MS Financial Planning Class of 2005
Undergrad Bentley University
How did Bentley help you get to where you are today in your career?
Learning from industry practitioners was incredibly helpful, particularly because they would use case studies to teach us how to apply theory in real-world situations. I learned how to develop actionable investment and financial plans for clients. The technology I used in the Trading Room was hugely beneficial, working on Bloomberg Terminal, FactSet, Morningstar, Monte Carlo simulation software, all the kinds of programs I use today. Coming out of a master’s program, I could hit the ground running.
What are the top three skills you gained in your program at Bentley?
- Taxation: I was prepared for all of the challenges I confronted as a financial planner and investment professional such as navigating the complexities of alternative minimum tax and pass-through entities (trusts, LLCs, corporations). All of these factor into my day-to-day work in understanding and implementing tax strategies in investment portfolios. It can be hugely impactful over time for high-net-worth individuals.
- Estate planning: Estate planning is incredibly complex and, without completing the master’s program, I wouldn’t have truly understood the big picture. I’m advising high net-worth clients on how to pass their wealth onto future generations in a responsible manner, and in a way that minimizes taxes due.
- Portfolio management: Through case studies in my courses, I had to evaluate mutual funds, hedge funds, and exchange-traded funds, and learn how to turn core finance theories into actionable plans.
"I turned theory into action."
What would you tell someone considering your program at Bentley?
In addition to core strengths of the program — an expansive curriculum and a focus on technology — you will build relationships. I got a job when I wasn’t looking for a job because someone (who would become my boss) reached out to a professor and asked for some capable students. I landed a job before I was even out of the program. That story tells a lot.