Teri Alexander uses techniques she learned as a teacher to help clients.
All it took was one elective class in college for Teri Alexander to change her career path.
She was on her way to earning undergraduate degrees in education and psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio when during her senior year she took an elective in personal finance. “I fell in love with this whole area,” Alexander says.
After graduation, she continued on the education path and did her student teacher training in London, where she worked with the creator of an innovative education concept in which the students helped design lesson plans based on their interests.
“The test scores for these students in one of London’s poorest areas were among the highest in the city,” Alexander says.
Still, she couldn’t shake the finance bug. While riding the London subway to work each day, she often would read The Financial Times. “I didn’t understand much of what I was reading, but I knew that someday I would work in this area,” she says.
She soon realized that she could combine her new love of finance with her education and psychology background.
“I believe life is more fulfilling when you can connect your passion or purpose with your personal values and mission statement,” she says. “Connecting these dots is what shifted me into this life profession of financial planning.”
When she returned home to Columbus, Alexander went to work at a local Merrill Lynch office, eventually becoming a licensed sales assistant to a team of brokers. She then worked for a local money manager and several financial planning firms until 1997, when she founded her own fee-only firm.