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When we feature an Ashton Alumni on our blog, usually we begin the feature with the course that the alumni was enrolled in. But when it comes to telling William ‘Bill’ Murray’s story – well, let’s just say that Bill didn’t enroll in any Ashton courses at all. Instead, Bill did something completely different: he hired Ashton CFP faculty David Dalton to come to him.
“I worked as an independent financial planner at Investors Group, and was looking to get the CFP designation to grow my skill set” says Bill. “But at the time, I had a family to take care of, and I was trying to build up clientele in the Fraser Valley area. I just knew I wasn’t able to do the commute back and forth to Vancouver after work to take a night class.” So Bill did the unexpected: “I phoned up Ashton and asked if I could hire an instructor to come to my office and run a CFP course for a group of fellow investors. It just made sense.”
After being introduced to David Dalton, Bill and a team of seven other investors held a private CFP course at their Abbotsford office. “David, to his credit, visited us once a week for an entire year. In between visits I’d hit the books. And let me tell you, it wasn’t easy.”
“Going back to school when you’re over 30 with a couple of kids, it’s a steep learning curve! But I knew I needed the CFP designation to take the business to the next level, so I was determined.”
Bill’s decision to hire David Dalton may seem surprising, but once you understand Bill’s backstory, then the originality of it becomes all the more clear. “I didn’t always wear a suit. I was more of a flip-flops and t-shirt kind of guy,” says Bill with a laugh. “When I was in my 20s, I worked as a youth care worker in the school system, and on the weekend I’d moonlight as a pool guy. But I met an amazing woman, and before I knew it I had a growing family to support. Wearing flip-flops just wasn’t going to cut it.”
Because he favored a flexible work environment where he wouldn’t have to answer to anyone, Bill decided to enter the financial field.
“With a family to support, I knew I needed a good income, and I also wanted to run my own business. Financial Services field was the perfect fit for me.”
Now, Bill has his own clients, and he takes pride in the fact that he was able to build up that client base himself. But if Bill makes it sound easy, in all actuality it wasn’t as simple. “The first eight years were tough, really tough” he admits. “I was in debt, and the other guys at the firm, we were all new. So we literally had to start cold-calling doctors and lawyers and ask if we could meet with them.” Getting these meetings was one thing, getting new clients on board was another matter entirely. “My guys and I, we’d walk into these meetings knowing we had only a 20 minute presentation and that it was make or break. Either they’d come with us or they’d flat out say no.” Thankfully, Bill’s hard work paid off, and over time a client base began to emerge.
Bill is steadfast in his insistence that getting his CFP certification through Ashton (in a non-traditional way) was the key to building up his clientele base.
“CFP is everything in my line of work. You can’t call yourself a financial planner without it.”
“David [Dalton] was fantastic in getting me and my team through the course. The fact is, if you take your education seriously you can be successful in life. Work hard, the world is your oyster.”
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