Alex Vicencio, senior vice president, Vicencio Wealth Management, Wells Fargo

Years in Securities Business: 16                                          

 

One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had with a client occurred early on in my career. I was referred to a client who worked for a subsidiary of Enron. He was a blue-collar kind of guy, and we went through a thorough discovery process in terms of financial planning and data gathering. I found out that his family had a windfall that was made up almost entirely of Enron stock options.

Now, of course, this was back when Enron was on top of the world, and, really, I didn’t know anything that wasn’t public knowledge at this point. But by doing some basic planning and explaining the importance of diversifying this family’s assets, we put together a modern portfolio that was in line with their financial needs.

Of course, you know the rest when it comes to Enron. He’s still a client today.

Believe it or not, I have always had an interest in financial topics. From an early age, I was fascinated with the idea of saving and had my own savings account. I knew I wanted to do something related to money.

I came to the United States from Chile when I was 13. But it wasn’t until a few weeks before graduating from college with a finance degree that I thought about going into wealth management. I remember looking for a job online in the late ’90s — which felt groundbreaking, because at the time [doing a job search online] was a new thing. I stumbled across an advertisement for a position at Prudential.

Long story short, I applied, interviewed and got the job. This chance opportunity seemed like a really good fit. I’ve been in the business for 16 years now and am currently employed with Wells Fargo.

Certainly, building my own business was very difficult when I was in my 20s. Obviously, we work in a business where you’re dealing with money, and, in many cases, lots of it. The experience of building my business one client at a time when I was starting, even when I had the credentials on paper, is one of the most difficult challenges I’ve had to overcome. The key is stick-to-itiveness and perseverance.

I’m very proud of the success of my business, and that I really get to work with people. I like what I do: I come into work and make an impact on people’s lives.

Money is not everything — for many, it comes behind family, religion and health. But it ranks at No. 4 or 5 in terms of how important it is to people. I’m proud that I’m not only still in the business, but I’m doing it in a way that’s authentic to who I am.

 

As told to Maddy Perkins.

 

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