Friday, November 29, 2013

My Career Choice

I wanted to spend today’s post sharing about my career track. For just about six years now I have spent my career working in back and middle office operations for a couple of large and internationally known financial firms. Before my recent transition to my current employer, which took place a month ago, I weighed my options of embracing my passion for personal finance and considered a track to becoming a financial advisor.

I feel that I spent the better part of six months doing informational and formal interviews, networking and reading articles, all in order to get a proper gauge on what a career as a professional financial advisor would entail. Through this part of the process I met with some great people at Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Fifth Third Bank and ING Financial.

And in taking the time to learn about the career path, I learned that it was not an avenue that I wanted to pursue with the backing of medium to large sized institution. Now please don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of great people and advisors at the aforementioned firms that take care of their clients and approach with the heart of a teacher rather than the heart of a salesman.

But when I dug into the details I found that this career path with a larger sized firm was not for me. Without fingers pointing or names named, all I will say is that the “formal” system around breeding financial advisors focuses on generating sales rather than taking a holistic approach with helping clients. The general idea that I walked away with was that the advisor’s focus at larger sized firms is to generate new clients and grow the assets under management through volume rather than working with clients to improve their personal financial situations.

For me personal financial advising should have a holistic approach. As an advisor I would want my focus to be on helping clients see the importance of having an emergency fund, paying off all of their debt to open up monthly cash flow, consistently saving for retirement through 401ks and IRAs and having the right kinds of insurances in place, rather than moving from client to client just to beef up my reported assets under management and let a cookie cutter and “conventional” investing approach speak on my behalf.

In truth I do see working as a financial advisor in the near future. I do however I see myself opening up my own boutique firm once our household investments reach the pinnacle point in which said investments earn more annually than we make annually, which in truth is a long term goal for us that will be a decade or so in the making. This way I can run the show the way I want under my terms with a focus on improving the financial households of clients rather than building a client rolodex. 

For now I thoroughly enjoy what I do completing middle office support for traders and portfolio managers for my current employer. From my point of view I am a part of a larger team that is handling God’s money. After all the Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. The money being managed by my employer, which in name is legally owned by large institutions namely for pensions, from my perspective, belongs to God. We are collectively preserving and growing God’s money so that when it is funneled to retirees, that money is used to help seniors meet their financial needs in retirement, make donations for charitable organizations, pay for college for future generations and even more things beyond what I have mentioned here! And each and every morning as I hop off my bus and make my way to my office in the loop, I pray that God guides my heart, spirit and mind to make sound decisions as I handle His money and resources to the best of my abilities.

It’s kind of an interesting place to be. I enjoy my team and the work that I am currently doing every day and I am also excited for the future to see what life will look like after we reach the pinnacle point. It is an incredible blessing to be at this point in life and my career and with Thanksgiving being this past week, that is something I am certainly thankful for this year.

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