Bottolfsen knew from an early age that he wanted a career in financial services. When he played Monopoly as a kid, he insisted on being the banker. In high school, he loved his finance classes and read old issues of the Wall Street Journal in his free time.
When he earned his bachelor's degree in finance in 2008, he was eager to start his career. Unfortunately, the financial crisis made for a less-than-favorable job market for aspiring young financial professionals. Undeterred, Bottolfsen took matters into his own hands. He took a job waiting tables, with one peculiar uniform piece—a t-shirt with his resume on the back. His unorthodox marketing ploy paid off when a Hartford Financial Group executive spotted him. Bottolfsen gave the executive his homemade business card and—just a few weeks later—started his financial services career.
Bottolfsen, while in graduate school, worked in several financial services roles in the following years and, in 2017, GoldBook Financial CEO Victor Goldman, CLTC, asked him to join GoldBook as a Vice President to help grow their brokerage business. Bottolfsen was eager for the new challenge but knew he needed to make contacts in the industry to grow the burgeoning business. So, he started attending NAIFA meetings and eventually joined the boards of NAIFA-Phoenix and NAIFA-AZ.
Advocacy and Networking with NAIFA
Whether attending state and local chapter meetings, taking advantage of continuing education opportunities, or learning best practices from some of the top agents and financial professionals in the industry, insurance and financial services professionals at all stages of their careers can benefit from being actively involved in NAIFA, says Bottolfsen. A passionate supporter of NAIFA’s political advocacy, he has seen first-hand the impact advocacy can have, as NAIFA members provide insight to policymakers into how proposed rules and regulations will affect everyday Americans.
Throughout his career, Bottolfsen has relied on his NAIFA peers for guidance and advice, and he met several individuals at NAIFA events who had profound impacts on his career—many of whom he still views as mentors and close friends today. When Bottolfsen talks to other industry professionals, he encourages them to get involved in NAIFA and to find mentors among members who embody all that NAIFA stands for.
Making a Difference
Bottolfsen says that financial planning is like going through and organizing a kitchen junk drawer but on a much more impactful, generational scale. People put off making a financial plan because it seems overwhelming. Once they sit down and start planning, however, their relief is palpable. “I love the look on people’s faces and the change in their energy when we’ve created a plan—created specific, actionable steps—and seeing the anxiety lifted from them,” he says. That’s what he loves most about his career—coaching people through the process and seeing how it changes not only their lives but the lives of their whole families. Changing people’s relationship with money can have ripple effects for generations, he says.
While Bottolfsen provides holistic financial planning, he is especially passionate about disability income insurance, your ability to earn an income is often considered your greatest asset. He talks about one experience that reinforced that conviction. He was working with a friend who was a medical resident at a local hospital. It was difficult to find a company willing to offer her disability coverage, but they finally found one and placed the policy. A year later, they were working to increase her coverage when she called with news—her medical screening had revealed a lump and they had a biopsy scheduled to screen for cancer. She and her husband were pregnant with their second child, and she is the primary breadwinner in the family, but she knows her family will be protected, no matter what. This story is one of many.
Bottolfsen has a deep desire to give back to the community in Phoenix that has done so much for him. He has served in positions with St. Mary’s Food Bank, one·n·ten, Suns Charities 88, The Fiesta Bowl Yellow Jacket Committee, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Valley Young Professionals, and is currently on the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He talks about his dedication to his community, saying, “I try to involve myself with organizations that find those who might be falling off the track and put them back on the right path through support and mentorship. If you can help a child where they’re at today, you’ll change generations of people.”
In the coming years, Bottolfsen plans to grow his team, fine-tune his process, and grow his practice to reach more people.
Eric Bottolfsen is a registered representative of and offers securities and investment advisory services through MML Investors Services, LLC. Member SIPC (www.SIPC.org) 4900 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 4000, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 480.638.2100. CRN202601-3668739