Kimberly Bridges Alumni Profile
Personal Financial Planning (PFP) alumna, Kim Bridges Ph.D., CFP®, CPWA®, says her journey to becoming a financial planner began in the Marine Corps.
"I headed to college straight out of high school but quickly decided that I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, so I took a detour and joined the Marine Corps," Kim said. "While in the Corps, I took advantage of every opportunity to continue my education and culminated my studies by completing my undergraduate degree in Human Ecology in 2003."
Towards the end of receiving her bachelor's degree in Human Ecology, Kim took a personal finance class and was hooked.
"I immediately enrolled in a master's program in Personal Financial Planning at Kansas State University and followed up in 2005 by pursuing a Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech."
Kim obtained her doctorate in PFP from Texas Tech University in 2009. After completing her education at Texas Tech, Kim continued her professional education by attaining the Certified Financial Planner™, Certified Private Wealth Advisor® and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® certifications. Today Kim is the Director of Financial Planning for BOK Financial and serves on the Financial Planning Association® National Board of Directors.
"In my current role as Director of Financial Planning for BOK Financial (parent company of Bank of Texas), I am responsible for developing and delivering a coordinated and comprehensive financial planning strategy across the Wealth Management lines of business and throughout the eight-state footprint."
Kim's role at BOK Financial is new, and she is building the financial planning offering at from the ground up. Kim said the role is both exciting and daunting, but at the end of the day Kim likes to know that the work her team is doing helps clients make better financial decisions.
"I spent ten years working directly with clients and I know how much they value financial planning. It gives them peace of mind to know they are on a path that leads to financial security and fulfillment of their hopes and dreams," Kim said. "My team is expanding, and that means we are reaching more and more clients. There is something very satisfying in knowing that I am building a team that will continue to grow and serve more clients – more than I would be able to serve single-handedly."
Kim said she has always had a heart for mentoring students, which is part of the reason why she chose to study PFP at Texas Tech.
"While I was working on my master's degree, I served as a teaching assistant to a professor who had heard about the doctoral program at Texas Tech and encouraged me to apply. I was fortunate enough to be part of the first cohort of doctoral students in Personal Financial Planning."
While earning her Ph.D. at Texas Tech, Kim again worked as a teaching assistant to the late PFP professor, Robert Barnhill, Ph.D. Kim said that working with Dr. Barnhill taught her how to be a better teacher.
"I learned so much from Professor Barnhill and enjoyed helping his students learn," Kim said. "The experience that I gained as a teaching assistant, and later as an instructor, helps me in my role as a manager as I work to develop a team of junior planners."
Even though Kim began her doctoral program at Texas Tech with a master's in financial planning, she felt like she had learned so much from the TTU program.
"The preparation that I received at Texas Tech was priceless," Kim said. "The real-world experience of many of the professors, combined with the excellent research background of others, creates a solid educational foundation in financial planning. I left campus well equipped to serve clients as a financial planner and to teach financial planning."
Kim said that besides the education she received in financial planning, which she describes as the best in the industry, one of the many benefits of attending the program at Texas Tech is the large network of alumni.
"The financial planning community is fairly close and I continue to run into fellow TTU alumni as I work and serve in the profession. Many are actively involved in the Financial Planning Association®, as am I."
Kim recently moved to the Phoenix area to be closer to her family. Outside of her career, Kim loves to spend time with her family and friends, and enjoys hiking in the area.
"I'm also hoping to improve my golf game this winter - it has plenty of room for improvement."