Ginnie Baker fell into financial planning after choosing to take a related elective course in college. She immediately fell in love with the profession, and started pursuing financial planning jobs after graduation.

After landing a position in Washington D.C., Ginnie dug in to learn everything she could about the financial planning profession. But, after three years in her role, she knew she needed a change. She was looking for:

  • A firm that could help her to develop a career path within their practice
  • A practice that allowed her the flexibility to work with younger clients
  • Somewhere closer to home – Washington D.C. was a long ways away from her home-base of Texas!

As she was job hunting, she realized that some smaller RIAs had career paths, but also the flexibility for her to customize her own career path. She eventually found a home in Beaird Harris, a firm that covers both wealth management and tax planning.

As she has grown into her role at Beaird Harris, she has worked to observe their culture, plug into the existing dynamic in their practice, and learn everything she can while on the job while still putting her own unique spin on her work. Ginnie was never interested in starting her own business and pursuing entrepreneurship – but as she has continued working within Beaird Harris, she realized that she would be open to a partnership, or becoming part-owner of an established firm.

Too often, we focus on how people can break out and start their own firms, or pave their own way in this profession. Celebrating being content building your own career path within an existing firm, and being happy with the work you’re doing, falls by the wayside – and it shouldn’t!

This episode is for everyone who feels like business ownership may not be for them, or who wants to know more about building their own career path within their firm by leveraging their network and embracing their role within their practice.

Hannah's signature

 

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to build your network through FPA
  • What building a career path looks like
  • How to pursue your passions within your current firm
  • The best ways to pursue positions that help you to grow your career
  • Ways to get involved in the financial planning profession

 

Show Transcript

Episode Transcript


Hannah: Thanks for joining us today, Ginnie.

Ginnie: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.

Hannah: Yeah, so I am so excited. I have known you, it feels like forever here in Dallas, and I’m like, “I have to have you on the podcast.” So tell me, how did you first get into financial planning?

Ginnie: I was a business student at Texas Tech. I was in my senior year. My major was general business, because I still didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do. I had a friend at the time that found the financial planning course. It was intro to financial planning as an elective that you could take in the business school. They did that class one semester and they’re like, “You really should do this. I think you’ll really enjoy it. It’s really cool. The professor is awesome.” I was like, “Okay.” I needed another elective, I took that class, intro to PFP and it was all of your basic stuff that just anybody in life needs to know.

Ginnie: Credit cards, mortgage, basic tax returns, savings account, just your basic information, and fell in love with that class. I loved it. I was already a senior in college. I thought about changing my major. The interesting thing is the financial planning class or courses at Tech are not in the college of business, they’re in the college of human sciences, so which is why I really had never heard of financial planning.

Ginnie: I looked at changing my major, but I was already too far long. It would just add another couple years. I went and graduated with my general business degree and still had no idea what I wanted to do. Then did some thinking and a little bit of soul searching, and decided I wanted to try and get my master’s in financial planning. I went back and got my master’s in financial planning. It’s where it all started. I was a business student, and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.

Hannah: You get your master’s degree in financial planning, and then you get your first job. I know some of your stories in DC. What was that experience like going from the classroom to actually getting a job? What did you expect? What was different than what you expected?

Ginnie: I was very lucky and that the internship I had in grad school was with the same firm that hired me after graduation up in DC. When I started a full-time job, I had a pretty good idea of what that would look like. I’ve done a “3-month” trial period essentially. Starting the full-time job is always different going from that college student or student transitioning into a job. I’d always worked through high school and college, I had a job, but it was part-time obviously during school or during classes, and whatnot.

Ginnie: I think the biggest thing was creating that plan or that routine for yourself. Day in and day out, okay I get up, I go to work 8:00, 9:00, whatever it may be, work till 5:00, 6:00, go home and figuring out what life looks like for you in this new realm. I like a schedule, I detail and organization, and so having that job and once I figured out what my routine was like, it was easy to fit into. You do have that transition that you’re at the same place every day, you’re sitting down most of the day, you’re not walking around campus, you’re not having, “Okay, let’s go to this class and have a short break here,” or I only go to class on Tuesday and Thursdays. It’s a whole different mindset.

