Menu

Thinking about going pro

Home Financial Advisors Thinking about going pro

  • DMFA DMFA 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2126
    Joined: 06/24/2016
    Splash Refinancing Bonus

    I like money, and I like talking about money, and I like helping people out who might have had similar situations like I have.  Based on that, I think I’d like to set up a fee-only, advice-only personal financial planning business to run out of my own home, predominantly for medical students, residents, and new employed or self-employed attending physicians (but for p much anyone).

    I’ve looked into CFP-eligible Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning programs online, both proctored and self-paced, and they really do seem to be worthwhile. It essentially equates to six 300- and 400-level Finance courses for 18 credit hours at both public and private schools (similarly priced) of good repute, like Rice, Boston U, Emory, and several state schools like Florida, Mizzou, Texas A&M, UCLA, etc.  Cost ranges from $3,500 to $6,000 – not a biggie.

    Taking the test doesn’t worry me – I can’t imagine it’s any more difficult than any I’ve taken to date.

    I have a couple sticking points on the experience portions for requirement, though.  I need 6,000 hours (the equivalent of 3 years working 40-hr weeks) of “professional experience related to the financial planning process,” or 4,000 hours in an “apprenticeship” program, including:

    1. Establishing and defining the client relationship
    2. Gathering data from the client
    3. Analyzing and evaluating the client’s financial status
    4. Developing and presenting the financial planning recommendations
    5. Implementing the financial planning recommendations
    6. Monitoring the financial planning recommendations

    …which is done in one of the 5 following ways:

    1. Personal Delivery to individual client
    2. Supervision of personal delivery to individual client
    3. Support of personal delivery to individual client (direct, indirect)
    4. Teaching
    5. Internships and/or FPA Residency Program

    I would have to report the Pro Bono or Volunteer activity which requires the verification of a Qualified Attester (CFP, ChFC, CLU, CFA, CPA, attorney, or PhD in econ/business).

    So I’ve p much got a few specific questions:

    1. How did any of you go about satisfying the requirement?  Would I have to sit a client down and say “now look, I’m not certified in what I’m doing, but I need the practice for X amount of hours?”  I think it’d be tough to get clients into my office to do financial planning if I’m not certified in it yet…maybe I could at least say I have the graduate certificate and passed the test before attaining the CFP?
    2. Can I take every in-depth analytic post I’ve made on this forum or on Facebook and count it toward those 6,000 hours?  Because some of those posts and the calculations/spreadsheets behind them have taken me hours.  Can I just have a CFP/CPA acquaintance of mine look over what I’ve done and verify it?
    3. How much can/should one bill out for this sort of thing?  Face-to-face I’ve seen costs $200/hr or more.  That’s comparable to what I’d bill out practicing medicine, but able to do it from my own home and not in the middle of the night on a weekend.  What about continued access, email questions, etc?
    4. If I give time pro bono, such as to med students, could I write it off as an operating loss once I establish the business?

    Thanks for the insight.  I appreciate y’all.

    "I like money." - Frito Pendejo (Idiocracy)

    [Not a financial professional (yet), lawyer, or employee of The White Coat Investor]

    #92813 Reply
    Rogue Dad, M.D. Rogue Dad, M.D. 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 915
    Joined: 03/07/2016

    No idea on the details but looking forward to seeing you go pro!

    Will we still get all your great insights for free on the forum?

    http://www.RogueDadMD.com

    An alt-brown look at medicine, money, faith, and family

    #92814 Reply
    Liked by RocDoc, MochaDoc
    Avatar zippybutton 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 9
    Joined: 05/03/2016

    Is there a licensing issue where you need the CFP to legally sell your advice?  If not, I’d say skip it all together and save the huge expenses in time/money.  I think you could attract customers in the outset by offering low rates and build your practice by word of mouth.  If you think you already know what you need to pass the test, then taking these extra classes won’t actually do much for you (or your future customers).  Hang up your proverbial shingle and go for it!

