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The reason I got into this profession

My entry into the financial planning world came more from a place of panic than a career ambition.

My partner came home one day and expressed the desire for us to own a house. As one of those people labeled frugal at a young age, my instinctive response was, “Are you crazy?” My meager editor’s pay and my partner’s constantly changing job did not paint the portrait of homeowners as it existed in my mind. But the argument she made for a home and the thought of that freedom did start to grow on me. So with much trepidation I started to look at how we could accomplish this lofty goal, which meant not only getting serious about the small investments we had squirreled away but also facing the fears and responsibility of making larger financial decisions. What if I got it wrong?

I did my research. I crunched the numbers. But I was still scared to venture into this homeowner thing. What I needed was advice. What I found instead was a bunch of pitches for products that I didn’t think I needed. I wasn’t looking for a cure-all product—I was looking for a guide. Panic set in.

Sleepless nights led to late-night readings on topics all over the financial spectrum. As the books on my shelves changed from editing to finance and as my enthusiastic discussions on the subject led friends and family to seek my advice, I started to see that others had the same panic I felt regardless of their income status. I began to think seriously about a change in direction. Could I become the guide I had been looking for?

When I came across the concept of fee-only financial advice, I realized that I had finally found a place in finance that felt right to me. I went back to school and earned my Certified Financial Planner™ designation.

It is my belief that financial planning is for everyone. My goal is to demystify the process and to help others work through the panic as well as the financial goals unique to them. I pride myself in being the guide to my clients that seemed so elusive to me years ago.

One thing I’m doing to help the planet

When most people think of a walk on the beach, they think of a peaceful stroll on the sand. I think of it as a time to clean. I walk the beach with garbage bags and a trash picker. Protecting our waters, conserving our water and recycling are big themes in my life.

Outside of work my passions include

I’m a sports fanatic, water bug and nature seeker. I love watching my Chicago Bears, Missouri Tigers and IndyCar. I am involved in sailboat racing and on the boards of yachting organizations in Santa Monica Bay. My parents were in education, and with summers off my childhood life was spent camping. Out in nature with a tent is still where I find myself most at peace.

One goal I’m saving for

Travel. In my twenties I spent a year wearing a backpack through the U.S. and Europe, and my need to explore new places continues from that experience.

The primary way I’m advancing my career knowledge

As an advisor I feel I can never stop learning as aspects within financial planning change all the time. I do this through conferences, periodicals and the like. As a career goal I do find myself drawn to learning how individual personalities approach the topic of money and life goals. I want to be able to communicate in a manner that makes sense to my clients, and understanding how we relate to money is a topic that continues to pique my interest.


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