Ginnie: Then at the same time, you don’t get your spring breaks or winter breaks, summer vacation anymore that goes to a schedule like vacation time that you have to schedule and take off at certain times throughout the year.

Hannah: You lose a lot of freedom.

Ginnie: Exactly. That’s a good way to put it.

Hannah: You get paid, so.

Ginnie: That’s true. You make a lot more than you do as a college student.

Hannah: At this firm that you’re at in DC, were they doing real financial planning, would you say?

Ginnie: Yes, they were. So it was the only independent IRA. They had a great process, so obviously managing money, but building a financial plan from the get go for clients and talking about everything that goes into financial planning, risk management, insurance, the state planning, cashflow management, savings, schools, all of that. Yeah, from the beginning, from the time a client signed on, they started out with financial planning, and then it was updating every year couple of years.

Hannah: Were you able to meet with clients face to face or were you in the backroom working on the plans?

Ginnie: Your first weeks are training and whatnot, but essentially from the get go it was, you’re going to be in client meetings and meeting these clients face to face. It was great the other advisors that I worked with were always very supportive. They would walk into a client meeting and they would say, “This is Ginnie. She is our new associate advisor. She’s going to be in this meeting with us.” My role in those meetings was to sit back and take notes and just observe and learn. In that role, my role in meetings slowly evolved over time, but no, from the get go, I was sitting in client meetings and then I was interacting with clients after the meetings.

Hannah: How long were you at this firm for?

Ginnie: I was there for three years.

Hannah: It sounds like a great job. What prompted you to want to move on?

Ginnie: It was a great job. It was phenomenal, and I had a great time. I was in the Washington DC area. I’m originally from Texas, and so it was a little far from home. Washington DC is such a fun area. It’s close to everything. I really did love it up there, but it’s a little far from Texas, and so I really wanted to come back to Texas. At the end of the day, that’s what it will down to.

Hannah: You started your job search. How long did it take you to find a job in Dallas?

Ginnie: I was very lucky. I would say a couple of months, maybe. I reached out to just some friends that I knew, and connections that I’d made of people that I knew in Texas specifically, or even people I knew that were in Texas, but they had connections to the area, and to start reaching out to see if anybody knew of any opportunities that were open. Yeah, I would say it was a couple of months and I had a job.

Hannah: You were there for three years. There’s always a lot of talk about how long do you stay at a job versus leaving. Was that a good amount of time at that job?

Ginnie: Yeah, three years was the perfect amount of time. In that role, I was an associate advisor, so I was supporting, we worked in teams, so I was supporting the other advisor on that client. I’m doing a lot of the prep, and follow-up, and then towards the end of my tenure I was presenting at meetings. It was right at that point that I had gotten to the point where, okay I was ready to take the next step. I think if I had stayed there, or I know that if I would stayed there, I would have had that next step and moved up a position. It would’ve been even more interaction and more leading client meetings, and providing that advice.

Ginnie: I think the three-year timeframe was a good amount to get your feet wet to know what you’re doing, to understand what your role is, and to really grow in that role, figuring out what you’re supposed to be doing, and also figuring out the ways that you can do it, you can improve that role, you can become more efficient. Then learning, okay, what’s it going to take for me to get to the next step? What else do I need to be doing to get to that next role? It’s a really long way to say three years was a good amount of time to get a feel for a job, and to really be immersed in it.

Hannah: When you’re interviewing at jobs in Dallas, I know there’s so much talk right now about the career paths, of how important that is. Were you finding that a lot of firms had career paths mapped out?

Ginnie: Yes. Yes and no. I would say that I talk to the smaller more independent firms, which I think they have more flexibility to design a career path and have it on track, especially the ones that had been around for several years. They know that’s important and they’ve built their firm to really have those career tracks. At the same time, because those smaller firms are smaller, they’ve got more flexibility. It’s not just say, okay, after you’ve been in this role for two years and spent, I don’t know, 2,000 hours on this, okay now you automatically move up to the next position.

