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Not Your Father's Stockbroker

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Jeremy Coons Aims To Be a Resource To His Community

Article by Amy Adams

Photography by Brianna Richardson Photography

Originally published in Carmel City Lifestyle

In decades past, people protected their most valuable assets in bank vaults, like the gilded antique restored by Indianapolis law firm Barnes & Thornburg pictured on the cover and the following page. These days, massive enclosures have been replaced with digital currencies and global securities, bringing new challenges for investors. Carmel City Lifestyle turned to Jeremy Coons with Edward Jones to learn how financial advisors think in the digital age.

"In my industry, we have sometimes been pigeonholed as stock brokers," Coons says. "That is very outdated. Stocks are just a small fraction of the services we offer."

Coons helps clients with tax, estate and retirement planning, as well as risk management and more.

When financial advisor Jeremy Coons first sits down with potential clients, he doesn't start talking about asset allocation, or where and how much they want to invest. Instead, Coons asks people about their priorities. What are their needs, wants, and wishes? What are their goals for the future?

"People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” Coons says. “To me, what is most fulfilling is when a client takes money out and does the thing they’ve been wanting to do. That may not be good for business; but I’m not a salesperson—I’m a wealth advisor.”

Coons grew up in Hobart, Indiana, where his father worked for U.S. Steel. He watched both his parents graduate from college, which he found inspirational. However, he also witnessed his parents live through a period where having a financial advisor would have really benefited them.

“That is probably the impetus for me to do what I do,” Coons says. “If I can be a difference maker, if one person benefits from my advice whether they ever become a client or not, that’s worth it.” 

After earning a degree in economics from Wabash College, Coons trained with Edward Jones to take over an office on the southeast side of Indianapolis. Following that first job, he moved to a position with TD Ameritrade, which was acquired by Charles Schwab in 2020. As time went on, Coons began to realize he had maxed out his career progression options there. 

Then financial advisor Tim McAshlan reached out to him about joining him at his Edward Jones office in The Village of WestClay as McAshlan was preparing to retire. Both McAshlan and Char Conwell, senior branch office administrator, interviewed candidates separately and compared notes.

“Jeremy came out on top,” McAshlan says. “We both agreed that he would be a good fit, and he’s been a team member since then, and we work in tandem.”

McAshlan officially entered a two-year retirement transition in January. 

“Tim has done the right thing by clients which obviously shows in the business he’s built,” Coons says. “I knew it was the perfect opportunity to be able to serve people where I live. And now that our child is growing up in the city, Abby and I have even more of a vested interest in seeing it excel.”

Coons helps clients with tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning, risk management and other services to meet their goals.

“In my industry, we have sometimes been pigeonholed as stock brokers,” Coons says. “I think that is very outdated. Stocks are just a small fraction of the services we offer.”

Coons talks to his clients about “paycheck replacement,” which examines a variety of factors, including insurance and taxes.

“Most people have insurance through their work, but it’s usually insufficient. There are insurance products that people do need,” Coons says. “Then, taxes are the largest expense of a person’s life. Through strategic tax planning, we can lower the total over-life tax burden. That makes a big difference.”

Whether it’s equity compensation, umbrella insurance or business succession plans, Coons says his resources include a referral network with accountants and attorneys, who are an extension of his team. Edward Jones also offers clients access to a sophisticated software program called MoneyGuidePro. Coons says MoneyGuidePro can examine assets, liabilities, income streams and spending in a lot of different ways to answer those “what if” questions. 

“For 99% of clients, their greatest fear is running out of money before they die and having to depend on someone else,” Coons says.

He helps people overcome that fear through sound financial advice. As a Certified Financial Planner, the gold standard designation in the industry, Coons must meet rigorous education, training and ethical standards. Honesty is paramount when he has to be able to defend in a court of law that his recommendations are what is best for his clients. 

“Numbers on the screen are fun to look at, but there’s no emotion behind it,” Coons says. “That’s where goals become important. When it comes to investing, the idea is to put off the desires of today for a broader vision in the future.” 

Coons hopes to become a resource for people in the community and be viewed that way rather than as a salesperson. One of his future plans involves holding quarterly educational opportunities for people in the community at The Meeting House near the Edward Jones office in the Village of WestClay.

“I hope that if people realize they need an advisor or want a second opinion, they will come to me,” Coons says. “I want growth to come from referrals from people who see value in what we offer and want to share it with people they care about.”

Coons advises people to avoid three financial pitfalls.

1. “Get rich quick” schemes promise high returns over a short timeframe with, seemingly, little to no risk. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

“Speculating is not investing,” Coons advises. 

2. The FIRE Movement encourages people to live as minimally as possible so they can retire early. In fact, FIRE stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early.” 

“There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save and invest,” Jeremy says. “But the mindset of deprivation is dangerous. There has to be a balance of enjoying today because tomorrow isn’t promised. Find a career you enjoy so that you don’t have to worry about retiring early.”

3. “Lifestyle creep” can cause problems when people don’t increase the amount of money they are saving as their income increases. While it is normal for people’s standard of living to rise with their income, Coons warns against making more money but saving less.

“If I can be a difference maker, if one person benefits from my advice, whether they become a client or not, that is worth it.”

  • Photo by Kelli White

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