10 Questions with Mike Kessling Sr., Financial Planner, Cincinnati


July 17, 2018

His long-term interest in entrepreneurship and family business started at age six, “working” on the roofs of the homes built by his father’s construction company.  In the latest of our “Making It Personal” Q&A series, we discover a little more about one of our veteran financial planners, Mike Kessling Sr..

And don’t forget to check out some lovely photos of his family below!

Are you from Cincinnati and what do you like most about the city?

Yes, I’ve lived in Cincinnati all my life except for four years which I spent at John Carroll University (JCU).

What I particularly love about Cincinnati is its central location. It is accessible to many other places and there are flights to all parts of the world.  There’s even a direct flight to Iceland now with WOW!

I also love the city for its community values.  It’s a great place to raise a family and has great schools.

You have been in the financial services industry for 46 years, what do you find most rewarding about being a financial planner?

I thrive on being an entrepreneur.  I find it incredibly rewarding to build my practice and serve my clients in such a way that I can help make a real difference to their lives and form life-long friendships along the way.

The world changes quickly, and over the many years I have been in practice, I always remain focused on staying relevant to my clients and finding ways to help them.

If you hadn’t chosen to pursue a career as a financial planner, what do you think you would have been?

A sports announcer on radio or tv.  I have always loved playing and following sports.

What do you like to do outside of work?

This has changed over the years, but my number one interest at present is my grandchildren. I also read voraciously and golf has always been a love of mine.

My wife Carol and I are now empty nesters (we have been married for 43 years and that is my biggest achievement), but when our three kids were younger and living with us, we did a lot of family activities like boating and other sports.

What’s the best advice you have received?

Listen, be persistent and always try to have a great attitude.

You like to travel, what’s the most interesting place you have ever visited and why?

This is very tough, but I would probably choose La Romana/Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. and its golf courses.  It’s a great area, with spectacular scenery.  The area is still developing and you see armed guards, however, the golf courses, in particular, The Teeth of the Dog, has an amazing layout, with seven of its holes running along the Caribbean Sea!

Who do you most admire and why?

I’m not hugely religious, but I admire Jesus for his humbleness.

Also, my mother and father.  They set a great example and were always there for me. I still can’t comprehend the extent of my mother’s love for us.  She’s 95 and I still get to see her often.

What’s the most adventurous thing you have ever done?

Probably high-speed motorcycling, but will not tell you how fast!  Slalom skiing 21 miles on the Ohio River and Russian Boar Hunting in Texas.

Any unknown or little-known fact about you

I’m a Member of the Million Dollar Round Table for 42 years, 2 Court of the Tables and 1 Top of the Table.

As a financial planner with vast experience, what advice would you give to anyone starting out in the financial services industry?

It’s not easy starting out in this industry, so you need to have an unwavering belief in yourself that you are going to be successful.  Particularly in the first five years, I would recommend doing joint work, finding a good mentor and being a “sponge”.

It is also very important to have an approachable and pleasing personality and a good value system.

Thanks, Mike for sharing with us!

Michael H. Kessling is a registered representative of and offers securities, investment advisory, and financial planning services through MML Investors Services, LLC.  Member SIPC OSJ: 3825 Edwards Road, Suite 210, Cincinnati, OH 45209. 513.579.8555.