Investment advisors are wont to liken their advice-giving approach to that of doctor and patient. Well,here’s an RIA who knows about bothprofessions personally: She has earned amedical degree and is a certified financial planner, too.
From Cordi Powell’s angle of vision,the main commonality between peopleworking in medicine and those dispensing financial advice is having “a heartto help others,” as she told InvestmentAdvisor in an interview.
Powell founded Favored FinancialPlanning, based in Greensboro, NorthCarolina, after serving a residency inphysical medicine and rehabilitation at the Brody School of Medicinein Greenville. But married to a physician and with three young children, shefound the couple’s separate, demandingon-call schedules at odds with family-raising and she opted to leave medicine.
In 2007, she taught financial basics
to members of her church, joined a tax
preparation firm and soon discovered
a “newfound love for personal finance
As an enrolled agent, she is feder-
ally authorized to represent taxpayers
before the IRS. Most of her clients are
middle-income African Americans, ages
50-70, with investable assets ranging
from $500,000 to $2 million.
For clients who request it, Powell,51, offers Christian financial planning,which integrates biblical principles withfinancial and investing advice, she says.
A member of the Alliance ofComprehensive Planners, which shejoined at the outset of her practice in
2011, Powell, who is compensated solelyby retainer, credits ACP and being independent with helping her avoid potential issues of diversity faced by manyadvisors of color working at, or aspiringto work at, large financial services firms.
Indeed, gender and racial diversityand inclusion are hot-button issuesfor the financial services industry. Inthe interview, Powell argues for whatshe believes is a more equitable way toscreen and hire advisors.
We recently interviewed the advisor,speaking by phone from Greensboro.She grew up in Winston-Salem, NorthCarolina, where her parents worked inthe health field: Her mother was a registered dietician; her father was employedby a genetics lab. As for daughter Cordi,her future ultimately lay in caring forthe health of people’s finances.
Here are excerpts from ourconversation:
Investment Advisor: Do you see
similarities between the world of
medicine and financial advisory?
Cordi Powell: People in medicine andfinancial advisors have a heart to helpothers. And there are also similaritiesalong the lines of having a plan andsticking to it. Being proactive with yourhealth and with your finances early [inlife] prevents [the need for] rehabilitation of your health and finances later.
You earned a medical degree and
completed your residency in physical
medicine and rehabilitation. Why did
you give up being a doctor?
It wasn’t conducive to family life. Wehave three children [who were veryyoung at the time]. My husband is aphysician [too]; so you can imagine howhectic it was, especially when we wereboth on call at the same time. Balancingfamily and work was difficult, and [asis common], I, the woman, was the onewho stayed home when a kid was sick.
Why did you choose to work in
In 2007, I started helping the AfricanAmerican community in my church
WOMEN IN WEALTH
By Jane Wollman Rusoff
Doctor-Turned-Advisor Is Discovering
New Ways to Help Clients
Cordi Powell left medicine to raise a family and found a new path,
this time assuaging financial pain.