For Michael Blumreich, finance is bred in the bone.
The 23-year-old graduate of the Department of Personal Financial Planning at the University of Missouri has a father who has spent his career in mergers and acquisitions and an uncle who is an accountant. They both had a major influence on Mr. Blumreich's decision to major in finance and banking when he entered college, but his move to a concentration in financial planning was his own initiative.
“My initial jump into finance was inspired by my family to a large degree, but my switch to a financial planning major was my idea,” said Mr. Blumreich, who has re¨turned to his hometown of Springfield, Mo., where he will join BKD Wealth Advisors LLC.
Indeed, his father initially was dismayed by the move until his son filled him in on the career prospects for young advisers. Mr. Blumreich said a career fair at the university opened his eyes to the opportunities in financial planning, and he decided to switch majors after his third year. He said the mix of math and finance with the personal side of a financial planning relationship is what attracted him to the field.
“I love finance, but it was the human element that drew me into this,” Mr. Blumreich said. “Financial planning combines hard financial skills with the human element, and I like the combination.”
He plans to hit the ground running at BKD, where he interned last summer, working on financial plans for clients. He said he gravitates toward the client relationship.
“This used to be such a heavy sales-oriented industry,” Mr. Blumreich said. “I think there will always be a sales aspect to the job, but I see the industry moving away from that now.”
Along with his internship experience at BKD, Mr. Blumreich participated in the university's student-run financial counseling service for university students and faculty. Serving as a counselor for a semester and as president of the program for the past year, he met with more than 500 graduating students for exit counseling on how to deal with student loans, budgeting and establishing a financial plan.
“It was, hands down, the most positive practical experience I've had so far. I can take it directly to my new job,” Mr. Blumreich said.
While he is looking forward to getting his certified financial planner designation and working at BKD's Springfield office as a fee-based financial adviser, the Midwest native also wouldn't mind moving to the mountains at some point.
“I have my sights set on Denver. I'd like to head up an office for the firm there,” he said. His ultimate goal is to “be in management and work with higher-profile client building.”
BKD, which launched in 1999, currently has seven offices across the Midwest and manages more than $2 billion in assets. “With the growth I see at the firm, I think it's possible. I plan on being here a long time.”