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A Nontraditional Approach
Kelly Effland Lives the Dream Close to Home
It’s been a remarkable journey to get where I am today. Before I became a financial planner and joined Cornerstone Wealth Group, I was a nontraditional student. After I had kids, I decided I wanted to become a financial planner. But at the time, I didn’t have the education or background for it. So, I went back to college with my mind set on a new career. I got my associate’s degree in business administration from Hagerstown Community College. And as I researched financial-planning programs, I learned about a relatively new program at Shepherd University. It was perfect! The university was close to home and the program was exactly what I was looking for. In 2015, I graduated from Shepherd’s financial-planning program, and before I knew it, I was working in the financial industry at a firm in the area. While working with this firm, I learned about an opportunity at Cornerstone. Since I was already living in Hagerstown and working as a financial planner, the opportunity was too good to pass up. At the time, I was working a little farther from home than I’d liked, and with a family, that was a big deal. I pursued the opportunity at Cornerstone, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made; it’s up there with choosing to go back to school.
It’s wonderful to get to work in the heart of the community where I live and with many people who are essentially my neighbors. I tell my friends that it blows my mind that I’m doing exactly what I envisioned myself doing so close to home and with such a wonderful team and group of clients. Sometimes I have to pause to think about how well it all worked out after having kids and going back to school. It’s truly awesome. And this month marks two years of being a financial planner with Cornerstone. I work with Scott Toms and his clients to develop and present financial plans. Working so closely with them allows me to bring clients’ visions to life. There’s nothing quite like helping people achieve something greater. I especially love working with clients on retirement planning. I work with many folks who are approaching retirement or are freshly retired — two instances where having a financial plan comes in handy. I get to put this small part of their lives together as they develop new and exciting life and financial goals. Hearing their stories is nothing short of incredible. As the year winds down, I’m looking forward to celebrating the holidays with my husband, our two kids, and my husband’s family. Every year, we celebrate Christmas together, and we also honor my grandfather-in-law’s birthday,
which lands on Christmas Eve. It’s become tradition to have both a birthday party and a Christmas party, making sure each reason to celebrate gets proper attention. As you can imagine, our holiday season is full of family revelry and even more fun. From my family to yours — and from everyone on the Cornerstone team — we wish you a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a wonderful new year!
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