Mark Meredith, a financial consultant with TheBANK of Edwardsville’s Wealth Management department, was recently named to the Forbes 2018 Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors list – a list of 1,000 young, talented advisors across the nation who represent the future of the wealth management industry.
“It’s an honor to be named by Forbes as one of the top financial advisors of the next generation,” said the 29-year-old Meredith. “TheBANK showed a lot of faith in me when it hired me as a 22-year-old financial advisor in 2011. The clients I have worked and grown with over the last seven years have shared the same faith that TheBANK placed in me and I will always be grateful to work with them.”
Each advisor on the “Next-Gen” list – selected by SHOOK Research – was chosen based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative criteria, including: in-person interviews; industry experience; compliance records; revenue produced; and assets under management. SHOOK Research is an organization of the industry’s outstanding wealth advisors and industry leaders, extending across all firms.
After earning a B.S. degree in Finance and being in the banking industry for a short time, Meredith realized he cared about personal finance more than many other people. And knowing there was a large group of people out there that needed professional guidance, he felt he would enjoy a career providing that guidance for people. So he joined TheBANK’s Wealth Management division in 2011 as a financial consultant and completed the requirements for CFP® Certification in 2014. He also holds his Series 7 and 66 broker licenses, as well as life and health insurance licenses.
“TheBANK is a special place,” he said. “How many institutions go 150 years without a name change (especially in banking!)? With TheBANK’s name behind me, I have instant credibility – especially with customers in their 60s and 70s, even though I’m a fairly young financial advisor. I’m not sure those same customers would have even spoken to me if I worked elsewhere.”
In a relatively short time frame, Meredith has taken the trust TheBANK and his clients have shown in him and built a strong portfolio. Part of his success has been the “straight-up, honest” approach he takes when meeting with clients.
“I often tell my clients I have no idea where the market is going,” he said. “It catches many people off guard initially. But short-term, I don’t really believe anyone can consistently call the movements. (No one can consistently flip a coin to land on tails either.) Although there is a large group of people who try to make these predictions, history shows that markets will work for investors over the long-term, which is great for long-term investors since it means we can ignore all the short-term noise.”
That’s why Meredith invests time with clients to come up with a long-term plan that everyone is comfortable with.
“If I can create a plan for my clients that they’re able to stick with through thick and thin, then I consider that a success,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how well-crafted a financial advisor’s plan is if the clients are quick to abandon it at the first hint of a bear market. I’ve found that a financial plan is more likely to be successful by telling people what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear.”
As a young advisor, Meredith has also taken the time to foster an online presence, creating a blog site at www.meredithminutes.com to interact with both clients and non-clients.
“The feedback I receive from the articles and spirited discussions that ensue after a post help me understand the concerns and thought processes of the readers, which are crucial elements of financial planning,” he said.
For Meredith, creating a long-term plan for a client and seeing it to fruition is a reward in itself. But when a client refers him to friends or family – the people they care about – that’s special.
“To realize they have that much faith in my guidance to recommend me to the people they love … to me that’s the best compliment a client could ever give.”