Gordon Achtermann, CFP®
Financial planning has been a passion for me almost as long as I can remember. I grew up in Endwell, New York — a small town upstate where many of our fathers worked for IBM. It was a company town for sure, but when my father died at age 54, I soon learned that the company did not take care of its own. I was 13, but it was clear as day to me that people and families need to be educated and empowered to take care of their financial needs because nobody else is going to do it for them — not even an employer that was famous at the time for its excellent employee relations and benefits.
After graduating from Duke University with a degree in Economics, I took a job at Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors. We offered a “free” financial plan to potential clients as an entrée to selling our mutual funds and insurance. While I loved helping people sort out their questions and planning their future, commission-only sales was not for me. Throughout my subsequent 27-year career at Freddie Mac, I hoped I would one day return to my first career love, but the industry would have to change before I would be comfortable getting back in the business of financial planning.
In the meantime, I often found myself pleasantly engaged giving free advice to colleagues who needed help. I got married, had two beautiful children and got an MBA in night school along the way. I managed to build a very healthy balance sheet for our family on our modest salaries — in spite of having one or both kids in private school for most of their early years and residing in a city with a high cost of living.
In 2001 I heard about a new model for delivering advice to families like ours — hourly, fee-only planning as pioneered by Sheryl Garrett. From then on, every couple of years I would pull out information about the Garrett Planning Network and think about starting my own firm. But it took until 2017 for my wife and I to agree we had a secure enough foundation established for me to take that leap and pursue my entrepreneurial dream. At the end of that year, I became a full-time student. I soon completed the Financial Planning Certificate curriculum at Bryant University — the education that is required prior to taking the CFP® exam, which I passed on the first attempt in July 2018. I am now a Certified Financial Planner™ professional. I have since added the CSRIC designation and become a Green America Certified Business.
My goal at Your Best Path Financial Planning is to provide high-quality, accessible fiduciary financial planning to individuals and families from across America and from all walks of life. My vision is now real as we offer solid financial advice without requiring minimum asset or net-worth levels. The passion, life experience, and knowledge I bring to the table will serve you well as we figure out how to get you on your distinct best path to financial security and independence.