Mar 29, 2015, 12:01 AM EST

First and foremost, it's not about the money

By Layton Cox

A little more than a year ago, I was calling everyone in finance I had ever met. I was drilling them with questions ranging from “How is the work-life balance?” to “How long do I have to wait to find out if I'm good at it?” Over the past year or so, I've discovered a few things no one warned me of. For everyone who was in my shoes a year ago, these tips are for you.IT'S NOT ABOUT THE MONEYI had heard countless stories of the young gun hitting it big by landing an “elephant” client. I expected to make two or three times my starting salary by the end of year one. Spoiler alert: It doesn't happen.Don't get into this business for the money. Get into this business to help people.(More from Layton: What I didn't expect about being an adviser)It will be amazing to learn how uninformed the majority of American investors are. You'll be even more amazed at how idiotic your peers in the industry sound. As an... Read full post

Mar 29, 2015, 12:01 AM EST

Tedious work and quarterbacking ultimately lead to grateful clients

By Sam Honey

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... Read full post

Dec 14, 2014, 12:01 AM EST

A whirlwind of change — transitioning into the financial planning industry

By Kelly McNerney

The last six months have been full of transition. The first wave of change was graduating from William Paterson University in New Jersey and accepting a job as an associate financial adviser with FJY Financial in Virginia. My emotions were mixed; I was thrilled to be offered an amazing job at a prestigious firm, but I was nervous about leaving my family and friends to move to a new, unknown city. Although it was bittersweet, I am thrilled to say that I am more than satisfied with my decision. I do miss my friends and family and value the time I am able to visit them, but I love this new place I now call home. I am lucky to be working at a firm with incredible mentors who have been teaching me more than I could have even imagined; I have been given responsibilities most recent graduates do not have.The next period of change occurred three months in, when I was no longer in the training phrase. I transitioned from shadowing and training... Read full post

Dec 14, 2014, 12:01 AM EST

The more I learn about planning and taxes, the more interesting the job gets

By Treavor Dodsworth

During the past five months at NorthWest Financial, I have learned a remarkable amount about all aspects of financial planning, from the technical side of concepts and strategies to the relationship essentials of connecting with clients and fellow employees. I have enjoyed my time very much and hope to continue working in this industry.I am studying for my second of four certified public accountant tests. Once I finish the CPA tests, I will have the Series 65, insurance and certified financial planner tests waiting for me. It is an incredible amount of studying. But since I am working as a financial planner, I am able to apply the material to real-world situations. This allows me to see how the material actually helps individuals and makes the studying — dare I say — fun.The firm has tasked me with a variety of projects. I have made multiple templates: new client bill, tax data worksheets, etc. The firm also has had me... Read full post