A Life in Financial Planning

A Life in Financial Planning

“Good fortune.” These are the words Yeske Buie’s CEO Elissa Buie used as she reflected on her life and career in financial planning when sharing her story for a piece featured by the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce. The school recently interviewed Elissa, an alumna, to highlight important achievements of women working in financial services in support of their goal to transform and elevate the industry.

In this space, we share a summary of the article detailing Elissa’s mission, involvement, and advice for those passionate about financial planning, and we encourage you to read the interview in its entirety here on the University’s website.

UVA: What has been your mission regarding financial planning? What’s guided you along your career path

Elissa: “[Financial planning] tends to lend itself to the people in the profession who are very giving. I’ve had lots of mentors and lots of help along the way—people who were willing to give. I remember when I was starting my own firm, I called a handful of friends of mine in the profession and asked if I could visit them for a day and just stare over their shoulders to see how their firms worked. People had me staying at their homes and taking me out to dinner, and then I spent all day with them and their staff. It was really incredible. People were bearing their souls with no fear of competition. You hang out with people who are passionate about the profession, doing a really great job, and it rubs off on you.”

UVA: To what do you attribute your lasting success, and what do you hope your legacy will be?

Elissa: “To some degree, I think it’s because I’m not afraid to say what I think. I have strong opinions about this profession, and I share them. Sometimes people listen, and sometimes they think I’m nuts. That’s fine, too. I guess it’s not being afraid to show up and have an opinion about things. I’ve had people say to me after a foundation board meeting, ‘Wow, you were on fire today.’ Well, something grabbed me. And the next time, I might be really quiet.”
“I think the people who have done well in this profession are willing to take risks. They’re willing to go through times when things might be lean in exchange for the times when it’s not so lean and things are going well.”

UVA: What advice can you offer students interested in following your footsteps into a career in financial planning?

Elissa: “Financial planning is such a great world to be in, but it’s not mature yet by any stretch. If someone wants to do it, they’re just going to have to be willing to take a bit of a breath… [They might not] know what the future looks like, but if it doesn’t work out, they’ll be well-educated, and there are other opportunities. The odds are that it will be a great career for them if they take that risk and seek out someone whose value system and personality they connect with.”