Ginnie: It’s more of once you demonstrate the knowledge and you show that you’re ready to be in that next role, you move up. There is that career path, but it’s not so rigid. There’s flexibility to it as well. Does that make sense?

Hannah: Oh, absolutely. It’s one of the advantages of the smaller firms is that you do, yeah, the flexibility.

Ginnie: Yup.

Hannah: Where did you land in Dallas? Where are you working now?

Ginnie: I’m in a firm called, “Beaird Harris Wealth Management.” They have been around for 22 years now in the wealth management space.

Hannah: One interesting thing about them is that they are a CPA firm. I’m curious at Beaird Harris, do you have a clear career path with them? What does that look like at your firm?

Ginnie: Yeah, so they did start out as a CPA firm 30 years ago. Then the owners decided, they kept getting questions from clients, “Can you manage my money? Do you have people that you recommend to manage my money?” They were also seen these 1099s from clients, and oh my gosh, you’re not taking into account taxes at all when you manage these investments. They really started to think and learn to see if it was something they could do themselves and did they want to branch into wealth management?

Ginnie: Ultimately, they decided they did 22 years later, both management is still around and very successful. It’s interesting having its two totally separate entities. They’ve got the same owners, but they’re completely separate from each other. You have the benefit of having a CPA firm down the hall, but it’s still, I’m not having to prepare taxes, which is nice because nobody live with that.

Hannah: It’s true.

Ginnie: Yeah.

Hannah: If you do want to prepare that, there are very great jobs for you.

Ginnie: Oh, totally. Yes, that is not me. I learned very early on that tax planning or tax preparation is not my thing. I would say the CPA firm, back to your question of career path, the CPA firm has a few more guidelines on the process of their career path, because I think the CPA profession is a little further along than the financial planning profession. There’s guidelines out there by the AICPA that they follow whereas on the wealth management side back to what I’m saying earlier is there’s some guidelines, but it’s also more flexible candidates.

Ginnie: When you demonstrate you’re ready or you’re basically serving in that next position, okay then one day you wake up and it’s like, “Oh, Ginnie is a financial planner. Ginnie is now a senior advisor whatever that may be.”

Hannah: What is your role right now? What is your title?

Ginnie: My title is financial planner. What that means is I have a hybrid role actually. I’m a bit of a support advisor for our senior advisors and the partners. They have clients and then I support them with those clients doing the prep, and follow-up, and meeting and interacting with clients. I also have my own set of clients that I’m working with. I work with a lot of our younger clients. I’m the lead advisor on those clients. I’m the one that those clients reach out to first and have the interaction with.

Hannah: Are you having to find your own clients or is the firm providing them for you?

Ginnie: The first is providing clients for me. I don’t have to go out and find them. If I do find clients, right, but business development is not part of my job role. I will say that being connected to a CPA firm has been very beneficial. They’re a great referral source for us, so they’ll meet with clients, and a lot of times it’s, “Hey, have you thought about this? You need to open up a retirement plan for yourself or your company, our wealth management team can help you with that.” A lot of our clients do come from the CPA firm, but also referrals from our existing clients.

Hannah: Then is it plain for your role to build up your base of clients, so that would be your full-time job is just your basic clients?

Ginnie: That’s the goal.

Hannah: While you’re working with your clients, what does that look like for you? What does that process look like?

Ginnie: It’s a great question. It’s different on what I was doing. At my job in DC, I was pretty much working with older clients, 50s, 60s, near retirement and now younger clients where young to mid-40s. Then when I moved to Dallas and started working at Beaird Harris, it was all of a sudden now I’m working with clients that are 28, 29, 30, which is I mean, a decade younger than the 40-year old clients are not as well established. They’re just starting out in their lives. It’s a little bit of a shift in how you think.

Ginnie: With the CFP course work and all that, you talk about debt management, and student loans, and savings, and I really had to tap back into that with, “Okay, you have all these student loans. How do we manage this? How do we create a plan to pay those off? How do we set-up your cashflow so you know that you’re saving X number of dollars and you’ve got this goal of buying house in the next couple of years and starting a family.”

