Most people are not saving enough; unfortunately many are hoping that the government is going to help them out.
By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez
Albert Lopez, owner and founder of Independent Wealth Consultants in Edinburg, Texas, is an engineer that changed professions to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ when he discovered a passion for financial and retirement planning.
Albert is recognized as a problem solver and what excites him the most is working on people’s personal financial situations and coming up with solutions and a plan of action to address their goals. “Finding solutions to the financial challenges in our clients’ lives is our purpose,” he told Texas Border Business.
He is a 1993 graduate from Texas A&M University in College Station and a Rio Grande Valley native. He is the son of Antonio and Lydia Lopez from Pharr; his parents had a very positive influence on him. His dad was a foreman for a local forklift company and his mother was a librarian aid, which influenced him to read books from a very early age. “My parents were people that got up in the morning and went to work even if they were sick because they had obligations,” he said.
“The most important thing mom instilled in me was by telling me, “whatever you set your mind to do you can accomplish it, and there is nothing you can’t do”. He remembers being about 6 or 7 years of age when his mother started to instill in him values that helped him be a better man. “Because of my parents and the confidence they passed on to me, I became very active in school.”
He was influenced by his two older brothers; one played sports and the other participated in UIL (University Interscholastic League). Consequently he participated in sports, UIL and scholastics and aspired to earn higher grades. “My older brother Marco who had already graduated from high school would always come back and advise me, “Albert take the hardest courses”, so I have an affinity to not shy away from difficult things.”
The man he considers his mentor was a professional by the name of Richard Haberman. “I don’t even know if he knew I considered him a mentor. However, I would ask him questions concerning financial matters and at one time he told me, “Albert, you like the financial world, you need to get into this profession”.”
Albert immediately set about taking courses in accounting and financial management at St. Edward’s University. He dreamed of being an investment banker working out of a New York City office. “I started working with Merrill Lynch and when I got there I said to myself, that’s it, I found it. I don’t have to go to anywhere else, this is what I want to do.”
In 2005, Albert received the distinguished recognition of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and after a successful career at Merrill Lynch from 1998 until 2007, he started his own business.
He has a bigger concern for society in general; “I feel that most people are not saving enough; and unfortunately too many people are dependent that the government is going to help them out.”
There are warning signs that social security is having problems, and that more companies have done away with the pensions. “The reality is that we are on our own to make sure that we have the same or a better lifestyle when we retire. It is important to believe and accept that we are responsible for the outcome,” he stated emphatically.
For this reason, he said, Independent Wealth Consultants (IWC) was founded with the goal of assisting their clients in every aspect of their financial lives. “We’ve provided the most personal service available, thus earning a reputation for excellence in our industry.”
IWC is constantly in touch with the public, especially through their conferences to educate the public. “We provide them information that gives them a clear understanding of the reality that the current retiree is facing now.”
The idea of educating the public is interesting because the information makes them live through these experiences so that they can learn how to avoid the pitfalls by saving money. “Some people say that knowledge is power but I say that it is knowledge and action, knowledge by itself is nothing if you haven’t put the action into place,” Albert said.
According to him, the number one reason people fail in their financial future is because of procrastination. He says that people suddenly realize they are 65 and then they come to us and say, “What do I do now?” “Ultimately I am problem solver and there are things that than can be done to avoid that situation.”
IWC is a unique company because they have a process to help clients pursue their financial goals. “We approach this as ‘Life By Design, Not By Default’.”
The fulfillment Albert gets from his company is that he is proud to be a financial professional and to educate the public to be more financially prepared. “In my one-on-one client meetings as well as in educational workshops, my main job is to educate the public to help them work toward their financial goals.” His plans for the immediate and long-range future are to recruit more advisors and grow organically.
Albert is married to his high school sweetheart, Marcy Guerra-Lopez, and together they have four children: Aria (6), Azrael (4), and the twins, Abram and Arman (2).
Albert enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing. He deals with stress by keeping work and home separate. “I wear a suit every day in the office, this is my uniform and when I go home I take it off and detach from my work to enjoy some time with my family and friends,” he said.
Independent Wealth Consultants’ office is located at 4812 S. Jackson Rd. in Edinburg, TX 78539. Their office number is (956) 683-1818.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC