Michele Weber began her career with Edward Jones in Southern California in 2003 and moved to Oakdale with her family in 2006. She is the sole financial advisor in the Oakdale branch office and works with one full time staff member, Marian Partenheimer, plus two part time support staffers. Additionally, Weber said that there is an “army” of support from Edward Jones such as analysts, compliance people, and more.
Despite the down economy, Weber reported that business grew at her branch by more than 20 percent last year, mostly from referrals and people changing from other firms.
“Folks are having to manage through a tight economy,” she said. “Our reputation has allowed us to grow and be successful and help more people.”
Weber said that by nature she’s a skeptic of markets and corporate reports and she believes that quality serves her clients well.
“Having face time with your financial advisor during these times is critically important,” she added, noting that while clients schedule appointments, sometimes they’ll also drop by her office.
She said she tries to be supportive and serve in a consultative role for anyone who walks in the door.
Weber obtained her master’s degree and Ph.D. from UC Riverside and noted that her dissertation was on how small towns survive in the global economy. Prior to her employment with Edward Jones, she was a professor and did research, and also worked in international development, living in various countries in Central America. She returned to the states and going into personal finance seemed like a natural fit for her.
“I’ve always been very good with people and very good with numbers,” Weber said, adding that over the last six years she’s built a solid reputation with her clients.
She reported that she has a varied clientele from those with significant assets, as well as those who are single heads of households.
“It’s rewarding to help successful clients achieve their goals for retirement,” Weber said. “It’s also rewarding to help clients through a problem period or crisis. My work is always challenging, always rewarding, always changing.”
She noted that while she is an ambitious career woman, she said it’s important that everything is done with the utmost integrity.
“I enjoy finding ways to be supportive of the economy of the town in general,” she said. “…I’m much more comfortable here with farmers, ranchers, retirees, teachers…than in Southern California… It’s a different mentality.”
Weber reported that she’s from a small town in New York and her husband is from a small town in Idaho, so they enjoy the rhythm of Oakdale and the surrounding area. She said she likes small town living and being part of the community and noted that she sometimes runs into clients at the grocery store.
Coming from Southern California, she said her hobbies have helped people get over her “city slicker” image – she enjoys gardening, canning, and cooking, and also camps and kayaks with her family.
Weber recently received recognition from Edward Jones in a top 25 percent national ranking for exemplary client service, as well as the firm’s Sr. Founders Award for exceptional achievement in building client relationships, and also the company’s exclusive Century Award for outstanding performance.