Kudos to Kacie!
It is our pleasure to share that Kacie Fawls, Associate Financial Planner in our Vienna office, has obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification! This achievement is something that Kacie has been working towards since 2018 when she enrolled in the CFP Board Registered Education Program at Virginia Tech in her sophomore year of college. She completed the education requirement when she graduated in May 2021, and satisfied the experience requirement in December 2023.
Kacie joined the Yeske Buie team in 2020 as a Financial Planning Intern, and came on full time as an Associate Financial Planner in 2021. In Kacie’s 2021 Meet the Team feature, we asked her what impact she hoped to make at Yeske Buie and in the financial planning profession. She shared: “I want to help people – no matter how small of a helping hand I can offer, I want to offer it. It’s one of the reasons I got into this profession; to figuratively hold someone’s hand during the tough times, to help alleviate stress, to make someone’s life easier in any way I can. I have a passion for helping people, and this profession allows me the opportunity to manifest that passion.” We believe that those who have had the pleasure of working with Kacie will have felt this passion – it shows in her diligence to caring for Clients to the highest standards, her organization, and her efficiency.
Wanting to learn more about her personal CFP journey, we asked Kacie a few questions about the motivations and challenges she encountered and how this milestone impacts her work with Clients.
- Yeske Buie: Earning the CFP certification is a significant accomplishment. Could you tell us about the motivation behind pursuing this certification and the challenges you faced during the seven-year journey?
Kacie: Growing up, money was a stressful topic in my household. Because neither of my parents pursued college after high school, they saw education as the key to success and often encouraged us to plan to go to college and get a degree. My childhood experiences and wanting to help my family better plan for their future ultimately led me to pursue financial planning.
Apart from the constant self-doubt in my own abilities, the biggest challenges I faced in pursuing this certification was balancing my studying with being a new mom and wife. I started studying when Jack was 8 months old and in the five months I set aside to study, he learned to crawl, walk, turned one, and can now communicate to us in sign language. And of course, huge shoutout to Dominic who sacrificed his own personal time to watch Jack for hours so I could study in peace!
- Yeske Buie: Along the way, were there any specific moments or milestones that stand out to you in your pursuit of the CFP certification?
Kacie: Like I mentioned above, I have always struggled with self-doubt. When I passed the exam on the first try, at first, I thought that the results I was given were incorrect or I was misreading them. But once it sank in that I passed this beast of an exam I spent hours and lots of sleepless nights stressing over, all I could think was “dang, I did that”. For years, the exam was just an idea. I knew I had to take it and pass it to progress in my career. I just didn’t know what studying for it would look like. I also didn’t expect that I was going to already be a mom when I did. I think passing this exam was also the first “real” goal I have ever had to I literally gave everything I had to that resulted in truly opening a new door for me. Any other moment or milestone honestly seems trivial compared to this!
- Yeske Buie: How has working towards obtaining the CFP certification enhanced your skills and influenced the way you approach financial planning for Clients?
Kacie: I have been able to help provide recommendations simply based on facts I had to memorize for the exam! I have also gained a deeper appreciation for the art of financial planning. Studying while also working with clients helped contextualize how and why certain recommendations are made. I have also gained a new level of confidence in my work!
- Yeske Buie: Yeske Buie’s cultural imperative is founded on strong relationships. How do you approach establishing trust and deepening your relationships with your Clients?
Kacie: Striving to simply show up authentically and vulnerably. I have had to most success in new relationships when I stopped trying to always be what I thought others wanted me to be and simply be myself. It has been such a honor to be apart of some many peoples lives in such a vulnerable way. Each client is so unique and I have learned that by being uniquely myself, I can help others to do the same!
- Yeske Buie: Now that you’ve achieved this significant milestone, how do you plan to celebrate, and what are your goals for the next phase of your career?
Kacie: Honestly, I have just been enjoying the extra 4-6 hours I have that isn’t spent in front of a textbook! I can relax without guilt about studying or taking practice exams!
As I enter this next phase, I think my biggest goal is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.