ClearRock considers its success the sum of each of its parts. For that reason, we plan to periodically shed light on our team and introduce you to who makes ClearRock tick. Meet Renee, Senior Investment Advisor and Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS).
Where are you from originally, and how long have you graced Sun Valley with your presence?
I was born and raised in Central Oregon and moved to Ketchum in June of 2009.
Before joining ClearRock, you had a tenured career at Merrill Lynch. What was it about your big company experience that ultimately convinced you to break away?
I joined Merrill Lynch in my twenties not knowing what a stock or a bond was. At the time, Merrill had the best training program in the business. It set me up nicely to take the risk of running my own business as a financial advisor. I was up for the challenge, and it went well for a while. In 2005, I noticed a change in the firm, specifically a lot of internal incentive plans for advisors to push certain “products” to our clients. The complexity of some of these recommended investments was surprising and I struggled to understand exactly why these were good investments for my clients. Over the next few years, it became really evident that the firm’s culture had shifted its focus from the client to revenue generation for the firm. On Monday morning, September 22, 2008 – in the thick of the financial crisis – I learned from watching CNBC that I was no longer an employee of Merrill Lynch. I now worked for Bank of America. That for me was the tipping point. I knew I had to make a big change for myself and more important, for my clients.
Many moons ago, you once owned a fly-fishing shop. What was that like?
Ha! That was indeed many moons ago. I was working full time at Merrill and working 3 days a week plus evenings at the shop. It was hard work, but I loved it. I still look to get out on the river when I can.
All-time favorite “fishing hole”? Or is that a secret worth keeping?
There are no secrets. You just have to learn to think like a trout.
Favorite reason for coming to work at ClearRock each day?
I wanted simplicity and transparency for my clients. It sounds silly, but I really wanted to be able to provide my clients with performance reports that weren’t 60 pages long! Among the many other things, our team does a great job of offering sophisticated wealth management, yet we simplify the complexity inherent in financial markets. We make things easy to comprehend. Our goal is to make our clients’ financial lives as stress-free as possible.
One piece of career advice for anyone breaking into the financial services industry?
Be ready to work harder than you think. Surround yourself with smart people who understand all aspects of the business. Be humble – never think you understand everything about the markets.
To learn more about Renee, click here.