Why I Became a Financial Advisor

2022-12_Why I Became a Financial Advisor

By Michael Wagner

Over the years, it’s common for specific people or events to influence our decisions and significantly impact how we live our lives. For me, the inspiration and example of my father led me to where I am today.

Growing up working in the family shoe business, my dad instilled in me that customer service was the only thing that mattered. I watched my father outwork everyone I knew in order to provide the best service to his customers. I remember a pivotal moment while working with my father. When an older diabetic man with foot pain came into the store, we helped him find the perfect-fitting shoe, and he later returned and told us he wasn’t in pain anymore. Simply listening and understanding the customer’s needs made all the difference. This scenario can be applied to financial planning in that we help our clients create better results with their finances and wealth. We are helping them remove or alleviate their financial pain.

Ultimately, my experiences working with my father inspired my love for helping others by identifying their goals and building a plan to help them achieve success. It took me a couple of career changes, but now I have found fulfillment in my profession as a financial advisor, where I am able to put into practice the lessons my father taught me.

Finding My Way

I first became a financial advisor in 2007, but before that, I worked in various positions within the accounting and business fields. I’ve always been interested in finance, and numbers made sense to me, so I pursued a bachelor’s and a graduate degree in accounting. After grad school, I worked for years in the assurance and advisory practice at Ernst & Young, LLP. Later, I worked as a senior consultant for a forensic accounting and valuation firm. Eventually, I realized that was not my calling and discovered the world of financial planning. I was always searching for a way to help people achieve their goals and finally felt like I could best utilize my skills and passions as a financial advisor.  

The Right Fit

Today, as a Member and Director of Business Development at The Welch Group, I am able to combine my 20-plus years of experience in the accounting and financial fields with my love for helping people reach their goals. In my current role, I help clients identify their needs and goals and design a customized plan to help them get where they want to be.

My father taught me two major lessons: 1) We’re not selling shoes; we are selling services. 2) Put your head down and get to work. Carrying these lessons into my relationships with clients, my mindset is that everything I do is about them, and if I do my job well, that is my reward. My father told me that people have many options in life and that the kind of person you are and the service you provide will set you apart. They won’t forget that. It’s important to let people know you care and go the extra mile in order to get the right fit.

Why I Love What I Do

One of the most fulfilling aspects of my job is meeting new people. Our firm is centered around enriching the lives of others—including our clients, colleagues, and the community through active service opportunities. I also love the opportunity to meet someone who is questioning how to best prepare for retirement. This gives me a chance to learn more about their unique situation, their goals, and craft a plan specifically designed to help them achieve their retirement dream. As the relationship progresses, my greatest fulfillment is when the client can see that dream coming to fruition and they can accomplish their goals.

Take the Next Step

At The Welch Group, we are dedicated to our clients’ success and empowering them to take control of their finances. I am always open to meeting new people and seeing how I may be able to help. 

Whether you’ve already started planning for the future or have yet to put strategies in place, it’s never too late or too early to connect with a trusted advisor who can help you reach your goals even faster. I encourage you to reach out to us today for a no-obligation conversation to see how we can help you achieve success. Schedule an introductory phone call or call us at 205-879-5001.

About The Welch Group

The Welch Group is a fee-only, employee-owned wealth management firm committed to The Welch Group is a fee-only, employee-owned wealth management firm committed to enriching the lives of its clients. Founded in 1984, The Welch Group helped pioneer the fee-only financial planning and investment management movement and has put clients’ needs first ever since. Offering wealth management and family office services to retirees and young professionals, The Welch Group team strives to simplify financial management and help clients secure their financial future so they can focus on what matters most. Our personalized and comprehensive approach helps clients plan for their goals, needs, and concerns, including estate planning, cash flow, charitable and tax planning, and retirement strategies.

As financial advocates, the financial advising team is made up of educated, experienced, and dedicated professionals, including Certified Public Accountants, a Juris Doctorate (JD), individuals with MBA degrees, and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Accredited Estate Planner®, and Chartered Financial Analyst® professionals. The Welch Group is passionate about giving back, and creating positive ripple effects in our community by supporting local charitable organizations through The Welch Group Foundation. To learn more about what we do and how we can help, explore our website and schedule a complimentary consultation.


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