The Bells Speak on “Integrating the Career Conversation into the Financial Planning Process” at the May 2012 National Financial Planning Conference

Jim Bell, CFP®, Founder/President of Bell Investment Advisors in Oakland, California, and Bonnie Bell, MA, M.Div., Principal of the firm and Director of Career/Life Coaching, were invited to speak at the 2012 National Financial Planning Conference and Retreat on “Integrating the Career Conversation into the Financial Planning Process.” Over 400 financial planners from around the United States attended the retreat held at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 5 – 9, 2012.

For the first time in the retreat’s history, Continuing Education Units were approved for a breakout session having to do with this theme. In addition to the session itself, the Bells were involved in multiple conversations with attendees regarding the unique manner in which they have integrated Career Coaching with Investment Management and Financial Planning in their Registered Investment Advisory Firm. They consider their three offers as aspects of the same conversation, which is not just about money, but about having a good life. A fundamental aspect of having a good life is having a successful career, which is the primary source of all other financial assets.

The Bells were invited to speak by the owner of To Your Wealth, a financial planning firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mike Haubrich, CFP®, who has been writing and speaking about the importance of integrating the career conversation into the financial planning process for a number of years. While not a career professional himself, he has developed relationships with several career coaches in his area, so that he can make appropriate referrals when his clients experience challenges, crises, and the need for development in the course of their careers. He is adamant about including a line item in all of his financial plans called “Career Development.” In a typical financial plan, that category will be monetized at approximately $3,000 per year.

Both Mike Haubrich and Jim Bell independently – and in two different parts of the country – began talking about career as a financial asset around the same time. They, along with Bonnie Bell, who has been a career coach for over 20 years, believe that by paying as much attention to career as to any other financial asset, by consistently setting aside money to pay for career development, and by investing in career through continuing education, training and coaching over a lifetime, a client will build professional power to guard against career and financial vulnerability in the marketplace. In the Bells’ way of thinking, integrating the career conversation into the financial planning and investment management processes builds positive momentum for life.

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