As a sophomore at Utah State University, I learned about the financial services industry as well as the Certified Financial Planning designation and right away knew this was the right career for me.

For the next several years, I took as many classes and read as many books as I could, learning about subjects from modern portfolio theory to the fundamentals of financial planning. I joined the financial planners’ student association and later became its president. I also took an internship with a local insurance company and began to learn the different uses and strategies of life insurance. I passed the CFP exam a few months after graduating and embarked full time as a financial professional.

There are many things I’ve learned over the years, one of which is there is not a one size fits all approach to doing planning. In fact, I’ve found that the differences in opinions from one financial professional to another can be drastic. It’s been said that the quickest way to start an argument is to bring up religion or politics. If true, then the second-quickest way must be to ask two CFP practitioners whether it’s best to purchase permanent insurance or buy term and invest the difference.  Of course, client needs, financial situation and objectives always determine the best course of action.

I have developed my own opinions, of course, but I also strive to maintain an objective attitude so I can keep learning from the varied experiences of the professionals and clients I meet. Through 15 years of being an eternal student, I’ve come to two conclusions that have served me and my clients well. These conclusions are as follows.

1) Beware of “Always” and “Never”

Anytime I hear a financial professional use a blanket statement about what people should “always” or “never” do, I find myself cringing. Everyone’s situation and goals are different. What might be the best strategy for one person might be terrible advice for the next. All too often, there is a danger in planners getting tunnel vision and they can become closed off to the vast array of strategies and products available to their clients. 

2) The Best Investments Aren’t Always Financial

Oftentimes, someone’s best investment is in themselves. Invest the time, energy, and resources to pursue what you love. Furthering your knowledge and expertise in whatever you are passionate about creates value for your company and/or clients—and happiness and fulfillment for yourself.

If you are interested in learning more about value creation and the strategies available to assist in achieving your financial goals, please contact me at


Securities, investment advisory and financial planning services are offered through qualified registered representatives of MML Investors Services, LLC Member SIPC OSJ 6330 S 3000 E, Suite 600, Salt Lake City, UT 84121 (801)943-6277