Certified Financial Planner & Sr. Registered Tax Preparer (Female, Age 51) in Waltham, MA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 51 who works as a Certified Financial Planner & Sr. Registered Tax Preparer in Waltham, MA. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete our job profile survey so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Certified Financial Planner & Sr. Registered Tax Preparer
Salary $130,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 50
Company Size (not answered)
Location Waltham, MA
Years Experience 16 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Table of Contents

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I am self employed and offer financial planning, advisory and investments and retirement and education planning, tax preparation and small business consulting, and FAFSA application assistance. In addition I also offer life and long term care insurance products.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Collect & analyze financial information; goal setting; focusing on – cash flow/budget, insurance, taxes, estate planning, investments and retirement, debt consolidation; prepare/execute seminars on personal and business finance related issues; educate consumer; hiring.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
self employed so i pay for my own benefits including health, life and ltc insurance, and a SEP retirement plan

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Fairly well compensated although market conditions and the economy have made it harder

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work with people quite closely almost daily. Some days the large part of my day is focused on writing the plan or preparing returns. Working with people on their finances can be very intimate and you have to be very patient and understanding.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?
Yes

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?
Yes

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Do not really have co-workers although during tax season I do work more with others.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 3
Benefits: 6
Hours: 5
Co-Workers: 8
Supervisors: 4
Job Title: 7
Level of Responsibility: 1
The Actual Work: 2

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am Reviewed and answered emails from 3 different email addresses. Checked client accounts to see if any fees are due. Checked overnight market conditions or any breaking news I may need to know as it effects my business or clients. Had a cup of coffee!
8am to 9am Prepared new client tax return. Researched a tax issue. Saved the information. Let the dog out!
9am to 10am Printed my weekly compensation and expense report. Made note of this in my own tracking system. This is important since I am 100% responsible for determining and paying my own taxes including both parts of social security.
10am to 11am Spoke to a client about current investment concerns and market conditions. Client very nervous about investing now. We discussed historical market events and recovery. Also chatted with a friend afterwards.
11am to 12pm Got dressed to go to a meeting with another rep. I plan on approaching her about collaborating on a conference call with both our client bases to discuss the current market conditions, history and people’s fears.
12pm to 1pm Finished getting ready and then drove to the meeting.
1pm to 2pm Meeting as above continued.
2pm to 3pm After the meeting came back to office. Answered calls and made appointments for next week and later this week. Sent finished file to other office for processing. After this I went to the gym which I do on most days. This is the beauty of being self employed (which I mentioned has its ups and downs – this is an up).
3pm to 4pm I was at the gym.
4pm to 5pm Answered all phone calls and new emails. Prepared mailings with cover sheets so other office can track info easier. Started another return and rechecked market progress for the day. Checked client accounts and started RMD process for one. Fed dogs.
5pm to 6pm Made and had dinner
6pm to 7pm Worked more on the financial plan and called clients who I could not reach earlier.
7pm to 8pm Prepared papers and schedule for tomorrows work day.
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
I was referred by another representative.

What was the application process?
I decided to go back to school to become a CFP and then switched jobs to a related field to get background.

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Although I am self-employed, I am connected to a broker-dealer and do have a supervisor. I was interviewed by her and had to show proof of licensing.If you are just starting out I suggest going to work someplace that pays you a salary to start and will sponsor you for your licenses (securities, insurance). Otherwise you will have to work someplace else for $ and then pt with a sponsor until you are ready to jump in as ft self employed.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Why did I want to be a planner? What did I like best about it? Am I self motivated?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
I am my own employer so this does not apply.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
You need a undergrad degree (any field) and then must successfully complete specific number of classes to sit for the CFP exam. Once you pass this two day 10 hr exam you still have to have 3 years of related field experience. Then in order to manage people’s investments you will need FINRA licensing as well (exams required) and state life insurance license too.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
I had a social work/counseling background which actually is quite applicable given the relationship people have with money and their planner.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
Internship experience would be very very helpful in this field. It will give you hands on experience and an idea of what to expect.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Spend time with someone who does similar work to get an idea of what is involved. There are many “working parts” to being a financial planner. Information gathering, interpersonal skills, research, on going education (for yourself and to educate clients), writing the plan, preparing returns and compliance and legal issues.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Social skills very important. Talking with people about money can be stressful for all parties. You need unbelievable organizational skills and have to be very very self motivated.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Definitely. Would you want to go to an untrained financial advisor or tax preparer? Also licenses are required.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
If you need someone to tell you what to do this is not for you. You have to be ready to work many hours, including evenings and weekends when most of your clients are available. You also have to be able to control your own emotions.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
This is what I was meant to do. It just took me a while to find that out.

What are your current career goals?
Continue to grow my business.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I love what I do. It has its challenges but after being employed in a number of other fields – this is it.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Certified Financial Planner 12 years self employed Collect & analyze financial information; goal setting; focusing on – cash flow/budget, insurance, taxes, estate planning, investments and retirement, debt consolidation; prepare/execute seminars on personal and business finance related issues; educate consumer; hiring.
Prior Job 2 Tax preparer 4 years by the hour Prepare tax returns for accounting firm. Review backup materials, contact clients for additional information or clarification.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
Rutgers Psychology
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
Boston University Certificate in Financial Planning

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