Erik Milamage 34

Financial planner, TrustCore Financial Inc.

I am an Idealist

40 Under 40
40 Under 40

I am a Leader

40 Under 40
Leaders

I am a Trailblazer

Trail Blazers

I am an Entrepreneur

40 Under 40
Entrepreneurs

I am a Visionary

40 Under 40
Visionaries

I am an Idealist

40 Under 40
Idealists

Meet the Leaders

Whether in their own firms or in their communities, these young people are leading the charge toward innovation in financial planning, bringing new opportunities to advisers and clients alike. Here, they share the best leadership advice they’ve received in their careers.

Meet the Trailblazers

This group doesn’t subscribe to groupthink. They are spearheading new ways of practicing and delivering financial advice — in some cases reaching populations previously considered unprofitable to serve. We ask them about the most unique and unusual ideas they’ve had.

Meet the Entrepreneurs

In addition to helping clients reach their financial goals, some in the advice industry face the challenge of running a business or a team. Others have started companies to support this pursuit. These young people are flourishing amid the balancing act — and some got an early start.

Meet the Visionaries

It’s not about what is, but what will be — and what can be — the future of the financial planning industry for this group of forward-looking advisers, educators and executives. Their insights pull the rest of the profession into the next stratum.

Meet the Idealists

Life experiences shape our ideals, especially for these young professionals who see challenges in the advice industry and the world — and set out to meet them. They also have words of wisdom for the next generation.

About Erik

When Erik Milam first learned as a young child he had cerebral palsy, doctors told him he would never be able to climb stairs without clinging to the railing.

Loved seeing Trey Healy rock against child abuse last night. Very moving show for a great cause! @treyhealy http://t.co/Bef7l2oBETSaturday, Aug 16, 2014 7:01AM @erikmilam

But that didn’t stop him from playing on a championship high school football team, and it didn’t stop him a few weeks ago from running in a 5K road race.

Mr. Milam, a financial planner at TrustCore Financial, also had such a severe stutter as a child that he couldn’t even answer the phone.

These days, as board president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of United Cerebral Palsy, he regularly gives speeches about overcoming obstacles.

“I’ve done some things in my life that people told me I’d never be able to do, but growing up and having some obstacles to overcome has made me a stronger person,” he said. “That’s why I love what I do, because I view doing financial planning as a way to help people overcome their obstacles and get to their goals.”

Mr. Milam’s first taste of the financial services industry came during a summer internship at an insurance company while he was still in college.

“The internship helped me realize I didn’t want to be in a job that was based on a product; I wanted to be focused on the client,” he said. “When I started taking some of the pre-requisite financial planning classes, I realized I didn’t know enough to be doing what I was doing during that summer internship. It really rocked my world.”

Mr. Milam has used that experience, as well as those in his personal life, to build a book of business based on holistic financial planning. A certified financial planner and registered life planner, his words to clients and prospects on his company’s website proclaim: “My clients understand that I provide them with more than just financial guidance, but aim to help them establish a life of greater personal satisfaction and well-being.”

— Jeff Benjamin

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  • Jason Miller

    Director of financial planning — Western U.S., BMO Private Bank

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Fast Facts

  • Guilty pleasures: smoked chicken wings, college football and zero-turn lawn mower
  • He was adopted
  • Marketing plan is virtually 100% based on referrals