Founder and financial planner,
Afflora Financial Life Planning
- Was a championship high school debate-team member.
- Self-confessed cola addict who doesn't care whether it's Coke or Pepsi.
- Has more than 50 pairs of "crazy color" socks.
From the time he was in high school, Desmond Henry knew he wanted a career in financial advice. The day after graduation, he started working at U.S. Bancorp, first on the banking side and then in investments. At the same time, he attended Washburn University, and later Kansas State University, where he received a graduate certificate in personal financial planning.
Mr. Henry earned the certified financial planner designation and then two years ago decided to start his own financial planning firm.
"To serve clients' best interests, I felt I would have to be a fee-only adviser, so I dropped all the securities licenses I had earned just a few years earlier," he said.
His firm — whose name is the acronym for "a financially fit life offers real abundance" — specializes in retirement planning and helping widows.
"We always seemed to connect; a third of my clients are widows," he said. "I like to be their advocate because too often, they get taken advantage of. It's heartbreaking. Many don't know anything about managing finances, so they lean on me."
Despite the strains of being a startup solo practitioner and juggling his duties as father to two small children and two older stepchildren, Mr. Henry teaches financial literacy to high school and college students and has given more than $15,000 over the past two years to local charities.
"Giving back is a big part of my firm culture," he said.
— Evan Cooper