BANK ON IT: Ross Burnett, Wealth Management Advisor

By Madeline Martin on Thursday, March 31, 2022

 Name:  Ross M. Burnett, CFP®, CIMA®, CRPC® |  Age:  30 |  Hometown:  Little Rock |  Alma mater:  University of Arkansas |  Major:  Chemistry (emphasis in Biochemistry) |  Job title:  Wealth Management Advisor |  Employer:  Merrill, a Bank of America company

Why did you choose a career in this field?

Financial planning is a profession where I can employ entrepreneurial skills to build my business and help people daily. My first exposure to investing came from the Stock Market Game, provided by Economics Arkansas. This got me excited about investing, compound interest and “planted a seed” I didn’t know I would need for my career.

Did you always plan to go this route?

No—I graduated from the Liebolt Premedical honors program and planned on being a doctor. I took some time prior to graduation to think about what I really wanted to do in life. I applied to 34 jobs all over the country and saw that working at Merrill could give me the opportunity to [help] people financially like a doctor helps medically without the extra years of school.

Did you have a financial mentor?

My dad, Terry Burnett. He helped me to learn about prudent financial behavior and how to be a good steward of my resources.

Why do you think teens should consider a career like yours?

It is an amazing opportunity to help people understand and plan for their financial future!

What are some common misconceptions about your job?

Many think I am a stock broker (solicit orders for the purchase and sale of securities). With my business model, the investments are a by-product of our clients’ financial plan.

Do you need to have a knack for certain things?

I’ve been told I have the gift of gab.

What natural abilities should someone have to succeed in this field?

Critical thinking skills, the ability to push through adversity and strong work ethic.

What is your money motto?

Invest as much as you can afford but remember to give back and enjoy life.

What is the most surprising thing about your job?

Some of my wealthiest clients care the least about checking their portfolio performance.

How do you feel about this statement: “I can’t work in a financial role because I’m not good at (or hate) math.”

Modern programs make it easier to be in this business, even if you aren’t good at math.