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Why I Became A Financial Advisor

By William Lalor, CFP®, CFA

Life is full of unexpected twists and turns. While we may start out in one career, our experiences may show us other areas we want to pursue, needs that aren’t being met, or open doors to new opportunities. That’s exactly how I found my way into my career as a financial advisor.

My Early Career Days

When I graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in materials engineering, it was the height of the telecom bubble. I worked for JDS Uniphase, a telecom company, and received much of my compensation in the form of equity from stock options. I also participated in the company stock purchase plan and invested in tech companies on my own. At one point, my unvested stock options were worth a significant amount of money to my 22-year-old self! But, just two years into my career, the telecom bubble popped and my JDS stock options dropped from their high of $153 to less than $2. Despite how well my stocks did initially, I never realized any income from them and lost plenty of money in my holdings of company stock and other tech investments.

You may be wondering how all this stock talk fits into my career journey, but this experience was the turning point for me. As someone in his early 20s, I could recover from this loss. Unfortunately, many of my coworkers were older and the loss devastated their financial outlook. I might have had a good education, but I had a large gap in my knowledge; I knew very little about finance.

I decided to take a leap of faith and went back to Rutgers to earn my MBA with a concentration in finance. While in grad school, I interned with a registered independent financial advisor and was offered a position after graduation. I spent 7 years at The MDE Group as an analyst and senior financial planner. I eventually went on to earn the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designations.

My Role At Massey Quick Simon

In 2011, I made the switch and began working with Massey Quick Simon. Today, I serve as the director of financial planning, where I use my experience and education to oversee the firm’s financial planning services. I specialize in tax, retirement, and cash flow planning, as well as executive compensation.

I enjoy working with my clients because I see many parallels to my own situation. They are educated in their respective fields, but not always in finance-related issues. They may not even realize the risks they face that could derail their financial goals. I am thankful for my experience at JDS Uniphase because it gave me the knowledge and experience to help my clients avoid what happened to me and my former colleagues.  

Challenges And Triumphs

No matter what you do for a living, you will have parts of your job you love and parts that are challenging. I want to see all my clients succeed and achieve their ideal financial future, and the situations that keep me up at night are the ones where clients are in the early stages of growing their assets where even a small mistake can have a large impact. There can be many tough conversations about the reality of their situation and the options in front of them.

But despite the challenges, I find so much fulfillment in helping hardworking people achieve their goals. My clients and their families depend on me and the work I do, so I work hard every day to earn and maintain their trust.

Partner With Us

We strive to build long-lasting relationships with all the clients we work with. We live life alongside them and take the time to analyze their unique situation and provide the highest level of detail possible. If you want to work with someone who will help you navigate the difficult financial questions you may face, call our office at 973-525-1000 or email info@mqsadvisors.com.

About Bill

William Lalor is the director of financial planning at Massey Quick Simon, where he employs his extensive experience to oversee the firm’s financial planning services. With 14 years of industry experience, he specializes in tax, retirement, and cash flow planning, as well as executive compensation. Bill also manages some of the firm’s family relationships, endowments, and foundations. Bill received his MBA in finance from Rutgers Business School and became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner in January 2007 after completing Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Program for Financial Planners in 2006. He completed his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2014. Learn more about Bill by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

bill.lalor@mqsadvisors.com

973-525-1033


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