It's My Job: Thrivent Financial partner sees opportunity for investorsFARGO - At a time when some financial services companies fell off the Fortune 500 list, Sheri Cooper sees great opportunities for local investors, even those who have been led down the wrong path.
By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM
FARGO - At a time when some financial services companies fell off the Fortune 500 list, Sheri Cooper sees great opportunities for local investors, even those who have been led down the wrong path.
“There are organizations out there to help, and now more than ever, (people) need us,” says Cooper, who in January became managing partner of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ regional finance office covering Northwestern Minnesota and Eastern North Dakota.
She oversees the work of 120 financial representatives, administrative staff and other employees. Cooper has worked for member-owned Thrivent since 1996, starting as a financial representative.
She describes Thrivent as an organization of impact and strength. It touts its community values and describes its financial services as “work with purpose.”
“The work with purpose is part of the reason that makes a lot of people work with Thrivent in the first place,” Cooper says. “We’re positioned very well to continue to grow, to continue to grow our membership and help others.”
Q: What does Thrivent do?
A: Thrivent is an organization that’s been around for over 100 years. We are a financial services company that not only helps individuals achieve their financial goals and dreams for the future, but we also provide an opportunity for them to impact other people’s lives at the same time. That’s really the uniqueness of a fraternal benefit society, a membership-based organization.
What is your own philosophy when it comes to personal finance?
Nowadays it’s really important for people to consider using a financial professional. In today’s world, things are getting so complex. Regulations, rules are changing so rapidly that I believe strongly that people really need someone to help them, provide advice, provide them counsel and support in making decisions and give them more options in how they can achieve those goals, because every single individual is unique, and their circumstances are unique.
Often the stories in the news about financial advisers are those who have misled clients or are in the midst of scandals. How has that message affected Thrivent?
I don’t think it’s hurt us at all. It’s helped us. During this tumultuous economic time that we’ve been going through, Thrivent’s really risen above. We’ve went up on the Fortune 500 list. We’re actually a Fortune 300 company (No. 318 as of May’s list). That tells you a lot about our strength and stability. That’s a message we lead with now.
What should individuals look for in a financial adviser?
Do their values align with ours?
What is the best financial advice you can give during these times?
Stay the course. If you’re working with a financial professional and you’ve shared your goals with that individual, you’ve set a plan in place, and that plan is still intended to get you to the end result; staying the course is very important. And working with that financial adviser and professional along the way and making sure they’re monitoring your situation and providing that counsel.
What are the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to managing their money?
Lack of planning, period. They’ve just taken no steps towards what a financial plan should look like. And maybe not done enough thought into what is it that they really want to achieve. Where is it that you want to be in 10 years or 20 years, or what does retirement look like for you?
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556