Like many of us around here, Nik wears many hats – he is our experienced trader (thanks to his years of experience at a trade desk in Chicago; more on that later), advisor, manager and dad. Nik is used to me asking him a million questions since he was the one who trained me for my role when I started at Ford Financial Group last November.
Tell us a little bit about how you went from trading to wealth advisor?
Being a stock and options trader in the world’s financial markets was a really incredible opportunity that most people don’t get to experience. The job took me from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany and back to Chicago. However, during the financial crisis in 2008 jobs like mine were going away and fortunately my mother-in-law happened to own a financial planning firm. I really enjoyed the trading desk and I never thought I would work with a firm like this. Carole invited me to come to Fresno for a week to see how the firm worked and what happened behind-the-scenes. I was really excited by the fact that I would be able to work with people to help them pursue their financial goals but also continue to be involved with the markets. It’s really the best of both worlds. We moved to Fresno a few months later and it was a really great decision that Erin and I have never regretted. We’re very happy to have settled in the Central Valley.
So, I already mentioned you’re a man of many duties. Let’s talk to your day-to-day and how you manage all those roles and responsibilities!
Like most of us here I have plenty of responsibilities to keep me busy. First thing in the morning, I’ll execute trades for the clients that I have a relationship with and clients that work with our other advisors. That can get a little tedious and time consuming but I like to hear the story about what a client is up to. Sometimes a client may take money out for a family vacation or they make have a rollover due to retirement. Their stories make the job more personal and interesting. Then I like to catch up on new research and commentary that is out there on the economy and financial markets. We always try to stay informed to be able to communicate what’s going on in the world. Later in the day I might meet with our fund partners to try get more insight on the products we are using. Finally, I spend time each day staying connected with clients to ensure their needs are being met.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
There are actually two parts of my job that I really enjoy. They are both equally important to the work we do. The first one being the clients we have. It’s very satisfying to meet with clients and get to know them and to help them pursue their goals. We really enjoy our clients and want to have them around for a very long time. The other part of the job that I really enjoy is working with the great staff that we have. Being able to service the number of clients that we have is not easy. Having a stellar staff like we do makes the work a little bit easier. We have a great team here and it’s a pleasure to come to work each day.
What’s the toughest part of your job?
The toughest part of my job is not getting overwhelmed with all tasks that go along with aiming to provide good financial advice to clients. There is so much confusing information available and a big part of our job is to make sense of it all and translate it to something that we can effectively explain to our clients. Also, the stock market can be very difficult in the short term so it’s important to always reiterate the long-term plan.
When you’re not working, what’s your favorite thing to do?
What I’m not working, my time is spent with our family. We have two young children that are pretty active. Erin and I are always trying to coordinate who’s going where on any particular day. Otherwise, I stay active at the gym and I enjoying reading a good book.
OK, last question – Cubs or White Sox?
I’ve been a Cubs fan my whole life. Our family has been going to Wrigley Field long before me and I’m working hard to influence our kids to be Chicago fans. Last fall gave us plenty to celebrate!
To learn more about Nik or Ford Financial Group, check out our website www.fordfg.com