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April Is National Financial Literacy Month

Carol Rappaport, CLU®, ChFC®, CLTC, is a financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual and a loyal NAIFA member since 1983.

Carol began working in the clothing sales business at an early age. She enjoyed providing a customized service for her clients and helping them select items based on their style preferences. Her clients and friends recognized her talents and recommended that she consider outside sales opportunities, and more specifically, financial services. Initially, Carol thought, “I am more of a creative type of person, not a math person. Will I be able to do this well?” However, she remained open-minded and decided to give it a shot. After all, she had experience listening to clients and making recommendations and customizations based on their best interests.

Taking the advice of her friends, she immediately began searching for opportunities and spoke with several different companies. Northwestern Mutual was the first to reach out and offer her a position. After meeting with several other insurance companies, she eagerly accepted and began this new career with Northwestern Mutual. She said, “Sales is who I was, and still am. I wanted to be involved in a career with a longer relationship-based way of working; I was in search of an opportunity that was more rewarding and impactful.” The opportunities that would unfold at Northwestern Mutual, paired with her strong work ethic and care for others, would prove to be just that. Thirty-eight years later, her leap of faith has more than paid off. She remains at Northwestern Mutual today.

Early in her career, a colleague introduced Rappaport to NAIFA. He was a senior representative and served on the board at NAIFA. She said, “He mentioned NAIFA to me, and I became a member and started taking CLU® and then ChFC® classes with other members. I really enjoyed learning alongside other professionals in the industry.”

After years of experience, Rappaport says her greatest enjoyment is the relationships she has formed. She says, “I look back on all of these years, and the lifelong friendships that have forged both from industry connections and client connections are so meaningful to me. You begin to develop these bonds with people who do what you do, and you learn from them. I think the NAIFA connection helps create respectful industry-wide relationships that carry on forever.”

Throughout her career, Carol has served as a Financial Advisor, Qualified Plan Specialist, Employee Benefits Specialist, and Group Disability and Life Specialist. She continues to stay up to date on industry trends and often seeks new educational opportunities to keep her perspective fresh. She says, “You can’t open your own financial business without a financial investment or a blood, sweat, and tears investment. You work crazy hard early on in your career, and if you do the correct things, it just kind of snowballs.”

Since the start of her career, Carol has remained a loyal NAIFA member. She continues to recommend NAIFA for several reasons. She says, “I think it’s really critical to be an advocate for your industry. It is so important to know what is going on in the industry and how others are operating. We all get wrapped up in our own companies, but I’ve learned unbelievably amazing ways of doing things from people who were ‘competitors.’ I’ve also gained respect for others in the industry who do things differently than me. Without becoming a member, I don’t know if I would’ve had the same experience.”

Thank you, Carol, for your incredible service to our industry and association over the years. We are #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.



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