Describe your current position and what led to your job.
Managing Partner and CEO of Financial Principles. One of the major turning points that led me to my current position was an internship I had at UD in 1992. I answered an ad that was posted in the library for an intern to work at Raymond James. That internship clearly pointed me in the right direction for my career and shortly thereafter helped open many doors that led me into this career (the only career I have been associated with since graduating UD in 1993).
What has been the most rewarding/challenging moment in your career?
The most rewarding moments of my career fortunately have occurred several times over as it is when I can see the work we do for our clients become reality. I have worked with many of my clients for over 16 years, I have grown with them, seen them send their children to college, buy homes, start businesses, and retire with comfort all because of the advice and planning we did together.
The most challenging moment of my career is probably dealing with the financial markets crisis in 2008. It was a test of our conviction in the advice and tools we recommend.
What is the best career advice you have received?
Over the years, I like to think I have been very fortunate to “stand on the shoulders of giants” in my industry and truly learn from many of the greats. Of the many valuable lessons and advice I have been given, is probably the one that sticks out the most, is to do everthing I recommend to my clients for my own personal financial planning. The point is how can one speak with conviction and recommend a financial strategy unless they have a vested interest and can speak with experience.
What would you recommend to someone interested in working in your field?
I would suggest an internship as a great way to verify this is a career they are most interested in. If at that point, it seems like it is something he/she wants to continue to pursue, I suggest giving it a full two year commitment. The first two years can be a real test of perserverance, but unless you are willing to commit the two years, than you’re truly not giving this career a fair shot.
What skills are necessary or what prepared you the most for your career?
Above and beyond having a general sense of the financial markets and world economy, it is even more crucial to have a very high level of self-motivation, empathy, be a great listener, and a genuine desire to help others. The technical aspect of our industry comes in time.
What professional associations have aided in your professional development?
The Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), The American College, and Financial Services Institute (FSI)
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