It's hard to believe almost a year has passed since I joined Plancorp. New opportunities for growth and learning have presented themselves every day. At times, I've risen to the occasion, and other times I've found myself short of the mark.
Through it all, the experience has been very enjoyable. It is a blessing to work in an environment with people who are genuinely concerned for clients and their progress. I can't recall many meetings in which the client hasn't expressed sincere gratitude for what Plancorp has been able to help them accomplish.
(More from Sam: Variety of tasks, client issues makes each day instructive)
Recently, the main challenge I was grappling with was the certified financial planner exam, which I took this month. Preparation for this exam was a real test of commitment and discipline (I find my family infinitely more enjoyable than AMT calculations). Through the occupied nights and weekends, my wife was extremely supportive and motivating, making sure I stayed on task and got the most out of my time with the exam and with my son, Henry.
My eyes have been opened to how much of a team effort financial planning involves. It takes a collection of CPAs, attorneys and other professionals to provide holistic financial planning. I enjoy being in the position of quarterback (something I'm not athletically qualified to do) and orchestrating the movements of these various experts to accomplish the ultimate goal of the client's success and security.
I've also learned a great deal about the need at times just to "grind it out.” I admit that many tasks on a day-to-day basis are not the most exciting things to do. Scanning through old meeting logs or trying to format pages of Excel data is really ... boring. Despite the tedium, I usually can appreciate that the information we ultimately gain from these small tasks is foundational to the appropriate recommendation.
One of the great things about Plancorp is that I genuinely feel they are making an investment in me as a professional and as a person. They've taken an interest in my family's life and are always asking about my wife and son. The firm has provided me with training opportunities, conferences and one-on-one mentoring with some of the founders of the company.
By far the most rewarding experiences have come when I get to see clients experience the “aha” moment after we've helped them understand how to assist their children, save for their own retirement or maximize their gifts to charity. I am glad that I get to do what I've always wanted to do: help people live better lives.
Sam Honey is a planning associate on Plancorp's wealth management team.