Our new monthly Q&A session where we sit down with members of the FJY team to find out a little bit more about what exactly they do here and what makes them tick.
Up first: FJY Founding Partner and CEO, Jon Yankee.
What has been your biggest challenge in building FJY?
Of course, we have had many significant challenges over the past 10 years . . . starting a company from scratch, the biggest bear market since the Great Depression, the amicable departure of our former partner, and integrating another company into the fold during our merger with Larry Adams’ firm. The balancing act through all of it has been to manage the bumps in the road while still striving to give every client the high‐touch, holistic experience that we have promised. Clients look to us to be both guide and partner, so whatever it is that clients, markets, staff, and any other external factors throw our way, the number one priority must be to enable our people to deliver them the confidence and peace of mind that they expect.
What’s your financial planning philosophy?
I would say that I’d have two themes – education and control. I believe that a large part of financial planning is educating clients. If clients understand their own situation and the options that they have, then making decisions is relatively simple. This is one of the tenants that our process is founded upon, and I think that most of our clients are successful because they have made education a focus of their financial lives. Second, I believe that after you have the knowledge, you must focus on what you can control. We cannot control the markets, we cannot control the unexpected, and we cannot control – or even predict – what the future will hold. But if we focus on those things that are within our control – managing risks appropriately, planning for the unexpected, spending wisely and saving aggressively, diversifying properly – then our outcomes are usually much more successful.
What do you enjoy most about working here?
The people – both clients and colleagues. Our profession is about relationships and some of the most gratifying relationships I have are the ones with clients. They share a lot with us, and that foundation of trust carries over into quality, long‐term bonds. In addition, my colleagues – both in the office and in our profession – are all people who care about what they do. That translates into a fun workplace with people who share the same values. I cannot imagine doing anything else.
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was going to be a great basketball player – you know, the short guy from Kentucky who could shoot the three. But I needed to get to about 6’3”. When I stopped growing at 5’10”, I had to change my life plans. But I can still shoot the three!
All‐time favorite movie?
It’s hard to pick just one. Good Will Hunting. Shawshank Redemption. The Man with the Golden Gun.
If your house were burning down. What’s the one (non‐living) thing you would save?
A videotape from my wedding. The footage of my wedding ceremony and reception includes my closest friends, my family, and clips of my dad (who has since passed) dancing with my wife to the Four Seasons’ “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”. I would very much miss having this tape and so I would definitely grab it before getting out of the house.