It’s funny to reflect on the past, particularly when you’re growing up, and think about what you thought you wanted to do as a career compared to what you’ve become in reality; having the thoughts of playing professional baseball, to becoming a history teacher, and everything in between is commonplace for every kid. Some know exactly what they want to be in elementary school and wind up becoming just that, but most figure this out much later in life; I would fall into the latter category. As you begin to mature and really look at your opportunities, hobbies, and interests, you begin to narrow in on a few areas that appeal to you most. Personally, I did not have a great understanding of what I wanted to become before I was in college.
Most people declare a major to study; I went in undeclared. I still enjoyed the concept of being involved in sports in some capacity (yes, I knew being a professional shortstop, as I dreamed of as a kid, was all but finished), but maybe I’d be involved in the front office of a sports team or eventually become an athletic director at a school. At this point, I was leaning towards sports management because sports was one of the only passions I had at that time. The college of business seemed interesting as well and something that I wanted to look into, however, I was still unsure on whether that would be marketing, accounting, finance, etc. After further thought and research I went ahead and decided on going into the college of business and see if that would be the right fit.
Core classes are required by all business majors regardless of their declared major. The core classes of both micro and macroeconomics was where I began to realize that this was the type of work I could see myself doing in the future. In the spring semester of my sophomore year, I slowly began following the stock market. I would watch business news in the mornings before class, watch documentaries and videos on almost anything markets related, read financial articles in magazines and newspapers, follow publicly traded companies that were household names, etc.
The summer after that semester ended was where I really started to dive deep into the stock market. After reading ‘The Snowball’ by Alice Schroeder, a biography of Warren Buffett, I knew that this is area of business that I want to be involved in. I opened a brokerage account and began buying stocks. Full disclosure, my account didn’t exactly grow exponentially at this stage, but I believe the lessons and knowledge I learned about what drives markets, how to value companies, when to buy and when to sell, sector rotations, etc. were invaluable. Investing with real money was something I thought would be more meaningful as opposed to play, or simulated, money because real emotions and psychology are attached to the trials and tribulations of real gains and losses. I knew this was my calling and I wanted to be involved in the financial markets for a living. What I would do as a profession was still up in the air.
As senior year was approaching, I started applying to two different professions. The first was to become a trader, and the other, a financial advisor. As I went through the interview processes of both areas of finance, it became clear I wanted to go the advising route as opposed to the trading route.
The overarching reason why I chose advising was that I wanted to use my knowledge and expertise to help others reach their financial goals and build both personal and professional relationships with those clients. To me, that is a more fulfilling way of making a career out of what I love, and I’ve never regretted my decision. The feeling I get when clients understand and see the potential benefits and logic of what comes out of their tailored plan, fills me with a sense of excitement, fulfillment, and pride. What more can you ask for in a job? That's why I became an advisor.
I want to extend a big thank you for taking the time and reading my weekly blog. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a sit-down meeting to discuss more of your financial future, please contact me at 610-374-6249 x114 or visit my website mlistmeier.wradvisors.com
This is meant for educational purposes only. It should not be considered investment advice, nor does it constitute a recommendation to take a particular course of action. Please consult with a financial professional regarding your personal situation prior to making any financial related decisions. (01/20)