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PYSK: Ann Echelmeier

Financial Adviser, Edward Jones

AGE: 42

JOB DESCRIPTION: I evaluate and develop cost-effective, tax-efficient financial plans for my clients to meet their personal financial goals. I specialize in retirement planning, estate planning and college planning.


ORIGINAL HOMETOWN: Born in Cape Girardeau; early grade school in Warrensburg; middle school in Maryville; 8th grade through high school in Fulton.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in consumer affairs/financial management from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Current: Sunday school teacher for Missouri United Methodist Church for the past 10 years, member of the Dorothy McArthur Circle of Kings Daughters. Past: Treasurer, membership chair and board member for Columbia Chamber of Commerce; involved in United Way, Altrusa Club of Columbia, Downtown Kiwanis, Columbia College and Woodhaven Community campaigns.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I have been a financial adviser with Edward Jones for 17 years. I am Series 7, Series 63 and insurance licensed. At Edward Jones, we run our own branch office, where I currently manage two full-time office administrators and two part-time assistants. Prior to Edward Jones, I worked as an assistant manager and teller for Boone County National Bank for approximately five years while attending the University of Missouri.

A COLUMBIA BUSINESSPERSON I ADMIRE: Erika Ringdahl is a family practice doctor with University Physicians and director of the family practice medical residency program. She has three wonderful children who keep her very busy as well. It amazes me how she can go from writing time-sensitive grants for the University of Missouri to teaching aerobics at our church to making sure Shelby gets to piano, flute and basketball on time, along with all of Sydney and Karson’s soccer and basketball games and practices. She can do all of this and more with a smile on her face and positive attitude. She’s also a great workout buddy.

WHY I’M PASSIONATE ABOUT MY JOB: Professionally, there is nothing more exhilarating than to see the smiles of appreciation and accomplishment on my clients’ faces. Through our hard work together, we see the properly diversified portfolio growing over a long period of time and actually meeting the financial planning goals set forth. Sometimes it is simply a relief that the clients’ estate planning affairs are in order, which shows on their faces.

IF I WEREN’T DOING THIS FOR A LIVING, I WOULD: Be spending more time with my family. Professionally, I always wanted to help others in a financial services career. My career with Edward Jones gives me the resources and advanced continued training that I require to continue to assist my clients with their financial and estate-planning dreams.

BIGGEST CAREER OBSTACLE I’VE OVERCOME: Starting an Edward Jones office from scratch requires a great deal of “cold calling” the first few years. This entails walking through neighborhoods and going to businesses, educating individuals on investment strategies. Admittedly, this was difficult work, although I love meeting new people. I would also remind myself that more and more potential clients need to learn about tax-saving, retirement and estate-planning strategies. I knew I needed to go find them in order to build my client base and develop my trustworthy reputation. Now, after 17 years, I don’t have time to cold call. Satisfied clients and various community professionals keep me busy with their wonderful referrals. Thanks!

A FAVORITE RECENT PROJECT: One that comes to mind is a client I worked with through the entire planning cycle. I met this couple when I was originally cold calling in 1990. Over the years, we have developed close relationships. We developed tax-saving strategies and a more properly diversified portfolio. They met with their attorney to establish living trusts in order to utilize the marital credit. We discussed additional estate-planning strategies, such as gifting to their children, and utilizing other trusts, such as charitable remainder trusts and irrevocable life insurance trusts. We evaluated their life insurance and long-term-care insurance needs as well. They have both passed away, as of 2006. Even though I miss this couple greatly, I now get to develop relationships with their three children, who all live here in Columbia. It is truly an honor when they appreciate the successful planning I’ve accomplished with their parents by maintaining their newly inherited portfolio and beginning to consolidate their other accounts with me.

WHAT PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PROFESSION: A successful financial plan takes a team of professionals consisting of a CPA, an estate planning attorney and a financial adviser. What a great opportunity I have to work with so many qualified CPAs and attorneys in our community. Also, due to the fact that the economy and tax laws are ever changing, I enjoy staying up on these for my clients and adjusting portfolio strategies as needed.

WHAT I DO FOR FUN: Depending on the season, you will find me alongside my daughter, Kate, while cheering on my sons, Will and Matt, either at basketball games or baseball games.

FAMILY: My husband, Jeff Echelmeier, is a CPA with Williams-Keepers. We have three children: Will is 13 years old in 7th grade at Gentry Middle School, Matt is 9 years old in 4th grade at Mill Creek Elementary, and Kate is 3 years old in pre-school at Discovery Days. My parents are Ron and Diana Mooney of Columbia, and I have two brothers, Doug and Bob Mooney, and one sister, Beth Hunt.

ACCOMPLISHMENT I’M MOST PROUD OF: Having three healthy children.

MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW THAT: I was a co-captain on the varsity basketball team for Fulton High School.

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