Editor’s note: This article is part of a continuing series in which Paul Ellis, a well-known advisor and consultant on sustainable investing strategies, interviews industry professionals on the topics of millennials and sustainable investing. What follows is an interview with two industry experts: Valentino Scaramuzzo, CFP, ChFC, CLU, CRPC, CRPS, is a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. and Philip P. Andriola, J.D., is a private wealth advisor and the chief executive officer of Andriola, Goldberg & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services Inc.
To read other article in the series, click on the links below:
Ellis: Val, tell our readers about your two decades in management before becoming an advisor.
Scaramuzzo: I joined Ameriprise in 1985 with the understanding that we were opening an office in Manhattan. Don Weaver and myself had fun recruiting advisors and building an office that the company wanted to close after a year and a half. The thinking was that New York was not the right market. I argued that we could succeed there and was given the chance make it work. Today there are over 100 Ameriprise advisors in New York, about half of whom I recruited and trained.
Ellis: Phil, you have a B.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law. What motivated you to choose a career in financial services?
Andriola: I was a practicing attorney when a college roommate, who was trading commodities on the New York Mercantile Exchange, asked me to join his firm. I saw this as an opportunity to fulfill my potential, so I became a commodities trader. As clients of American Express Financial Advisors, my wife and I did financial planning around this career change. During the process my advisor said, “I think you would be good at doing this work.”
His words stayed with me and my passion for becoming an advisor grew out of my personal financial planning experience and coaching kids in baseball. I had played in college and loved tutoring the kids and helping them prepare for life through playing sports. At some point I realized that financial planning was coaching families and made sense as a career based on my education, skill set and life experience.