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In Her Own Words: The Story of A Young Investment Advisor

It’s 5:00pm, the stock market has been closed for an hour and Jessie and I just finished our work day.  Today we worked out of her office at home instead of our branch office which means we traded in our desk for the dining room table. On days when we are not meeting face-to-face with clients, this allows us to enjoy the comfort of home while performing our regular client and account service responsibilities, and work on the blog after hours.  I wanted to interview my sister to create personal, behind-the-scenes content for a post.  I think Jessie is interesting, not only because she is an impressive, young Investment Advisor, but also because she’s anything but average.  For those of you reading who don’t know my sister, she travels a lot, has tattoos, changes her hair with the seasons, and has a lab puppy, all while maintaining a large number of strong and long term client relationships.  Over a glass of wine I asked her the following questions, that I bet others were wondering about her career:

When did you decide to become a Financial Advisor?

I was in college and like all students, needed money.  Also, like all college students, I went to my dad for some cash.  He’s never been one for handouts, so instead he offered me a paid position as a part-time assistant. {He’s been a self-employed financial advisor for 35 years}.  I started doing secretarial work for him from my dorm room.  Then when I was approaching graduation and had to decide what my next move was, I took a chance with the Series 6 Exam and impressed myself (and my dad) by passing.  It was through studying for that exam, that I realized I had a real interest in this business.

Do you remember your first client meeting?  

Yes.  I was very young and had been on a couple meetings with my dad as a mentor.  The first couple of meetings, I didn’t even speak.  I just watched, listened, and learned.  The first time out on my own was nerve racking.  I had spoken with the clients on the phone, but had never met them in person.  I think they were expecting someone much older; I was only 20 at the time.  When I knocked on their door they looked at me like, “What is this child doing here?”. It’s crazy how much has changed since then.

What advice would you give to a young person who is looking to get into this business?  

I think it’s probably the same with any new job or big change. Confidence is key, but the only way to get confidence is to gain experience through practice. You’ll have to accept that you won’t know everything right away. It is so helpful to have a mentor; for me it was my father. It’s ok to be honest with your clients and tell them that you don’t have all the answers but that you know where to get them and that you will. Honesty is the most valuable asset of an investment advisor.  The first few months might be hard but it will pay off. The more you know, the more confident you will become and the more you can help people.

What is the best part about working with me, your sister?

We have totally different personalities.  When you started I had more knowledge about the investing business since I had been doing it longer, but you were more organized and consistent.  We balanced each other out.  I have never had more fun in this business than when working with you. Now, we can have meetings but still laugh and talk about personal stuff. I truly believe that we can do anything as long as we are working together! This blog never would have existed if the two of us hadn’t collaborated. I have always loved what I do, but having a friend to share it with makes it that much better.  (awww!)

What is your favorite part about working with clients?  

I love helping people. Nothing makes me happier than getting thank you notes or a hug from clients as they retire or meet other financial goals because of a plan we have implemented together.  Many of my clients have become friends of mine and I cherish those relationships.

What is your biggest challenge as an advisor and how do you overcome certain obstacles?

When I first started, I would say that being a young female was enough to deter people from trusting me. But, after nine years I don’t meet that objection as much. I definitely know what I’m doing and that confidence shows. Still, some newcomers look at me like, “What could she know that I don’t?” Then I show them, and that’s that.

What is it like to work while you are on vacation and what stands out as one of your best?  

(Laughs) People always jokingly ask me if I ever work because it seems like I’m always on vacation. My Instagram and Facebook pages definitely highlight my travels. While I do travel a lot, I’m never truly on “vacation”.  It’s actually the opposite. I’m never completely on vacation.  I’m always on my phone and have access to email no matter where I am so I’m just as accessible as I am when I’m in the office.  As long as I have wifi and my phone, I can work.  If for some reason I can’t be immediately reached, there’s always someone on my team who is in the office.  It’s really great because I never have to feel guilty about taking a trip.

Matt {her boyfriend} and I did a road trip from Las Vegas to Southern Arizona this past winter.  We stopped at three National Parks on our way: Bryce, Zion, and The Grand Canyon. I was able to check emails once a day and keep in touch with clients the whole time. The best part is I can literally be standing in one of the most magnificent places on Earth and still be totally connected.

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