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Old 07-04-2016, 09:01 AM
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Need career advice

So, I'm basically working in another somewhat dead end administrative job except that it carries the title of 'client service specialist'. I am struggling financially and know I need to make more money with my son entering college aged years soon, and with his dad slowly spiraling down into his alcoholism and depression.

I am upside down in many ways and my bf is encouraging me to interview with his company so that they will sponsor me to get my series 7 (as a stockbroker) and so that they can put me in a branch to be a financial advisor. There are so many things that he has done to get where he is as an advisor and he has years of business experience in corporate America that I don't have. I spent 16 years at home schooling my son and raising him.

I know I need to find a better paying job. I'm currently in financial services but basically I do all the grunt work for a small group of advisors that make $500K a year while I sit and make nothing practically. It kills me. I had my licenses (series 7 and 63) back when I was in college. I am a smart person but I'm 46 and I feel like it's too late to start a career like this. I kinda have this thought that it's for the young folks out there, lol.

My bf believes in me. He keeps encouraging me to update my resume, to get my license again, to interview and he said he'd help me with the business management side of things. He told me that he'd never encourage someone to take a job that he didn't think they were capable of doing. He said I'm smarter than 80% of the advisors he sees starting out. I want to believe in myself as much as he believes in me, you know?

I just never saw myself in that role. Even when I had my license I only used it to trade for Schwab and that was a discount brokerage firm. I would have to start learning and start completely over. I may fail. I am so afraid of failing and taking a chance on myself that I see it's stagnating me. I'm trying to figure out if there are any other career paths I could take where I could make more money but without the pressure of building a stand alone business for myself.

Any suggestions? I've already cut my bills down and my bf has helped me by adding me to his auto insurance. i've paid off one credit card but I know that there's still more to come as I get older. I have a decent amount set away for retirement and I really don't want to touch it until I actually need it. Sigh.....this being on my own stuff sometimes sucks, lol!
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:09 AM
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lizatola.....why not consult with a PROFESSIONAL CAREER COUNSELOR?
I don't see how it could hurt to at least see what they would have to say......

This brings memories, for me...lol....
My husband, at one time, was a financial planner...and I remember going with him when he was taking his Series 7 (in another city).....He also was a compensation director at the very high corporate level....
OMG!! The material that he had to know from his field (he was an economics major in college)....looked sooo intimidating, to me...who struggled with math in school...lol.....
It makes medical school look like a piece of cake......

You must be really smart, Liz....I know what this stuff takes.....

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Old 07-04-2016, 09:15 AM
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Is there a downside to trying, outside of the fear of failure thing?

It's always a little concerning when you end up combining your career with your relationship, because that adds a whole new level of anxiety, but can you study for this level thingie while staying in your current job?

Can you do it? Absolutely. The question is whether you really want to or whether you'd be doing it just to make your BF happy? If you in your heart of hearts know you'd hate the work itself...
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:21 AM
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Liz...I think aries makes some very good points.....
When my husband was going for the Series 7 tests....he was holding down another job,,,and, he was in elected office, too!
He stressed, also...and he was really smart....but, he did just fine. I remember that he was so nervous before each test......

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Old 07-04-2016, 11:42 AM
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Oh my, 46 is NOT too old! Are you kidding? Your best career years are ahead of you. Go for the license. How could it hurt?

I'm sure there are plenty of career paths for you also, if you don't want a stand alone business. I'm not familiar with your field but getting credentials can only help no matter what you choose.

I've been a tax accountant for over 30 years. I had a nice career but resisted going for the CPA license for decades because I never wanted the lifestyle of working full time plus studying for that exam (which is really four awful exams). Well, finally, at the urging of my firm and others, I started the process at the age of 55. It took two years - a year of review classes then a year of taking the exams plus more review, one exam per quarter. The lifestyle of preparing plus working full time was exactly as crappy as I always feared lol but I got the license. It helps, professionally, even at this late date (now I'm 60). Even more important I felt it was a good example to my adult children that it's never too late to accomplish something. I wish I'd done it at 46!
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Old 07-04-2016, 07:10 PM
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Liz,
Do it for you, because you want to do it. Not for your son, your boyfriend or anyone else.
Sending hugs my friend!!
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:23 AM
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Maturity brings a lot to a job, and you'll be miles ahead of the young ones with little life experience. At 60 I am in an office of mixed age, ranging from 16 (not really, they're 20 something but they LOOK like 16) up to my age and older. It works really well.

To improve your financial situation you have to make moves to train or study. You won't do it where you are, as you already know. Listen to your BF. BTW, is there a down-side of working in the same firm as him?
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Old 07-05-2016, 06:48 AM
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Thanks for the encouragement everyone. No, no downside to working for Edward Jones because he has his own independent office and I would where they assign me. My bf already has his own side business and has lots of experience in HR, business management, supply chain management, etc. He understands how companies work and he understands the economy so much better than I do. I understand people and their concerns because I have empathy. I've had many clients call our office and after talking to me, they tell me that I talk like one of the advisors on staff and that they wouldn't have known that I was only support staff. A lot of that is because I have industry knowledge from my 5 years at Schwab.

Anyway, yes, the series 7 is a grueling test. I hated math but Schwab put us through courses that helped us study for weeks ahead of time. I barely passed. My bf got a 97% on his 3 years ago, lol. He's the smart one, I'm the one who just can memorize. He understands formulas and numbers, while I understand practical information and compliance issues better. Then, you also have to take the Series 63 which is shorter but is state required testing.

My firm currently really needs someone on staff who can work with insurance products and annuities so I've talked to them about sponsoring me to take my Series 6. they aren't ready to do so. For all of these tests, you must be sponsored, you can't just go out and take them on your own. So, either I put pressure on my firm where I'm at or I take a chance at interviewing elsewhere with the promise that I can sit for the exams and that they'll sponsor me.

My bf is a good man but he's highly driven. I'm a bit on the lazy side sometimes when it comes to time management and studying, etc. He'd push me, he'd help me study the concepts I needed help with.

I need to think about it.........!!!
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:01 AM
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Hi kiddo do this its free the Six Sigma White Belt.. I did and got a raise.. have the yellow belt under me now and they have walked me up a step on the ladder.. this part of te Six Sigma is for people like us the doers the ones that get the work done and need to be rewarded for our actions and efforts for you can have a huge group of Black Belts in a room but none of them will be able to make coffee.. I worked in Stocks and Bonds back in the 1990's when I was 46.. Kiddo you can do this and should Stand Tall Hold the High Ground and babe .. start punching and kick a hole through it. you can do It I know it. go go go go hugs and prayers ardy...
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:24 AM
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I think you should go for it! Just my .02 friend!
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:47 PM
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IDK Liz - I work in the same field & I know how grueling the tests AND continuing education are, never mind building & maintaining a book of business. I spent 2 years on the fence with this decision myself & ultimately realized it was never going to make me happy as a career - I'm just not that interested or committed to it. I LOVE working with the people, but not the stress of designing portfolios & all that goes with it.

I don't think 46 is too late for ANYTHING but I do think that you should have some passion for this big of a change. Every part of this industry is challenging (especially the regulation updates going on right now!).... there has to be more than dollar signs in it for me, personally.

My biggest concern reading your post is that no matter HOW well things are in your relationship, setting yourself in ANY WAY to depend on your BF for your career is a potential disaster.... worst case scenario happens & you guys are effectively each other's competition...... & you may find yourself starting over AGAIN in a few years without the benefit of his support, you know? I personally think you'd be better served putting that kind of time into something you WANT to do, not something you feel pushed into.

However - I just started reading over the weekend about becoming a Financial Therapist! It's very early in my research but this may be a great bridge for me in my firm since we already have a very warm & fuzzy approach. BossLady & I are looking into it!

Forbes Welcome
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:22 PM
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Yes, Firesprite, you said what some of my concerns are. We obviously would have our own book of business and I wouldn't allow him access to my client accounts and vice versa, but his advice on running the practice and the office would be very helpful to me starting out. What if we break up in 2-3 years? That wouldn't be pretty even if we were running our own offices, you know?
Technically, we already are in competition but I'm support level staff at a private wealth management firm. Since I don't advise, I am really not competition....I just work for the competition, lol. Oh, and the FINRA 2090 among others are so much fun, lol!

Anyway, I honestly would like to go more corporate America with this. I did find out today they will not sponsor me to get either license here. So, in a few months, I will be most likely looking for another job again.

