Andrew Perry: A Decade Crusade To EdgeRock
Sometimes you just know talent when you see it. With more than ten years of industry experience, Andrew Perry carries himself with a quiet confidence that demands your attention. Sure, there’s also the wry sense of humor and folksy earnestness stemming from an upbringing in the American South, but it’s the seriousness that sticks with you, the seriousness with which he dives into retirement solutions for the families he meets. That’s because he’s seen different sides of the industry, companies more concerned with meeting sales goals and pushing products than developing relationships and crafting financial plans. With EdgeRock, he’s tackling financial challenges with a brand new outlook and approach and couldn’t be happier.
First thing’s first: What’s your role at EdgeRock?
“My job is to listen to our clients, find out what’s most important to them—personally and financially speaking—and provide advice and solutions that will help enable them to accomplish their goals and objectives.”
Tell us about your background. How did you end up in finance?
“I had just started college during the financial crisis in 2008 and watched a lot of my friends and family struggle financially. My dad, for example, had been doing the same thing for 40-plus years at that point and based his expenses one-hundred percent around his [salary] income. His company wasn’t going to lay him off, but everyone took a pay cut.
“I thought to myself, Hey, I need to know more about what’s going on right now, with the ultimate goal of helping people plan for and avoid getting into similar situations. I knew I’d made it when my dad asked me for a loan.”
What do you like most about this job so far?
“I’ve worked for banks, brokerages, some of the larger RIAs, in a boiler room … you name it. I would say, for the most part, people claim to be working as a fiduciary but not everyone is a true fiduciary. Kyle [O’Dell] has said this before—and I used to fall into this category—most advisors try and fix your problems by selling you more products. They may not necessarily provide advice that will make you more efficient with your money.
“I would say a majority of firms are more about that transaction than the relationship. I’ve been in a lot of hardcore settings where it’s a ‘buy or die’ mentality. An individual advisor might be doing 40 appointments in a month, I may have been doing 40 in a week. It was all on the phone, non-stop. I did not like it.
“What I’m doing isn’t necessarily new to me, but doing it The EdgeRock Way—using our little nuances—is. I like the personal interactions I’m getting with clients now. I like doing face-to-face meetings to get to know people’s stories. Really, the more I know about an individual and their family, the higher quality advice I can provide them because it specifically pertains to their unique situation.”
What is the best career lesson you’ve learned?
“When I first got started in this industry, somebody once told me, ‘People don’t care what you know; they just want to know that you care,’ and I’ve always kind of operated by that statement. I don’t know everything, but I can connect with people.
“Let’s face it: You’re either into finance or you’re not. There are a lot of people that just aren’t interested in it whether it’s because of time, lack of knowledge, whatever. I’ve had clients that have come to me and say, ‘Listen, I just need somebody who is trustworthy who I can hand this over to,’ or, ‘Andrew, what you’re saying is going over my head but, at the core, you seem like a trustworthy guy and you’ve never steered me wrong in the past.’ Of course, it takes a while to earn that trust. You can’t expect someone to hand over the reins to you but I’ve had clients after a couple of years tell me, ‘Andrew, do whatever you think you gotta do.’
“I worked as a solo advisor for seven years in northeast Georgia. Northeast Georgia is a very rural area and I eventually grew a relationship with a community bank that serves the neighboring poultry farmers. This was pre-COVID so remote advisors weren’t really a thing. One of the hardest things for me to do was tell the people I had built relationships with for so long, who were used to seeing me at the bank and houses, that I was moving away.”
Why did you decide to move to Colorado?
“I had an aunt who lived in Colorado Springs and I visited her for a few summers, but didn’t return for 20 years. Then my wife and I visited Breckenridge and she was the one who wasn’t so sure about it saying, ‘What are we going to do in Colorado during the summer?’ and it’s, like, little do you know! Now she’s Mrs. Colorado. She’s never leaving.
“If you’ve ever spent the summer in the south, you would understand exactly why I moved out here. It’s hot, humid, and Atlanta is the mosquito capital of the United States. My wife and I wanted a personal change and we love the outdoor lifestyle. The outdoor lifestyle in Georgia consists of sitting on a patio drinking a beer, so it was a good move.”
What is your biggest achievement to date—personal or professional?
“Honestly, being invited to join a firm like EdgeRock. I’ve been in the industry for ten years—I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly—but I’ve never seen a firm that operated on such a high level. Most firms are focused on getting a particular product sold, whereas EdgeRock has a higher caliber of advice and holistic planning.”
Can you describe what Holistic Financial Planning is?
“Big-picture and all-encompassing. Looking at everything from retirement to taxes, to investments, to healthcare and estate planning. It’s the entire financial picture. Most financial planning offices will say they provide holistic advice however they usually have pretty narrow-focused expertise such as retirement planning or maybe just portfolio management and at that point. It’s just a commodity. Everyone is looking for assets to manage, but what value are they providing beyond that?”
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
“I like to spend time outdoors: archery, hiking, fly fishing. My wife and I are always trying to discover a new place, so it’s rare that we take the same trail twice.”
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