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Art Wexler: “I believe everyone benefits from hiring a financial advisor”

I believe everyone benefits from hiring a financial advisor. It allows another set of eyes on your financial matters and often can take emotions out of investing. Remember, every financial has different cost structures so your first consultation might be at no cost. An example is when you meet somebody who never believes they can […]

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I believe everyone benefits from hiring a financial advisor. It allows another set of eyes on your financial matters and often can take emotions out of investing. Remember, every financial has different cost structures so your first consultation might be at no cost. An example is when you meet somebody who never believes they can afford to buy their own house. You can set up a savings plan that incorporates price, savings amount, return needed, and the neighborhood to help them accomplish that goal.


As part of our series about what one should look for when hiring a financial planner or adviser, I had the pleasure of interviewing Art Wexler.

Art Wexler is originally from Santa Monica, moved to Westchester at age 2 and has lived there most of his life. He is a product of our local schools; Cowan Avenue, Wright Junior High and Westchester High School and was very active in several marching bands.
 
After graduating California State University, Northridge, he started working in the financial services industry in 1988. Art is building my practice around the Westchester, Playa Del Rey, Playa Vista, Culver City and South Bay communities.

 
He segments his business into two areas of focus: working with individual investors to identify what their goals are and how to obtain them, including how the right rug can really tie a room together. This includes reviewing current investments, implementing new strategies and maintaining a long-term relationship. Art also works with businesses, not-for-profits and governmental entities to establish and maintain successful retirement programs and financial wellness programs.
 
When not working, Art can be found spending time with his lovely wife and three awesome children, volunteering, at Dodger’s stadium or playing softball. He is active in the LAX Coastal Chamber of Commerce, the Westchester/Playa Historical Society, Highrise networking group and the award-winning WISH parent’s band horn line.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to ‘get to know you’ a bit more. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

After college I took a job in retail management. A friend of the family introduced me to financial services and showed me how important it was for people to have a trusted consultant for their financial matters.

Can you share a story about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting in the industry? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?

It was my first week in the field and I was wearing a wool suit in 100-degree weather. As a 23-year-old I felt I needed to look older. A person pulled me aside and asked if I wanted to be taken seriously and I said of course. She said to lose the suit as it was 100 degrees out. I learned right away to use common sense.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I am sitting on the board for a historical society. I believe we need to learn from our past and it is exciting to introduce a new generation to local history.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Is there a takeaway or lesson that others can learn from that?

I did exactly what I was told to do and talk to 15 people a day. I think the takeaway is to listen to and take advice from successful people. Eventually you will get your own style and numbers but to start stick with a proven formula. After my first year I knew if I could meet people, I would see success.

What three pieces of advice would you give to your colleagues in the finance field to thrive and avoid burnout? Can you give a story or example?

  1. Have a written plan and stick to it.
  2. Take care of yourself through exercise, hobbies, and family and friends.
  3. Know when your workday is over and stop working. My personal reminder is I put on a Dodger hat.

Ok. Thank you for all of that. Let’s now move to the core focus of our interview. As an “finance insider”, you know much more about the finance industry than most consumers. If your loved one wanted to hire a financial advisor (not you :-)), which 5 things would you advise them to find out about before committing? Can you give an example or story for each?

  1. Check the website for FINRA (our regulatory oversite) and go to broker check. Make sure the advisor has no disclosures against them.
  2. Get to know them first and make sure you connect, and they understand what your goals and needs are.
  3. Make sure they are giving you more than one option to meet your goals.
  4. Be sure that all fees, disclosures, and regulatory issues are discussed up front.
  5. Test them to make sure they are responsive to your calls and emails.

I think most people think that financial advisors are for very wealthy people. This is likely not actually true. Can you explain who would most benefit from hiring a financial advisor and why? Can you give an example?

I believe everyone benefits from hiring a financial advisor. It allows another set of eyes on your financial matters and often can take emotions out of investing. Remember, every financial has different cost structures so your first consultation might be at no cost. An example is when you meet somebody who never believes they can afford to buy their own house. You can set up a savings plan that incorporates price, savings amount, return needed, and the neighborhood to help them accomplish that goal.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I had a mentor who was also a peer in another state who was more seasoned than me. While she was always a great resource and friend, she also called me out when my motivation was lacking or got caught up in company politics.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 😊

Without question that would be financial literacy in High School. Usually, that is when they get their first paycheck and unless have been told they should save money they will live paycheck by paycheck for possibly their whole career.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

www.edwardjones.com/art-wexler

www.linkedin.com/in/artwexler

www.facebook.com/EJAdvisorArtwexler

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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