One year ago, concurrent with the national holiday celebrating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Morgan Stanley Smith Barney launched the Multicultural Financial Advisors Forum (MFAF) multiculturalfaforum.com, a blog for people of diverse backgrounds interested in a career as a Financial Advisor.

Patterned after the very successful Women Financial Advisors Forum (WFAF), which showcases successful women FAs and explores a range of career issues and opportunities for women in financial services, during the past year, the new multicultural online site showcased the opportunities, challenges and advantages of a Financial Advisor career and gave the firm’s Financial Advisors an opportunity to share insights and ideas about the work they do, the clients they advise, and the work-life balance they seek, and to be a useful source of information for people from diverse backgrounds considering a career in wealth management.

The MFAF featured Financial Advisors such as Elly Wong in Pasadena, CA, who  didn’t start out wanting to work in financial services. With a degree in industrial and system engineering, she launched her own construction consulting firm before,  almost by accident, coming to work for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney.  Ten years later, she’s Vice President and Portfolio Management Director for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Pasadena, Cal. We talked to Elly about the path she took and how her entrepreneurial spirit serves as an asset in her career.

Ted Reid in Vorhees, NJ, a Financial Advisor with an impressive client list of mostly professional athletes, told us about his journey before achieving his success.  He discussed his many challenges, both professional and personal, and credited his success to staying focused on his ultimate goal of becoming a Financial Advisor and assisting people along the way.  Ted described his current position as one he enjoys so immensely that it feels like a pastime.

As we begin our second year of the MFAF, our goal is to continue exposing readers to the ins and outs of a Financial Advisor career, in the hopes that some become  potential candidates for hire. We seek to stimulate an online conversation by encouraging participation and providing a forum for questions and concerns. Please visit the site regularly or sign up for weekly updates packed with real life success stories, information about the job requirements of a Financial Advisor, how to apply, career development, weekly polls and invitations to recruiting events and other special events held by the firm.

© 2012 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC.