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Why I Became a Financial Advisor

By Chris Risenmay, CFP®

Why I Became a Financial Advisor

Why I Became a Financial Advisor

For many of us, our views on money, spending, and saving stem from what our parents taught us and how they handled money (whether good or bad). I come from a family of hard workers, and I followed suit at the age of seven when I begged my parents to let me take on my first job delivering newspapers. My older brother and sister had a route, and I wanted to do the same. Ever since that first day delivering papers, I’ve always held a job.

Throughout my youth, I was always learning about the value of money. Around the same time I started my first job, my father and his friend purchased an insurance agency. I watched their business flourish and become a success entity, and my father taught me about the importance of delivering exceptional client service and upholding absolute integrity.

Discovering My Career Calling

I was already primed for a career in finance, but it wasn’t until I listened to a financial advisor on a television show when my career decision was solidified. As I watched this man provide financial advice, teaching audience members about the importance of avoiding excessive debt, living within your means, and investing wisely, I realized that I wanted to be a full-service financial advisor. I wanted to not only provide people advice on their investment and insurance needs but also on all aspects of their financial life.

After studying finance in college, I launched my career working as an advisor with Merrill Lynch. While I had no desire to be a stockbroker, I believed I could focus on financial planning and truly help people without bias. However, over time I came to realize that most wirehouse firms and banks offering financial services were more interested in “selling” products and services than delivering client focused advice. 

Frustrated with this approach, I decided the best way for me to serve objectively and to truly help clients was to become an independent advisor. In 2014, several other financial advisors from The Cypress Group and I joined forces with Integrated Wealth Management, an independent Registered Investment Advisory firm. In the summer of 2017, The Cypress Group decided to setup their own RIA, and we are now called Cypress Wealth Services.

My Career Today

Today, I’m focused on offering asset management and financial planning for high net worth individuals, families, and institutions. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, I help my clients organize and prioritize their financial and estate planning needs. In all that I do, my goal is to develop strategies that assist them in accomplishing their greatest objectives.

While it can be stressful during difficult financial markets, I love when a plan comes together and I can help a client reduce costs while improving the probability that they will meet their goals. The care I have for my clients and the desire to do great work drives me every day. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love as my career and to connect with so many amazing people.

I am always open to meet new people and see how I may be able to help. If you are looking for financial guidance or a second opinion regarding your current strategies, I encourage you to reach out to me today for a no-obligation conversation. Working out of our Palm Desert, California office, I work with clients throughout Southern California as well as across the country. Connect with me on LinkedIn, send me an email at, or call my office at 760.834.7211.

About Cypress Wealth Services

Cypress Wealth Services, an independent RIA firm providing financial planning and investment management to high net worth individuals, families, business owners, and institutions. CWS is comprised of professionals with diverse backgrounds and extensive experience and qualifications. CWS is uniquely qualified to serve a broad range of client needs. Their experience and expertise act as a foundation for their client service process, The Second Growth, which focuses on efficiently protecting, growing, and transferring to their loved ones the wealth and legacy a person has already built. With offices in Palm Desert, and Anchorage, the firm serves clients across the country. Learn more by visiting