Paul Sciacca has been a loyal NAIFA member since 2009. He currently resides on the board for NAIFA-New York and practices at Long Island General Office in Melville, NY, where he specializes in personal financial planning.
Sciacca began his career in financial services in 2008 after being laid off from his job on Wall Street and being out of work for 18 months due to the recession. During the 18 months between his job at Wall Street and New York Life, he was “working on fishing boats” to make ends meet. He soon realized that Wall Street and his career as he had known it wasn’t going to ever be a viable option for him again. Knowing this, and that he wanted to stay in the financial services industry “because that’s what he knew,” he accepted an offer with New York Life.
Sciacca's decision to stick with a career in the financial services industry stems from its fulfillment. “I think it’s the impact [that makes my career so enjoyable], for example, if you have ever delivered a death claim and experienced the emotion that goes along with that it was so polar opposite of my very cold career on Wall Street,” he says. He enjoys the relationships he’s able to develop with his clients and how he can help preserve what is most important to them. When it comes to Sciacca's specialty, he jokes that in the beginning, it was “pretty much anyone who would talk to [him]." Now, his focus is “upper, middle market, specifically with small business owners.”
In addition to the natural autonomy that comes with being your own boss, being a financial advisor has allowed him the flexibility and time to rear his children and grow as a professional. He explains:
From a purely selfish perspective, I have triplet boys and during their younger years, I was able to make it to their baseball and basketball games, school plays, and events and to be present. I love the control of my own business, I love the fact that if I want a raise, I just work hard. It’s that simple. I’ve been in the corporate world where your destiny is really up to someone else, whether you perform or not, whereas here, I have control.
New York Life also offers amazing travel perks, and they allow you to bring your family, one time we went to Disney World, which was perfect because, at the time, my kids were just 5 years old which is very unique. I always encourage others who are interested in this industry, by telling them to paint the perfect picture from scratch [of] what [they], as a businessperson, would like to have happen 10 years from now and do it. Nobody is stopping you. You have complete artistic autonomy. There are no limits.
Sciacca considers NAIFA’s advocacy and influence to be essential to the successful operation of his business and the protection of his client’s interests. Advocacy has always been an important part of Sciacca's career. Before being elected to the board of NAIFA-NY, Sciacca was elected to the Agents Advisory Council at New York Life, a council of 24 agents that are elected by the 12,000 agents within the field to be a “liaison between the field and the home office.”
Sciacca is also New York Life’s Political Involvement Leader in the New York area, where he was the liaison for New York Life’s Office of Government Affairs and their elected officials on the national level. There are certain issues and regulations that have concerned Sciacca over the years which ultimately led to his involvement in advocacy. Issues such as the SECURE Act and Regulation Best Interests are “dynamic and so impactful to how we run our business.” says Sciacca.
Every year, Sciacca would have a kick-off meeting with New York Life’s entire general office and discuss with the other agents the significance of NAIFA’s advocacy and influence in the industry. He is always looking to build new relationships with new legislators as he believes that “is where the rubber meets the road.” “I’m always asking my agents at these events, let me know who you know, and we can get our message across and the wheels moving,” he says.
Sciacca expresses his concerns about those who have reservations about getting involved with NAIFA’s advocacy efforts. He states, “too often, these days, there’s this perception of, there’s nothing I can do about it or change. It doesn’t matter who I vote for, it is what it is and that’s just not true. In fact, I can point to the issues that our legislators need [our] perspective from the field. I would tell [those with reservations] that you have control as to how this thing turns out if you’re willing to exercise your ability to influence. Because if you don’t, I can assure you, you’re correct, they will not listen, things will not change, and that’s for sure. But if you do, you would be shocked, we can move mountains.”
Thank you, Paul, for your loyal service to our industry and association. We’re #NAIFAproud to call you one of our own.