This power of choice is a concept that guides Jeff Fernandez, Financial Advisor at Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. in Chesterton, as he strives to put the best of himself into his career and his daily life.
“The greatest power God gave us is the power to choose. We have the opportunity to choose whether we are going to act or procrastinate, believe or doubt, pray or curse, help or heal. We also choose whether we are going to be happy or sad,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez has been in the financial industry since 2007, and began his position as a Financial Advisor at Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. in August 2018, drawn in by the organization’s company culture and the people that bring it to life.
“Having worked at some of the largest financial institutions in the business, I found that not all are founded in a culture of putting the client first. It was refreshing to me to have the opportunity to work at a firm that puts clients and family first,” Fernandez said. “At Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., the ‘Golden Rule’ is the foundation of a company that is grounded in our values for our people, our clients, our character, our integrity and our trust. The Edwards family has approached business the same way for the last 130 years and that was something I wanted to be part of.”
Fernandez first gained interest in the financial business from his mother, who worked on Wall Street as a client associate when he and his family lived in New York City. Upon moving to St. Louis, she began working at A.G. Edwards, where her experience with the company led her to encourage Fernandez to pursue a financial career.
“At the time I was deciding what to major in at the University of Missouri, and my mom said to me, ‘You know Jeff, seeing how much you value relationships in your life, I really think you’d enjoy this business,’” Fernandez said. “Following that advice, I interned at A.G. Edwards while I was studying Finance and Spanish at school and promptly went into the business upon graduating. It’s a tough business, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
For Fernandez, the most rewarding aspect of the job comes from the people he interacts with, and the relationships that develop and grow through years of service.
“Over time your clients become your closest family and friends,” Fernandez said. “I consider myself the luckiest man in the world to be able to say that the majority of my job is talking to those who are most important to me and helping them live the one life they have the best way they can.”
While his mother got him into the business, Fernandez has found additional role models upon entering the industry. Cliff Bryan, his father-in-law and Managing Director at Benjamin F. Edwards & Co., has been of particular influence to him.
“He has run a very successful practice for nearly 30 years and still manages to continue to grow his business in the ever-changing market and economic environment,” Fernandez said. “I’m very fortunate to be able to work beside him every day and carry on the tradition of running a respected practice that supports our community.”
Fernandez’s parents have been a tremendous influence in his life as well, emphasizing the importance of being a good man while putting God first, others second and oneself third. Fernandez embodies this philosophy through his work with local nonprofits and charities.
“I’m a member of the Valparaiso Rotary Club, Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Valparaiso Family YMCA,” Fernandez said. “I’m passionate about charities such as St. Jude’s Hospital, Autism Speaks and The First Tee.”
As a financial advisor, being able to help clients reach their financial goals and live their best lives is incredibly rewarding, but Fernandez also emphasizes the importance of staying connected to one’s own goals as well.
“A large part of being a financial advisor is talking to clients about their goals and how to accomplish them,” Fernandez said. “My advice would be to know what your own goals are as well, short term and long term. Write them down and read them every day. At the end of the day, you should be able to say you’re closer to achieving them than you were at the beginning of the day.”
With his impeccable character and passion for helping others, Fernandez is certainly a valuable member of the Benjamin F. Edwards & Co. family. His values and skill bring the company’s mission to life, and embody what it truly means to live by the Golden Rule.
Approval code: 2020-1621
Exp Date: 07/31/2023