Preston Cherry, MS, CFP® is the founder and president of Concurrent Financial Planning Center, LLC, a comprehensive financial planning firm serving households and business owners across generational lines. Preston’s passion for people and his commitment to serve ring loud and clear in this interview, and I think his story is quite motivating. Make sure to tune in to hear all about his different business ventures and career paths within the profession, how he started his own firm, and more.
We cover a lot of ground in this interview, so I hope you enjoy!
A variety of interests and ventures
Preston Cherry is working towards his PhD in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University, is an active mentor, and opened his own virtual firm — all while writing a book. No big deal, right? When I sat down with Preston, I first asked him what project makes him the most proud at the moment, and he informed me that it is making an impact on others. Preston especially enjoys making a measurable impact, and seeing his students go out into the world and affect change.
Preston (as you can tell), is a man of many interests and skills, so we also talked about starting his firm and the process he went through to build it. He shared that it had actually been a longer process for him than many people thought, and it took a gentle nudge from his grandfather to propel him forward. “You're holding yourself back because you're scared,” his grandfather said, “so work through that.” When Preston heard his words, he knew it was time to start his business — and that’s what he did.
I think this story is something many NexGen planners can relate to, because there is so much fear about our skillset and our abilities. But sometimes, you just have to dive in!
The vulnerability of bank statements
As if all of that weren’t enough, Preston is also writing his first book, called Statements. I asked him to elaborate on the title and his thought process behind the book. He explained that he got the concept through experience, both professionally and personally. The title, “Statements,” is a double play on bank statements and how financial planners can bring empathy and understanding to these personal financial documents in a client relationship.
A big part of the book, Preston shared, is talking about how clients, no matter their wealth status, always leave out the statement page when handing over documents. A statement is an incredibly personal document and it means a lot when a client is able to trust a financial planner enough to hand that information over. Preston and I both commented on the vulnerability our clients display when they hand over documents like that, and how it can be a powerful moment for a CFP® professional.
Mentoring up-and-coming financial planners
As a mentor, Preston has worked with a lot of new financial planners, which is a big part of why I wanted to interview him for this episode. To get a feel for the kind of work he does with his mentees, I asked him to share some of the commonalities he sees, as well as some of the core issues young planners are facing right now.
Preston explained that his biggest question when working with a mentee is “What do you want to do?” There can be a lot of noise, a lot of input, but what do you want to do? This question often sparks students to tell Preston that they want to be in front of clients and in meetings. Preston is quick to help them see how much value comes just from looking through documents, and how they can gain a wealth of information just from studying the statements they are given. He wants NexGen planners to know that sitting in on a client meeting shouldn’t necessarily be the first thing they worry about, and lets them know it’s OK to start slowly and work their way up to those more client-focused activities.
Preston had a lot to share with me during this episode, and I’m thankful for his insights. I hope you take a listen to this episode to see just how different the profession can be for any NexGen planner, and how each of your interests can serve you both professionally and personally. You can also hear more about Preston’s process toward owning his own virtual firm, why he has never “sold” anything (even as a wholesaler), and what’s on the horizon for him.
What You’ll Learn:
- The power of “maximizing” yourself
- The benefits mentoring and teaching within the profession
- Why it’s OK to switch career paths at any age
- “Wholesaling” and changing the paradigm of “selling” in the profession
- How to let go of fear and do what you really want
- How to take self-inventory
- Preston’s thought-provoking question for young financial planners
- Why it’s OK to take it slow and work your way up in your firm or career
- Why statements are one of the most vulnerable parts of the financial planning process — for both planners and clients
In this episode of YAFPNW, we talked to Preston Cherry, MS, CFP®, about: