Symposium Spotlight: Q&A with Luis Rosa, the Founder of Build a Better Financial Future, LLC
In a recent discussion, we spoke with Luis Rosa, the host of the “On My Way to Wealth” podcast, and co-founder of the BlatinX (BLX) Internship Program and founder of Build a Better Financial Future LLC. Luis is recording a spotlight for this year’s Symposium along side Leisha Barton, the Program Coordinator at BLX, and he is speaking on the panel What Students Need to Know about careers in Wealth Management.
Mark your calendars for the much-anticipated Symposium on Thursday, February 8. Immerse yourself in this captivating experience, available both virtually and in person at The University of Akron’s Student Union Ballroom. Virtual attendees can jump into the action from noon to 3:30 pm ET, while in-person proceedings commence at 11:30 am ET. Whether you choose to participate virtually or be there in person, expect a dynamic celebration showcasing diverse talents and promising opportunities in the world of wealth management. Don’t miss out – secure your spot by registering now for free!
How did you get into the wealth management industry? What first attracted you to the space, and why have you stayed?
I happened upon the wealth management industry by chance. A colleague referred me to a CFP® pro when I was about to graduate college. He was looking to expand his practice, and I was looking for a job. I had no idea what a financial planner did or what financial planning was. My school did not have a financial planning program, and it was something I never heard anyone in my community mention before. I knew I wanted to work with people, and I also knew I enjoyed figuring things out and finding answers to problems and challenges. Once I got to sit in on a few client meetings, I got to see what financial planning was about, and I fell in love with it. The impact that we can have as financial planners in people’s lives is what has made me stay in it. It can be very rewarding when you know you’ve helped someone make choices that have a lifelong impact on them and their families.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about financial planning?
One of the biggest misconceptions about financial planning is that it is a sales job. I believe that when some people think of financial planners, they immediately think that the individual sells insurance or investments. Although these can be part of someone’s financial plan, financial planning goes beyond the numbers. As a financial planner, you help individuals assess where they are, uncover reasons for past behaviors and attitudes toward money, and empower them to make decisions for themselves and their families based on their values, in order to help them achieve their goals. Furthermore, one can be a financial planner without having a sales focus. On the RIA side, you can provide financial planning to individuals without having to sell any products. Rather, you are there to provide advice, and guidance, and serve as a sounding board. There are roles that do not require business development and are solely focused on maintaining the client relationship.
What specific initiatives or strategies have you implemented or observed within the Wealth Management industry to increase diversity in hiring, retention, and leadership roles?
One that I am very proud to be a part of is the BLX Internship Program. Launched in 2020, our mission is to increase diversity in the wealth management industry by providing internship opportunities to students and career changers with financial planning focused firms. Your first job is the hardest one to land, especially as a career changer. These internships often turn into full-time roles, creating jobs and opportunities that did not previously exist. The BLX Internship Program also provides a lot of resources to help individuals not only enter the industry but stay as well. This includes scholarships, education opportunities, such as SIE training, and access to resources such as the eMoney Certificate Program. We are proud to have placed 75 interns across 54 firms. 25 of these interns were offered full-time or part-time permanent positions. We’ve also awarded 31 scholarships to industry conferences, provided 102 individual coaching sessions, and provided 60 scholarships for continuing education opportunities.
Luis Rosa is the founder of Build a Better Financial Future LLC. He came to the U.S. at age 11 from the Dominican Republic. Growing up in New York City and now living in California, Luis noticed the lack of financial literacy in his community and was inspired by his parents to work hard and pursue an education.
From participating as an FPA NexGen and CFP Board ambassador, to speaking at the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning’s Diversity Summit, Luis uses his platform to help spread financial literacy via media outreach as well as encourage younger and diverse planners to join and thrive in the industry.
He is the host of the “On My Way to Wealth” podcast, and co-founder of the BlatinX (BLX) Internship Program, where he also co-hosts the Diversity in Action™ podcast. Luis was named one of InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 in 2019 and Financial Advisor Magazine’s 10 Young Advisors to Watch, as well as Investopedia Top 100 Financial Advisors in 2021, 2022, and 2023 and named one of 8 Hispanic Personal Finance Influencers to Follow for Money Advice by The Penny Hoarder and NerdWallet.