By Sarah Mansheim
Many people in the Greenbrier Valley first met Katie Eads when she came to their home and introduced herself. Eads, a financial advisor, has operated an Edward Jones store front on Court Street since 2007, a year after she moved to Lewisburg and began building her customer base.
In 2006, says Eads, she moved to Lewisburg as an employee for Edward Jones. The financial company had offered her an office job in Charleston, but she and her husband, Travis Eads, wanted to come to Greenbrier County. She convinced her bosses in Charleston to let her bring the Edward Jones brand to Lewisburg, and she came to the area extensively trained, fully licensed and with zero clients.
I went out in community and introduced myself face to face to people at their homes and businesses.
It was during an election year, and many people thought I was campaigning,” she said. Eads learned her way around the area visiting households throughout Lewisburg, Ronceverte, White Sulphur Springs, and even Hinton.
“The first three years were intense. All I did was work, meeting with clients six days a week,” says Eads.
That type of community outreach is part of the Edward Jones philosophy, says Eads: go to a client’s home or business, shake hands and build relationships.
All those introductions could be intimidating, she says, and she depended on her husband, and her Edward Jones mentors back in Charleston, to encourage her when doors were literally slammed in her face.
“I learned to not take it personally,” says Eads. “I tried to remind myself that people were going through all kinds of things, and may not have wanted to talk to someone at the door.”
However, she was resolute. “I was so passionate about this company. I knew that’s what I had to do. My mentors always told me ‘this is what you have to do; and you will succeed if you do it.’”
Fast forward eight years, and Eads is busy as ever, still often out of the office making those personal business calls. The company is growing, she says, noting she may bring in another advisor or assistant in the next couple of years.
Since coming to Greenbrier County, the Eads have not only expanded her business, but her family as well. She has two sons ages five and two, and her husband, Travis Eads, does most of the care giving.
“I could not do any of this without Travis,” says Eads. “This is a stressful, demanding job, and I don’t leave it when I go home.”
She says she often wakes up in the middle of the night to jot down an idea on a note pad on her nightstand, and despite the non-stop nature of the job, she is just as passionate about her work as she was when she was first knocking on doors.
“Back then, I realized how intimidating the financial world is for people,” she says. “But, there’s so much we can do to help. You have to start somewhere. And, it’s very rewarding to see how I’ve helped people achieve their goals,” says Eads.
She says the company is the same one she fell in love with back when she interned for them after college. “They are very ethical, and they put the client first.” Also, she says, she loves to help her clients achieve their goals.
“Some things I like about our firm is that we are a partnership and not subject to shareholders, so we are able to put clients first. I am able to live in the community that my clients live and work, allowing me to sit face to face with them in achieving their financial goals.
Also, the structure of our firm allows me to be an entrepreneur with the home office resources to assist me; in a sense being in business for myself but not by myself,” she says.
“I help people plan for retirement, set goals and develop plans to achieve those goals,” she says. Once clients do retire, she’s there to help ensure they’ll have income to keep them secure.Bottom line, she says, she just wants to help people from all walks of life. “You do not have to be a wealthy person to benefit from a financial advisor,” she says.
Eads’ office is located at 122 N. Court Street in Lewisburg. Her phone number is 304-645-1643.
Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 13,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals – from college savings to retirement – and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio, diversified portfolio. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.