Why I Became A Financial AdvisorSubmitted by Harvest Asset Group | Fee-Only Financial Planner Portland ME on September 18th, 2019
By Michael Donahoe
Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. While we may start out in one career, our experiences may show us other areas we want to pursue, needs that aren’t being met, or open doors to new opportunities. That’s exactly how I found my way into my career as a financial advisor.
The First Leg Of The Journey
After graduating from George Washington University with an MBA, I enjoyed a successful two-decade career in marketing and sales, including managerial posts with large U.S. companies in Boston, Philadelphia, and the San Francisco Bay Area.
During this period of time, I developed a keen interest in personal financial planning. On a number of occasions, I sought out help from professional “advisors,” but I found my experiences ranged from unhelpful to actually moving me in the wrong direction financially. So my motivation in the profession grew largely out of frustration with the financial services industry.
In the early 2000s, I felt ready for a new challenge and started working toward my Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation at the University of California, Berkeley, where I learned more about how the profession works. Most career tracks follow what is called a “production model,” where personal compensation is driven by selling. But I also learned about an emerging way of doing business as an advisor where a higher standard of care exists for clients and the business model is based on services rather than product pushing.
With my new CFP training in hand, I resigned my executive marketing position with a large international company, moved my young family from the Bay Area in California to Portland, Maine, and began my new career as a fee-only financial advisor.
The fee-only fiduciary model of doing business excited me very much, so after working with and training under a more experienced advisor for five years, I founded my own firm, Harvest Asset Group, LLC in 2012.
Now, seven years later, our thriving independent, fee-only advisory firm in Portland, Maine, helps clients build and sustain wealth through partnership, guidance, and education. As owner and founder, I head up the client services team and serve as the firm’s chief compliance officer. I spend my days helping our clients achieve their financial and life goals through a personal and results-oriented approach. My hope is that our planning process brings clarity and confidence to our clients so they can focus on what matters most in their life.
Hurdles and Triumphs
There’s no doubt that every job has its challenges, mine included! And when you deal with money, things can get even more difficult. Our markets are unpredictable, and that can cause anxiety and other negative emotions which may lead to unwise decisions. As part of my job, I strive to educate my clients on how to stay focused on the long term, guide them in what to do when the markets get dicey, and help them experience confidence no matter what’s going on around them. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but there’s nothing like knowing that what I do is improving people’s lives. I work hard every single day because of the enduring relationships I’ve developed with my clients and my commitment to strengthen and build their financial life.
What About You?
Now it’s time for me to learn about you. What are you looking for in a financial advisor? What challenges do you currently face? If you are ready to partner with an advisor and achieve financial freedom, call us at (207) 775-1151 or email us at email@example.com to get started today.
Michael Donahoe is the founder and principal of Harvest Asset Group, LLC, an independent, fee-only financial planning and investment management advisory firm in Portland, Maine. Michael enjoyed a successful corporate career in marketing and sales before transitioning to the financial industry, founding his firm in 2012, where he now leads the client services team and serves as the firm’s chief compliance officer. Michael earned his MBA degree from George Washington University and completed his educational requirements to earn the CFP® mark of distinction at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a Fee-Only and NAPFA registered financial advisor, a designation which followed the completion of rigorous continuing education requirements. Michael has lived in the Portland area for over a decade since relocating from San Francisco in 1995 to be closer to family. He is active in community affairs and spends his non-working time enjoying the natural beauty of Maine.