Texas Tech University

Michael Graham Alumni Profile

Alan Sweitzer RHIM Alumni TTUAs one of the first graduates of the nation's only joint degree program in law and financial planning, Michael Graham's experience with the Personal Financial Planning (PFP) program was entirely unique. Now as a proud alumnus, he serves as President of Graham Capital Strategies and Managing Director of Principal Financial Group in El Paso, Texas.

Michael is responsible for the growth and development of Graham Capital Strategies, which his father founded in 1987. Additionally, in his role as Managing Director, he is the primary compliance supervisor for 10 advisors in El Paso and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

"By far, the most enjoyable part of my work is the interaction with my advisors and our clients, particularly working on client planning scenarios. My personal expertise is in complex life insurance planning, including in estate planning and business planning scenarios, as well as asset management."

Michael feels that Texas Tech University's Personal Financial Planning program definitely prepared him for his current position.

"It gave me broad knowledge base from a planning standpoint. Planning can be a very misunderstood concept, not only for the public but for professionals as well, and the ability to discuss the entire process in great detail was a huge advantage."

His background in financial planning and law continues to work toward his advantage in his career.

"Although I no longer actively practice law, my background gives me an increased understanding of the regulatory side of our industry. It helps me ensure that our advisors are providing the best service for their clients, and complying with the ever-changing and ever-growing regulatory environment."

He says his education was extremely valuable to his career path and he would recommend the PFP program to any student interested in this industry.

"It provides students with a broad knowledge base around financial instruments, insurance, and investments. This is an invaluable insight and introduction to a field that will continue to grow for the foreseeable future."

Feeling a bit nostalgic, Michael remembers what a blast the PFP program was. Nowadays, his idea of fun includes CrossFit with his wife and the occasional bourbon.