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posted: 8/6/2012 6:15 AM

Downers Grove business owner helps clients avoid financial mistakes

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  • Jeff Harper

      Jeff Harper

 

An interview with Jeffery Harper of Harper Wealth Management Group an Office of MetLife in Downers Grove.

Q: Describe your business. What do you do?

A: I help people avoid the three biggest financial mistakes most people make.

Q: What are the biggest mistakes?

A: The biggest mistake is people not protecting themselves and their families from the unknown -- such as, will they die prematurely, will they outlive their money, will they become disabled before retirement, will they get sued, will they need a caregiver during their lifetime? The second mistake is a lack of diversification. It's the single biggest reason that people lose a lot of money they shouldn't lose. The third mistake is not matching their retirement goals to their financial plans.

Q: What made you start your business?

A: I started my business out of my passion for helping people reach their goals and live their dreams through successful money management.

Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?

A: When I started in the financial services industry in 1988 the focus was on selling life insurance not on financial planning and wealth management. I had to find mentors that could understand and support my business model while simultaneously expanding my investment knowledge and acquiring industry designations and securities registrations.

Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?

A: The ability to make a difference in the lives of my clients and staff is the thing I enjoy the most about my business. It is incredibly rewarding to see people live their dreams and know I helped them get there.

Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: When I was a small boy I wanted to be a professional baseball player. When I became a little older I wanted to be a teacher. Teaching is my passion and I'm so fortunate to be able to educate my individual and corporate clients whether it's in my office or in a large conference center.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: Nothing keeps me up at night. I sleep well because I'm honest with people and I have taught my clients not to react to volatile market changes but to stick to their plans.

Q: If you could give one tip to a person deciding on a career path what would it be?

A: Choose a career that is your passion then it won't feel like work and you won't be exhausted after working 70-80 hour work weeks. Love what you do!

Q: Describe a good day.

A: A good day is when a client calls me, sends me an email or comes into the office to tell me how thrilled they are that they have reached their goals. It is unbelievably rewarding to know that I have made a difference in someone's life.

-- Kim Mikus

• Every Monday we feature a local small business. We want to hear about yours. Contact kmikus@dailyherald.com.

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