I may take Dandy's advice and find a career counselor because I really need to explore a few things. I, personally, would love to get into 401K management and retirement plan management at a large company; dealing with employees and handling distributions, doing presentations on their benefits packages, etc but I'm not even sure where to look for something like that or if I'd even be qualified. I think a lot of people are clueless as to what their companies are offering and they just blindly invest their money into some random fund that is offered to them. There is no investment advice for most 401Ks unless you already have an advisor. So, you get a retirement package with a morningstar report and a few funds listed and you, the average American with barely any investment experience, is expected to know how to diversify their retirement monies???

The idea of a financial therapist sounds interesting. Keep me posted!
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:23 PM
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I'm going to throw out another idea...estate planning/management for seniors.

I'm going through this with my aging parents right now and essentially my father has money stashed in a zilion places, which made sense for diversification but is now an organizational nightmare. Some are pretax, some are after tax, some are tax free, some are state tax free but the IRS get a chunk...it's a mess.

It's also a really delicate issue in helping people who may have lost many of their cognitive faculties make difficult decisions in a timely way. It takes enormous patience and compassion...which is where you would come in.

We have a choice among their expensive estate attorney, an expensive tax attorney, and an expensive tax accountant and what we need to get done falls just outside of the job description of any one of them.

Just throwing that out there as an idea...
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:27 PM
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^^^^^excellent commentary!

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Old 07-05-2016, 04:28 PM
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What if we break up in 2-3 years? That wouldn't be pretty even if we were running our own offices, you know?

Future Trip Alert!!! Please don't walk down that path. What if you stay together for eternity (and why wouldn't you)?

What if you break up? You'll need a plan anyway. Sounds like this is an opportunity to get to financial level where you will be comfortable.

To be blunt, without a marriage you don't have financial security TODAY (which is no reason to get married and not necessarily a sure thing either). Proceed as if he were not in the picture, what would you do? You should always be able to support yourself in the manner in which you are accustomed, especially after a divorce.

Go for it.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ariesagain View Post
I'm going to throw out another idea...estate planning/management for seniors.

I'm going through this with my aging parents right now and essentially my father has money stashed in a zilion places, which made sense for diversification but is now an organizational nightmare. Some are pretax, some are after tax, some are tax free, some are state tax free but the IRS get a chunk...it's a mess.

It's also a really delicate issue in helping people who may have lost many of their cognitive faculties make difficult decisions in a timely way. It takes enormous patience and compassion...which is where you would come in.

We have a choice among their expensive estate attorney, an expensive tax attorney, and an expensive tax accountant and what we need to get done falls just outside of the job description of any one of them.

Just throwing that out there as an idea...
This is a BIG part of what we do at our firm. While we do this for existing financial clients, we also do this as a project-based service for those that do not hold accounts with us. It's AMAZING when we get ahead of the issues, consolidate what makes sense & advise on the best way to spend-down assets in a tax efficient way, among so many other things.

When that happens & worst case scenario comes when a client passes away, their families ALWAYS contact us to tell us how easy & manageable we made the process. They literally have to open a file to find everything organized, summarized, laid out. They get to grieve instead of standing there, scratching their heads wondering where to even begin. We organize things for the client to take to those expensive attorney/CPA meetings so that they can get the most use out of the time & money they are spending there - we get everyone on the same page to the extent that the client wishes to have our involvement, basically.

But even after-the-fact, with estate issues we have made a huge difference for a lot of people. A big part of what I do is explaining it all to the client & baby stepping them into understanding the language around it all & feeling empowered to understand & manage it. It's THEIR lives.

The Financial Therapist part was a crazy irony - I ran across an article about it in an old issue of Yoga Journal.. but it is SO much a part of what I already do! When people call to talk about their accounts, 9 times out of 10 they just need to TALK & I hear all about their fears - not just about money, but how they manifested in money.

Liz - I think what you are talking about is perfect & from the little I *know* about you from your posts, you'd be perfect AT it. We think there's a big gap in exactly what you talk about - educating & empowering the employees to understand their benefits. Especially in small businesses. We spent some time analyzing it for our firm but feel like we'd need someone to be able to dedicate themselves exactly in the way you describe, 100% full time & likely with an assistant - but the lack of that type of business in our area specifically makes it not so cost-effective to pursue. The employers often need help understanding all of it more than they realize too - they see the tax savings but it takes a bit to grasp the layering of third party admins, fee schedules, specific plan details & reporting requirements.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:56 PM
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Right--you need to be self-sufficient regardless of what the future holds for your relationship. Even when relationships are "forever," partners die, get sick, have a financial calamity hit, etc.

