Steven Shields was only in high school when the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks hit U.S. soil, but he knew what he had to do.
“I was pretty upset and I wanted to do something,” said Shields, a native of Medina County and a graduate of the career center. “I felt like I could make a difference.”
Shields would go on to enlist in the Marines and served in both Afghanistan and Iraq until 2008, a time of his life he feels made him into the man he is today. But even after returning home, he felt like he needed to do more, especially in seeing family members, friends and people throughout the community struggling with the economic crisis at hand.
“I felt like the mission was not accomplished yet,” he said. “What scared me was the debt. It was pretty depressing.”
Shields then turned his attention to finance, earning his master’s at Ashland University before working with a large corporation for a few years.
“The corporate world was just a lack of fulfillment,” he said. “I was traveling all the time, missing my wife (Amanda) and our (five) kids, feeling unappreciated. Up until that point, I was just chasing money ... I thought you had to follow the college world, get degrees, move up the corporate world and be happy.”
But he wasn’t happy, so he left that world in 2016.
“Then, Edward Jones started calling,” Shields said of the umbrella organization under which he operates as an ultra-local financial advisor. “I wanted a platform where I could be part of my home community and they (Edward Jones) fully embraced that.”
While Shields’ area of focus is tax-efficient and tax-free income strategies – everything from retirement plans to college savings to veterans resources to an array of investments – he isn’t going to offer any solutions until a mutual trust has been established.
“I don’t care about how much money you have. My only goal is to truly find out what is really the most important things for you and your family ... maybe by the third meeting, we can start developing a strategy,” Shields said. “If you’re just looking for a good stock tip, then that’s probably not the best fit for me.”
Shields dubs his approach as “financial wisdom with passion.” That passion is proven through community involvement. Whether it’s volunteering for the Society for Handicapped Citizens, Special Olympics, being a liaison for Medina County veterans organizations or working with Leadership Medina County on various projects, Shields wants to understand the DNA of the community by getting to know everybody he can.
“The thing I hate most about this industry is the stigma of when we sit down, you think I’m going to sell you something,” Shields said. “I try to just be a friendly resource in any capacity. Nothing is more important to me.”
Shields offers free sit-down consultations just to get to know a potential client because, as he says, “this is bigger than business.”
“Let’s grab coffee or lunch. Let’s connect, understand each other and see if we are a good fit,” Shields said.
Stop into his office at 3848 Medina Road, Suite 100, Medina, or give him a call at 330-722-8328.