find the best way to help each individual
investor and become a successful advisor.
What has Edward Jones taught you
that has most helped your career?
Edward Jones has one of the best (if not
the best) cultures in the industry. The
most helpful thing my firm has taught
me is to always put the interest of our
clients first. That advice alone pays so
Clients appreciate and know when you
are putting their interest above yours. It allows me to earn their trust early on in our
relationship and gives me the opportunity
to go deeper in helping them to plan and
achieve their short-term and long-term goals.
We are taught this philosophy as an advisor, but it also is great that our firm puts us
in a position to deliver on that expectation.
It does this by allowing our advisors to only
sell high-quality investments and encourages us to build well-diversified portfolios.
We also are given all the tools we need to
document our clients’ goals and assess them
along the way to make sure we are on track
to helping them to achieve their goals.
What is the most significant change
you have seen in the industry?
The most significant change I have seen in
the industry was the stock market crash in
2008 and 2009. At that time, I was just beginning my career in the wealth-management
industry. There was a lot of shock and panic,
and many investors voiced their concerns
that the stock market was coming to the end.
During the crash, I had to rely on my
training from Edward Jones. There was
nothing I could reference from my undergraduate or graduate education that
provided guidance as to what to do or
when this downturn would end.
Even with this difficult time, my firm
taught me to get out there and meet as
many people as possible. I was encour-
aged to listen to as many people as I could,
That advice was key, because many
people I interacted with had many ques-
tions and concerns but were not hear-
ing from their advisors. I was able to be
the listening ear and comfort that many
people needed during this time, which
allowed me to earn their trust and busi-
ness. Taking that steady, time-tested ap-
proach showed me how important it is to
stick to a plan regardless of the emotions
surrounding the industry and the market.
What is the biggest challenge
facing you and your team today,
and how are you responding?
Currently in our office the biggest challenge we are facing is aging clients. When
I started my business, I focused my client-acquisition strategy on retirees. Over the
years, many of my retiree clients have
aged, which has presented new challenges. With my aging clients, the new
challenges we are facing are cognitive
issues, long-term health care and death.
Our team has implemented many strategies to make sure we help all our clients
prepare for these concerns. When anyone
in our office has concerns about a client’s
cognition, we let our client know about our
concern and get their permission to allow
their family member of choice to assist
with the financial matters going forward.
With every client, we discuss all options
with long-term care, either to insure or
self-insure. If they decide to insure, we
show them all the options available so
they can make the best decision for their
needs. If they decide to self-insure, we
help them to identify the assets that they
would like to spend first to pay for future
possible long-term care needs if they arise.
Lastly, the sad truth is that someday
we will all face death. We make sure every
client has had a discussion to ensure they
have adequate life insurance to protect
their families. In addition, we check with
our clients’ estate planning attorney to
make sure they have an updated estate
plan. If they do not have an estate plan
at all, we encourage them to schedule a
meeting with an estate attorney immedi-
ately, which I attend with them.
What is the biggest issue confronting
the wealth-management industry
today, and how should it respond?
The biggest issue confronting the wealth-management field today, in my opinion,
is robo-advisors. These systems provide
financial advice or portfolio management
online with minimal human interaction.
Many millennials like conducting business and handling financial and banking
matters online. Robo-advisors have the
potential to be a disruptive technology to
the wealth-management industry.
I personally believe that financial planning and investment management need
human interaction. Even though there
may be individuals who like the ease of
use and convenience of a robo-advisor,
there will always be many that will need
the personal attention and guidance from
a human wealth manager.
To make sure human wealth managers do not become obsolete, we need to
ensure we are not just helping our clients
grow their assets but also are helping
them achieve their goals. It is our job to
be there when they need us, ask the right
questions at the right time, and understand
their needs better than anyone else, so we
can make sure they have the right plan to
reach their financial goals.
What are you doing specifically in
terms of retirement planning and
overall wealth management that
you think is quite innovative?
At Edward Jones, we believe in using
time-tested, proven strategies to help our
clients with pre- and post-retirement plan-