Adele Gip­son

Fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor, CPC Ad­vi­sors, an in­de­pen­dent firm af­fil­i­ated with Ray­mond James Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices


2008 would seem to be an in­aus­pi­cious time to em­bark on a ca­reer in fi­nan­cial ser­vices. But Adele Gip­son, who wanted a job as a plan­ner af­ter work­ing as an ac­coun­tant, says she had two ad­van­tages: She had years of pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence un­der her belt, and she opted to join an ex­ist­ing firm, CPC Ad­vi­sors, rather than at­tempt to go out on her own. “It helped to join a larger or­ga­ni­za­tion,” she says. She now serves over 150 house­holds, and hav­ing the larger team’s struc­ture as a foun­da­tion was crit­i­cal to her early suc­cess, “I started out build­ing a book,” Gip­son says, “but I had the cush­ion of sup­port­ing the firm’s fi­nan­cial plan­ning ef­forts.” Earn­ing her CFP des­ig­na­tion from the get-go was another key move. “As a black fe­male,” Gip­son says, “you do have to rec­og­nize that there are per­cep­tions, whether pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive, that you have to over­come. I think you’ve got to rec­og­nize that. I also hold a CPA, [so] I have been able to put the tech­ni­cal com­pe­tency to the side.” The busi­ness can be ex­tremely tough for young en­trants, the At­lanta-based ad­vi­sor says. “It’s hard be­cause you don’t have an es­tab­lished net­work of peo­ple, un­less per­haps you went to a more pres­ti­gious school, where you can lever­age those kinds of re­la­tion­ships.” (Gip­son grad­u­ated from Chris­tian Broth­ers Univer­sity.) Although ca­reer chang­ers like her can tap their ex­ist­ing pro­fes­sional net­works, that’s all the more rea­son, she says, to get ad­di­tional pro­fes­sional des­ig­na­tions. New­com­ers, she adds, also need to pay heed to the psy­cho­log­i­cal com­po­nent of the busi­ness. “A lot of what we do is man­age client be­hav­ior,” she says. “Part of that is draw­ing on what they are say­ing, but also not say­ing. So it’s not just the tech­ni­cal, but the soft per­sonal skills that you need.” Gip­son also sug­gests work­ing with a men­tor. “Our founder was in­stru­men­tal to my suc­cess. If you don’t have [that per­son] within your or­ga­ni­za­tion, find some­one.”

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