Ginnie: Just tapping back into those areas that I’ve learned about, but hadn’t practiced fully in a few years.

Hannah: Are you doing retirement projections with them as well, or is it more of just their immediate needs?

Ginnie: We do retirement projections for them as well. We do their immediate needs, and then we do retirement projections, but at the same time, life is going to change a lot for you in the next 30 years. Here’s what it looks like right now, but as life continues to happen and things continue to change, we’re going to update and course correct as necessary.

Hannah: As a young professional, it’s a little bit intimidating looking at retirement plans. You’re like, “I know this isn’t going to happen this way.”

Ginnie: Yeah. It’s like I’ve got a 30-year old client. They just started making money, and I’m like, “Okay, you need to save let’s say 20% of your income for when you retire 30 years down the road.” They’re like, “I haven’t even been at my job for two months now and we’re talking retirement.” I’m like, “I know, but we have to back into it a little bit of what you need to be saving and what you should be doing.” There’s a balance between now and for 30 years from now or 40 years from now.

Hannah: How do you charge them? Are you on the please retainer model? What does it look like for you?

Ginnie: We charge our clients just AUM with a minimum annual fee. We just counter annual fee for our younger clients, but it’s still the AUM model. We’ve talked about them. We’ve thought about, and do we do a retainer model? Do we do a monthly? Right now, we build quarterly. It’s an annual minimum fee, but it’s quarterly as well. It comes out quarterly. Yeah, it’s AUM, and it stay that way. We’re having conversations of should we do something different? Do we need to do something different? We haven’t come to any conclusion on that.

Hannah: What is the minimum fee for somebody to work with you?

Ginnie: For our young professionals program, which is what I lead and I’m the head of, that minimum annual fee is $3,500 a year or $875 a quarter is how it works out. It goes out to that program as like a three-year program. The goal is within those three years, our clients are aggressively saving. At the end of that three-year period, they’re well on their way to being a normal client of the firm, or any other client that we would take in.

Hannah: You have those expectations of like with clients, with the younger clients that you bring on that they are saving?

Ginnie: Yes. There is an expectation that it’s this, “three-year program,” and here are the expectations. You are going to be saving aggressively. If you’re not at the end of the three years let’s say, okay, I knew we’ve had some clients that start their own business. Okay well that is an investment, and that is an asset, it’s just not in their portfolio or their investment portfolio. Then we have the clients that just aren’t good savers, and are wanting to live life. It gives the clients that period to, is this the right path for them? Can they do this? Do they want to do this? Sometimes the answer is no they can’t do it, or this is not what they’re wanting to do, which is fine. We’re not for everybody, we know that. It’s as much for us as it is for the client as well.

Hannah: It’s a really interesting angle to view young professionals, because as often times it’s like, you’ll get that return on investment in a decade or two or whatever that looks like, but you guys are really like, “In three years, we want you to be, meet the firm’s other minimum.”

Ginnie: It doesn’t always happen like I said. It’s really, if we’ve got the clients that are dedicated and they want this too, then it works out. Even if they’re not right there yet, we know that they’re a good client. We want to keep them until it’s like, “Okay, we’re going to work with you and we’re not going to kick you to the curb.”

Hannah: What is your firm’s minimum outside of the young professional?

Ginnie: $500,000 of assets under management or a $5,000 annual minimum, one person of 500,000.

Hannah: With using your clients, how often are you meeting with them? Is this like you’re meeting every other month, or once a year? It doesn’t seem enough, but …

Ginnie: As they’re coming on board, we’re going to meet with them a lot more initially. We’re going to start out with that data gathering, and opening the necessary accounts for them, and then walking them through the different areas. We’re going to go through the cashflow planning and debt management, and retirement planning, so that financial planning piece. Also, looking at risk management. A lot of these young clients are newly married, and starting families and they may or may not have disability insurance or life insurance. Some of them may not need life insurance just yet, but going through that process of, “Do you need it? Do you have it? Where can you get it? What should you get?”

