Talking Shop with Cheryl Mothes, financial adviser with Edward Jones

Monday, September 27, 2010
Cheryl Mothes at Edward Jones in Jackson. (Fred Lynch)

As a former nurse, Cheryl Mothes looked after people's physical health, but since joining Edward Jones as a financial adviser 11 years ago, she has focused on her clients' financial health. She became interested in investing when she couldn't understand her own retirement statement and now helps others build their own wealth.

Question: How did you become interested in financial advising?

Answer: I was in my 30s and a hospital administrator at Saint Francis Medical Center when I realized that I had no idea how to read my retirement statement. It was an annuity, a 403(b), had a "matching" program, and I didn't understand any of those things. But I knew it was important, and I had to get past my intimidation to ask for help. I called Donna Domian, who has been a successful financial adviser with Edward Jones for years. She helped me with my personal investments, helped me start an investment club and later invited me to join her practice at Edward Jones. Not only did she assist me in understanding and maximizing my investments, but she made it interesting and fun. Leaving my career as a nurse and administrator was a big step, but I've been very happy with the decision.

Q: Tell me about being named a general partner with Edward Jones earlier this year.

A: Becoming a general partner with Edward Jones is the greatest professional honor I've ever received. They amaze me every day in how they conduct business and put our clients first, and to be able to become a partner, an owner in this firm, is just phenomenal. I realize how rare this opportunity is, and I value it greatly.

Q: How did you get involved with the local Diamonds and Pearls women's investment group? Why is seeing women achieve financial success is important to you?

A: A group of friends got together to learn more about investing and asked me to support them as their financial adviser. That was more than 10 years ago, and they have been a joy to help. I know that women have unique challenges: Many are in the work force fewer years than men and therefore fund less to their retirement, plus miss out on promotions, usually to raise a family or take care of elderly family members, make less money than men and live longer. I try to help them overcome those challenges by being more comfortable with investments and taking advantage of the tools they have available to build wealth. I also have other investment clubs that have both men and women members.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: Being a registered nurse was very meaningful and rewarding. I find that helping my clients with their financial health is just as meaningful. Also, my clients are absolutely the best. They are friends, they send their family and friends to us, which is just the highest compliment, and they truly appreciate us. I also have a wonderful team in my office, Marie Schimpf and Tracy Hillman, who do everything possible to help our clients.

Q: What is the most challenging part of what you do?

A: The greatest challenge is helping clients who are anxious about their investments or the economy. I work with them to understand that the investment process is long-term, and to have faith in our country, our economy and the future.

Q: What's the best financial advice someone else has given you?

A: Everyone says, "pay yourself first," but my parents always taught us to "give" first, not for what will come back to us for doing so, but for all the wonderful things that have already been given to us. I think that's pretty great advice.

Q: Describe the many community groups and local causes you are involved with.

A: There are so many great ways to serve here. Zonta, Jackson Rotary and Grace United Methodist Church provide opportunities to help in international and local ways. Also, my husband Rick Hetzel and I actually met when we helped organize the Network Against Sexual Violence years ago. The Safe House for Women, Humane Society, United Way, Southeast University and SADI are also dear to us. We recently had the privilege of being a part of the "Celebrate Hope" fundraiser for Heart for Africa, and it was incredible. The people in each of these organizations are dedicated and passionate, so it's easy to want to spend time helping them.

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