Name: Justin Binion
Profession: Wealth Management, Wells Fargo
One Word That Describes You: Resilient
What is your “Extraordinary Impact?”
It is a blessing that every day I get to sit down with people who are looking for financial guidance and advice. It is my duty to provide sound advice and recommendations that will impact these people’s financial lives. Many people aren’t well versed in the financial planning and investment world so they rely on me to construct the road map to help them get to their destination, wherever that may be. The difference between having a financial plan vs. not having one could end up being thousands and in some cases, millions.
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It’s a truly humbling honor. Growing up I used to read Black Enterprise and daydream about being as successful as the individuals featured in the magazine. It just goes to show that when you focus on your passion, then you reap the benefits of your hard work and dedication. I’ve always wanted to be the type of person that young people can look up to and say, “He did it. Why can’t I?!” Because that’s exactly what I used to do when I’d read this magazine.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
Growing up, my parents were young, hardworking people. Because of the hours they worked I was raised by a “village” that truly cared about my well-being. Although my family wasn’t able to lace me up with the latest pair of Jordans, or always buy me the latest toys when they came out, they gave me the tools for survival and success. They taught me hard work, dedication, humility, and respect—which is the foundation of how I approach life on a daily basis.
A major plight in the black community is the lack of financial education, and unfortunately I witnessed this time and time again throughout my life. While working in the sports industry I saw a special on television that highlighted the financial difficulties that athletes have, and it was at that point I decided to switch career paths. I saw an opportunity to be something greater. I didn’t know anything about the wealth management industry, but I knew if I dedicated my time to understanding it, that I could really have a lasting effect on people’s lives.
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
The number one thing I look for is a person’s attitude. There are so many variables in life that are out of our control, but the one thing we have total power over is our attitude. A person’s attitude dictates everything from their happiness to their motivation. Having a positive attitude gives someone the power to control their lives, not to mention it’s contagious.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
Right now I’m meeting with clients and reviewing their current portfolios, their goals, and their risk tolerance to make sure they’re in the best position to succeed now and into the future.
What is the best advice you ever received?
When I was in 7th grade I transferred to a different school. I had always been one of the best players on the sports teams that I played on. At my new school they brought me off the bench at the beginning of the basketball season rather than starting me. After my first game I went home furious complaining to my step dad because I thought players who weren’t as good as me got more playing time. He said something that I’ll never forget. He told me, “Don’t you ever expect to just be handed something because you believe you deserve it. No one in this world owes you anything. If you want it you have to go out and earn it.” That advice is something that changed the way I viewed life. Instead of being a victim, I decided to become the victor.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
There’s no time better than right now to get started. Don’t be hesitant just because you may not be where you’d like to be yet in life. You can still make a positive impact. Follow your passion and it’ll lead you to where you should be.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
Because of my schedule it’s important to set aside time prior to meetings to prep. On my calendar I’ve designated times throughout the week to prep for meetings. I usually review notes, write down important talking points or questions that I may need answered, put together any review pieces/proposals, and then review the important talking points before the meeting again. When helping someone do a financial plan, it’s imperative that I have a deep understanding of their current situation, and their goals, and objectives.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation? Share a story about your best vacation.
Being a young professional in the investment industry I find it tough to break away from work for an extended period. Typically around most holidays I take an extra day or so off to extend the vacation.
My best vacation was this past Christmas holiday. I moved into a home with a lot of open space and for the first time decided to have Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner at my home. My family is scattered throughout the U.S. so we’re rarely able to all connect and enjoy the holidays together. It was nice to have most of my family come to my home and enjoy the holiday under one roof. Not to mention, the Steelers comeback victory against our rivals the Baltimore Ravens was a great Christmas present.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’ve always liked to explore historic landmarks so I’ve wanted to take a trip to Greece and see all of the history it has to offer. I’ve also heard great things about their beaches so I can get some rest and relaxation while I’m at it.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Someone once told me, “Imagine where you’d be if you didn’t give up.” Often times we are tested with seemingly insurmountable obstacles in life, but it may be those obstacles that will help us get to where we want in life. Sometimes we give up just before we’re about to have a breakthrough. Perseverance is one of the most overlooked necessities to succeed. Just. Keep. Going.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @BEModernMan and join the conversation using #BEModernMan.
Come celebrate the BE Modern Man 100 Men of Distinction at the first-ever Black Men XCEL Summit, Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.