What is the Best Piece of Advice You’ve Ever Received?

The FPA community weighs in on the best words of wisdom they’ve ever received.

Next Generation Planner: January 2021


“I’ve gotten a lot of great advice over the years, but my all-time favorite is to do whatever tasks you are dreading that day first thing in the morning. Avoiding bad conversations or decisions is more draining than you realize, and you’ll feel so much better once it’s been addressed.”

Jessica Goedtel
Lead Planner, Facet Wealth



“The advice I cherish the most was, ‘Stay the course. Keep doing the right things and good things will happen.’ This career can have many ups and downs, and you have to have faith that things will work out.”

Stephanie Trexler, CFP®
Associate Financial Adviser,Grand Wealth Management



“I’ve been partnering with a wealth management adviser since I was a sophomore in college. November marked my eighth year in the business and I’ll never forget his advice to always invest in your intellectual capital because no one can ever take that away from you. I had my Series 7, 66 and life and health licenses by the time I graduated college. It’s been five years since then and I now have my CFP®, RICP®, ChFC® and AIF® designations. I’ll be focusing on the CLU designation in 2021.”

Amie Agamata, CFP®, RICP®, ChFC®, AIF®


“The best piece of advice I received when first starting out in financial planning is to ‘treat every client like you’re leaving tomorrow.’ When I first was given this advice, I took it at face value. I thought it was about being able to make the break to independence and taking clients with me. However, I now realize that it’s less about that and more about building long-term relationships. If you were to leave to another firm tomorrow, you would want to be on the best possible terms with all of your clients so that they would come with you. You would want to be top of mind, have spoken with them recently and have had made an amazing last impression. When you approach your clients with that attitude, you will do better work, have a more meaningful career and build long-lasting relationships.”

Mackenzie Richards, CFP®
Financial Planner, SK Wealth Management LLC



“I received a great piece of advice from listening to a Toastmasters speech a few years ago. The title of the speech was ‘Just Say Yes.’ The speaker reflected on her life and how just saying yes to opportunities opened many doors for her. I try to adopt the same philosophy in my life and say yes to opportunities—even if they are outside of my comfort zone or if I don’t know how to accomplish the task I just signed up for. It always ends up working out!”

Leslie S. Rea, CFP®
Director of Financial Planning, The Bahnsen Group



“Whether it be investing in yourself with additional education or taking calculated risks to further your career, don’t let others decide what’s best for you, or what’s possible.”

Brian P. Fischer, CFA, CFP®
Senior Financial Adviser, Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial Wealth Management



“The best advice came from the commanding officer on my U.S. Navy ship, while I was a young ensign. The advice was, ‘Never let yourself be overtaken by events.’ It specifically meant that if you waited too long to make a course change, you were going to collide with another ship. In life, it has meant to be prepared and be alert to make changes promptly as necessary to prevent disasters of any type.”

Herschel V. Clanton, CFP®
President, Chancellor Wealth Management Inc.


“When I was in my early 20s, I was acquainted with a successful businessman who was about 30 years older. Apparently, I was visibly impressed with his home, car, etc., so he gave me the best words of wisdom I have ever heard: ‘David, you seem impressed by the trappings. You need to realize that everyone has the same financial problems—the decimal point just moves over. I worry about making $300,000 next year (roughly $600,000 in today’s dollars) just like you probably worry about making $30,000. It takes me every bit of that to support my living expenses.’”

David E. Hultstrom, CFP®
President, Financial Architects



“The best piece of advice I ever received was, ‘Don’t call your client’s new wife his ex-wife’s name.’ Relationships are key.”

Arlene S. Cogen, CFP®
Speaker and Author, Arlene Cogen Consulting



“The hardest part about being a financial planner is finding people to pay you to do financial planning for them.

The best and easiest way to service clients is to answer phone calls or emails immediately or at least the same day. You will be amazed by the number of prospects who will tell you that their adviser did not follow up with them in a timely manner after they called or emailed. Even easier to do is proactively call or email clients to check in with them.

Surprise and delight—send clients an unexpected gift (nothing big) that shows you are thinking of them.”

Daniel P. Lash, CFP®, AIF®
Partner and Adviser, VLP Financial Advisors


General Financial Planning Principles
Career stage
Learning / Aspiring