Eric Williams

Advising for small town USA

Williams serves as ‘life coach’ for clientele in Anderson, Indiana

Located a little more than 30 miles northeast of Indianapolis is the small town of Anderson, Ind. This is a town where approximately 50,000 people reside, along with farmland and the headquarters for the Church of God.

Now, rewind nearly 50 years, when Anderson had 70,000 residents and two thriving manufacturing plants owned by General Motors. Those plants employed around 20,000 people at a time, which was more than a quarter of the town’s population.

A majority of Eric Williams’ clientele worked in those plants and are enjoying retirement after the plants closed their doors many years ago.

“We are a life coach for our clients more than anything else,” said Williams, branch manager and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at his Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network (WFAFN) practice. “The average age of our clientele is around 65. They are almost always retired, so we want to make sure they are financially comfortable. We talk to them about their life needs and help in any way that we can.”

After graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Finance in 1980, Williams decided to move back to his hometown of Anderson and has been there ever since. He worked at a few wirehouses along the way until he decided it was time to go independent.

Williams always wanted to go independent, but his previous employers were not always accommodating. One of the reasons Williams wanted to make the move was because he was giving nearly half of his money to companies that would only call him once a year. With a wife who worked and provided his health insurance through her employer, he also felt he should be compensated for the healthcare benefits he did not take. For Williams, going independent became the clear choice. It was only a matter of determining what company to do it through.

“When we were looking to go independent, we were down to two firms,” Williams explained. “They both offered similar benefits, but what sold us was the Wells Fargo & Company name. That’s a name that my clients, and everyone in Indiana, would recognize.”

A seamless transition to independence was important to Williams so that he could maintain an uninterrupted level of service for his clients.

“The transition to WFAFN in May 2015 was very smooth for me,” Williams said. “In 90 days, I was able to get 85% of my assets and 70% of my clients moved over.”

After being part of WFAFN for more than four years, one of the core aspects Williams likes most is the independence he receives. With his clean compliance record, the corporate office usually only contacts him when he needs to be updated on something and if there is an upcoming event to attend. This simple outreach suits him just fine since he was looking to partner with a company that would let him run his practice his way when he went independent.

Another aspect he has found beneficial is the meetings that WFAFN hosts for its independent advisors.

“When we go to meetings, they have very good breakout sessions about expanding your practice and other helpful topics,” Williams concluded. “They are very educational. Any time I’ve been interested in pursuing one of the topics that the sessions cover, my questions are always answered. There is always someone available to help if I need more information.”

Much like Anderson, IN, WFAFN has been a good fit for Williams and his business.

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN).