Financial Planning Residency

Connecting Real-Life Experience to Financial Planning Knowledge

In 2010, Cornerstone established our Residency in Financial Planning to prepare select graduates of CFP Board-Registered financial planning programs for careers as professional financial planners and to meet the advisory needs of our firm in serving our clients.  Three Residents have graduated from our program, and another is in the midst of her residency.  We anticipate offering five additional three-year residencies this decade.  Our program has been featured in podcasts by XY Planning Network and Kitces.com (at 35:18) as well as articles in Investment News and Financial Planning magazines.

We are currently seeking candidates for a three-year, full-time Financial Planning Resident for a residency to begin between now and June 2020.  In this salaried position, our Resident will gain real-life experience providing advice to clients in all areas of comprehensive financial planning and wealth management by working with our nationally-recognized team of professionals.  This group includes:

Andrea Eaton, CFP®                    Principal and Financial Planner
Jonathan Guyton, CFP®              Principal and Financial Planner
Sara Kantor, CFP®                       Financial Planner
Coresa Leighty, CFP®                  Resident in Financial Planning (2017-2020)
Christina Tucker                           Client Service Associate

After these three years, our Resident will be exceptionally well-qualified to obtain an advisory career-track position with an established financial planning firm or to begin their own enterprise.  Among other things, you will have established meaningful relationships (including hugs, tears and life planning conversations) with over 100 Cornerstone clients, participated in and/or led ~600 client and prospective client meetings, become ‘lead advisor’ for several of our increasing GenY clientele, written and presented multiple comprehensive financial plans, be as good as (or better) at income tax planning than anyone in your undergraduate cohort, prepared detailed estate plans, managed the Guyton/Klinger safe withdrawal ‘guardrails’ and structured multiple client investment portfolios.  You will be ready to be the ‘lead advisor’ in almost any client situation and will be an amazing team player in a professional environment.  Each Resident graduate successfully moved on to advisory positions in their top-choice geographical locations; those that re-located each received at least three job offers.

Responsibilities (progressing in involvement and complexity throughout the three years):

  • Client Interaction
    Establish relationships with our clients
    Participate in 4-6 client meetings each week from Day 1
    Complete follow-up communication and implementation from client reviews
    Participate in the new client discovery process
    Participate in the development and presentation of financial plans to clients
    Schedule client review meetings and determine agenda items
    Provide answers to client telephone and e-mail questions as capabilities increase
  • Back Office Support
    Prepare agendas and reports for 4-6 client review meetings weekly
    Review client investment portfolios relative to asset allocation strategy
    Submit portfolio trades online
    Update client data base in follow-up to review meetings
  • Administrative Duties
    Assist in answering incoming calls
    Prepare forms for ongoing client plan implementation
    Scan and organize client documents into client database
    Assist Chief Compliance Officer
    Assist with additional firm operations
  • Miscellaneous
    Review/Update website monthly as directed
    Complete various financial planning and/or investment research projects as needed

Qualifications:

Trustworthy, ethical, appreciative, hard-working emerging professional
Commitment to a career as a financial planning professional
Completion of a financial planning curriculum at a CFP Board-Registered Program
Outstanding academic achievement and related work experience
Excellent oral and written communication skills
Aptitude for applying financial planning knowledge to real-life situations
High personal standards with a team-oriented, fun-loving nature toward colleagues
Working familiarity with database and Microsoft Office software

Compensation:

Steadily-increasing base salary
Performance bonuses as abilities and experience grow
Individual health insurance with Heath Savings Account (HSA)
Annual company contribution to HSA
Long-term disability (60%) and group life insurance (100% company-paid)
401(k) plan with company match and profit sharing plan (9-12% of salary/bonus)
Paid holiday and personal time off (23+ days annually)
Annual budget for CFP® Exam, review course and C.E. classes
Relocation allowance (if applicable)
Annual FPA membership with local chapter meeting season ticket
Introduction to our network of established planning firms around the country

Testimonials from Past Residents:
Christine Damico, CFP®, EA; Sara Kantor, CFP®; Amanda Ansell, CFP®

“I can confidently say that the Residency exceeded my expectations both professionally and personally. I recall conversations with fellow CFP® program graduates and being the only one that was able to sit in on client meetings and plan presentations from the first day. Many others had to “work up” to client interaction, whereas Cornerstone not only trusts Residents with clients but makes it an essential part of your learning.”
Christine Damico, CFP®, EA; Sara Kantor, CFP®; Amanda Ansell, CFP®
Testimonials from Past Residents: 

It wasn’t until I left Cornerstone and interacted with other financial planners my age that I truly understood what an incredible opportunity I was given.  As an example, a financial planning peer didn’t step foot into a client meeting until after three years at his firm.  (Another) financial planner I met wasn’t allowed to meet with prospective clients until after ten years of experience whereas I was given this opportunity in my final year at Cornerstone.”

“Being in client meetings from the beginning allowed me to see how planning concepts and theories were applied to real, emotional, motivated people. As you know, planning is about far more than the numbers. Each person has a story to tell, and our job is to unwrap the past, envision the future, and walk through each chapter with clients. Cornerstone takes this call seriously and teaches Residents how to go down that path.

“Throughout the three years, I was continually learning, evolving and growing as a Resident and as a person. When comparing my work as a Resident with other planners, I learned I was doing client work at a similar or even higher level than planners that had been in the profession several years longer than I. Taking part in client meetings from the start and doing meeting preparation and follow-up allowed me to integrate the art and science of financial planning much earlier and more comprehensively than others in my circle.

“Significant growth does not come without hard work.  At times, I felt like I was in over my head because of the difficulty; however, I would not be where I am today without Jon and Andrea pushing me beyond my comfort level.  The Residency is designed to be hard and fast-paced because your goal is to graduate as a Financial Planner, not an Associate.

“My largest concern was to gain confidence in and application of my technical abilities, which I certainly did. What I did not expect was to develop such a love of and commitment to the profession, to have the support for leadership within FPA and experience the genuine care and connection between everyone at Cornerstone.

“Personally, the Residency meant the start to my “adult” life. I moved across the country within days of graduation. At times being in a new place was much harder than I expected, but those same challenges revealed things about myself and made me grow in ways I didn’t know I needed to. It helped to work in a family environment with people that genuinely care about each other. Co-workers have gone above and beyond to make me feel at home – giving me tours of the city, inviting me over for holidays, nights out with friends, boat trips, etc. They’ve truly made this place my home!”

When the time came to find my next position, I was shocked at how other firms reacted to my experience. I went to offices expecting to network but came out with multiple job offers. My “meetings” were not spent selling myself to firms; firms were selling themselves to me. I was told over and over how valuable my time at Cornerstone was and how impressed people were with the number of meetings I had been in, plans that had been completed and presented, interactions with clients, ability to rebalance portfolios, complete tax projections, and evaluate estate plans and insurance policies.”

While I was interviewing for my next position as a Financial Planner, several firms commented on how generous Cornerstone is with their total compensation (salary, bonus, profit sharing, etc.).  Aside from this, Cornerstone is also very generous with their vacation policy and flexible and considerate when life happens such as an illness in the family.”

“Being a Resident enabled me to develop professionally and personally in ways I never imagined. I would certainly not be where I am today without the Cornerstone Residency experience. I have learned what it means to be a thoughtful, skilled and trusted planner as well as that what I am doing is so much more than a job or a career.

“Andrea and Jon are humble, hard-working, extremely bright financial planners and well-connected thought leaders within the profession.  When I accepted the Cornerstone Residency, I had not heard of a more hands-on program and, eight years later, I still have not.  If I had to make the decision over again, I would respond with a resounding YES!

Contact:

We are always seeking outstanding candidates for our Residency in Financial Planning. Please email your resume and cover letter to andrea@cornerstonewealthadvisors.com. Resumes will not be accepted without a cover letter that states why you would be a good fit for this position and your three most defining characteristics or attributes. This exercise is meant to show us your writing skills and ability to follow directions, as well as to help us get to know you. Thank you in advance for your interest in Cornerstone Wealth Advisors, Inc.