The reason I got into this profession
Driving with my father, in his shiny silver BMW, on our way home from college orientation, he turned to me and said, “How are you going to pay for college?” The silence that followed was deafening. I was paralyzed, I had no idea. We had never discussed paying for college, or finances in general. During the three-day orientation which included signing up for classes, touring the campus, and meeting my future roommate, we never discussed the actual cost of college or how it would be covered. During that 4-hour drive home, my mind was racing as I tried to come up with a plan. How was I going to pay for this enormous bill that was now lingering over me? I went through all of my accounts to determine if I would even be able to cover the first semester. Not even close. I was numb with shock. I had been working for as long as I could remember and yet I had almost nothing to show for it. All the money I made had been spent on frivolous items and a used luxury car I couldn’t afford. My savings and checking accounts barely had a balance. I made many financial mistakes. Thankfully, I was eligible for a variety of financial aid for tuition. I accepted everything they were giving, even though I knew nothing about the loans and grants.
In hindsight, I should have realized when I was paying for my own application fees that my parents didn’t save for college. In fact, I was paying for almost all of my own living expenses, except for the roof over my head.
Since I was then responsible for paying for my school, I wanted to study something I enjoyed and more importantly, do something that would allow me to make an impact on people’s lives. When I came across the financial planning program I was hooked after my first class. It showed me there were smarter ways to make financial decisions and reach your goals. It’s allowed me to pursue a path that I love and help others avoid making the same mistakes I did.
One thing I’m doing to help the planet
Recently, I sold my car and now rely on public transportation, a bike, and ride-sharing services. I buy most of my groceries locally when possible, accompanied by a weekly trip to the farmers’ market. In my backpack, I always carry a reusable shopping bag and silverware set to reduce waste.
Outside of work, my passions include
In my free time, I enjoy cooking/eating at new restaurants, boxing, and hiking. I also enjoy volunteering for financial literacy and animal welfare causes.
One goal I’m saving for
Property in San Francisco, and continuous travel. I’ve been to 15 countries and have much more to go!
Primary way I’m advancing my career knowledge
After a recent trip to Asia, I saw the negative impacts of climate change. Ever since my trip, I have been learning more about how to make my clients’ (and my own) portfolios more sustainable. I am also learning about ways to divest from companies that do not align with clients’ values.
Additionally, I am an active member of the Financial Planning Association, and attend numerous educational events and conferences throughout the year. Aside from my continuing education as a CFP®, I make a daily effort to read financial planning articles.