Best way to get started: 2nd career, good contacts, financially stable

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Jun 20, 2010 9:44 am

I have been thinking about FP as a 2nd career for some time now.  I am a municipal govt. employee who will be vested in 4-years; I also have a decent nest egg and a high-income earning wife.  I've tried the PT route, but no one is hiring; the next step I was thinking is  to sign-up for the CFP course and take the S65 on my own.  As far as formal education is concerned, I have a masters degree in a non-finance related course.  For someone who is 4-years out from a full-time FP career, what other steps should I take?  I'm in the New York area, btw.

Thanks

Jun 20, 2010 3:25 pm

imagine telling a client that being an advisor is your part time/2nd career. It isn't something a client wants to hear. If this is something you want to pursue then do it full time. That isn't a guarantee for success, but going at it part time will guarantee failure.

both feet into the pool or bust!

Jun 20, 2010 4:00 pm

Just study all you can on your own while you are working the next 4 years.  If you have the time and the drive, go ahead and take the CFP.  I am not sue if you need to be associated with a firm to do that, but I don't think so since I am sure they are willing to take anyones money.  You don't want to start this p/t now, just wait until you can retire.  Do research on firms you may want to work for and build some contacts with managers now and get their advice since they will be hiring you.

Jun 29, 2010 10:22 am

For me I think you can take it while having the other, that's if you can carry them both. But if you can't you must think very well, thoroughly, so that you won't regret later. Choose the best that you think. The one that you like or the one that's better or the one where you may excel. I agree with the above post that you better make some reviews from other firms and get some advice.

Jul 1, 2010 11:56 am

I agree clients will not hire you if you prefer this job as part time. Normally they like individuals who are 100 percent focused on their job. I have been in this kind of position so many times where in my clients would ask me to leave my primary job and focus more on my job with them (which is part time only). Their main concern is my productivity if they see that you have a lot of potential then they will definitely make you a great offer. But in my case I gave up all of my part time jobs and currently focusing on my primary job.

Jul 1, 2010 3:13 pm

Get the CFP, start your own RIA and begin by doing financial plans part-time.  Since there is no income hurdle for you, you can start very slowly.  You can begin by doing "plans" for lower-income/younger folks that just need some help.  There is a big demand for it, believe it or not.  However, that won't pay you a lot.  A young couple, say 35 years old, a lot of debt, average income.  They need financial direction.  Charge $500-1,000  for a basic plan.  Don't get too much into investment management until you leave your job, unles someone really needs it (most people won't take a part-timer seriously for investment management).  And consider a TAMP program or some type of model program. 

Upside:

You will have "4 years of experience" to market when you leave your full-time job instead of ZERO.

You will have 4 years of practice.

You will know whether you really love the job or not.

You will have some clients.

You can begin marketing to higher-end clients when you retire your other job.

You will know your cost/income structure.

Downside:

Juggling two careers.

Perception that you are not "for real".

People not taking you seriously.

Jul 7, 2010 10:40 am

[quote=B24]You can begin by doing "plans" for lower-income/younger folks that just need some help.  There is a big demand for it, believe it or not.  However, that won't pay you a lot.  A young couple, say 35 years old, a lot of debt, average income.  They need financial direction.  Charge $500-1,000  for a basic plan.  [/quote]

Do you pretty much need to have the CFP to write financial plans for clients? And how, for example, would you acquire a client like the young couple you mentioned?

Jul 7, 2010 1:20 pm

You do not need your CFP to wrtie plans.  In fact, I don't believe you need ANYTHING to write financial plans, assuming you are not making investment recommendations (which would require the 66 or 63/65 I think).  However, having a CFP would be important for both your own education (if you aer brand new to the business), as well as client perception/marketing.  Also, having the license (66/63/65) would be important (required) if you want to give any advice on investments (which you will need to do at some point).

Acquiring those clients is like prospecting for any other client.  Focus on where they work or live.  For that demographic, pre-schools, nursery schools, grade schools, YMCA's, etc. would be great places to focus some attention.  Also doing evening classes on financial planning through adult continuing ed programs would also be helpful.  You could also focus on some big employers in the area that employ the right demographic (pharma, high-tech, possibly military, etc.).

Jul 12, 2010 4:46 pm

[quote=ilikecoffee]

[quote=B24]You can begin by doing "plans" for lower-income/younger folks that just need some help.  There is a big demand for it, believe it or not.  However, that won't pay you a lot.  A young couple, say 35 years old, a lot of debt, average income.  They need financial direction.  Charge $500-1,000  for a basic plan.  [/quote]

Do you pretty much need to have the CFP to write financial plans for clients? And how, for example, would you acquire a client like the young couple you mentioned?

[/quote]

I happen to come across this website of a CFP that specializes in financial planning for young adults.  Might be of interest to you...

http://www.newparentfinances.com/index.html

Jul 12, 2010 5:22 pm

[quote=ilikecoffee]

[quote=B24]You can begin by doing "plans" for lower-income/younger folks that just need some help.  There is a big demand for it, believe it or not.  However, that won't pay you a lot.  A young couple, say 35 years old, a lot of debt, average income.  They need financial direction.  Charge $500-1,000  for a basic plan.  [/quote]

Do you pretty much need to have the CFP to write financial plans for clients? And how, for example, would you acquire a client like the young couple you mentioned?

[/quote]

coffee,

here's my take.  I'm a CFP (just got it this year).  It's a brutally difficult test, even for someone like myself with a finance degree and having worked on the institutional side of the industry before 3 years at ML as an advisor.  However, in my opinion, it's the pinnacle designation for what we do.  The ChFC is probably right up there as well, although I know little about it.  As an aside, you can get the CRPC which is less work and considered to be like the "CFP-light," but gives you some credibility.  

While not a "requirement," the CFP is a fantastic credential to have and will give you a great body of knowledge to advise just about anyone in any situation.  If nothing else, it gives you that smell test that most advisors in our business lack.  Many advisors would gloss over important issues or miss them completely (I would include myself in that population before I took the CFP curriculum).  It's amazing how much of the CFP material applies to our clients' lives on a daily basis and having not gone through it, I would never have given some of the issues a second thought.  

Keep in mind, though, that it's a difficult, time-consuming venture to take on, and not having the CFP certainly does not make you less credible or knowledgeable.  It also doesn't really get you clients...