Ginnie: Then the state planning as well. If they’ve got young kids, okay, do you have wills and guardians in place? Most of the time they don’t. In the beginning, we meet with them more frequently. We tell them, for the first 12 months, it usually takes about 12 months to get through that whole process I just talked about, but we can do it as fast or as low as they want it. If we’ve had some clients come on board and they’re like, “I want to knock it all out,” and so we’ll do it all within three or four months.

Ginnie: Then some of them it drags out to 18 months. It’s really a function of calendars and how fast they’re willing to meet and do the work. We’re always available for emails and phone calls, or if they want to come in for a meeting. If I say we meet with clients once a year, that may be once a year face to face, but we’re interacting via email four or five times throughout the year or more. It’s also a function of what’s going on in their life. Everything is status quo, nothing is changing, mailing here from one to a couple times, but if they’re changing jobs and have new kid, and buying a house and life’s happening, I’m going to be talking to them more frequently.

Hannah: I’m just so glad that our profession’s been through the point where we’re recognizing the needs of younger clients and it’s not just retirement or AUM clients. So, that’s so exciting to hear.

Ginnie: It is, and it benefits the firm as well. That firm’s got their succession plan for clients. When they’re all, all your 60 years olds or 90 year olds and start passing away, you got that next generation that’s been in the pipeline, and that’s saving and doing what you want for your existing clients.

Hannah: One thing that’s really cool about your story is I hear so many younger planners who end up leaving their firm to start, because they want to work with a younger demographic, or they want to start their own firm. You’re not having to do that. Have you ever considered or considered that option of starting your own firm?

Ginnie: Realistically, no. One of the first interviews I ever had, they asked me, “Do you want be a firm owner? Do you want to start your own business or have your own business?” I forgot the way they phrased it. My immediate answer was no. I’ve never thought of starting my own business. It’s just never something that’s really stuck out or interested me. Then they went on to ask, “Okay, well what about being a partner in a firm? If you were to buy in and become a partner, you would be a firm owner at that point.”

Ginnie: Okay, well I hadn’t considered that. Once I thought about that I was like, “Yeah, that’s definitely something I want to do,” but going and starting my own firm from the ground up is really never anything that I’ve considered or even really want to do. I’ve thought about it for about 30 seconds and it’s still, “No, that’s really not where I am in my life.” Never say never, but I would much rather take the path of becoming a partner in a firm.

Hannah: Before we jump on the interview, we were talking about just being content isn’t the right word, but happy being employed. I don’t feel like we celebrate that enough in the financial planning profession. There’s so much about starting your own firm and doing all these other things, but there’s so much value to finding a good job and doing a great job at it, and growing in that role.

Ginnie: I agree. I get what you mean by the word content, and I’d agree with that. I remember going to NexGen gathering, and it’s been a couple years now, but since our role now. One of the first ones I went to, it was an X, Y planning network was just getting off the ground, and everybody was talking about starting their own firm, and working with these younger clients, which is awesome. I totally support, and I think what they’re doing is phenomenal. Then the next year when I went back, everybody’s asking, “How do I start my own firm? How do I do this?”

Ginnie: I was like, “Okay, that’s cool and I don’t mind hearing some of it, but I want to hear people that are growing in their current firms, because I don’t have that desire to start my own firm.” I want to people that had worked their way up and are now a partner at their firm or that next generation of leadership and what their paths look like.

Hannah: The irony of all of this is that those people who are starting their own firms are going to really want to hire somebody like you later on.

Ginnie: Yeah, hopefully.

Hannah: Right? You shouldn’t want to really hire somebody like yourself, if you’re that firm owner.

Ginnie: Yeah, exactly. You want those people that don’t want to start their own firm and they want to work for somebody else.

Hannah: How long have you been at Beaird Harris?

Ginnie: I’ve been at Beaird Harris three years now.

Hannah: In that three years, you’ve worked in DC, you’ve worked at Beaird Harris, what have you learned about navigating what we’re talking about of just finding a good job. I don’t want to say office politics, but navigating where you are?

