As Vice President, Senior Wealth Strategist of U.S. Bank – The Private Client Reserve, John Campbell, obviously knows a thing or two about financial empowerment and making your money work for you.
The Yale University and Tulane University Law School graduate has developed a prominent career offering his wealth management expertise and advanced wealth planning solutions for high net worth clients in and beyond the Chicago market.
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Campbell to find out what we should be doing to gain a little financial empowerment of our own and how we can embark on a career that empowers those around us.
BlackEnterprise.com: What essential financial lesson do most people tend to often overlook?
Perhaps the single most overlooked financial lesson by most people is the importance of taking inventory of not only their day-to-day needs but also their goals and aspirations and the resources needed to help them work toward those goals.
The second most often overlooked lesson is the importance of surrounding yourself with educational resources and people who demonstrate both integrity and subject-matter competency. This is necessary to help people navigate through the many choices and options available to them.
What advice do you have for a minority interested in a career in personal finance?
I believe it is important to commit yourself to learning all that you can, formally and informally, in any particular area of interest. Then, identify and leverage existing spheres of influence–this could include family members, guidance counselors, teachers, classmates, pastors, and local and state representatives. These community members can help you identify areas where you can improve and excel, as well as expand your network.
Seek out people who can mentor you. Also, many accounting firms, banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions have programs in place that cultivate people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. Conduct research on those companies in which you may have an interest. Speak to company representatives. Then, apply for internships or jobs in which you are interested and qualified. Be persistent. Show tenacity. Importantly, be proactive and take the initiative in your professional development.
There’s a saying that “knowledge is power.” I would add to that, “knowledge rightly applied can empower!” . . . and drive us toward success.
What has been your biggest lesson, thus far, as a wealth adviser?
I believe that wealth advisers need to demonstrate uncompromising integrity and the ability to establish and maintain trust with clients and co-workers. This quality is essential for success in any career, but it’s especially important in financial services that require working with clients who are highly successful. Many of these clients have complex needs and competing concerns and objectives, which may be difficult for clients to disclose.
Before any meaningful work can be provided, wealth advisers who work with high net worth clients have to focus first on building trust. I believe this is one of the most critical components to becoming effective stewards of family wealth.
What do you know as a wealth strategist that you wish you knew 10 years ago?
I wish I had an even greater appreciation, 10 years ago, of the ever-evolving, complex nature of our federal and state tax law systems—income tax, gift tax, wealth transfer tax, etc. A deep understanding of our tax laws can empower an aspiring wealth strategist to be more creative, effective, and impactful in helping to enhance and preserve wealth. Plus, these skills can help differentiate an aspiring wealth strategist from others in the profession.