    #92817 Reply
    hatton1 hatton1 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2922
    Joined: 01/11/2016

    You know I actually looked at that program at Boston U about 10 years ago.  It was $3200 then.  I thought how cheap.  I was thinking of doing it for my own education and my own money.  I just could not get my mind around starting another business, marketing it, establishing clients etc.  I was not viewing it as a totally online business so you have a good idea.

    #92818 Reply
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3172
    Joined: 01/21/2016

    I think you would be a terrific financial advisor (as I have stated previously). Best of luck!

    (Forum moderator? Not so much. 😉 )

     

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #92819 Reply
    Liked by hatton1
    q-school q-school 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2338
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    good luck!

    #92824 Reply
    Avatar TheGipper 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 407
    Joined: 01/20/2016

    Best of luck. I think you’d be great.

    Interested what you find about the extra liability risk and any further insurance coverage needed?

    #92827 Reply
    Zaphod Zaphod 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 5655
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    There is the challenge status that allows certain degrees to attempt without all the prereqs, oddly doctor of medicine isnt on there which is strange give lawyer is. I would call and see if you cant get challenge status. Unless of course you want to take the classes, I can see how that would be fun as well.

    I’ve thought about getting a CFA, especially since everyone claims the exam is so tough.

    #92828 Reply
    DMFA DMFA 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2126
    Joined: 06/24/2016

    Is there a licensing issue where you need the CFP to legally sell your advice?  If not, I’d say skip it all together and save the huge expenses in time/money.  I think you could attract customers in the outset by offering low rates and build your practice by word of mouth.  If you think you already know what you need to pass the test, then taking these extra classes won’t actually do much for you (or your future customers).  Hang up your proverbial shingle and go for it!

    Click to expand…

    I don’t think so.  I think any average person could be like “hey, I’m a financial planner, let me financially plan for you” but it adds that bit of clout.  I’m not too much of one for alphabet soup; I like just being David sometimes instead of listing degrees, fellow of this college, fellow of that college, etc.  But I think it’d grant more legitimacy to it.  Even if I haven’t yet earned the official CFP® certification, I still think holding the Graduate Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the university I acquire it should grant me enough cred to at least get some customers in the door while building toward 6,000 hours, especially if anything I’ve done on the internet could count.

    IMO some of these forum and Facebook posts def should count; I’ve often got Excel up in one window, the IRS site on another tab, waiting for responses via post or PM, etc…I can’t imagine it not being akin to what a CFP sitting behind a desk with a client sitting in front of him/her would be.

    "I like money." - Frito Pendejo (Idiocracy)

    [Not a financial professional (yet), lawyer, or employee of The White Coat Investor]

    #92830 Reply
    DMFA DMFA 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2126
    Joined: 06/24/2016

    I think you would be a terrific financial advisor (as I have stated previously). Best of luck!

    (Forum moderator? Not so much. ? )

     

    Click to expand…

    One-day ban pending

    "I like money." - Frito Pendejo (Idiocracy)

    [Not a financial professional (yet), lawyer, or employee of The White Coat Investor]

    #92831 Reply
    DMFA DMFA 
    Moderator
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2126
    Joined: 06/24/2016

    I like people to be happy so if that will make you happy then great.

    There isn’t a chance on the planet I’d switch fields.

    I think you will find why there are so few fee only but none the less I wish you the best.

    Click to expand…

    I wouldn’t switch fields, but since I do this already for free, I thought it would be nice to get paid for it and expand the knowledge base to students and residents.  There are two medical schools and many residency programs in my area, so plenty of clients.  It would be tough for me to get an ICU job for a couple hours at a time on a weekday or to practice telemedicine from my own home office.  If I can bill even half doing financial planning as I could at a comparable locum or PRN job, I’d do it.  Plus this diversifies the day; less likely to get burned out doing either.

