In our first-ever Ask An Advisor, Matt is interviewing Jonathan West from the College Funding Group. In this Ask An Advisor segment, we are discussing Jonathan’s background in the college planning space, the ups and down’s he’s faced as an advisor, and the latest college funding news that impacts clients.
But first, let’s get to know Jonathan!
Question: What does the dream look like? (Professional and otherwise!)
Helping regular people feel like they are getting a fair deal in what they pay for college by making sure they are, given their unique family situation and their values. And delivering it in a profitable business model.
Question: How and why did you start college planning?
About 10 years ago, I was adding on to my RIA because our oldest child was a HS Junior. I was shocked by how little I knew about college (which I hate). I dislike talking to people about money management but found I enjoyed talking to them about college planning – so the College Funding Group was born!
Question: What do you enjoy about college planning? What do you hate about it?
I enjoy it when a family learns something about paying for college that they did not know, and might not have ever figured out had we not talked, and that something saves them significant money. I don’t enjoy: the process of drumming up and selling prospects, or the minutiae about sales funnel and campaigns and copy editing and website design, blah blah. It takes too much time to do it myself – and I feel it’s way too expensive to hire others to do it too frequently.
Question: What does the perfect day off or vacation look like?
Vacationing with family at the beach.
Question: What’s your favorite sports team/s (if you have one)? What’s your favorite band/s?
Whoever I bet on! Favorite sport is by far horse racing. Then college football, NFL, hockey, college b-ball. I listen to a lot of country and country-rock.
Question: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Pretty much here, in Richmond, VA, but in general, near family.
Question: If you time-traveled back to the 1st day of your career, what advice would you give yourself?
You’ve found a niche that people really want to hear about. But that doesn’t mean “If you build it, they will come.”
Find 3 ways to get the word out about what you offer, ways that fit my personality, and wash rinse repeat those 3 like a maniac. Don’t get discouraged, it just takes time.
Question: Care to share any details about your family? Pets, etc?
I have 4 kids – 3 boys (ages 16, 18, 31), and one girl who is 26. We’ve always had a lab or golden or both, have a golden now! We knew each other in high school (aww!)