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Meet Jeffrey Edwards of Atlas Financial Planning in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeffrey Edwards.

Jeffrey, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My career in the financial services industry started in 2000 with an entry-level position in trading at a top brokerage firm. However, my personal experience with financial planning, or non-planning, actually started while in college. My mother, a single working parent, lost her longtime employment with a major utility company in Southern California. At 56 years old, this was not supposed to happen. In fact, people of her generation bet their entire careers on utility companies and their “safe” paths to retirement. In a matter of months, she lost her job, her house and most everything we owned.

It wasn’t until I was well into my own career that I understood it wasn’t the company that failed her; it was her blinded faith in assuming someone else would take care of her. In this case, that safe utility company wasn’t necessarily a safe bet. The circumstances hit us hard but was exacerbated by her failure to plan for the unexpected.

After nearly two decades, my role grew beyond that of a financial advisor. I realized I had become an educator. The greatest satisfaction I have as a Certified Financial Planner is witnessing that “aha” moment when a client is presented their first financial plan. It’s truly a magical moment when someone can visualize their personal balance sheet because it solidifies their personal and professional development up to this point.

Fifteen years after my mother’s unemployment, after she recovered from the losses, she eventually ended on a career high. She found employment that took her well beyond what she had with that utility company. At 65 she was ready for retirement. It wasn’t my duty to be her financial planner, it was my honor. I will never forget that “aha” moment when she realized she was worth more than she ever thought possible. She’s no millionaire but her retirement is just fine and she now has the comfort in knowing she has a plan and planner to remind her of that.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Starting your own business is never a smooth road and you should always expect struggles along the way. The key to succeeding has been my willingness to roll with the punches and keep an open mind to what others have to offer. Asking and listening to your peers is critical in validating your decisions as you continue to grow. Seek coaches whenever you can because their guidance can be critical but their accountability is their true value.

It’s also important to have and maintain balance in your personal and professional lives. Even more so as a business owner. You need to separate yourself from work every once in a while for clarity and perspective. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Finally, I could not be where I am at today without my fiance Corey. She’s been my strongest supporter, my biggest cheerleader and my toughest critic. She has made me a better advisor, a smarter business owner and a grateful man.

Atlas Financial Planning – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
First and foremost, I am a financial advisor. As a Certified Financial Planner it’s my role to coach and guide my clients through some of the biggest decisions they make in life. Whether it’s balancing your budget, purchasing a home or planning for retirement, we specialize in helping clients identify their goals, quantify the process and simplify the implementation. And that’s what distinguishes our approach: simplifying a complex and sometimes complicated situation into a manageable decision process that clients can confidently make. We solidify that trust by working with a client’s other advisors, such as their attorney or CPA, so they know we are all in agreement or at least on the same page.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success can be so many different things to different people in different situations. I’d say you really can’t determine your success without first establishing a goal. There are always quantifiable numbers that must be met in order to see profitability. However, there is a qualitative measure as well. In my practice, success is driven by developing great relationships with clients and other advisors. When a client is confident in your abilities and refers a friend or family member that’s when you know you’ve succeeded in helping that client.

Pricing:

  • Fee-based financial planning starts at $1,500 for an initial plan depending on complexity. Annual updates start at $500.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Joshua Park

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