It’s that time of year again, we reflect on the past and contemplate our futures, and we may even set a goal or two. Here at APCM we aren’t any different, each year the company measures where we’ve been and sets sights on new horizons. Last year, during our annual strategic planning meeting I set a new personal professional goal: become a Registered Paraplanner℠.
As my BA in Psychology may tell you, I had no inclination to have a career in Finance. As a lifelong Alaskan my husband and I started a family in Anchorage, after moving from our hometown of Cordova. I began working for APCM 5 years ago, primarily doing general administrative tasks on a part-time basis. I found I enjoyed the work because I enjoyed the people; the fun of working with the clients and coworkers outweighed the dryness of the tasks. Here, like at many companies, if you don’t say no to work then they will give you more. My part-time administrative tasks grew as the company grew. Especially as the individual division began to grow so did the needs of the clients and advisors; from facilitating complex paperwork, to technology expansions, to having a working understanding of the entire investment process. I naturally began to take on more “paraplanner like” tasks and my part-time work started to look like full-time. As the work became more interesting, I was inspired to take more control of our finances and create a better plan for my family’s financial future. Then officially in 2014 “APCM Wealth Management for Individuals” was formed and hasn’t stopped growing since, the subsidiary has grown nearly 40% in 2015. Spending so much time with the advisors, and seeing the work they do closely with the entire investment staff, it seemed natural that the next step would be to build my capacity and make a greater contribution to the team.
To become a Registered Paraplanner℠, I enrolled in an 8 week course online through the College of Financial Planning. The course covers: an introduction to different product categories, essential terminology and general concepts applicable to financial planning and culminates in a proctored exam. Pretty straight forward, right? Well, life through me a few curve balls and it took me a bit longer than I had anticipated. But I have to say, I followed the plan they set for me and it worked! The most surprising part for me was that I was more familiar with the terms and concepts than I realized. Now that studying and testing are complete, our house has returned to its’ normal level of chaos.
I am excited to be able to apply the concepts to my work which ultimately helps our clients. As for next year’s goal…I’ll keep you posted.
Mary Kate Herndon, RP®
Client Service Assistant