Kudos to Ryan Kelly!
We are very proud to announce that Ryan Kelly has officially earned the CFP® Certification! Ryan has dedicated years to studying and practicing financial planning in pursuit of becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and as of September 24, 2021, his hard work has earned him the prestigious certification.
The journey to becoming a CFP involves satisfying the CFP Board’s “Four Es”: Education, Examination, Experience, and Ethics.
After learning that he’d officially met all of these requirements, we asked Ryan a few questions about his CFP journey. Here’s what he had to say:
How does it feel to have reached this achievement? What about your accomplishment makes you proud?
I still can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I always hoped I could achieve something like this in my life, but I faced obstacle after obstacle as I sought to find my place in the world, first as an engineer and then as an actuary. Coming into the financial planning profession, I had lost the confidence that I would ever find myself in a position where people look to me for advice or trust me with this level of responsibility. I think, more than anything, I’m proud that my journey and my education finally paid off. All of my efforts – from the extra years of school to the additional hours of studying after work – did amount to something meaningful. And now this achievement is something I can carry with me for the rest of my life.
What obstacles did you overcome to get here? How did you push through the difficult times?
The first obstacles I faced were in college. I felt like I didn’t have the ingenuity to become an engineer, so I talked to people, and I pivoted. Then I failed an actuarial exam and felt like I wasn’t capable of becoming an actuary, so I talked to people and pivoted. I’m realizing that at each juncture in my life, when I faced challenges or difficulties, I would talk to people I trust and act on what they told me. As I was going through my financial planning classes at the University of Georgia, I felt like things were falling into place. I felt passionate about what I was learning, and I felt like I could finally see a future for myself in this career. But by this point, I lacked confidence. So I talked to people: coworkers, classmates, family, and friends. And by this point, I believed in myself enough to persevere, and that resolve only strengthened in my first few years at Yeske Buie, leading me to where I am today.
Who are some of your most impactful mentors? Who inspires you and why?
I have a lot of people to thank for where I am. I’ll start by saying that I’ve relied on my parents a lot throughout my journey. Even though they aren’t financial planners themselves, I still value their input as much as anyone else’s, and I go to them first in just about every aspect of my life. My parents have been tremendously supportive, and I know they’re proud of what I’ve achieved.
I also think I have to credit Elizabeth Jetton as the orchestrator of my success. I always knew her as family before I knew her as the remarkable planner that she is. As a professional, I see her as an amazing person and planner who has had a tremendous career full of a wide variety of accomplishments. And as family, she has always been super supportive of me – not only of my passion for planning, but also of the power I have to choose my own path. When I was just starting to explore the idea of financial planning, Elizabeth introduced me to a number of planners in various stages of their careers so I could learn from them and decide if this was the right path for me.
Lastly, I have to give a shoutout to Lauren Stansell. During my time at Yeske Buie, I’ve learned that we think a lot alike, and I feel like I can see myself in her and in the way she approaches her relationships with clients. I continue to look up to her and strive to be where she is in her career one day.
What keeps you motivated? What do you want to do next?
I’ve just loved the relationships I’ve been able to build during my time as a professional, and I’m grateful that the CFP® marks enable me to do that at a higher level. I look forward to being freer to answer questions, make recommendations, and take responsibility for the trust that my clients place in me.