Two West Chester financial advisors share their stories
Although Sye Mishler and Gage Hemmelgarn work independently from each other, you would think the two Edward Jones financial advisors were brothers. Between their witty banter, inside jokes and natural rapport, it’s easy to see how these two men have made successful careers out of building relationships.
Day in and day out, Mishler and Hemmelgarn spend time getting to know their clients on a personal level in order to help them create and achieve financial goals. Before they can effectively direct a client, both men agree the first meeting is critical.
“It all starts with finding out what is most important to someone—financially,” Mishler says. “It could be as specific as, ‘I want to have a 2,000 sq. ft. home in Hilton Head,’ to ‘I just want to have enough money to retire.’ As long as there is some point on the map that they’re working toward, then the rest is pretty straightforward.”
As Edward Jones advisors, both men work alongside clients to create long-term financial goals and then help them achieve those goals. Edward Jones serves nearly seven million investors throughout America, including Hemmelgarn’s and Mishler’s two West Chester offices.
“The way our business model is set up, each office has an individual advisor and individual assistant, so you can call the office and they know you, your family, your likes and dislikes,” Hemmelgarn says.
Because the Edward Jones advisors operate under limited partnerships, they aren’t constrained to quarterly earnings or performance measurements, thus giving them the ability to take more time with each client. Hemmelgarn, who has been with Edward Jones since 2012, enjoys being able to provide clients with the ability to achieve financial freedom.
“Our philosophy centers around thinking what’s best, long-term, for our clients,” Hemmelgarn explains. “There’s no question we’re giving them the best advice. Our process is a little longer; we ask a lot of questions up front, but then we do our ‘nerd work’ and give clients very specific recommendations and help them stay on track.”
Mishler adds, “Our approach may seem like there’s more work on the front end, but it’s easier to get things done correctly once than have to go back and fix them later.”
Indeed, the “front end work” is one thing that draws both men to be successful in their jobs. They get to know about their clients’ lives and share a few of their own personal stories—whether it’s stories about Mishler’s master cooking skills or Hemmelgarn’s three young children.
“You get to personally know families, and you kind of become one of the members of their family,” Hemmelgarn says.
Though they stay busy at the office, Mishler and Hemmelgarn have found balance in their lives. A former violinist, Mishler still enjoys playing alongside his wife, who is a pianist. The two met while studying at the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati. “We decided there could only be one diva in the family, so I left music,” Mishler says with a laugh.
Meanwhile, Hemmelgarn enjoys playing with his three daughters. “I have a wife and three girls. That’s what happened to all my hair,” Hemmelgarn jokes.
At the end of the day, Hemmelgarn says making smart financial decisions for his clients is all about helping people live within their means and save.
“You can get investments anywhere, but what kind of financial coaching can you get along the way?” Hemmelgarn states. “[Financial advisors] have pretty similar products, but the difference is in the personal relationship and the follow up. We want our clients to know that we care about them.”