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Why I Became A Financial Advisor

By Jake Withnell, CFP®

Most of us can point to specific people or events that influenced our decisions and made a significant impact on how we live our lives. For me, it was the inspiration and example of my grandfather that led me to where I am today. When I was young, I vividly remember my grandfather making stock calls. But it wasn’t just his example that inspired me; he included me in the process and took the time to explain the importance of saving and the “why” behind his investment choices. When we got to the concept of compound interest, I was hooked. I loved the idea of small progress adding up to big results over time and what a difference that could make for your future. I wanted to do for others what my grandfather did for me, providing lasting value in their lives and helping them build a solid financial foundation. 

First Career Steps

Even though I knew I wanted a career in the financial industry, it took me a while to hone exactly what that looked like for me. I earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Eastern Washington University (where I proudly played tight end for the Eastern Washington University Eagles) and became a CPA. I spent a handful of years auditing financial statements and assisting businesses and individuals with tax returns. I quickly realized that I wanted a more personal touch in my work; I wanted to hear people’s stories, walk with them through decisions, and help them accomplish their goals. 

Back when I was still in college, I had connected with Jeff Paustian and Kevin Sanger of JGP Wealth Management. They encouraged me to read and learn as much as I could about the markets and immerse myself in the industry. In fact, I recently found out that all those issues of The Wall Street Journal and The Economist that I mysteriously received in college were an anonymous gift from Kevin. This intentional act of kindness and investment in my life had a deep and lasting impact on my professional development. When I decided to make a shift and become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®), JGP Wealth Management was my top choice. I wanted to work for a firm that was committed to their clients, had unparalleled levels of service and professionalism, and set the bar high for their team. In 2018, I got my chance and I’ve been part of the JGP Wealth Management team ever since!

Fast-Forward To Today

Now I get to spend my days doing what I dreamed of, helping business owners and retirees build wealth and set themselves up for a secure future while still having the time and energy to do what they love. I play a key role in JGP’s portfolio management process, building and analyzing financial models and conducting client cash flow analysis so our clients can rest easy knowing their money is in good hands. 

Hands down, the best part of my job is seeing the relief and excitement on people’s faces when they see the possibilities and realize the progress they’ve made. It empowers them to continue moving forward with confidence and stay committed to the plan. There is so much joy to be found in helping others live the life they want no matter what life throws at them. 

Are You Ready For A Different Financial Future?

I’d love to meet you, get to know you, and hear about your goals, your worries, and the opportunities and challenges you face in your financial life. If you’re ready to see what financial planning can do for you and your business, reach out to me at 503-446-6450, email jwithnell@jgpwealth.com, or schedule an introductory phone call online.

About Jake

Jake Withnell is a financial advisor at JGP Wealth Management, an independent, fee-based financial advisory firm in Portland, Oregon. Jake is known for going the extra mile for his clients and for his passion for working tirelessly to help his clients find solutions to their financial concerns so they can confidently live out the life they want. He prioritizes listening and understanding as the foundation of his relationships with his clients, and his highest hope is that they can spend more of their time and energy on their passions knowing he is watching over their financial future. Jake specializes in serving business owners, Nike executives, and retirees, and plays a key role in JGP’s portfolio management process, building and analyzing financial models, and conducting client cash flow analyses. 

Jake graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in professional accounting and finance. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) professional. Jake’s claim to fame is his time playing tight end for the Eastern Washington University Eagles, all while earning four-time Big Sky Conference First Team All-Academic honors! Jake values giving back to his community and does this by volunteering with the Children’s Cancer Association, Family Building Blocks, and New Avenues for Youth. In his free time, Jake takes advantage of the many outdoor activities the Northwest has to offer, such as trailing running, mountain biking, and hiking. He loves traveling and spending long weekends at his family beach house in Seaside, OR. To learn more about Jake, connect with him on LinkedIn.