Banking & Finance

‘It’s Personal’… For Amy Greiner, the Role of a Financial Planner Requires a Love of Numbers… and Lots of Heart

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A mother, a wife, a financial planner…superwoman?

On the surface, she’s just another mom trying to kick start her day like any other mother at 6 a.m. on a school morning. She’s bustling about, making sure the kids are ready, and pausing in the foyer to contemplate dinner while wrestling with her two dogs, Lulu and Peanut. All this just in time to hit the road to beat Atlanta traffic.

The usual drill.

But as she clambers into her sedan, briefcase at her side, Amy Greiner shifts into financial planner mode. It’s a lot like the way you’d imagine superwoman slipping into her guise, with stealth and finesse. Suddenly, she’s calculating margins, mentally creating a list of clients to contact, and making a note to check the stock market.

Just as Greiner swings through the doors of Kingsview Asset Management, a firm she recently joined after resigning at one of the nation’s largest investment firms, it hits her. A new job, new clients, new challenges. But knowing that at the center of it all is a career she wouldn’t trade for the world is what keeps her fired up.

A career choice that eluded her for several years’ time, and took a boatload of heartache to discover.

Superficially, Greiner may appear like most other women, shuffling the kids off to school and navigating through lazy signals and threads of traffic. But she’s an outlier from her counterparts in a distinct way. At a time when most her age are busy enjoying the fruits of their labor after having paid their dues to inch up the corporate ladder, Greiner decided to start all over. She, in a bold move, jumped ship mid-career to pursue her dream career. And if you ask her, she’d go back and do it again.

Probe Greiner on what propelled her to make such a daring move and she’ll attribute it to a strong dose of ambition, luck and insight.

She began her financial career in the bustling city of New York, where the potential for opportunity is as high as the skyscrapers stretching across the skyline. At the time, Greiner had never imagined a career as a financial services planner. Instead, she believed herself to be more of a liberal arts-type person. She enjoyed the thrill of foreign languages and relished experiences, like exploring vast, mystic corners of the world.

For instance, in college, Greiner was on track to pursue a degree in German. She even traversed across the world to Finland, where she remained for a year as a foreign exchange student. “I called my parents maybe five times that entire year,” she recalls with a hearty chuckle. At that time, she was daydreaming of becoming a diplomat or taking on a career that would allow her to make use of a degree in foreign language.

But then, after college, something unexpected happened. Greiner laughs as she reminisces, “I took a graduate-level micro/macro economics course, loved it, and ended up with the highest grade in the class. I remember thinking – what did I almost miss out on in my life?!”

And then came the challenge—identifying a career that would marry her knowledge of German with her love for numbers. She found what she at the time believed to be the perfect solution—a career at a German bank.

However, at this point, Greiner was no longer flying solo. She had her husband and two precious bundles of joy—her son and daughter–to think of, which influenced her decision to find something quickly. But while serving commercial clients and accepting a promotion as Vice President for a large bank, Greiner couldn’t deny the dark void in the pit of her stomach.

Between tending to the house and kids and trying to put her finger on what seemed incomplete, she felt frazzled, confused, and put off. It was possibly one of the most trying times of her career, she recalls.

“Everyone should love what they do,” says Greiner. “I knew I wasn’t completely there.”

Sure, banking was volatile, particularly during the financial recession. But it was more than that that pushed Greiner to address the feeling that she hadn’t quite landed where she wanted with both feet sturdily grounded. “I wanted to find my forever career,” Greiner says. “And it didn’t feel like I’d done that just yet.”

It was a confusing time, wrought with many questions and even fewer answers. Was she just going through “a thing”? Was motherhood combined with two decades of work just now taking its toll? Could she even start over at this point after already having come so far up the workplace ladder?

Greiner knew she had two options: continue sloughing away at work or grab the bull by the horns and discover a source of fulfillment.

And that’s when it happened.

In 2010, a good friend recruited her to one of the nation’s leading investment firms for a role as a financial advisor. Immediately, Greiner was confident she’d landed her dream career. She was helping people who had very little money achieve their financial goals, educating clients, and maintaining constant communication with them. Many of her clients had become more friends than business contacts. Greiner felt like she should be doing something more for them, people who trusted her fully with their hard-earned dollars. She had grown her business to over 400 clients, but she wanted to be able to focus more of her time on each client.

