All in the Family
June, 2013 - Issue #104
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
A "Grand" Pair Provides Investment Advice for Every Age and Stage
At first glance, Janelle Koester and John Shipper seem an unlikely business-partner pair. Janelle is blessed with looks that lead many to believe she's much younger than the age printed on her driver's license. John, in contrast, looks old enough to be her grandfather.
That's convenient - because he is.

So much for the multi-generational divide. In this instance, grandfather and granddaughter have made their wide age difference a business asset. Both principals in The Shipper/Koester Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, John as First Vice President of Investments and Janelle as Financial Advisor, the pair have worked together for over five years (John and Senior Client Associate Dayle Arak got a head start; he's been in the business for almost 30 years, she's been with him for over 25.) providing sound investment advice to Santa Clarita and Southern California clients.

Working together, they say, isn't just a benefit to their familial relationship. Their clients also gain important insight that only a multigenerational team can give.
"It provides a greater generational perspective," says Janelle. "It allows for better aged-based advice as well as a better understanding of generational challenges. Many people also feel a greater sense of comfort being a part of a family group. They know that we're a family working hard to help their family."

John, who specializes in commodity and option trading, as well as wealth management, also notes a secondary advantage of working with his granddaughter. "She keeps me young!," he warmly states.

The affection is mutual - and so is the respect. Janelle, a successful professional in her own right who specializes in 401K and IRA rollovers, retirement and income planning, reflects on what it's like to be part of a business with John.
"Working with my grandfather is something I never take for granted. I so appreciate his wealth of knowledge. Being in the business for so long, he has seen so many different market scenarios and is confident about his reactions to whatever comes his way. This confidence puts my mind at ease. I know there is nothing he cannot handle or make sense of - and that's such a benefit for both our business and our clients," she says.

Of course, as in any business, conflict does occasionally arise. But both "grands" admit that points of contention are minor.

"John and I see our business in a very similar light, but when it comes to toasting or not toasting a fresh bagel, now we have an argument!," jokes Janelle. Says John, "We agree on almost everything except on how much cake I am permitted to consume."

Food fights notwithstanding, it's obvious that there's a great deal of love between the two. And, with the addition of Janelle's son last year, there's even more sweetness to go around.

"Being a mother has changed my life in every way imaginable. My maternal nature overflowed into our business very quickly. I have an even stronger need to take care of and get to know my clients on a more personal level. The most important part of my job is making sure our clients feel like family. That feeling of trust is what we want to cultivate with all of our clients," says Janelle. (Interesting to note and probably no coincidence: Janelle's mom and John's daughter is SCV realtor Kathy Watterson, well known for establishing strong bonds of trust between her and her clients. Maybe there's something genetic going on here...)
This family team isn't going anywhere anytime soon. While some folks John's age may be considering retirement, it's not in the elder's plans. "I have to work for another 20 years so I can support Great Grandma's shopping sprees for our great grandson!," says John.
The Shipper/Koester Group of Wells Fargo Advisors provides complimentary investment analyses. 510-0445 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC Member SIPC
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