By MARIE LAMBACHER
KENNESAW, Ga. – Imagine yourself walking down the street of an unfamiliar neighborhood. As you venture up a stranger’s driveway, you experience that familiar glimmer of optimism; that the person on the other side of the door will not slam it in your face, but give you the opportunity to change their lives.
You’re unsure of the future and a little frightened, but feel confident in your abilities and training. You know that ultimately you will be running your own successful branch of Edward Jones Investments.
Virginia “Jenny” Jones knows these feelings all too well. Obtaining the title of financial adviser for Edward Jones, she completed the grueling 10 step hiring process – one of which includes door knocking or going from house to house in a local neighborhood to gain clients as part of their beginning book of business.
Edward Jones was founded in 1922 by a man named Edward Jones. Ted Jones, the son and managing partner of Edward Jones, had a vision that the company should be owned by employees of the company to ensure they would focus on the services they provide rather than stakeholders.
The Edward Jones model of putting the client first and creating a business that is ethical, legal, honest and caring is exactly what Jones wants to embody as a financial adviser.
“I want to have (not only) a business that is known in the Kennesaw area community for being ethical and legal, but (be known as) the most honest and caring financial adviser,” Jones said.
“That if they hear ‘Oh, Jenny Jones! She’s over at Edward Jones Investments. Oh yeah, man, she will take care of you no matter what. She will do the right thing when no one is looking. That girl will walk with you through fire.’ That is my hope and dream; that (this) will be my reputation in the community.”
Jones is currently located in Kennesaw, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Alabama in 1992 with a degree in communications/public relations and a minor in marketing.
After her father died in 2011, her mother was swindled out of most of her savings by a dishonest investor. Her mother, Billie Gay, became an employee of Edward Jones as a successful branch office administrator. She later referred Jones to Edward Jones through the financial adviser in her branch.
Jones was so impressed by both the company and her mother’s successful comeback from the devastating financial blow years earlier that she pursued a career in investing.
Jones said her most significant accomplishment to date has been earning her clients’ trust.
“To me, that is one of the most fulfilling things; gaining their trust and building that relationship,” said Jones.
Jones is not the only women to find a fulfilling career with Edward Jones. Katie Woodcock, the senior branch office administrator for Ragan Gootee, also describes her career with Edward Jones as a way to do what she loves: educating.
“I absolutely love what I do and continue to teach and educate people every day,” she said. “Shockingly, I have not really missed teaching in elementary schools. In our small branch team with one financial adviser to one branch office administrator, it allows me to educate our clients on the various services that we have to offer while getting to know them on a personal level.
“This client relationship is unlike most financial firms out there because of the ability for the branch office administrator to get answers quickly for our clients.”
According to the official Edward Jones website, Edward Jones is a company that focuses on more than just the numbers. Edward Jones wants to make all of its clients and employees feel like family. Through dedication, communication and hard work, people like Jenny Jones and Katie Woodcock have created successful careers with Edward Jones.