As part of our ongoing “Meet the Branch Manager” series, today we head to Beantown to get to know Rich Rivera, vice president and branch manager of Schwab’s Boston, MA, branch.

(PHOTO CAPTION: Rich Rivera, Vice President and Branch Manager of Schwab’s Boston, MA, branch.)

Tell us a little about your background.

I’m originally from suburban Connecticut and graduated from the University of Rhode Island. After a quick stint in New York, I followed my college sweetheart to Boston, whom I’ve been married to for 13 incredible years. We have three children that keep us busy when I’m not working with our clients.

How did you get started at Charles Schwab?

While I was reaching out to some prospective clients at my last firm, I accidentally called someone at Schwab who convinced me to learn more about the firm as a whole. That call led to a meeting that really gave me a deep appreciation for Schwab’s values of service, innovation and respect for clients. I’ve been with Schwab for 13 years, and to this day, those values remain the same.

How would you describe your team of financial consultants?

Two words: experienced and diverse. I feel very fortunate to work with a great team of professionals that bring unique skills and backgrounds to help people achieve their goals. A couple in their late 80s has very different needs than a senior executive in his or her late 40s, and our team takes the time to understand each client’s individual situation and needs.

Often clients will share with me how appreciative they are for the representative they work with at Schwab. These one-on-one conversations help build very close relationships and reinforce our commitment to the individual investor. It is very gratifying to know that the 16 professionals in our branch are having an impact on our clients’ lives. 

Schwab’s Boston, MA, branch located at 127 Congress Street, Boston, MA.

In what ways does your branch give back to the community?

We do a number of different things. Our team volunteers its time to give Schwab MoneyWise education to families at the local Boys and Girls Club. These are sessions that can help families become and stay financially independent, while getting the next generation on the right track toward understanding money and financial matters. When a BGCA auditorium has 40 young people and their parents in attendance, you quickly understand just how important financial education is to these individuals and the strong desire to ensure their children are well equipped for the future.  We also take great pride in collecting clothes and donate them to local shelters.

Have you seen investors change over the years? If so, in what way? 

Absolutely. I began my career in the early ‘90s with clients that were coming out of a recession, but they were optimistic about the future and were willing to make some bold investment decisions. Fast-forward through the tech bubble, credit crisis and the market volatility we’ve seen during the last decade, and I think a lot of investors have been humbled, getting back to sound investing fundamentals, thinking more long-term, and paying attention to things like portfolio allocation and risk tolerance.

Clients are also looking for more help in understanding their goals, developing a plan, and making different decisions along the way. And Schwab is evolving to meet these kinds of client needs, whether it is making planning tools available for broad personal financial planning or specific goals people have like retirement and college savings. And we’re seeing more interest in investment products that can offer some professional investment management as well, like managed accounts, for example.

If you could give just one piece of financial advice, what would it be? 

There’s no one-size-fits-all piece of financial advice, which is why we think it is so important to understand each client’s specific situation, but I believe it is important for people to understand why they are investing and what their specific goals are. Having a clear vision of your objectives is essential to develop an appropriate plan, and it is easier to stay on track if you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, whether that’s saving for retirement, buying a home, transferring wealth to your heirs, or all of the above.

What’s the most common question clients are asking these days?

These days I get questions about the amount of time it may take to reestablish yields on conservative investments that can support people’s income needs. As a firm, this is a client need that we are seeing with increasing frequency, and we’re evolving and adding products and services to meet that need.

What would you recommend that young people interested in investing do or read? 

I think The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley provides a good overview of how financially independent people actually become financially independent. 

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All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. The information here is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice.

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Investing involves risk, including possible loss of principal.

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