Coming Full Circle with Edward Jones: Bernie Franko

Meet Financial Advisor Bernie Franko from Greensboro, North Carolina, who recently shared with us why he decided to join Edward Jones – twice. Bernie first came to the firm as a financial advisor in 1998 after working as an intern for his parents’ financial advisor.

Bernie eventually decided to pursue work at a smaller firm and left Edward Jones in 2002. During the financial crisis in 2008, the firm was acquired by a larger bank. Bernie decided to return to Edward Jones in 2014. Today, he serves on his region’s growth team and is actively involved in the region.

Why did you return to Edward Jones?

"I returned to Edward Jones because I knew the consistency and the stability of the firm. I understood the value of what the firm has to offer, and that always appealed to me. Previously, I had worked in an office of 30 people, but it wasn’t the same collaborative spirit."

How was the transition for you and your clients?

"It’s been fantastic for my clients and my family. I give kudos to Jill Willard, my Senior Branch Office Administrator (BOA), who has been enormously helpful in my transition back to the firm. She has made a huge difference in providing better service and building more trust to our clients."

"It’s nice to have an experienced professional dedicated entirely to serving our clients and to partnering with me. Clients who moved with me tell me how much they appreciate receiving better service at Edward Jones. I feel grateful and privileged to be back."

What improvements have you noticed since you left the firm?

"The biggest improvement I see is in our client-facing tools. They're engaging and easy to use. Clients are more comfortable, which builds greater trust, so I can dive a little deeper. I use the Financial Foundation tool to create scenarios and change data live on the screen. I can make it as complex or as simple as needed, which offers a real service to our clients."

"Also, I now can show my clients what they really want to know, such as how their investments are performing in real time and when they can retire. It helps transition the conversation from being about investment performance to helping them work toward achieving their goals. It’s wonderful to do a presentation for clients and share that their financial picture allows them to make decisions that they want to make, not ones they have to make."

What do you see as the Edward Jones Opportunity?

"I serve on the growth team now and share my story with candidates because I’ve seen both sides of the fence. I tell them about the certainties here and that our firm is a stable partnership. I tell them about the support we receive from a dedicated BOA and from the home office."

"Finally, I tell them about the advantages of our business model and how we value independence. We don't use a "top-down" approach with a branch manager driving the business focus. The real opportunity at our firm is to run our own practice with the support of our home office. I can tell a difference when I call the home office at Edward Jones, compared to where I was before. The people I talk to are eager to help. And, thanks to our partnership business model, we can take the long-term view and do what’s best for our clients."

If you’re thinking about what’s next in your career, consider learning why the Edward Jones financial advisor opportunity may be the investment of your lifetime.

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