Clark Harris arrives at The Insight Group Inc. in Salt Lake City at about 6 a.m. most weekday mornings to squeeze in some studying before his busy workday begins.
Mr. Harris, 25, plans to take the certified financial planner exam in November. He was one of the first graduates of Utah Valley University's personal-financial-planning program in December 2012.
Almost immediately, he started at The Insight Group Inc., a 20-year-old independent advisory firm, as a planning specialist.
“So far, the job has matched expectations,” Mr. Harris said. “There is a steep learning curve.”
The greatest challenge is needing to learn quickly, including the many processes the firm follows, he said.
He's most proud of being able to handle more of the client review preparation work for advisers in recent months.
Mr. Harris has learned to dive into the planning process, analyze the client's situation and pull out planning suggestions and different plan strategies for the adviser to consider going over with clients.
For instance, Mr. Harris may suggest that the adviser discuss donor-advised funds because the client seemed charitably inclined based on notes from last year's review.
“The challenge is going to the next level and developing proper and accurate recommendations,” Mr. Harris said.
Mr. Harris said he's not exactly sure what will change for him after he attains the CFP mark, but he expects that it will show the firm and clients that he's dedicated to finding success in this industry.
“What drew me to this role is the Insight Group's thoroughness and how deep we dive for the client,” Mr. Harris said. “We dive holistically on every situation, on every review.”