    I’m already prob blowing at least an hour (if not more) every day on this forum and on various Facebook finance groups.  I’d just transmute that time from doing this to getting university credit for it.  Sure, there would be the expense of the coursework and the test, but I’d think I’d at least make that back over time.

    Though I think this could open up a can of worms were I to provide this service for students/residents or other doctors at my own institution…might cross some “business relationship” guidelines or something.  I’d have to read the fine print.

    "I like money." - Frito Pendejo (Idiocracy)

    [Not a financial professional (yet), lawyer, or employee of The White Coat Investor]

    #92834 Reply
    Avatar ajm184 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 542
    Joined: 07/14/2017

    The real challenge imo is not the educational requirement, it is the work experience as you stated.  Not only does that 6,000 hours need to be done, but it needs to be done within a 5 year period.  Getting sufficient experience is the largest hurdle.  The reason is that you (and most folks on this board) probably won’t grind out the hours working 40+ hours/week for insurance company/bank/brokerage firm where there is a philosophical conflict of interest.  Another route is become a para planner.  Unless you get in with a group that is a a. large enough to give you enough hours/clients/issues to work and b. aligns philosophically.  Not alot of firms fulfill both a. and b.  Even if you do find the above, their interest is in expanding/growing their business/clientele base, therefore they will likely want to keep you to work full time with/for that group.  On one hand as a physician with a specific practice focus you would be great addition given the network you could bring to the table day one.  The other is that you have a position that pays just as well, so economically it is a wash.

    As for pay, I’ve seen similar and higher; $200 to $450/hour (think Allan Roth).  Probably similar to non-hospital specialty practice, you need to build your practice and you won’t be working 40 hours a week at the start.  Certainly, this is where being a physician can ease a potential transition.

    One additional caveat, the financial planning software isn’t cheap, but at least its not EHR expensive.

    #92848 Reply
    CM CM 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1002
    Joined: 01/14/2017
    Earnest refinancing bonus

    There is the challenge status that allows certain degrees to attempt without all the prereqs, oddly doctor of medicine isnt on there which is strange give lawyer is. I would call and see if you cant get challenge status. Unless of course you want to take the classes, I can see how that would be fun as well.

    I’ve thought about getting a CFA, especially since everyone claims the exam is so tough.

    Click to expand…

    .

    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried bags for Cyd Charisse (gracious). Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

    #92872 Reply
    hatton1 hatton1 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2922
    Joined: 01/11/2016

    There is the challenge status that allows certain degrees to attempt without all the prereqs, oddly doctor of medicine isnt on there which is strange give lawyer is. I would call and see if you cant get challenge status. Unless of course you want to take the classes, I can see how that would be fun as well.

    I’ve thought about getting a CFA, especially since everyone claims the exam is so tough.

    Click to expand…

    I earned the CFA designation. The depth and complexity of the material is comparable to the IM and cardiovascular board certification exams. However, the pass rates are much lower (approximately 32%, 40-something percent, and about 55% when I took Levels I, II, and III).

    I took them without any formal business, economics, finance, or accounting education, but many of the candidates have a CPA, MBA, and/or undergraduate economics or finance degree.

    I just studied the Schweser review material: https://www.schweser.com/cfa.

    You can pass the CFA exams, but you’ll need professional experience to qualify to use the designation (similar to CFP).

    Click to expand…

    You have led an interesting life

    #92875 Reply
    CM CM 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1002
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    Even if I haven’t yet earned the official CFP® certification, I still think holding the Graduate Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from the university I acquire it should grant me enough cred to at least get some customers in the door

    Click to expand…

    .

    Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried bags for Cyd Charisse (gracious). Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

    #92877 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod, hatton1

Reply To: Thinking about going pro

In case of a glitch or error, please save your text elsewhere, clear browser cache, close browser, open browser and refresh the page.

Notifications Mark all as read  |  Clear