When she was 60 years old, the bank Gertrude Burck worked for pushed her to retire before she was ready to quit working. After moving to Fargo, she applied at a few banks, but no one would call her back – until she applied at Bell Bank.
Gertrude worked as a part-time teller, primarily at Bell’s South University branch, until she retired seven years ago – at age 80. She loved the bank, her customers and her co-workers.
“Bell’s motto that happy employees make for happy customers is very true,” Gertrude notes.
When her son, Keith, joined Bell Investments in January, Gertrude says she was a very happy mother.
“I was very, very pleased that he made the switch,” she remarks. “I know Bell will take good care of him.”
Keith started working for Bell at age 63. He took this new opportunity because of our commitment to wealth management, our clients and the communities we serve.
“I wanted my clients to have a backup plan should something change with my health or if I’m not able to work like I believe I’ll be able to,” Keith comments. “Bell is committed to this business, the communities that my clients live in and to their financial success.”
As a wealth advisor with more than 31 years of experience, Certified Financial Planner®, Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant, Keith (who previously worked at Alerus Financial) has worked with a variety of clients with unique financial needs. He is able to draw on that experience to keep things simple as he provides strategies to help his clients work toward their financial goals.
“Being able to work in a career where I impact people’s lives is a blessing,” he says. “I enjoy what I do, so I do not consider it work.”
After graduating from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, Keith started his career at Western States Life Insurance, working his way into management as the director of agencies.
When the company was bought out nine years later, he met with his stock broker, who suggested Keith consider working as a broker.
Interested in stocks from a young age, even investing on his own shortly after graduating college, Keith thought it would be a good fit, so he applied for and got the job at EF Hutton. Then, two months after becoming a registered broker in August of 1987, the stock market crashed. It was difficult to start a new practice from scratch, and Keith spent a lot of time cold-calling potential clients.
“The opportunity was that following such a brutal correction, people were more willing to talk to somebody about investing,” Keith recalls.
Communication remains a key part of his job, staying in contact with clients and helping them remain focused on their goals. That connection to his clients and their families is Keith’s favorite part of his job. He develops relationships across second, third and in some cases, fourth generations.
“There’s nothing certain about investing,” Keith notes. “If we can remove some of the anxiety about who they’re working with, we can make it easier for them to make decisions about moving forward.”
While there are no typical days, he spends a lot of his time helping clients make ongoing investment decisions and advising them on ways to handle expenses.
“From an early age, I understood the concept of compound interest and saving money,” Keith comments. “There are two ways to get money – people working or money working. If you’re working and your money’s working just as hard as you do, you increase your opportunities to attain it.”
Keith also appreciates how Bell gives back to the communities it serves. That’s something he values – as evidenced through his work on the Cass County Jail Chaplains board of directors.
“Many families are impacted by people who are incarcerated, but it’s not something that is openly discussed,” Keith remarks. “People rally around families that go through a disaster or have a loved one with a disease, but families are often on their own when a loved one is incarcerated.”
The organization works to provide inmates with spiritual guidance and support by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and helping them restore relationships between inmates, their families and the community and by helping to connect people who are incarcerated with a local church.
“We have a lot of success stories in our community of people who have become productive citizens, and they credit the support of the many Jail Chaplain volunteers,” Keith observes. “It’s very rewarding when you have an opportunity to see the people the ministry has impacted.”
Originally from Hillsboro, N.D., Keith and his wife, Cindy, live in Fargo and have three children.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. The investment products sold through LPL Financial are not insured Bell Bank deposits and are not FDIC insured. These products are not obligations of Bell Bank and are not endorsed, recommended or guaranteed by Bell Bank or any government agency. The value of the investment may fluctuate, the return on the investment is not guaranteed, and loss of principal is possible. Registered office: 15 Broadway, Fargo, ND 58102 | 701.298.2240
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