The goal should always be to not HAVE to depend on another person's being there. I keep thinking about my stepmom (and you're a LONG way from this, so it isn't a comparison, just a useful lesson). I had to teach her how to use an ATM because "G. always handled that." Well, SHE is the only one who can drive, at this point, and nobody in the household is capable of using a computer, and I seriously doubt she has any clue about how much money they actually have or where any of it is. Thankfully, they have a LOT, and it is now in my capable hands to manage, but holy crap. Nobody should live that way. If my Dad had suddenly dropped dead, she would have REALLY been up a creek--it's taken me a solid month to get a picture of all their bills, expenses, various accounts. In his later years, Dad has been dropping the ball. I found he had a HUGE sum of money (six figures) sitting in a regular savings account. I immediately moved it to an online savings account where it is at least earning one percent interest--ten times what they were getting in the regular bank account. Once the dust from all the expenses involved with the move settles down and we have a plan for drawing down from their investment accounts, I will put some of that money where it will earn more, but at least it's out of the "keeping it in the mattress" status. They have a good financial planner (I'm not sure that's the correct title--it's "wealth manager" or something) at a large brokerage firm, who has taken a personal interest in their well-being. And, incidentally, SHE got into the business after a bad divorce and financial calamity. She got that training in large part for herself, as well as a way to make a living. She never wanted to have to depend on someone else to manage her money.

So whether you go for this career path, or something different, it pays to be able to stand on your own two footsies. And I'm with the others on being "too old"--no such thing. More and more people are changing careers later in life. Life paths aren't carved in stone in one's 20s anymore--thank goodness!
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:15 PM
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Just to clarify - when I talked about concerns about you "relying" in any way on BF I didn't mean financially yourself, I meant in terms of mentoring as you grow your independent business. "Relying" on him, even in terms of building confidence with best practices. It could be the very best or the very worst situation when home & work become so entwined, depending on the couple, IME.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by redatlanta View Post
What if we break up in 2-3 years? That wouldn't be pretty even if we were running our own offices, you know?

Future Trip Alert!!! Please don't walk down that path. What if you stay together for eternity (and why wouldn't you)?

What if you break up? You'll need a plan anyway. Sounds like this is an opportunity to get to financial level where you will be comfortable.

To be blunt, without a marriage you don't have financial security TODAY (which is no reason to get married and not necessarily a sure thing either). Proceed as if he were not in the picture, what would you do? You should always be able to support yourself in the manner in which you are accustomed, especially after a divorce.

Go for it.
I know, it's hard to NOT future trip after all I've been through. I know that things can change in a heartbeat, that people decide all of a sudden that they want to go a different route and it's obviously something I need to work on!

And, if I were to proceed without him in the picture, I still wouldn't know exactly where to take my career. I have no idea where things will lead me, I just know that I need more experience and time is running out financially for me to the point where I feel I need to double my income in the next 2 years.

I love my Bf but I don't want to rely on a man ever again for financial dependency. I just don't have the confidence or the skill set I need to create a job for myself. Sixteen years out of the workforce doesn't look good on a resume, even if I wasn't sitting around eating ice cream and watching soaps.

I am not interested in estate planning, as someone had mentioned above. We do plenty of estate work but most of it is handled by lawyers. We just do the in house processing, new account opening, transfers, funds distribution, etc. Clients dealing with estate settlement have been less than pleasant and many times have brought me to near tears because they want their money and they want it NOW and what the advisor didn't tell them is that estate settlements take time. I don't think I have the patience nor the skill set to deal with demanding grieving people. Just being honest about who I am and what I think I'm capable of. I'd rather talk to people about how to manage their money in the future.

Actually, I wouldn't mind talking to people who are too dependent on their spouses and teaching them how to become financially independent or how to set up credit in their own names, or how to start a basic financial plan just in case their spouse passes away at a young age or in case they don't have job skills, etc.

Not sure where that would fit in or what kind of place does this, lol?!
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:42 PM
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what do YOU want to do Liz?
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