From the July 2007 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

July 1, 2007

Really, a Life Planner

Bill Topkis talks about making the transition from a career in the insurance business to one as a fee-based financial advisor:

"In '94, when I walked away from Provident Mutual at age 55, and I decided that I was going to make something out of my RIA, I was really flying blind. I didn't know a helluva lot about financial planning. I had to do all the research and find out about the software and so forth and so on.

"In 1997 my adjusted gross income was $37,000 because I was making the transition from the commission world to the fee world, but I had reserves to do it. I was determined to become a recognized comprehensive financial planner. Year by year I did my strategic planning and it happened.

"I have to tell you that the people who are my clients today, were not my clients when I was in the insurance business. The approximately 100 clients we have today have all come since the start of this practice in 1995.

"We just love what we do and the practice has just developed as one thing has led to another...I'm really a life planner."

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