gsgarcia1 wrote:Thank you all for the replies thus far. Mel, thanks for bringing Rick into the thread, and Semper Fi: It was encouraging to read. That is exactly the type of path I would see myself going down. I know there may be necessary hurdles on the front end as Rick mentioned, but I welcome the challenges for the greater good.
Anyone that has any thoughts, please keep the thread going as I am eager to learn all I can in any forum in order to make the most informed decisions
I'm a former Army officer, and the whole reason I wanted to get into financial planning was because I saw soldiers getting screwed (can I say that? If not, mods, please edit!) by some of the shadiest money people around - payday lenders, the former military officers and NCOs who prowled the post selling high load funds, crappy insurance products, etc.
So, by definition of the things I hated seeing soldiers get roped into, I went down the path of a fee-only, hourly financial planner. However, I took a longer route to get there, via business school and then starting/selling a company before taking/passing the CFP(R) exam and getting my one-man band...err...shop accredited as a RIA firm.
Regardless of the route you take to get there, you will be well-advised to get some experience in sales. It doesn't have to be financial products (and I also don't believe that all people who sell financial products are bad, but there are a lot of bad ones out there), but it does have to be consultative
selling. Financial planning is about having a relationship between you and your client that is strong enough that the client is going to feel comfortable opening up the kimono and showing all of their personal financial information. You have to be able to think in terms of benefits and value because, for most people, ponying up a couple of thousand isn't a decision that's taken lightly. I have found that there are many cases where I am half financial planner and half marriage counselor, and you have to be prepared to build up a relationship to enable that if you want your clients to succeed.
Good luck. I wish there were more people who could creditably serve the military. I don't know if he pops on here at all, but a good person to know is Doug Nordman: http://the-military-guide.com