Whether it was working at the Better Business Bureau, helping to distribute the $25 million Trump University settlement back to the defrauded, or launching his own financial planning business, Rahimul Taher has always been motivated by his desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
In addition to his work as a full time student, Taher also runs Taher Financial Planning, where he offers his clients support on topics such as cash management, student loans and retirement planning, among other services.
Prior to pursuing his advisory business, Taher, who is studying economics and political science at Baruch College, worked in various government offices such as the New York State Senate, the New York City Mayor’s Office and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
While interning at the State Senate last year, Taher was exposed to a wide range of public issues and concerns. He was responsible for answering phone calls from the general public and taking down their comments, but he did not like how slow the government was in addressing these matters. It was also around this time that he became more interested in business, specifically financial planning. At first, Taher began by giving casual advice on investing and opening accounts to friends and family, but later decided to take it more seriously and earned his Series 65 license to officially become a certified financial advisor.
“Finance is everywhere,” said Taher. “It’s something everyone can talk about and can relate to and use a little help with. It’s something so relevant in our lives and yet we barely talk about it as much as I think we should.”
After spending an entire summer researching and networking with professionals in the industry, Taher was unimpressed by the quality of services that traditional brokerage firms offered, especially if they were commission-based.
“It’s not necessarily going to be in the best interest of the people that you work with. I didn’t really see myself selling those kinds of products to anyone, especially if I can’t see myself selling them to my own family,” said Taher.
He later decided to start his own practice as a financial advisor and began the process of forming a LLC in January 2017. After a couple months of waiting and taking care of all the compliance work, Taher officially launched Taher Financial Planning on April 10. Unlike most financial planning institutions today, Taher’s company is geared toward younger generations.
“The best part about this is [that] I am not forced to do anything that I think is wrong,” said Taher. “I can set my own policies and I have more control and freedom over how people will be advised. I can make sure that the services I have [are] ethical. I can also work with younger people.”
Following his graduation, Taher plans to work on his business full time. He occasionally writes blogs about topics ranging from financial philosophy to technology and posts them to his website for people to read. He has been able to reach a majority of his target audience through various social media campaigns and traditional networking events. Currently, Taher is taking graduate classes at the College of Financial Planning to strengthen his understanding of the industry. He has also been also working with other financial advisors to build his business and is an active member in three different financial organizations.
“If you’re really passionate about something you will make time for it. I spend hours every single day just researching and thinking about how I am going to improve services or just imagining how I could do things better differently.”
Looking ahead, Taher is eager to build relationships and work with people on their financial plans. He is enthusiastic about where the industry overall is heading and has been focusing on the 20 to 30-year-old age group, which big firms typically ignore.
“There are people out there who want the service but they either think they don’t know about it or they can’t afford it,” said Taher. “Financial planning is not just for the rich anymore. Financial planning is changing and there are ethical services out there and I believe my company is going to be one of them.”
Individuals who are interested in or have questions about Taher’s services can schedule a free half hour session with him through his website. He hopes to one day have enough clients to expand his company so that he can create better opportunities for other passionate students.
“We need people who are more focused on helping others,” said Taher. “We need to have more social entrepreneurship and more people focused on the public good. Its not just about making profits, all millennials right now are in a good position to change things for the better and we have that responsibility to make positive and social change.”