When people used to ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d say: “A doctor.” I excelled at math and science in school, and I liked the idea of applying my skills to help others. Many of my family members are medical professionals, so I naturally assumed that I’d join the “family business.” As it turns out, I did… but not the way I originally thought.
My practical side came forth while I was earning my Bachelor of Science degree at Portland State University. I concentrated on finance and economics because I knew that for me, these disciplines would prove invaluable no matter which career path I’d pursue.
Upon graduation, I used my analytical skills as a Research Assistant at Oregon Health Sciences University and focused on studies related to infectious disease and cardio-pulmonary health. I spent a great deal of time in the E/R and ICU where life and death decisions are top of mind. I couldn’t help but be amazed by how the physicians controlled the room amidst chaos, while they tended to their patients.
I went back to school to complete pre-medical coursework at Oregon State University. While studying for the MCATs, I thought deeply about the level of commitment I’d need to make to fulfill my childhood dream which included extensive post-graduate work and medical school, followed by an internship, residency, and (possibly) fellowship. I also thought in very practical terms about what it would mean for my personal and financial future. At the end of the day, I realized that there was another path where I could serve others while keeping a hand in medicine. I decided to become a financial planner with a focus on physicians.
While working in the wealth management industry, I learned very quickly that I did not want to be part of a sales-driven environment where the firm’s bottom line might override the clients’ best interests. At a small firm, I was fortunate to find a wonderful mentor that helped me hone my planning skills and help me engage with clients in a genuinely helpful, mutually trusting relationship. I worked with clients across a broad spectrum of ages and stages in their financial planning life cycles. I helped them address near-term challenges and issues while looking forward to future needs and estate plans.
With the move to Aldrich, I spend my time working with physicians on their personal financial planning, wealth management, and estate planning. Having grown up around medical professionals, I know how passionate they are about their work. With our support and expert advice, they can focus on saving lives while resting assured that we’ve got their backs when it comes to financial planning and management.
I feel right at home with our approach to client management and the emphasis on doing the best job we can for them. I’m also pleased with the breadth and depth of skills and experience we can bring to the table. When my clients have accounting or tax questions, I’ve got team members who are ready, able, and willing to help.
With my firm’s enthusiastic support, I remain active in the medical community. I am on the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Portland. It’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart as my mother has MS and my uncle has Parkinson’s disease. I am a volunteer with the Red Cross, and I attend lectures twice a month on topics of interest in the medical field.
This engagement feeds my curiosity while helping me stay connected to my clients’ work. And as if life isn’t busy enough, I’m also working toward my Certificate in Financial Planning through Boston University. Although my journey took me to a different destination than I’d once planned, I am happy to have found a career – and a firm– through which my interests in math and science come together so well.
Meet the Author
Senior Wealth Manager
Alex Kilian, CFP®
Alex joined Aldrich in 2016 to work exclusively with physicians and medical practices. At one point, he considered a medical career but instead chose to help physicians manage their own financial health. Now working primarily with corporate executives, business owners and medical professionals, he guides his clients through their complex wealth management needs, including financial…
- Financial planning and consulting services
- Estate planning
- Insurance analysis