Why I Became a Financial Planner
Why I became a financial planner:
I was recently met with a list of interview questions by a potential client seeking a Certified Financial Planner™ professional to work with. In addition to being a couple after our hearts for their disciplined vetting process, completing the two page document offered me just the pause and reflection I needed to re-articulate my Big Why. I believe this is a constructive exercise for any business professional and I wanted to share my answer.
I became a Certified Financial Planner™ professional because I found myself dissatisfied and underwhelmed with the approach I had been introduced to when I entered the industry in 2000. Financial Services, as a whole, was much shallower in those days. I often felt very aware that financial planning was more of a tool for salespeople to uncover clients’ fears to peddle more products to address the fears.
This approach felt so out of alignment, completely lacking integrity with who I am and how I wanted to show up in the world professionally. I recognized I wasn’t wired or driven to be successful in an industry that operated this way. Financial Advisors I was surrounded by were singularly focused on investments and investment performance. Clients were over-sold with complicated products and paid big commissions. The attitude revolved around the sexy-factor of Wall Street, the prestige and lifestyle of the “Stockbroker” and the goals and risk tolerance of the Advisor was what reflected in each clients’ account, rather than the client’s risk tolerance, understanding and goals.
I made the decision to stay at this business of “helping” people make better financial decisions and have trail-blazed, with what feels like the minority of Advisors, toward a new and better way. The industry has evolved so much in the last 20 years and many of these concerns have been addressed by the regulators. These days, business is done in a way that is generally more aligned with the client and their needs. Above and beyond this measure, I believe a good planner or Advisor is very intentional about delivering on the promise of helping clients achieve their goals in a way that aligns with their goals, values, beliefs and behaviors.
I am a relationship and community builder by nature and set out to deepen the process. After going back to school to complete the coursework required for my CFP(r) certification, I developed more awareness and experience around the process and steps involved in truly comprehensive financial planning. At the same time I was feeling a driving need to realize a more consultative, real-person, infused process with a personal development approach.
Many practices are focused on financial planning and investments are an afterthought. Alternatively, many investment professionals are focused on portfolios and planning is an afterthought. What Eric and I are able to offer is a combination of a big-picture, goals and values based, relationship driven process with 20 years of investment experience, analysis, and portfolio construction that has been fine-tuned over a couple decades and through many market cycles.
Having a Finance MBA with 20 years of experience AND a Certified Financial Planner(TM) professional offers the opportunity for each person to feel heard while mapping out a systematic strategy to achieve financial life goals through tailored investment management. Not only are we passionate about offering the tools to get couples to their goals, but it is paramount that, as a couple, they’ve improved communication and understanding to offer a smoother journey toward creating the lifestyle they worked to build, together.
Investment Advisory Services offered through Moloney Securities Asset Management, LLC, Registered Investment Adviser
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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