Joined 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA
I’ve been in the financial services industry for 18 years, yet it’s only been in the last two years that I’ve devoted my career to helping those who suffer under a crippling amount of student loan debt. Initially, I was always taught to seek out the wealthiest clients, and the majority of my colleagues and I did so. Yet, I always had this nagging feeling that approaching my financial planning practice in this way was wrong or simply, didn’t align with my real passion for helping people learn about money.
One day, I was speaking to a client of mine, and that single conversation helped to shift the entire trajectory of my work. She was very depressed because she had over $150,000 in student loan debt. I realized then and there that it wasn’t simply the debt that was bothering her but more so the stronghold it had on her life, her future, and the future of her family. I began to see a pattern and realized this client of mine was not alone. In fact, it was a disturbing trend in the industry. My clients and over 60 others that I interviewed who had six figures of student loan debt were concerned with sending their children to college, feeling trapped by their debt with no options, and even worrying over the impact the constant financial stress was having on their marriage. I even talked to single borrowers who had anxiety about finding a spouse, thinking no one would want to marry them with that much debt behind their name. I realized it wasn’t the wealthy clients that I should be seeking. Rather, I wanted to help my clients who were struggling, feeling as though they could never get enjoyment out of life because of their debt.
I thought hard about shifting my career path to solely work with these clients and many well-meaning colleagues tried to talk me out if it, but eventually I realized that if I didn’t help them, no one else would. It seems that everywhere in the financial services industry, people are more than willing to help you if you are wealthy. On the opposite side of the spectrum, bankruptcy specialists are more than willing to catch those who fall. I constantly wondered what happened to the people in the middle who were struggling to get by and that no one in my industry felt compelled to help.
My idea to help these clients is to create a community where people from all walks of life who have student loan debt can gather to share ideas, stories, and information about their personal journey out of debt. It’s a place where people could come to get motivation when they feel at their lowest. It’s important to me that I’m able to meet those who need help via Facebook, the Financial Evolution Group blog, articles, through workshops, videos, and one-on-one consultations. Embracing media in this way allows me to help clients all over the world. When I do speak to groups, my primary goal is to teach a simple process that allows them to get organized, gain clarity, restore peace of mind, and pay off debt faster than they ever thought possible.
In the past two years, I have been helping college graduates and highly educated professionals with my guidance, allowing them to pay off their debt in the right way and save tens of thousands of dollars worth of interest costs. Nothing has given me greater satisfaction than the feeling of helping others, and I know now that changing my career path was absolutely the right choice.
I pride myself on my education and training. The economic landscape is changing more rapidly now than at any other time in human existence so it’s important for me to stay current on new developments so I’m able to help my clients reach their goals. I studied economics in college, built two financial planning practices, launched a financial training seminar company, was a regional vice president for a fortune 500 mutual fund company, maintain active membership in the Financial Planning Association’s Los Angeles chapter, and hold a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation from the College for Financial Planning. In addition to these accomplishments, I also volunteer for Southern California Junior Achievement and remain dedicated to promoting financial literacy at all levels. My flagship seminar and workshop “Dump Your Student Loan Debt” focuses not only on financial knowledge but what to do when you get stuck and need motivation to move forward.
When I’m not helping clients pay off student loan debt, I can be found hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains or meditating. If it’s a good day, I can do both at the same time.
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