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About FootLamp

Ed Kerns, CFP®, CDFA®

During the years of the Great Recession, I worked for a coaching and consulting organization that helped financial advisors, CPAs, and estate attorneys across the country to encourage clients to live a second half of life in more joyful, and potentially more significant ways. Unexpectedly, the fall of 2008 found me often on the phone with financial advisors who were experiencing the loss of clients, the loss of income, and having to face the realization that their investment philosophies and their client relationships were fragile and shallower than they realized.

While most of the advisors were able to salvage their practices and regroup, a few never recovered. One even ended up taking his own life. These experiences had a profound effect on me and caused me to re-evaluate my own mission. I was surprised that for many advisors, their client relationships were shallower than they realized, even as many of them expressed wanting to serve clients in deeper ways. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, I discovered that while some advisory firms had negative experiences as mentioned above, others saw their firm weather those storms successfully. Adherence to a set of practices and principles instead of reacting to the outside turmoil instilled confidence in clients amidst the uncertainty. In late 2010, I went to work with one of these firms in metro Atlanta. Almost five years later, having had the chance to learn from more skilled and experienced advisors, I felt the desire to establish my own company.

I use the tradename FOOTLAMP which is inspired by Psalm 119:105 where the believer’s dangerous night-journey through the world is illumined like a lamp by the practical, personal, everyday reliance on wisdom. The name reflects the firm’s role in helping to lighten the path of a client's financial journey. While I am a solo practitioner, the firm is not a one-man band. I rely heavily on subject matter experts in such areas as money management, tax, estate, and risk management to implement solutions for clients. My experience combined with an extensive network of professional relationships continues to provide clients with the expertise and support to solve even the most complex situations.

I met my wife Jana in the seventh grade, but unfortunately, she moved back to Birmingham before entering high school. We lost touch with one another until many years later. Facebook, it appears, can’t be all bad. We married in 2018 and reside in Opelika, AL along with our boxer dog, Sam. We are members of Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Parish in Auburn. I am originally from Clarksburg, West Virginia, a graduate of Virginia Military Institute with a degree in Economics, and a US Army veteran.

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