That’s when she made the jump to Kingsview Asset Management, a company with operations in Oregon and Illinois. The firm’s advisors serve clients from a network of the well over 25 branch offices across the country. Kingsview was number 7 in FA Magazine’s list of Fastest Growing registered investment advisor firms in 2017, and is aligned with four major custodial partners — Raymond James, Charles Schwab, Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers.

Here, she was finally able to achieve her goal of continuing to practice her passion as a financial planner, but also fulfill her desire to do more. “Working with fewer clients, but more deeply and impactfully, was my goal with this move,” Greiner says.

Big Rewards

Today, with nearly two decades of financial services experience, Greiner has earned one of the highest designations of her career, becoming a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®). This stringent industry designation is a testament to an advisor’s knowledge, education, experience and ethics. As a CFP® professional, advisors are required to act as a fiduciary – or someone who acts in the best interest of the client without any personal conflict of interest.

For Greiner, the extra effort and annual certification renewals to maintain her CFP® designation are well worth it. “My aim is to give people peace of mind about their money and make them feel comfortable that they’re in sturdy hands when they work with me,” she says.

Now, not only is she able to juggle her kids’ activities and manage the occasional date night with her husband, but she also looks forward to work. In her new role, Greiner feels confident she has the freedom to leverage resources needed to effectively serve her clients. And she also feels good knowing that when they choose to do business with her, clients can rest easy knowing they’re backed by the strength of a major financial planning and investment management firm.

Today, her client rosters consists of people who reside on various ends of the financial spectrum—everyone from young widows who’ve never balanced a checkbook to elderly folks who have loads of retirement money, but need help managing it.

“Most people feel like they aren’t wealthy enough to require financial planning. But that’s wrong,” says Greiner. “You don’t have to have millions of dollars. If you’re about to retire, or even looking forward to retiring one day, you need a financial planner. You need to sit down and have a plan in place for any curveball life throws at you,” advises Greiner. “This is not a plan that we write and forget about. It’s a plan that we review, a plan that we alter and adjust over time, it’s a relationship.”

She says most people can relate to what she does if they compare it being in any new relationship. You scope out the person, understand them, learn about them, and then act in favor of what satisfies them. “I spend a lot of time getting to know my clients. I know what they need to give them peace of mind. And it’s different for everyone,” she says. “That’s the thing about money. It’s personal.”

Many people go through life wondering if maybe they chose the right career. For Greiner, that question was one she knew she wouldn’t tolerate herself ever having to ponder. Sure, switching career tracks at this stage of life was no easy feat. Greiner admits that many moments of doubt and apprehension dotted her journey, but she also knows she wouldn’t have it any other way or be anywhere else.

She’s an example of strength and balance in a day and age where women are under constant pressure and scrutiny to do it all and do it well. But now, Greiner feels comfortable donning her problem-solving cap by day for clients only to sport casual wear by evening to attend her kids’ practices.

To Greiner, the most rewarding aspect is that while she’s out experiencing life’s special moments with her family, her career empowers her to help make special moments a reality for her clients, too. “I love to see my clients do things with the money they’ve saved. It’s not about making the most. It’s not about getting the highest return.”

“I love it when a client retires and says, ‘I really want to go to Japan,’ and I can finally look at them down the road and say, ‘You’ve got enough now. You can do it,’ and within months they’re soaring across the ocean, creating a lifelong memory.”

After all, if anyone can understand the sense of elation gained by tackling your dreams and claiming achievements, who better than Greiner?

What’s a CFP® professional?

The Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation is a professional certification mark for financial planners conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. To earn the credential, advisors must meet extensive education, examination, experience and ethics requirements. Advisors with the CFP® credential must also act in a fiduciary role with their clients – that is, a CFP® must act in the client’s best interest above all others and without regard to their own interests.

Why Kingsview Asset Management?

Founded in 2008, Kingsview Asset Management is a multi-faceted, fee-based investment advisory firm with offices across the country.

The firm’s independent fiduciary model was designed to give advisors the time and freedom necessary to serve their clients, backed by custodial partners with the resources to protect client’s financial assets. Kingsview’s custodial partners are Raymond James, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Interactive Brokers.

Kingsview offers:

  • Financial Planning
  • Portfolio and Investment Planning
  • Business Retirement
  • Insurance Services

You can reach Amy Greiner for a consultation by calling 678-616-1040 or by emailing Denise at dsevery@kingsviewam.com.

Amy Greiner, CFP®
425 Buford Hwy, Suite 205A
Suwanee, GA 30024
www.kingsview.com/advisor/amygreiner/