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