Kansas State University


Personal Financial Planning

Alumni Update: Julie Fletcher, ’06

An interview with Julie Fletcher, B.S. in personal financial planning

Tell us about yourself.  

I grew up in Lenexa, Kansas and attended high school at Shawnee Mission Northwest. Two days after graduating from K-State in 2006, I moved to Denver with one folding chair and possibly a lamp. Eleven years later, I have more furniture and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

I feel incredibly blessed to spend my weeks visiting with clients one-on-one and helping them navigate all areas of their financial lives.

What is your background?

After graduating from K-State in 2006, I spent a few years working at a branch of a large global wirehouse. During this time, I obtained the Series 7, Series 66, and Life/Health Insurance licenses. In addition, I sat for the CFP® certification exam while fulfilling the work experience requirement. I found that the greatest benefit of taking the exam at age 24 was that I was still used to my college days of spending evenings and weekends studying. This would not be the case today.

My time with this wirehouse during the latter half of 2008 was incredibly eye-opening and instigated a shift to spending my future with small firms. Therefore, I enjoyed 2009 to 2013 with a small fee-based firm where I transitioned from a paraplanner to an advisor role.

What do you do now?

In 2013, I decided that working with a fee-only firm was the best fit for my career path, which led me to an RIA, Sharkey, Howes & Javer. By structuring the firm as fee-only, we have the freedom to truly act in the best interest of our clients. There is no such thing as “sales” in this office, which leaves our clients with a peace of mind.

When you were choosing programs, why did you choose K-State PFP?

During the time that I was in college, my mother was working for a financial planning firm in Overland Park, Kansas and she met recent graduates from the (brand new!) K-State PFP program. She was very impressed with the program and introduced me to Dr. John Grable, a K-State PFP faculty member at the time. I switched my major to PFP just after my freshman year because I felt like it was the perfect blend of using my analytical skills with the desire to help people one-on-one.

 How has your education in PFP enhanced your current career path? 

When I graduated from the K-State PFP program in 2006, the degree was very new and rather surprising for future employers. I have found that the education set me up perfectly to pursue the CFP® certification and created a solid foundation to build my career upon. The CFP® certification has opened every door that I’ve needed in my career path.

What recommendations would you make for future financial planners? 

A great way to learn about the industry is to conduct as many “informational interviews” as possible. Visit with various financial planners and ask them all about their practice and experiences. Beware of “financial planners” who want to hire you to sell unnecessary financial products to people you know. Unfortunately, these jobs still exist, so run far away from these traps.

What kinds of awards have you received?

It’s been awhile since I’ve received any kind of formal award! Instead, my greatest award is receiving a semi-monthly paycheck for doing what I love. And possibly a few karaoke awards along the way.

What kinds of things do you do in your community? 

I spent the majority of my 20’s volunteering at several non-profits around Denver, such as Project Angel Heart, Sunrise Senior Living, the Junior League of Denver, and Upstream Impact. In addition, I served on the board of the Women’s Estate Planning Council and committees of the FPA of Colorado. In my 30’s, I am making a conscious effort to slow down and enjoy a bit more downtime.

What are your hobbies/interests? What do you do for fun?

I spend a large portion of my free time with friends and family, whether it’s trying a new restaurant, celebrating a birthday or the birth of a baby, bringing meals to new parents, going for walks, visiting a new home, or simply sharing a bottle of wine. In the summer, I want to spend every second outdoors hiking, golfing, BBQ’ing, and visiting all the beautiful towns in Colorado. In the winter, you will find me skiing in the mountains.