.
"Over 95% of my practice is still serving, with the bulk of the rest being military retired," she says. "I am in a military family myself. My husband and I are majors in the Army Reserves and National Guard, respectively."
Planners who specialize in serving such clients must be knowledgeable about the distinctive benefit programs that the military offers, and they tend to use the language of military training in selling their services.
"They're taught mission first - mission readiness - so I tell them they also have to think about financial readiness," explains Steve Repak, principal at Repak Financial Services in Charlotte, N.C.
"Deployment will be that much more stressful if they're worried about money - food, car payments - so get the finances taken care of first," he says.
Among the details that these planners must master are the Uniformed Services Thrift Savings Plan, comparable to civilian 401(k) plans; advice on starting second careers upon separation or retirement; and education benefits and college saving options for members and their dependents.
"I make the proper structuring and integrating of these benefits into their financial planning a requisite," Batiste says.
From experience, he knows that many investment choices pitched to military members carry high fees, commissions and surrender charges. Batiste notes that he has met service members who have been advised not to contribute to the Thrift Savings Plan and have instead plowed their savings into investment products with very high commissions.
While on active duty, Batiste says, "I'd often discuss my comrade's investment portfolios or the lack thereof and motivated many on a path to financial freedom. After helping several colleagues attain financial stability, I decided to follow my passion."
At Artifex, which is a part of the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors, Gantt takes advantage of his experience: 15 years in the National Guard and approaching two years in the Air Force Reserves. "It's easier for me to speak with military people - I understand the compensation, the benefits and the pension," he says. "I can say, 'I know what your paycheck looks like.'"
When he speaks to younger soldiers, Gantt highlights the benefits a military career offers. "When they put in their 20 satisfactory years, they'll be entitled - as will their spouses - to health care for the rest of their lives," he says.
But newly enlisted members are not as assured that they will get this benefit, Gantt notes. "They realize that the government cannot continue to pay this huge pension and free health care."
Many soldiers and airmen are young, and some are quite unsophisticated, observes Repak, the advisor in Charlotte. "I served, and I know that most were like me - we don't come from a money background," he says.
At one speaking engagement, for instance, he encountered a service member who thought that, as long as he had checks in his checkbook, he had money in his checking account.
Repak, who spent 12 years in the Army, says he "racked up $32,000 in credit card debt because part of the coping mechanism after a deployment like Afghanistan is to spend money as a stress release."