"The most important

thing is human interaction."

Jonathan%20J.%20Robertson

Jonathan J. Robertson

Jonathan J. Robertson34

Financial adviser, Abacus Planning Group Inc.

Fast Facts

  • Youngest member of the Chairman's Council for the Fiduciary Institute.
  • Wanted to be a veterinarian until he realized he had a weak stomach and was allergic to cats.
  • Owns a rescued redbone coonhound, named Belle.

Jonathan J. Robertson's passion for financial planning led to getting a lot of letters after his name. But his advice to those coming up in the profession, ironically, is not to be too concerned about all those letters.

Mr. Robertson started out in financial planning and took a law degree because he thought it would make him a better tax planner – tax planning requires extensive reading of IRS legal rulings. Then he went on to get his LL.M. in taxation. "It makes you a whole lot of fun at cocktail parties," he joked.

But your passion for your profession isn't measured by degrees he said. "A lot of younger people aim for this certificate or that one, and sometimes that's good – but sometimes you need to focus more on things that won't have a certificate when you're done with it," Mr. Robertson said.

The biggest thing that doesn't come with a certificate: managing client relations. "The most important thing is the human interaction – how to deliver advice to make it more likely that clients will follow it."

Mr. Robertson is using his experience to mentor younger advisers. Given that he currently oversees more than $1 million in firm revenue, they would be wise to listen.

– John Waggoner