Lindsey Donovan graduated from the CFP Program at Christian Brothers University in January of this year and passed the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional Board of Standards (CFP®) exam for certification in March. Below is Lindsey’s account of the experience as relayed to program administrator Christina Brown.
Christina Brown: I see you have been in the financial industry since 2007. Will you tell me a little bit about what made you decide to seek certification?
LD: I have always seen investment planning as a way for me to have a real impact on people’s lives. During my undergraduate studies, and in learning from my aunt who I am close with, I began to have an interest in the financial world. Being in the financial industry for the past 5 years since graduation, I felt that the CFP® certification would help take my practice to a higher standard for myself and for my clients.
CB: How did you manage to balance work, classes, and a personal life while completing the program? What about community involvement?
LD: I feel that the best way to prepare for the CFP® exam is to understand the long road ahead of you and to know what the commitment is with the program. For me, pacing myself and taking time to fully understand all the material helped. Balance came with setting aside time for studying, and being able to stick to a strict and regimented schedule, especially prior to the exam. Time management allowed me to continue to serve my clients, be involved in my community through various events and organizations I am a part of, and still have a personal life as well.
CB: Congratulations on passing the CFP Board’s exam this March! Passing the exam is a major accomplishment. How did you prepare yourself for the exam? What advice would you give your colleagues who are considering certification or who are about to take the exam?
LD: The best advice I can give to CFP® candidates is to pace your studying, spend time each day leading up to the exam and don’t cram. This exam has a very broad range of topics and it takes time to understand how the topics intertwine. The best thing I did was to commit time before and after work to prepare for the exam. Pacing yourself allows time to not feel pressured on the weekends to “catch-up”, which usually results in panic.
CB: I see that you are currently an Associate Financial Advisor with Veesart Financial, LLC. How has certification affected your career?
LD: Joining Veesart Financial, LLC has given me the opportunity to work on growing my financial advisory practice and build lasting client relationships and have an impact on people’s lives. We help clients understand how their assets can play a role in their
lives and have a very personal approach to investment planning. With the CFP® certification, I am now able to share more knowledge with my clients to help me to be a better investment planner and set a higher level of expectation. I believe the experience and knowledge gained while preparing for, studying, and passing the CFP® exam is invaluable.
This article has been authored by Christina Brown, program administrator at Christian Brothers University. Lindsey Donovan is an Associate Financial Advisor with Veesart Financial, LLC. and can be contacted at 901-748-4899. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN), member SIPC. Veesart Financial, LLC is a separate entity from WFAFN.