Joey Schultz discusses his career journey in the FPA Next Generation Planner cover story “Why I Became a Financial Adviser at Age 40.” In 2019, Joey joined the Wealth Advisor Alliance.

In the following Q&A, Joey offers additional perspective on changing careers and the value of having a plan in place before and after making any career decision.

Every Moment Counts

Joey’s career aspirations began on a baseball field in Anaheim, California. In high school, he had dreams of playing in the big leagues, specifically for the Anaheim Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). In 1994, the MLB strike brought the Anaheim Angels to Joey’s backyard, when Angels pitchers visited his high school to throw bullpen sessions. After catching one breaking ball from Mark Langston (who played for the Angels from 1990–1997), Joey was certain that his future was behind the plate at The Big A (Angel Stadium).

He eventually conceded that the road did not lead to Angel Stadium and rerouted his career trajectory toward the financial services industry. Still, he credits those early experiences as motivators when he began making the decision to become a financial advisor.

What would you tell someone considering a career as a financial advisor about the overall experience?

For anyone considering becoming a financial advisor, you should not feel like you have to figure it all out before you start. Otherwise, it is possible you will find yourself stuck in the same place in six months or a year from now. The big aha moment for me has been that almost every professional experience I had before becoming a financial advisor has informed the value I bring today to clients in an advisory capacity.

Do you have to be a people person to be a financial advisor?

I think the label “people person” can sometimes be misinterpreted. I believe that to be a successful financial advisor you must first and foremost possess an insatiable desire to help others. Beyond that, you must be empathetic, you must be a good listener and you must always put your clients’ best interests first. Of course, it also helps if you happen to enjoy building relationships and getting to know people on a level deeper than their personal balance sheet and income statement. Not every client wants or needs that, but I consider it one of the greatest rewards of being a financial advisor. If that is the definition of a people person, then I suppose my answer is “yes.”

In September, you will mark your first anniversary as a financial advisor. How have you stayed connected with clients and colleagues since the pandemic began to help you navigate this first year?

The Wealth Advisor Alliance has supported our advisor community on a tactical and truly human level with myriad opportunities for us to grow, learn and interact as advisors. We have access to the tools we need to stay connected with our clients and colleagues in a meaningful way.

With these resources and a sincere sense of stewardship for the personal and financial well-being of my clients, I have picked up the phone to call clients and embraced videoconferencing (versus relying on email). Retaining this level of personal connection has made it possible to acknowledge my own concerns and vulnerabilities while also demonstrating my confidence in our resilience. In many ways, I feel that starting out as an advisor in this environment has made these connections stronger.

In your Next Generation Planner article, you mentioned you spent a few years investing in yourself. When you reflect on that time, what do you consider the most valuable learning experiences?

In retrospect, the recognition that my life and work experiences were valuable assets I could apply toward a career as a financial advisor was a big breakthrough for me. If I am doing my job well, so much of what I do ends up extending far beyond strict financial advice and into other aspects of life whether it be career related, family related or otherwise. Sure, all of these things tend to have financial implications, but more often than not, they are highly emotional and behavioral matters that cannot be solved by an algorithm or simple spreadsheet.

Do you believe that small steps can move you closer to your goals?

In James Clear’s book Atomic Habits, he talks about how small changes in habits can lead to remarkable results. I think the hardest part of moving on any decision that appears difficult or feels incredibly far away is taking one small step toward that goal. After that step, you have to reflect and re-evaluate whatever information is available and then do it all over again. All of the sudden, you will find you are much closer to wherever it is you are trying to go.

The path to follow is going to be defined by where you are in your career arc. I have learned from personal experience that it does not matter what you choose for that first step, it just matters that you take it.


To catch up with Joey on the subject of being a financial advisor (or to discuss why every pitch counts), send an email to

We help advisors establish and grow successful wealth management practices. To learn more about how we can help you amplify your life’s work, contact us at You can follow us on Twitter@theWAAlliance and on LinkedIn.

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