Congratulations Emily K. Forst, MS

Emily K. Forst, MS has a couple of achievements to brag about, ( At least I want to brag about them. And, I feel compelled to tell her story, because her story is so important to understanding how we feel about professionalism.

In May 2018, we congratulated Priscilla on receiving her CFP® credentials, with her story of growth at Resource Advisory Services. Priscilla arrived in June 2016 as Priscilla Brannon (now Birt), with a Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning degree from Texas Tech. She happened to set one row from Emily when both were looking for a Knoxville church home. Soon, they were doing all kinds of things together. In October of 2016, we were looking for a front desk person. Priscilla suggested Emily.

Emily had 10 years of credit union experience, where she reached the role of facilitating consumer loans. She had a strong desire to advance her career and was not seeing opportunity at the credit union. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Maryville College, she considered a business degree, maybe an MBA. She had not considered financial planning. Neither Emily nor we had evidence our profession would be a career she could embrace. Yet, there was little risk for either side, if she joined us in the position we had. We really needed someone with her experience discussing issues as personal as financial decisions. This turned out to be a risk worth taking.

Shortly, Emily was excited enough about Fee-Only Financial Planning to research graduate programs. I described the professors I know and differences in emphasis among their programs. Emily chose Kansas State for its’ focus on Financial Therapy, which is about everyone’s personal relationship with their financial resources. It really fits the person she is. From that point, her life has been like having two jobs.   She worked full days and studied most nights and weekends. Many days, she ate lunch with her computer and books. On August 13, Emily received her Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning. It is a mystery how she managed time to change her name from Watts by marrying Brandon Forst on April 19.

Wait, there is more. In a course titled “Financial Therapy, Theory and Research,” Emily and two other students wrote a paper that was published, with their professor, in the Journal of Financial Planning:

Financial Planning with Ambiguous Loss from Alzheimer’s Disease: Implications, Applications, and Interventions by Shelitha Smodic, CFP®; Emily Forst; John Rauschenberger; and Megan McCoy, Ph.D., LMFT

Resource Advisory Services is all about “developing relationships that help people build and enjoy wealth.” There is more to money than money.© It is the root of evil and the sum of our blessings, all at the same time. It touches the things we can do and the things we cannot do, in many profound ways. Our attitudes about it are heavily influenced by the amount and source of money in our heritage, going back for several generations. We have a relationship with money that can be either healthy or unhealthy. There are many references to money in the Bible and the writings of other religions. Most forms of currency are inscribed with a reference to religion. Money and the way we view it are very important concepts.

May 13, I had the privilege of seeing Emily present the paper at the Financial Therapy Conference in Austin, Texas. My dinner with her group that evening was professionally invigorating. Emily still has several more months with a similar study schedule, preparing for the CFP® exam. The test is a real challenge. We remember Priscilla’s dedication in preparation, even after her advanced degree.

We think it takes all this, plus close work with experienced professionals to reach the point one can prudently say “I recommend that you …..” We are fiduciaries and there are risks. When people trust us, they follow our recommendations. If we misread situations, harm can be real. We take our responsibilities seriously.

Bryan Hankla and I have dedicated our years of experience to giving these two young professionals every opportunity possible for growth beyond the impressive academic educations they have achieved. We are excited about the unbelievable opportunities they can have. I am personally thankful for the opportunity I have had to serve others and see them doing their versions of the same for many years.

J. David Lewis, MBA, Principal/Founder


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