Thomas J. Lally
As you might expect from the son of an accountant, I’ve always been pretty financially savvy. Before I was even a teenager, I had my parents open a custodial investment account for me. But I didn’t always know this is what I wanted to do for a career. At Stonehill College I majored in English and minored in Political Science, two subjects about which I have a great personal and intellectual interest. I briefly considered a career as a professor because I thought I would enjoy teaching at the college level. But professors – yes, even English professors – are expected to publish original research. And after a summer job assisting an English professor with their research, that career path was significantly less appealing.
It was only about a year before graduation that I decided I wanted to get into financial services. As a recent college graduate with no industry experience, good jobs were not so plentiful. I ended up at a big insurance company, where I learned I was a terrible salesman. But the training was good and I ended up attaining several insurance and securities licenses, which were necessary for the next step in my career.
That next step was U.S. Wealth Management, which I joined in 2011. At first I handled a lot of back-office duties – operations, compliance, marketing, administrative work. I eventually took on more client service responsibilities and found that I really enjoyed the client-facing side of this profession. So I got more securities licenses, and began preparing for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ exam.
Some might think of studying for that exam as a necessary box to check, but, proud nerd that I am, I actually enjoyed it. The material is incredibly wide ranging, from investments and retirement, to tax and estate planning. I passed the exam, but more importantly, I learned a lot along the way. In 2015, after completing the other requirements for education, experience, and ethics, I had earned my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ mark.
So why do I do this? I enjoy helping people to better understand and organize their finances. How the decisions they make for one reason can have unintended consequences in another aspect of their financial life. And how those decisions help them move closer to or further from their goals. Personal finance is kind of like snowflakes, because no two families and situations are exactly alike. I really enjoy getting to know the mosaic, understanding how each piece comes together to paint the entire picture.
When I’m not in the office, I enjoy working out, traveling, and reading. Here are a few other ‘Favorites’ to help you get to know me a little better.
Favorite Food: Oreos, pretty much any kind. I try very hard not to buy them because I know that if I have them in the kitchen, it will be really hard to stop myself from eating them all much too quickly.
Favorite Drink: I’m pretty boring here, in that I don’t drink coffee, soda, or much of anything besides water. But I do enjoy craft beer and will almost never pass up the chance to try one I haven’t had before.
Favorite Book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
Favorite Sports Team: I love all the Boston teams, with top spots going to the Patriots and Red Sox.
Favorite Place: Paris, though in college I spent a semester in Dublin, so it will always be very special to me.