Texas Tech University

Nelson Matzen Alumni Profile

Nelson Matzen, PFP alumni at Texas Tech, CFPPersonal Financial Planning (PFP) alumnus Nelson Matzen discovered his love for financial planning in high school, working on mock investment portfolios with his father.

During his first semester at Texas Tech University, Nelson enrolled in his first personal finance class.

"I found a course for non-majors called 'personal and family finance' in the catalog and decided to take it as an elective in Fall 2007," Nelson said. "My cousin told me his biggest regret in college was not taking personal finance courses and learning how to budget later in life."

The course covered a variety of topics including goal setting, credit card debt, managing budgets and the basics of investing, Nelson says.

Midway through the semester, Nelson was hooked.

However, after Nelson's grandmother passed away in 2008, followed by his father in 2009, Nelson made the decision to return home to be closer to his family. Back home, he was able to gain personal experience in the value of financial planning by working with his mom as she navigated through her financial life without his father. Nelson loves this time he was able to spend with his mom and believes he has been able to use the experience to make him a better advisor.

During his break from school, Nelson reconnected with a Texas Tech PFP alumna named Christy, who he had taken a class with a few years prior.

She had passed her CFP® certification exam and was a practicing associate financial planner. Wanting to impress her, he made the decision to enroll back in school to finish what he had started.

After graduating from Texas Tech in December of 2014, Nelson went to work in the industry for four years and was able to pass his series 7, 66 and CFP® exams.

"From being a paraplanner, who already knows the financial planning technology tools, to being a program manager at a top 25 national broker-dealer where I was effectively able to teach business owners on how to adopt holistic financial planning into their business models, I attribute my foundation to Texas Tech."

Nelson's plan was a success – he and Christy recently celebrated two years of marriage and celebrated his CFP® designation together.

Since then, Nelson has served in his career as a Certified Financial Planner™ and is the Founder of Pland Financial, a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) Firm.

Nelson says he is thankful to the PFP program for building a foundation that has allowed him to express his entrepreneurial desires and start a business at a relatively young age.

"It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my lifetime," Nelson says. "I love the relationships I have built with clients over the years and have become close with some truly outstanding people."

The nature of financial planning requires people to open up about a very sensitive subject: their finances, Nelson says, and once they have become comfortable sharing details of their lives with you, it opens the door to building relationships.

Nelson says comprehending the impact an advisor can have on clients' lives may be difficult until they have experienced it in meetings, with real clients.

"Having people achieve their goals and dreams may sound like cheesy marketing until you have experienced a client meeting, where the client says 'thank God we met you.'"

Nelson says Texas Tech's Personal Financial Planning department paves the way for students to enter the profession through a strong curriculum, widely respected professors, and first-class technology tools like those in the Charles Schwab Personal Financial Planning Technology Complex.

Nelson says the counseling and technology courses in the PFP program provided him with the skills needed to effectively run meetings and understand financial planning tools better than most financial advisors in the industry.

"I believe the robust curriculum including courses on education, estate and tax planning gives me an advantage over most advisors in the industry," Nelson said. "While I believe I am a natural born entrepreneur, Texas Tech PFP is what made me qualified to succeed."

Although Nelson's path to financial planning took many detours, Nelson says it has been an incredible journey earning his CFP® designation.

"Throughout that ten-year journey, I found a profession that enabled me to make a profound impact on a lot of lives and learned life lessons that allowed me to empathize with clients, while making a good living and building lifelong friendships."