I was hired on at Deloitte Haskins and Sells, in their tax department, and ultimately became a tax manager. While I was there, I had my first child, a son, who became terminally ill. I quit my job to take care of him and also became an adjuct professor of intermediate accounting at University of Portland, a private school in my area. After my son passed away, I worked as an independent contractor while I made it my mission to adopt our second child. Also, I re-examined my life goals due to our tragic loss and no longer felt the “big eight” environment was consistent with my goals. Shortly, thereafter I started my career with Schultz & Crouse, another local CPA firm. After a few years, I became a tax partner and developed a tax practice. During that time, I noticed that my tax clients were asking me planning questions about more broad issues than just tax. They were questions that really mattered to those clients with respect to their life goals and I felt I could help them if I had the right background. I decided to become a PFS, which was a new credential at that time, so I could become more proficient in handling those questions. During the middle to late 90s, Linda Crouse and I performed hourly comprehensive financial planning services for some clients and referred out the investment advising, but were not able to make it a very profitable endeavor and felt out clients were not getting adequate investment advice. It wasn’t until 2001, when we started our registered investment advisory firm, CLS Financial Advisors, Inc., and began advising about investments also, (completing the financial planning picture), when our business seemed to take off.
We had to develop our business model and our systems ourselves. We also set up our own back office, which turned out to work out very well for us. We now have 4 people in our firm, 3 planners and one back office person. We now have a group of clients that we work very closely with. I feel like I have a very rewarding career and I love my job!