After graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, local financial advisor Harvey Harper went to work – not in finance – but in the apparel industry.

“I worked 28 years for the same company, Wall Industries between 1972 and 2000, retiring as vice president of sales,” Harper says. “I was affiliated with Edward Jones as a client since 1978 and I’ve been employed by Edward Jones since August of 2000.”

He not only serves 373 families in 10 states, he serves as a mentor and visiting veteran to help train new financial advisors for Edward Jones. In the process of all that he has won many professional awards including the Pacesetter, the Jack Phelan and the Partners Award.

Speaking of partners, Harper explains something most of us probably don’t know: “This isn’t a franchise; I am in partnership with Edward Jones.”

Harper points out that he follows a five-step circle to help him determine how he can best help his clients reach their financial goals. Much like a physician does a check up to establish a baseline with a new patient, the Edward Jones model starts by asking the client a baseline question.

“We start with the question, ‘Where am I today?’ to determine current needs and help provide an overview,” Harper explains.

With that established, he says the next question is, “Where would I like to be?” followed by “Can I get there?” The fourth question in the circle is “How do I get there?” and finally, the fifth, “How can I stay on track?”

After that foundation is laid, Harper says meeting on a regular basis with his clients is key, as it allows both sides of this equation to help determine whether any adjustments need to be made to the client’s portfolio.

“We utilize the latest secure technology to serve and communicate with them,” he says, noting that Edward Jones backs up everything from their offices in St. Louis, Missouri and Tempe, Arizona.

“That way,” he says, “if anything were to destroy what we have in the office, we’d still have access to our clients' portfolios via Edward Jones.”

But Harper isn’t just about giving financial advice from his corner office on the courthouse square. He also serves as a deacon at First Baptist Church, is on the board of the Lions Club and is a member of the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council.

Harper has been married to his wife, Janice who’s called “Sunny,” since August 1975. They have two adult children, Jake and Angela, and three grandchildren, Max, Cate and Caroline.

At the end of our interview with Harper, when asked if there was anything more he’d like our readers to know, he said, “There is nothing more important to me than understanding what is important to my clients. Only then can we work through our established process to build individual investors personalized strategies and the specific actions needed to achieve their goals.

“I’ve worked, and still work, through many family trees with several generations. I continue to partner with my clients and their families throughout their lives, revisiting their goals and their risk tolerance, as well as the strategies we have developed to help keep them on track toward their goals.”

Harvey Harper’s Edward Jones office is at 105 West Washington Street. You can reach him at 254-965-3796.