Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (WFAFN) Advisors becomes a family resource for clients
With nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, Michael Cowan is dedicated to helping individuals accomplish their financial goals, plus so much more. Michael Cowan of The Cowan Group in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, joined WFAFN in April of 2009 from Smith Barney. Michael never had a plan to enter the industry; he was initially on a path to join a seminary to become a priest. After soul-searching, Michael decided that he wasn’t meant for that calling, and while still unsure of exactly what his calling was, he knew that he wanted to help people.
A fellow member of Michael’s church asked if he ever thought about being a stockbroker. He was hesitant as to how a job in the financial services industry would have an impact on other people’s lives in a positive way. “I wasn’t sure how investing people’s money would be impactful,” says Michael. “But he showed me how he had helped families in a unique way, so I joined his firm as a financial advisor.”
After an eight-year tenure as a partner with a very successful and established wealth advisor, Michael moved from one wirehouse to another and landed at Smith Barney. While navigating the volatility of the market from 2000 to 2008, he realized the need to work as a financial advisor in an independent, impartial manner. “If I was going to build a business, I wanted to build it independently,” explains Michael. “My clients were with me because of me, not just because of the logo on the financial statement.”
After researching several small broker/dealers, a recruiter referred Michael to Margo Vuicich, head of the Gulf Coast Region for Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network. “Before meeting Margo, I had no idea that Wells Fargo had an independent platform,” says Michael. “Margo was instrumental in helping me make the transition to independence with WFAFN.”
Michael and Margo make a talented team, working together to grow Michael’s business. “Margo has given me a lot of confidence. I can’t imagine going through the process of growing my business without Margo and WFAFN.” WFAFN has given Michael the opportunity to network around the country exchanging ideas and resources with other WFAFN business owners. “He is always sharing his story and trying to help others in the industry,” says Margo. “He has been a leader on WFAFN’s Licensee Advisory Board and is a true success story.��
WFAFN has enabled Michael to recruit and expand his business, adding four new advisors to The Cowan Group. WFAFN provided Michael with an advocate and the support of tools and resources to grow; “WFAFN has their own culture which is what makes them unique and exclusive. It’s a culture of sharing ideas, motivation, and entrepreneurial spirit.”
One way Michael has been able to expand his business since joining WFAFN is by hosting more than 30 seminars each year between December and March. Michael’s office contains an education center that can hold up to 35 people. A variety of topics are covered in the seminars, including estate planning, dividend stock investing, and end-of-life planning. The seminars have served as an avenue to grow business as well as meet new families in the area, who receive invitations to attend through direct mail.
Michael has a unique approach to serving his clients. His office is a resource for the families they serve helping with many different needs from last minute travel planning, to finding nursing care, or even assistance in using technology. “Everyone says how the industry is evolving and changing and that it’s a dying culture,” says Michael. “People’s expectations are higher than they’ve ever been, so just providing investment advice isn’t enough. You truly must be your client’s advocate. Being independent with WFAFN has allowed me to build my business to fulfil this need.”
Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN). The Cowan Group is a separate entity from WFAFN.
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