My parents didn’t give me a weekly allowance when I was growing up. That decision, which was tortuous at the time, is something I’m now grateful for; it forced me to think about how to earn money.

In order to have spending money, I worked many jobs starting around age 10: a lemonade stand, a dog-walker, and a babysitter. When I was 13 my mom informed the owner of a local bike shop that I was looking for work. To her and my surprise, he hired me! All the sudden I was an eight grader selling bikes working 40 hours per week over spring break.

After earning minimum wage for a few months, I became curious about what to do with the money and how to make it grow.

Around the same time I started working in the bike shop, I moved on from reading the comic strip section of the newspaper and started looking at the business section. While I didn’t love finance at the time, I was gaining a respect for its importance. I can still remember watching my dad balance his checkbook, and while I didn’t really understand what he was doing, I knew it was important.

Perhaps the biggest reason I became a financial planner stems from my parents financial advisor. He used to come to our house to talk with my parents, so I would occasionally see him. Years later, I found out that he was not a fiduciary, and worse, he’d lost them a lot of money on a natural gas investment. Seeing my parents get taken advantage of made me upset and angry, which drove me to learn about the topic so that I could make amends.

My decision to become a financial advisor was driven by nature and nurture. The environment I grew up in fostered an interest and desire to earn money, but I was also naturally curious about the topic. Regardless of how I got here, I’m proud that I get to help people better understand their finances and feel confident about the path they’re on.

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