Chris Baum, CFP® is the founder and President of Palermo Wealth Management, LLC
The short story
Unfortunately my first memories of this industry were anything other than creating financial freedom. In 2003 I began as a financial advisor…, that is actually quite polite. I was a company salesman: I sold company insurance, company investments, and any annuity that paid a high commission. There were sales goals to hit and middle manager vacations to be earned. At first the sales training was so good that you would just “drink the Kool Aid.” After working 65-hour weeks for a year and a half I had built a business that consistently met or exceeded the company goals. However, the “Kool Aid” had worn off, I was miserable and left the company.
In 2008 a great friend introduced me to fee-only financial planning and investment management. I was hooked; it only made sense to work directly for the client. I immediately began studying to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner and learn all I could in the areas of investments, insurance, taxes, and estate planning.
With nearly 10 years in the financial planning industry I am becoming more and more aware that exacting knowledge is only one part of being a great financial planner. Perhaps even bigger than the knowledge is the relationship. It is a tough world out there and at times people just need to know that someone is on their side. A consistent message with an open ear to thoughts and unique circumstances is priceless.
Away from the office
Snowboarding, attempting to surf, and traveling South America are all topics that pique my interest. Although, a recent trip to the Alamo proves finance is always on my mind as I immediately quizzed my friend about the price of a newspaper in 1835. This turned into some eye rolling from her and a lecture from me to her about inflation and purchasing power. She is a good sport so it was a bit of fun.
Summary of Experience and Education
- CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Practitioner
- Certificate in Financial Planning – Boston University
- BS Finance: Bowling Green State University
- President, CFP® – Palermo Wealth Management, LLC
- Began Financial Planning career in 2003