Patricia Konetzy, CFP®, EA
The Practical Planner, LLC
When Pat Konetzny decided to join ACP, she knew it was a big investment in her future. At the time, it felt like a leap of faith. She had worked her way toward owning her own financial planning firm, but she had not yet established herself. “Basically, there was no income yet,” she says. But looking back on that time, Pat sees the fork in the road. ACP not only changed the course of her career, it connected her to a network of people that would come to feel like an extended family. “Joining was one of the most important decisions of my life,” she says.
Pat had always been interested in finance. In college, she majored in economics, and after graduating she took a job as an internal auditor with a large bank in Boston. When she left her job to raise her four kids, she was the one to manage the family’s finances. She stayed connected to the financial world by listening to talk radio and reading the Wall Street Journal. That’s how she heard about the CFPÒ designation.
Between taking her first tax course and starting her own business, seven years passed. Pat spent that time working part-time for a CFPÒ and enrolled agent as well as an RIA. Through this experience, she clarified what kind of financial planning she wanted to do. She was drawn to the idea of comprehensive planning, so when she saw an ad for ACP in the back of a magazine, she decided to reach out. At the time, she’d just left her job with the RIA and she was looking for a little more flexibility.
When Pat first got in touch with the ACP, she was impressed with how warm and welcoming everyone was. When she attended an FPA residency in Boulder, she noticed Stewart Farnell was based there and decided to connect with him. Stewart invited her to his office and shared his experiences. “He was so generous with his time—meeting him helped me know that ACP members were the type of people I wanted to be associated with,” Pat says.
Once Pat was sure about joining, things moved quickly. Within a few months she completed the ACP training course, she travelled to meet with Bert, and she attended the ACP Conference. Stewart became her coach and soon she was meeting with her first prospect. “ACP gave me the tools I needed to feel confident in that very first meeting,” she says. In fact, using the ACP tools, Pat showed that first prospect a mistake in their taxes which would save them thousands of dollars. Needless to say, they signed on with Pat.
ACP allowed Pat to keep her practice the right size for her lifestyle. She appreciated the flexibility of managing a small number of clients. With ACP, she had access to a brain trust of advisors with a wide range of specialties. Whenever she had a question, she could reach out to other members and they would show up for her. “Even though I was a small business, ACP made me feel like I could handle anything,” she says.
For 15 years, Pat’s aim was to maintain the size of her practice. She knew that should she ever want to grow, ACP would provide the foundation and connections she needed to do so. Three years ago, that change happened. Pat’s son joined the practice as a partner, and they shifted into growth mode. As Pat had hoped, ACP gave her and her son all the tools they needed for the transition.
2019 marks Pat’s 20th anniversary with ACP. Over the years, she has served in many different roles, including on the board, on the marketing team, on the five pillars team, and on the system committee. She’s also helped with the conferences and has served as a mentor. Her dedication throughout her time with ACP has benefited not only other members, but the organization as a whole. “I’ve learned so much from ACP; I’m so happy to give back,” she says. Through the decades ACP has changed, but what’s amazing to Pat is how some irreplacable part of ACP always stays the same. “Even though people retire, and new ones join, the essential core of ACP is still there, and that’s pretty incredible,” she says.