Ginnie: I think initially in the beginning, it’s sitting back and just being an observer. The first bit that you’re at a job, I know you can’t put a defined time period on it, but the first bit that you’re there, just sit back and watch how everybody else does everything. Then take notes, and pick up on cues, and try to read the other people in the office, especially the ones that had been there for a while, so you get a feel of how everything’s done.

Ginnie: That’s not to say that you should be complaisant and not try to put your own spin on things and maybe suggest changes, work changes maybe need to be made. I think it’s really important instead of going into a new firm and being like, “Okay, I’m here. Here’s what we need to do is take time to observe what’s currently being done and ask questions, why is it be done like this? What’s the thought process behind it?” Get a real good handle on that and then it’s okay, now let me start interjecting, maybe have you ever thought about doing something this way, or we can improve efficiencies if we did something like this. I think it’s really important in the beginning just to sit back and be an observer.

Hannah: Oh, I think that’s such good advice that I don’t hear as often, because that’s really where you learn how to get better to.

Ginnie: If you’re still focused on, “Okay, I want to go in and I want to make these changes and this is what I want to do,” you lose out on seeing what other people are already doing. Maybe they’re doing something that you’ve never thought of and then maybe you don’t understand it, but as soon as you ask, “Hey, why are you doing this this way?” They go into the explanation, “Oh yeah, you know what? That really makes sense. I never thought of it that way. Okay, yeah your idea is way better than mine.”

Hannah: So much of your career is making the most where you’re at.

Ginnie: Oh, totally.

Hannah: It’s what I’m hearing you say too is what are the really great parts that you can learn from?

Ginnie: I think it’s getting to know the people that you work with, and if you don’t enjoy who you’re working with every day, you’re not going to enjoy work, or you’re not going to enjoy it as much. If you go to a job where you enjoy what you’re doing, but you do not enjoy the people you’re around, it’s going to make your life so much more unhappy, because that’s where you spend a good portion of your day. Getting to know the people that you work with, and this is important to you in the interview process when you’re just looking around is, are these people that I could see myself being “friends with” or enjoying being around every day?

Ginnie: Having that positive attitude too is when you go into work, have that positive attitude, you want to be there, everybody has a bad day here and there, but really trying to embrace it and make the most out of it, especially in the beginning when it’s new. I know it can be so scary going into a new place, you don’t know anybody. You’re overwhelmed by this whole new role that you don’t know. You’re not good at it yet, you don’t know the clients, and the situations, and it can be a little daunting, but having that positive attitude and getting to now the coworkers and who you’re with can totally shift and make a job that much better, if that makes sense.

Hannah: You have been very involved in our local FPA chapter. I’ve seen you on the NexGen committee to leaving NexGen, and to now like you are the one organizing, the DFW symposium or conference, which is just a ton of work.

Ginnie: Yes.

Hannah: I’ve seen you personally dedicate so much time to it. How has it helped you and has it been worth it?

Ginnie: Oh my gosh, yes it’s been worth it, a hundred percent totally, I wouldn’t change a thing. When I was in DC, I had a firm that was very supportive of being active in the FPA, and they encouraged it. I remember when I was up there, one of my coworkers is like, “Hey, we’re going to this NexGen event.” I was like, “What’s NexGen?” I’d heard of FPA, but I hadn’t heard of NexGen. It was a study group, and there was just people from the area getting together. There was topic being discussed. It was amazing.

Ginnie: When I moved to Dallas, I switched my FPA membership to Dallas instead of National Capital Area. I got an email about a NexGen event, and it was a breakfast. I still remember we are talking about pro bono that day. I went to the breakfast, and afterwards, I went up to the NexGen director. She had made a speech and was like, “Hey, if you want to get involved, let me know.” I went up to her afterward and like, “Hey, I’m new here. Yes, I want to get involved,” which is not really like me, but I did it and it turned out to be phenomenal.

Ginnie: She’s, “Great. I want to add you to the NexGen committee.” I served on the NexGen committee, and then she transitioned away from NexGen director, and I stepped up, and was nominated and take over the NexGen director, and then did that for a couple of years. Now, I’m moving onto the conference. All of that has really gotten me involved in the low connection organization, but I’ve gotten to meet so many people that I might not have otherwise got to meet, or I wouldn’t be as close to now.

Ginnie: I’ve made so many friends, and that’s where I really met you, was being involved to NexGen and/or FPA. Going to the events, I know so many people now. I had a colleague call me the other day and like, “Hey, we’re running into this situation at work. Have you all seen anything like this?” I was like, “I haven’t, but I think I knew somebody who has,” and it’s having that network of people that you can reach out to and bounce ideas off of, and socialize with, because we all really like each other and we have fun when we’re together.

Ginnie: Being involved has been huge for me personally, I mean, unprofessionally as well.

Hannah: What else has impacted your career positively? What are the other really smart things that you’ve done in your career that you can look back and be like, “Yeah, that’s really helped me get to where I am now.”

Ginnie: I would say, being involved whether it’s FPA or NexGen, or just finding that group that you are involved in, I know some people have done the chamber of commerce in their area or they found their own little place to get involved, and I think that’s really important. Obviously, I’m passionate about the FPA, because that’s where I’ve been, but finding that group or where you fit in and you can find yourself personally and professionally to help you grow, I think also is not being afraid to try new things.

Ginnie: If you want to do something at your job that are maybe afraid to tackle it, try it out. Maybe they accept it, maybe they don’t, but if it’s something you’re passionate about or you want to try out, approach them about it and say, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about this.” I’ve shown the sample for you or whatever it may be, “Hey, what do you think?” They may say, “Yes, no, not right now,” but finding where you can add value elsewhere and things that are important to you.

Hannah: Have you been involved with a study group or anything like that?

Ginnie: I was involved in one up in DC. Actually, I’ve been involved in two. There was one that a group of my classmates and I created after we graduated. We were spread all over the country. There was probably six or seven of us in the group spread all over the country, east coast, west coast, middle of the country, south. We would get together periodically. We try to do quarterly and just talk about life and what’s going on in their firms, and how they operate.

Ginnie: They sold out after probably three or four years. Then I was involved in one in the DC area. It was local people up in DC and I joined that route before I moved to Dallas. I was like, “Well, hey you all are moving. I may need to leave.” They’re like, “No, that’s fine. We can do phone.” We managed to do it by phone for a couple of months. Then we realized we reached the end of what we were hoping to get out of it.

Ginnie: Since then, I have not been involved in the study group, but I do want to join one, another one at some point.

Hannah: I think that’s such a healthy perspective of study groups is that they’re not all supposed to last 30 years or 40 years. Some of them are just supposed to be for a season.

Ginnie: Yeah. That’s one we found out was, it was probably almost a year and then it was okay well we each think we’ve got enough out of it. This is really run its course.

Hannah: For somebody who is starting out new in their career, what other pieces of advice or thoughts that you would have for them? I know we’ve covered a lot of it already.

Ginnie: Find a mentor too. Whether it’s a formal, you go through FPA or CFP board and do find a mentor, or if you just find somebody, I would almost recommend this is find somebody that you respect and you want to learn from. They don’t have to be 20 years older than you and already fully down the career path. Maybe they are three or four years older than you or have about three or four years on you in the profession. Take them out to coffee, or lunch, or grab a drink after work and just pick their brain.

Ginnie: What I love about this profession is so many people or everybody pretty much is willing to share ideas and talk to each other. Yeah, this is how we do things. How do you do it? It’s a very collaborative profession, which I love. If you ask somebody out for lunch, or coffee, or whatever, nine times out of ten they’re going to say, “yes” and be super happy to do it. Just pick their brain and a lot of times friendships develop that way.

Hannah: What does the future hold for you? Where do you see yourself in five or ten years from now?

Ginnie: I would hope to be a partner in my firm five to ten years from now. Again, I don’t have that desire to start my own business or start my own practice. I want to continue to grow in my career and to me, I think that means being a partner in the firm where I’m at.

Hannah: I love it. Awesome. Thank you so much, Ginnie.

Ginnie: Thank you.

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