In an industry that has primarily been dominated by men, Rhonda Hanson attributes her success to not only her many achievements in financial planning, but also in learning life lessons through hard work.
Hanson grew up on a farm in Ohio, where she learned the importance of putting in hours of chores and manual labor to help run her family’s farm. She credits her father for instilling a foundation for a good Midwestern work ethic. “I would have to say my father was my biggest role model,” she says. “He ingrained a work ethic in me that led to the success that I am having. I remember when I worked for my dad and there were days that I didn’t want to work all the hours he made me put in, but now looking back, that was a very valuable lesson for me today. When you work for yourself, it doesn’t seem like work when all the time you put in is for you and your family.”
Hanson attended the University of Toledo, then went to work for an investment firm after graduating. She then got married and moved to Steuben County with her then-husband, where they purchased the marina on Clear Lake. They ran the marina until selling it in 1998, the same year Hanson became an Edward Jones advisor in Angola.
She says part of her success in life comes from the experience of running a business. “Through running businesses, I learned a ton a life lessons along the way,” she says. “I made a lot of mistakes and probably will have more in the future, but I always tried to take what I learned from them and improve to become better.”
The idea of bettering herself through learning from mistakes translates to how she helps her clients with their financial planning success. She believes it is important for her clients to understand their goals before investing their money, and also to be aware of risks they will be comfortable taking in order to develop an effective plan for each individual situation.
“I like clients to know we can work together to find specific strategies to achieve their goals,” she says. “We want to help make sure you stay on track and determine if any adjustments need to be made.”
The financial planning industry has long been a male-dominated one, with less than 20 percent of financial advisors being women. Hanson says being female in her field has actually been an advantage, not a disadvantage, because it has fueled her fire to achieve greater success.
“My advice to young women starting their careers in this industry is to first obtain a bachelor’s degree,” she advises. “It doesn’t necessarily need to be in finance, but it would help. Also, having exposure in a sales role would help them to understand what it is like to build relationships and ask prospective clients to do business with you, because at the end of the day this is a sales job. This is probably one of the hardest careers you will ever start but it is also one of the most rewarding.”
One of the best parts of Hanson’s job, she says, is that when her two sons were young she was able to work flexible hours in order to ensure they still had a mother who could be involved in their daily activities – while still providing for the family financially. “There were days where I would work all day and still be able to go to a 3:30 ball game after school,” she recalls. “Granted, I might have to go back and work in the office later in the evening, but I was still able to be at the boys’ activities.”
Striking a balance between work and home life is something that Hanson feels is important for success in all areas. Though she continues to be successful in her professional career as one of the leading financial advisors in the region, responsible for 50 branches in northeast Indiana, she highly values the fulfillment in her personal life as well. “I am super proud of my two sons who are also very entrepreneurial and own their own businesses,” she says. “It is so much fun to see how well they are doing, and as a mother I wouldn’t be able to ask for more than that. I would hope that some of my drive is rubbing off on them.”
Address: 2310 N. Wayne Street, Suite C Angola, Indiana 46703
Phone: (260) 668-8800