The Value of a Financial Planner

This article was written by Kelsey Van Wagoner, a student at Utah Valley University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Personal Financial Planning.

As an intern at JLFanklin Wealth Planning, I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand many areas of Financial Planning. I have been able to see the topics I’ve studied in class come to life, and I have witnessed up-close how this knowledge can really help people and improve lives.

My favorite part of the internship is attending client meetings, experiencing what a Financial Planner goes through when interacting with clients. I attended a “Discovery Meeting,” in which the Financial Planner asks questions to really understand a client’s financial life. Clients are asked about their hopes and dreams, what is important to them, what they want for their family members, what they value, what they would like to achieve with their money, and much more. It is truly amazing to see how invested the Financial Planner is in helping clients reach their goals.

Hearing what clients really want out of life is so intriguing. It’s really exciting in those moments to know that someone can help them achieve their goals, and after a summer of watching how much the advisors care, I know that the clients of this firm are in good hands. They don’t have to plan for the future alone because they have someone with them every step of the way – someone who has the knowledge to help them get to where they want to go.

As I’ve attended these client meetings, I’ve learned that every individual’s situation is different. Every client has their own story, goals, job, family, etc., which means that there is no one financial solution for everyone. Financial Planners don’t tell their clients exactly what to do; they help their clients achieve what is important to them. The Financial Planner doesn’t create a client’s goals, but rather helps them achieve their unique objectives.

It has also been interesting to see how an office of Financial Planners functions. As I’ve worked here and helped prepare client work, I’ve realized how much time and detail are required. The decisions that are being made are really important, and they require background knowledge about the client and attention to the details of the client’s financial life. Tarren and Joyce focus all resources on clients and their needs. I’ve realized that they aren’t just their clients’ Financial Planners, but they are also their clients’ friends. They really care and spend many hours ensuring that clients have a great experience.

One way they show how much they care is in how they treat their clients’ information; they take great pains to keep it confidential. It is important to realize that Financial Planners are dealing with private information all the time and must have specific safeguards in place. As an intern at this firm, I have seen how they always treat client data with the utmost care. This is more evidence that they truly care for their clients and their financial future.

I am excited to see the difference that I can make as a Financial Planner one day, just like Joyce and Tarren are making in the lives of many people. I know that the skills I’ve learned working at JLFranklin Wealth Planning will help me serve my own clients throughout my career. Lessons include the importance of treating clients’ information with care, helping clients achieve their financial goals, and always putting a client’s needs first. This firm has been a great example of the valuable contribution Financial Planners make to the lives of their clients.