Business

Financial adviser says any amount of money is worth managing

Financial adviser Chris Fassett teaches baseball fundamentals to his sons Ben, 7, and Eli, 5. Fassett said that his involvement in the community makes him more accessible to his customers.  - Charlie Bermant
Financial adviser Chris Fassett teaches baseball fundamentals to his sons Ben, 7, and Eli, 5. Fassett said that his involvement in the community makes him more accessible to his customers.
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

These days, everyone has less money and is consequently inclined to keep as much of it as they can for themselves.

But if paying someone to manage what little you have seems to be unwise, the manager of a newly opened Edward Jones branch feels the service is needed now more than ever.

“No matter how much money you have, you can benefit from having a financial manager,” said Chris Fassett, who recently opened an office on Sedgwick Road. “Everyone has the opportunity to invest these days, and there are lots of options that you can benefit from.”

Fassett, 42, grew up in Port Orchard and studied liberal arts in college.

He never expected to go into finance, but learned the ropes when he needed to take care of his father, who had fallen ill when Fassett was in his 20s.

At that time he became involved in the family’s financial minutiae, and found he had an aptitude for managing money.

Fassett worked in a variety of financially oriented sales jobs until he was recruited by Edward Jones to open a new office.

He has worked for the company in other locations for four years. He passed the required General Securities Representative Examination, and took several other preparatory classes.

The office is the fifth Edward Jones office in Port Orchard.

Fassett said the company has “a measured-growth plan” and projects enough new business to keep all these offices busy.

As a result, Port Orchard serves as a hub to serve the financial needs of entire South Kitsap area.

By comparison, McDonald's might open several restaurants in one city, but only if the people in that area will buy enough burgers to keep them all in business.

The difference is that McDonald's only sells a few different meals, while Edward Jones adjusts its service to fit each customer’s needs.

“I meet with each prospective customer to determine their financial expectations and I develop a plan that meets those needs,” he said. “I get an idea of where they are in life and whether they want to be aggressive or not with their investments. Everyone has different financial issues.”

Fassett said Edward Jones is unique because it does not charge its customers a monthly fee that can eat into its savings.

Instead, it only charges customers when they make a transaction. For that reason, careful planning of a stock portfolio is an important step.

One key question of the customer is if they expect immediate or long-term returns.

The latter usually has to do with retirement, and that begs the question as to whether they expect an IRA to provide living expenses or whether it will be used for recreation.

“People have IRAs for different reasons, so each individual needs to determine where that money should go,” Fassett said. “A lot of people think they’re qualified to manage their own retirement accounts, but that’s not the case. In the log run, they need a professional who can analyze the risks and assess their goals, and can advise them about all the options.”

Many people take their investments personally, supporting companies in the same way they root for a sports team.

Fassett cites this as the area where a financial advisor can be most valuable, to tell customers when they should sell a stock and divest finances from emotions.

Fassett feels that his status as a Port Orchard native makes him more accessible and accountable.

“My customers know that I’m part of the community,” he said. “They see me at the grocery store, or at a Little League game, and know I’m someone they can talk to any time.”

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