Galen Herbst has his practice in the financial services industry. His interest in financial planning began while working in a different career. He wanted to change his career that financial planning “cross is professional expertise, project management, and the interest in personal finance.” When starting his practice, Herbst considered “whom did I want to work with and what were the work conditions.”

Before selecting the program, he was going to pursue; his wife recommended, “If you are going to get an education anyways, make sure to get a professional degree. If you don’t like the profession, you still have an MBA.”  The California Lutheran University Program offered the MBA and the CFP courses to pursue the CFP designation. His favorite part of the program was the professors’ availability because they were available to answer his professional questions or career advice. The courses in behavioral finance and how to effectively work with clients were the courses that helped Herbst coach clients to reach their financial goals.

The essential skills in a financial planning career will depend on what you want to do. For example, if you want to be client-facing, behavioral finance will be crucial because “you will be creating effective recommendations people will listen to and match them, not what you are thinking.” His wife is the most significant influence in his career because “she is the one who helped me focus on moving my career towards what I wanted to do for a living.”

The most significant trend in the financial planning industry is planning to become a core expectation of your services. Another one is professionals that have different disciplines, such as one professional will be “tax, investment, or client meeting focused.” In the next 5-10 years, Herbst wants to optimize his practice and continue to learn.

Starting your practice requires a lot of effort and dedication with little to no reward because you are “building.” Herbst advises, “You need to know that it is going to be tough, and it is that way for everyone. You are not alone, and you are not doing anything wrong if nothing is working.”

The advice Herbst offers to students pursuing their career in financial planning is “focus on what it is that you want to do with your work and optimize your work. Do not focus on what everyone else does in the financial services industry; focus on what makes you happy daily.”


About the Author: 

Rafael Nieves Rios is a graduate student at California Lutheran University, graduating in 2024. He is studying for an MBA in Financial Planning.