From BFA to Financial Adviser or My Car Accident

I think it’s important that you know a little about me so you know what biases I have when you read this.  Now I’m going to try to keep these posts as factual as possible but let’s be honest, all of us are colored by the things that have happened to us over the course of our lives.  The main this I want you to know is that I ended up as a financial adviser by accident.  Car accident to be exact.  I was getting my associates degree in massage therapy in NYC the summer of the horrible heat wave and as a “starving artist” my roommate and I had no air conditioner.  So I slept with frozen peas.  Dirty, right? Wrong.  Also in that kind of heat frozen peas only stay frozen for about 20 minutes before you have to switch them out.  So on no sleep I borrowed my parents’ car to drive home and take a nap in their central air conditioned house in northern NJ.  9 minutes from my sweet arrival home I turned off the highway, and relaxed for 10 seconds, fell asleep and my car veered across the road, up on the curb and into a tree.  I’ll spare you the gory details, all you really need to know is that I destroyed my arm.  Fractures my humorous into 5 pieces.  It took 2 surgeons hours to put it back together.  And to this day (almost 10 years later) I am still dealing with the repercussions.  Needless to say with a break like that there was no massage therapy for me to do.  I couldn’t stage manage since my arm was locked in a 90 degree angle for months (and I was on Percocet to help me through the physical therapy 3 times a week).  Had I not had health insurance and my parents not had great auto insurance my medical bills would have put me into 6 figure debt that I would have never gotten out of.  The truth is, I probably wouldn’t have had all the therapy and might not have gained full mobility back in my arm.  Anyway, after a few weeks of taking up residency on my parents couch, they came in one day and asked me if I had plans to go back to work.  I looked at them and said, “Look at me.  I can’t do anything I have a degree in, I can be a temp or a cashier.  I can’t do anything.  So you find the fool who will hire me and I’ll work for them.”  They agreed that I made some good point and said they would get back to me.  The next day my dad came in and said, “You’re working for me.”  He had been a financial adviser for about 25 years at that point. “You’ll get licensed and help me out.  If you like it you’ll stay.  If not, when you’re better you’ll go back to whatever you want to do.”  And that’s how it started.