Lauren O’Brien, a financial advisor with Edward Jones in Waunakee, has always been interested in finance and numbers. She enjoyed discussing the subjects with her father while growing up, and her husband, father-in-law, and three brothers-in-law are also advisors with Edward Jones (but at separate locations from O’Brien’s.)
“It makes for some interesting conversations around the dinner table,” she said smiling.
She began with Edward Jones in July 2018 helping her clients achieve their financial goals.
“It’s really incredible taking them through our process from start to finish and then helping them achieve their goals like retirement planning,” she said.
She enjoys the diversity of her clients’ goals and works with those who are just starting out in their careers all the way to those focused on legacy planning and everyone in between.
She particularly finds it rewarding working with female clients to help them with financial planning and financial independence. She said it is still primarily a male-dominated industry, so she feels she has a different perspective and has a lot to offer other women. Additionally, she noted that research has shown that female advisors are more empathetic, speak in layperson’s terms, and are less likely to try to “time” the market.
O’Brien grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis, graduating from high school in 2008. She attended UW-Eau Claire studying finance and economics. She is particularly fond of that city, as not only did her parents grow up there, but she also met her husband while at the university. Both sets of grandmothers live in Eau Claire as well. O’Brien’s mother is from Hong Kong and came to the United States when she was a child, and O’Brien’s maternal grandparents opened up the first Chinese restaurant in Eau Claire.
Upon graduating from college in 2012, she worked with Ameriprise Financial for six years primarily on the west side of Madison before switching to Edward Jones in July 2018. She enjoyed her work with her previous company, but is excited about being in Waunakee now with Edward Jones, working one-on-one with clients. She admitted that at first she had some concerns knowing it is such a tight-knit community, but that was quickly alleviated, as the community has been very welcoming to her.
“Waunakee is just incredible,” she said.
She and her husband, David, live in McFarland, and his Edward Jones office is located on the east side of Madison. It is nice, she acknowledged, that they can bounce ideas off one another and are able to easily understand what the other is going through at work, but they also try not to talk shop all the time. This is especially true now, as they are expecting their first child at the end of the year and are focused on all the excitement this entails. Her branch office administrator, Corinne Tuschl, will still be in the office while O’Brien is on maternity leave, and another advisor will fill in during this time too.
Outside of work, O’Brien and her husband love to travel. While in college, O’Brien studied abroad in Australia.
“It was an incredible, incredible experience,” she said. While there she got to travel all over Australia and New Zealand. More recently, she went to Hong Kong with several family members and enjoyed all it had to offer. She also plans to visit all 50 states and has a map to keep track of each one she has visited.
In addition to working with her clients, she also enjoys seeking opportunities to stay abreast of the latest trends and legislation in the field.
“It’s never-ending,” she said as the financial markets and legislation often change. One of the most challenging aspects of her job is when she needs to tell her clients the hard truth that their financial goals may not be on track. She works with them though to make modifications to their goals or offer other solutions to help in that regard.
She treats her clients as she would her parents or grandparents and so will ask those tough questions and offer advice that is in their best interests for a more secure future.
“I treat them like family,” she said.