Personal financial planning is not an activity most of us are prepared for. Stocks, bonds, annuities – financial planning jargon can be confusing and overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to have a trusted professional to provide clarity to your financial situation.

Bill Yancey, Sr. and Bill Yancey, Jr.

For the past 34 years, Bill Yancey, Sr., a Wealth Management Advisor for Northwestern Mutual in Louisville, has done just that, guiding clients toward their financial goals while adapting to their changing needs. He plays a critical role in helping them achieve financial peace of mind.

It makes sense, then, that Bill Yancey, Jr.  wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become a financial professional. While attending the University of Kentucky, young Bill Jr. “test drove” the financial professional career by participating in Northwestern Mutual’s College Internship Program, which has been ranked a Top 10 internship in the nation for 22 consecutive years according to Vault Magazine. Following graduation, he joined Northwestern Mutual full time as a Financial Representative.

“When you see the relationships that my father has built and the number of people that he has impacted, it affirms my decision to start a career in this industry.”

Team Effort

Bill Sr. is a native Louisvillian and a graduate of St. Xavier High School.  Upon graduation from Murray State University, a family friend introduced him to a career opportunity with Northwestern Mutual.

Bill Yancey, Sr.

He quickly found success and realized that he had found his life’s work. Early on, Bill Sr. mostly helped his young clients manage risk and learn how to save money.  As his clients became more established and developed different needs, he transitioned into offering more services to his growing clientele.

Bill Sr. likens his role to that of a quarterback in football: His goal is getting everyone on the same page and in the right position to succeed.

“Our work tends to age with us. The thing that a lot of people don’t understand about the financial security arena is that when you first start out, you must protect your ability to earn money and to take care of your family. Later on in life, after you have earned and saved some money, the goal is to protect what you have.

According to a study from Northwestern Mutual, some 85 percent of Americans report that they feel anxious about their finances*. Yet, Bill Jr. notes that people don’t actively seek the help of a financial professional.

“In our industry, people do not generally call us without a basic introduction from an existing client or someone we’ve worked with already. When our clients are happy with our work and trust what we are doing to help them, they tell their friends, family and colleagues. That leads us to find more people we can help.”

Help is available

Northwestern Mutual also found that 45 percent of Americans do not know where to find financial planning help*. That’s when a long-term client relationship with a trusted financial advisor can make all the difference.

Bill Yancey, Jr.

“The people who come to us certainly are not in dire straits financially, but they often don’t have all their ducks in a row,” says Bill Jr. “Just about everyone has some form of financial accumulation. But will it accomplish what they want it to accomplish? We help make financial sense of the situation and educate clients on what can and should be done to reach the future that they envision.”

Planning for the future

Joining Northwestern Mutual as a financial representative or advisor is attractive to those who have a desire to run their own business.  Northwestern Mutual provides the opportunity, but also the training, support, resources, and reputation of a respected national brand. As Bill Sr. explains it, “The beauty of the career is that you grow it into what you want it to be. If you are disciplined and work hard, you can become very independent, with your own staff, and the ability to spend time with the clients that you enjoy helping. For example, it was rare for me to miss my children’s sporting events. I had the flexibility and ability to make my own schedule so that I could succeed professionally and at home.”

The father-son duo plans to combine their practices down the line, but for now, the senior Yancey continues to operate out of Northwestern Mutual’s downtown office, while Bill Jr. works from the firm’s east end office. “I wanted Bill Jr. to learn from other mentors and the other successful representatives and advisors in our firm so that he could establish his own style,” says Bill Sr. It actually works to their clients’ advantage, as each regularly meets with clients in both offices.

Still, his dad’s influence and success fuel the younger Yancey.

“Seeing the way my dad and my other mentors help their clients is what gave me the vision to see this as a full-time career.  Even though I had the family connection, the internship gave me an even bigger picture of what was possible.”

Northwestern Mutual offers a career where changing someone’s life for the better can also be life-changing for you – personally, professionally and financially. To learn more about a career with Northwestern Mutual, email Elizabeth Rivers or visit

*Northwestern Mutual 2016 Planning and Progress Story