I had been a Nashville musician for almost 20 years, but when my Father died in 1994, things changed.
As my brother and I worked through the probate process, we had conversations with financial advisors, bankers, trust officers, and others involved in our Father’s financial matters, with the goal in mind of ensuring that our Mother was safe, and financially secure. Unfortunately, those conversations never felt like honest, sound advice. Instead, they felt like sales pitches. This will sound familiar to many readers, as it’s an all too common occurence in the financial services industry. But to the novice, like me, the realization that many of the so-called advisors were only interested in selling something was a shock.
I started reading, and stumbled upon a program leading to the Certified Financial Planner™ designation. To make this long part of my story shorter, I’ll fast forward to the part where, Yes, I took and completed the coursework for the CFP™. I then went back to college and finished with a degree in Finance, and went on to get a Masters Degree in Financial Planning. In 2001, 7 years after my Father’s death, I opened my own, independent, fee-only financial planning practice.
Somewhere, along the way, I discovered the National Association for
Personal Financial Advisors ( NAPFA,) which is the flagship organization of
Fee-Only financial Advisors, those who are true Fiduciaries, working on
behalf of their clients. I then understood that that these were the
advisors whom my brother and I had needed, and how I’d operate
my business and advise clients.
As my practice evolved, and the relationships deepened, I
began to understand the impact that a client-centered,
holistic method of providing services to clients could
have. This led me to Life Planning and to taking &
completing the Kinder Institute of Life Planning™
program, achieving the Registered Life Planner™ designation.
“I believe everyone needs financial planning, and deserves an advisor who
will act in their interest, and that Life Planning is the best method to
achieve both.” Philip M. Watson, CFP™, RLP™