Edward Jones: Assistance to achieve goals

Offering financial advice to the area, Edward Jones looks to help customers understand what their needs are and how they can successfully achieve those goals.

“We can find out where you are today and where you want to be,” said Ryan Miller, financial advisor of the Williamsport branch at 1012 Washington Boulevard.

Miller explained that the full-service brokerage firm works with customers using a five-step process. He said the initial meeting doesn’t include looking at the market, but at the customer’s situation.

The meeting includes discussions on the customer’s current situation, their financial goals and option on how to meet those goals.

Miller said the reason for these discussions is because there is no one solution to everyone’s problems.

“Everyone that’s coming through my door is in a different situation,” he said.

These discussions also allow Miller to set realistic expectations for the client. He noted that although everyone would like to be able to retire before the age of 60, it may not be a realistic goal depending on one’s financial situation.

One advantage to working with Edward Jones, Miller said, is that his customers know they’re getting the best options as they do not have their own products to sell. He explained that Edward Jones doesn’t have its own insurance that it pushes on clients, but just looks for the best interest of the client.

And while Miller’s worked on Wall Street in New York, he said this is the place he wants to be. He explained that being the head of his own branch, which has a total of three employees, allows him to help the area and build “life-long relationships” with his clients.

He said these relationships are built through face-to-face contact. All call are answered by a person and they do their meetings in his office. He added that Patricia Jezick, branch office administrator, usually is the first contact the client has with the office. He said the relationships that Jezick is able to make is invaluable.

“There’s not a 1-800 number. There’s not a call center,” Miller said on the importance of speaking with a real person when calling in.

Miller said that for both himself and his clients, the other is more of a family member than a part of a financial decision.

“I’ve almost bee one of their family members,” Miller said of his clients.

“It’s really unique because getting to know them (customers) on such a personal level, I find my client list instead of a list of 600 clients, it’s a list of 600 family members,” Miller added.

Miller said the hope is that Edward Jones will find more individuals looking to be financial advisors to open a number of other branch offices in Williamsport and the surrounding area. Miller’s office currently is the only one in the city. The company would like to grow the number of its more than 10,000 offices.