We’ve had many ups and owns as a country and in our business over the lastyear, but one thing is certain: the resiliency and adaptability of our profession.It has been great to see advisors step upto lead. As important is recognizing others — growing numbers who are optingto join the advisory ranks — who want toimpact the profession.
In highlighting this, I want to sharea story about one of my University ofGeorgia students, Anna Schermerhorn,who aspires to do great things in ourprofession.
Anna is the winner of the 2020New Planner Recruiting TuitionReimbursement Scholarship. The selection committee, made up of GeoffreyBrown, CEO of NAPFA, Michael Kitces,founder of Kitces.com and XYPN andmyself, were pleased to award her$3,000 towards the cost of training tobecome a certified financial planner.
Coming from a military family, Annamoved around frequently while growing up. During that time she was able towitness firsthand how the lack of personal and financial wellbeing negativelyimpacted others. Focusing on the concept of wellbeing, she initially plannedto be a high school nutrition teacher.But after watching those in that profession, Anna realized the medical fieldwasn’t for her.
In an effort to find something thataffects all areas of someone’s life, notonly the health component, she cameacross financial planning through a family acquaintance.
Fortunately, this person helped her
gain a better understanding of the ben-
efits a career as a financial planner
provides. A relationship-focused per-
son, Anna thought it was a great fit.
FINDING HER VOICE
Unfortunately, several people triedto dissuade her because they did notthink she was cut out for it. Insteadof being disheartened, she said thosecomments motivated and pushedher — and helped her gain tremendoussuccess already in a career that has yetto begin.
Anna has seen firsthand first-handthe ravages of the lack of a financialsafety net. In 2008 her father lost hisjob, which was an anxious time for thefamily. Although highly educated, herparents did not have a financial planner(and still do not due to their distrust ofthe industry).
One of Anna’s goals is to change that
negative perspective of financial plan-
ning professionals. She equates much
of it to a lack of unified identity, high-
lighting that we do not have a standard
definition of the various roles, such as
financial planning, financial planner,
and significant confusion surrounding
the various business and compensation
structures. She wants to help shape the
profession to build a unified identity to
increase the amount of trust in advisory
Anna has secured a summer internship with a local fee-only financialplanning firm and plans to continue hereducation after her expected graduationin December 2021 by pursuing a Mastersin Financial Planning with an emphasisin financial therapy.
Excited about the possibilities her
future profession can provide her, Anna
shared what she is seeking from employ-
ers when she begins her job search:
• A culture that matches her mantra
of “Have fun, facilitate connection
and promote wellbeing.”
• A midsized RIA firm that is focused
on financial planning first and that
provides a high level of service to
families, individuals, and small
• The opportunity to work with clients. She is a self-described “frontporch person” and would love toroll up her sleeves and get in thetrenches early in a support capacity, then work her way up to a moresenior role.
Also, she said one of her goals a fewyears into her career is to start bringingin one client per month. She’s confidentshe can achieve it due to her preferencefor front stage activities and a commitment to serving her clients at the highestlevel possible.
Congratulations, Anna, we are excited to have you in our profession!
Caleb Brown is co-founder and CEO ofNew Planner Recruiting and hosts TheNew Planner Podcast which you find at
THE NEW SCHOOL
By Caleb Brown
Through the Eyes of the Next Generation
Youthful exuberance can remind us of the importance of our profession,
and how it can improve.