May 8, 2020
Jared Martin’s journey at California Lutheran University began as a Computer Science major. Shortly after taking one of Professor Klepper’s classes he soon realized it was not the major for him, nor the career path he wanted to go down. In Professor Klepper’s class, he learned about the FPA Planning competition and met with Dr. Chia-Li Chien. “It really spurred my love for financial planning along with all the knowledge I gained in Prof. Klepper’s class, I felt that it would be a career I was interested in and it would be something I would like to pursue.” Now Martin is a Business Administration major with a minor in Financial Planning.
Looking to the Future
After graduating from California Lutheran University, Jared would like to start working at a smaller financial planning firm to “learn about the profession more and more as I pursue and earn my CFP®. After that, I’m considering graduate school if I continue down the path of financial planning and I’m considering a CFA as well,” said Martin.
After graduating many ask if you should go to a smaller or larger firm. Professor Klepper says it doesn’t matter but don’t go to a firm that is heavy in their sales. Further, he said you should do your research as some firms are better than others. “As you pick whether or not to go to a big or small firm always make sure that you have some sort of mentor because who you pair up with is going to make a huge difference in terms of what your career looks like,” said Dr. Chien.
In the next 3 to 5 years he would like to pass his Certified Financial Planner exam and have a reasonable job that is steady with the ability to progress. He hopes to be living somewhere in Southern California to Central Coast California.
“What really drives me in the financial planning field is the interactions with people. I really enjoy the personal aspect of it. I enjoy talking to people making connections and I find that it’s a good way to help people in their lives. It’s also a job with a reasonable amount of flexibility as far as your daily schedule, you don’t necessarily spend all of your time in an office,” said Martin.
Enjoying Financial Planning Classes
The financial Planning courses are interesting to Martin and he thinks they are more applicable than any other courses in his business major. “Financial Planning really bleeds into every other sort of topic I have dealt with,” he said. The information he is learning in classes can also be applied to his personal finances in the future.
Martin has always enjoyed math throughout school, he said that the math in the minor does not feel too intense as it is more formula based. “I think for people who don’t like math it makes it a feasible minor option.” He has also enjoyed the people he has met within the department from professors to professionals along with taking Prof. Klepper’s and Dr. Salehi’s classes.
Like many practitioners in financial planning, Dr. Salehi took a Bachelor in Science before moving into the financial planning field. This is not an uncommon root for many to originally have a major in a different area and to switch. “Some of the best planners out there came from a background of engineering, pilots, and even scientists,” Dr. Chien said. The difference between the majors is the interaction with people as both fields have a base of algorithms and equations.
For students who are thinking about taking a minor, there is an intro class that can be taken which will allow a taste of the program and information. “For students thinking about it, the best thing they can do is try it because regardless they’ll get good information for their financial future,” Martin said.
Two sets of courses are offered if you are looking for a class with an introduction to financial planning. UNIV-102 Intro Personal Finance is a one-credit class that talks about the core of introducing students to financial planning. BUS 396 Personal Financial Planning & Risk Mgmt is a course that is more specific and encourages students to think about their career path, Professor Klepper said.
“I’ve had nothing but wonderful professors and nothing but great experiences. I came into it [the major and minor] not necessarily the most involved student in general. The minor drew me in. All the topics and knowledge has really pushed me forward to the point where I am actually the president of the Student Financial Planning Club,” Martin said.
Financial Planning Association (FPA) Student Club
Martin’s role as president of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Student Club has various responsibilities from recruiting new members to attending the FPA of Ventura County. The club has around 12 members currently, and their focus is to bring in outside speakers “to engage our Cal Lutheran community and financial planning,” Martin said. It is not necessarily just to those who are financial planning minors or interested in a career, but to share information with the community to learn about it.
Martin is also involved with the FPA Ventura County. He has attended two quarterly meetings with two guest speakers at each learning about different topics including digital security, investment strategies, and client communication once someone passes away. “Personally I’ve taken quite a lot from the educational talks but I’ve also learned quite a lot from the members. It’s been a great networking experience, there’s been at least 40 to 50 people I’ve spoken to who are in the financial planning field,” he said. Experience has allowed him to learn a lot about networking but also learn about other’s career experiences. “The time spent is extremely worth it and I’m hoping once we begin meetings in person I can get a number of club members to attend too” Martin said.
“Jared took the initiative to learn more beyond the classroom, because of that, he has learned leadership and he is now the president of the student club. Because of that then he learned how to do networking with practitioners and on top of it, he also learned how to do communication. He is not just earning a degree with a minor, he is also effectively learning how to be with people, how to network, and like it or not, Jared has already been learning how to do proper sales,” Dr. Chien said. These skills that he has accommodated through these opportunities will lead him to stand out among others when looking for jobs and internships in the future.
There is a gap of young people coming into the financial planning field right now which is a great employment opportunity as American’s need financial advice. With an aging generation of financial planners, now is a great time to begin a career in it as the demand is so high.
Martin’s favorite part of California Lutheran University is the professors and the experiences offered by the university. In particular, the ones that are career-related and the resources offered to the students. His greatest influences are Dr. Salehi, Prof, Klepper, and Dr. Chien through his classes and additional opportunities with working with them.
About the Interviewee:
Jared Martin is a traditional undergraduate student pursuing a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a minor in Financial Planning. He is president of the Student Financial Planning Club and a part of the FPA Ventura County.
Dr. Chia-Li Chien is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Financial Planning Program of California Lutheran University and a Succession Program Director at the Value GrowthInstitute. Dr. Chien is a frequent speaker about succession and retirement planning at national conferences and has published three books, including her most recent publication, “Enhancing Retirement Success Rates in the United States.” She is a national Board of Director of Women in Insurance & Financial Services Association. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Houssein Salehi is an assistant professor in Financial Planning. He has a doctorate in personal financial planning and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). He also has an M.Sc. in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University, an M.A. in Economics from Texas Tech University, and an M.Sc. in Financial Management from Tehran University.
William F. Klepper is a senior adjunct faculty member and he has served over 30 years in the financial industry. He is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®). He is currently employed by RNC Genter Capital Management as Senior Vice-President Regional Director. He has worked for Union Bank of California, Wilshire Associates, Imperial Trust Company, and Wm. Mason & Company, Inc.. He has worked in all aspects of the financial field (Marketing, Management, Administration, and Trading). William is President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise, Past President of the Simi Valley Police Foundation, Moorpark College Foundation Vice-Chairman, and Ventura Fire Protection Board.
Rosie Baker is an undergraduate student at California Lutheran University expecting to graduate in May 2021. She is studying Communication with an emphasis in PR and Advertising and has a minor in Creative Writing. She is currently writing a book, Windows and Mirrors, which is due to be published this summer with New Degree Press.