Erin Wood is the Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Advanced Solutions at Carson Group. She began her career in personal finance promptly after graduating college where she practiced as a financial planner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
She developed a passion for helping people at a relatively young age, and the fulfillment of seeing a family achieve their financial goals led Erin to eventually own her own financial planning business in her late twenties.
Being a local girl at heart, Erin decided to sell her practice and move back to the Omaha area so she could be closer to her family and so she could help people from the community that shaped who she is today.
Her work in Omaha continued as a Private Client Advisor for a regional firm, where she was quickly asked to create and lead her own financial planning team. The success in this venture along with her continued passion for helping others led Erin to her career with Carson Wealth Management.
Erin holds a Certified Financial Planner designation as well as Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and Financial Behavior Specialist designations. She received her M.S. in financial psychology and behavioral finance from Creighton University.
Listen in for some great takeaways about Erin’s journey to becoming a Senior Vice President at Carson Group and hear her thoughts on the future of the financial planning profession.
You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…
- Learn more about Erin Wood and her journey to SVP [3:43]
- How Erin’s family influenced her financial literacy [6:02]
- The “smiling and dialing” days of our profession [10:16]
- How the financial planning profession has evolved [12:14]
- Why Erin sold her financial planning practice [14:58]
- What attracted Erin to the Carson Group? [17:53]
- Applying behavioral finance to financial planning [24:07]
- What prompted Erin to share her personal IVF journey? [27:30]
- Why Erin is excited about the future of financial planning [33:00]
- What Erin did today that put her in the mindset for success [38:06]
How Erin’s family influenced her financial literacy
Erin’s dad took her mother to the ER because an ectopic pregnancy had ruptured and the ER refused to treat her because she didn’t have insurance. There weren’t yet laws in place that required doctors to help someone in an emergency. So Erin’s dad punched the doctor, which led to him becoming a convicted felon.
So Erin spent most of her childhood knowing that she couldn’t draw attention to herself or her family. She learned that having health insurance was important. She also learned that everyone needs financial literacy.
Erin’s parents budgeted together. Erin’s mom took her to the bank to open her first savings account. She tithed in church. All of her money memories are positive. Your family’s habits can have a generational impact.
But no one in Erin’s family had gone to college so she didn’t have anyone who was able to tell her how to apply to college, get loans, etc. That’s why Erin strives to share that knowledge with people who have backgrounds similar to her.
How the financial planning profession has evolved
When Erin ran her financial planning firm, she worked with her clients to build a 150-page financial plan that was treated like the gospel. It was the most important book they’d ever create. Erin scheduled meetings with her clients every six months to review their plans and make some changes.
Erin points out that the client wants to know that you know what’s in the binder. They care that you keep them on track to reach their goals. Now, more than ever, people want proactive advice when they need it, whether it’s on a 30-year retirement plan or simply whether or not to buy a car.
What attracted Erin to the Carson Group?
Paul West pursued Erin for six months and wouldn’t give up. At the time, she was running the financial planning division for a privately-held bank. But the bank wasn’t innovative or tech-forward. When Paul first reached out, Erin said “Thanks, but no thanks.”
The third time he reached out, he asked her to coffee and asked her to be open to hearing more about Carson Group. He thought they’d be closely aligned on how they saw the future of the industry. Erin was intrigued, so she agreed to coffee. Erin left that meeting knowing Carson Group was unique and different.
To Erin, financial planning is about helping people in the moments they’re in. But in her current role, financial planning had become compliance-driven. They were giving out blanket advice. She wanted to use technology to get the right information to advisors at the right time. So she agreed to come to Carson Group to build out the client experience.
She immediately recommended changes and ideas, which they immediately took to heart. She started working with the financial planning team at Carson Wealth and then moved to the group side to build out financial planning for their whole network of advisors.
Erin wanted every department that offered advice under one umbrella. Most of Erin’s time is spent looking at integrating and scaling technology and helping her divisions focus on being client-centric. The goal is for every client to get the best possible advice without having to run around multiple places to get it.
Applying behavioral finance to financial planning
Numerous factors impact financial planning. Completing the behavioral finance program allowed Erin to learn more about herself. It also helped her to learn to speak more openly about her life. Why? Because many people need help from someone who can relate to them.
The behavioral finance program gave Erin the confidence to know that her story can help her relate to others to help them on their journey. She firmly believes that understanding behavioral finance can make you a better financial adviser.
Erin has learned over the years that her willingness to share her personal stories and struggles had led to many clients opening up to her. It’s allowed her to better understand and help them plan for and reach their goals. It also helps them feel less alone.
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect with Erin Wood
Erin began her career in personal finance promptly after graduating college where she practiced as a financial planner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She developed a passion for helping people at a relatively young age, and the fulfillment of seeing a family achieve their financial goals led Erin to eventually own her own financial planning business in her late twenties. However, being a local girl at heart, Erin decided to sell her practice and move back to the Omaha area so she could be closer to her family, and so she could help people from the community that shaped who she is today. Her work in Omaha continued as a Private Client Advisor for a regional firm, where she was quickly asked to create and lead her own financial planning team. The success in this venture along with her continued passion for helping others led Erin to her career with Carson Wealth Management.
Erin graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 2002 with a B.S. in Communications and Finance. She holds a Certified Financial Planner designation, as well as Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and Financial Behavior Specialist designations. She received her M.S. in financial psychology and behavioral finance from Creighton University.
Erin shares her life with her husband and two children. Their number one passion is traveling with their children (and without!), learning about new cultures – especially new food. In her private time Erin enjoys kickboxing and reading books. Erin and her husband enjoy SCUBA diving; each of them holding SCUBA certifications and always looking for their next underwater adventure. Erin has explored the waters of St. Maarten, Isla Mujeres, the US and British Virgin Islands and Kauai, Hawaii.
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