Exeleon Magazine

Linda Reeves – Easing Financial Worries And Fulfilling Dreams

Linda Reeves_Exeleon Magazine_

Often, while leading an everyday life amid all the joyous moments and mild differences, people tend to ignore proper financial planning. Because barring economic meltdowns and a steep rise in inflation, financial crises are hardly tangible. Sometimes these take years to manifest with a discernible form. For others like climatic disruption, job loss, etc. people hardly bother and invest little time. They satisfy themselves by channeling their incomes into some short-term plans or casual savings.

But good times are volatile. They never follow any linear pattern. That is why when a crisis hits, financial worries start scaring people. It creates a spectacle out of nowhere, driving people into despair.

In moments like these, hearing stories about the personal journeys of those in the field help expand perspective. Linda Reeves, shares her life’s journey. Moreover, she adds a humane touch, which makes her all the more approachable. She feels empathetic support can always make people more open about their problems leveraging the expertise of a financial adviser.

Charting The Course

It was not a planned move for Linda to start her career in Finance. She was a Journalism major in college. Linda had a flair for writing which helped further her professionally. But time was not in her favor and unfortunately, when Linda graduated, the job market was going through a rough patch. She came across a job in HR Benefits and Retirement Administration and that is where she felt at home with Finance.

This stumbling upon Finance also made her realize that she could do something important and meaningful to help people. Early on, it was also bolstered by an experience where she had to help a man going through a lot of financial and health-related troubles. It dawned on her that Finance was about filling a need “whether saving for different goals or a rainy day.”

In financial services, Linda Reeves has already spent around 23 years. When she started her career, she had no license and was not really adept at solving problems, but slowly she started growing from there and became a Managing Director and Department Head. Most recently, she changed roles and joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Linda’s journey also taught her that there is no alternative to “faith, hard work, a good attitude, curiosity, and teamwork.” In fact, these are the traits that one should maintain all the time. To be someone, to reach the next level, one should never despise work of lesser importance. Even the grunt activities are crucial as they provide experience and this has inspired Linda to set a really high benchmark when it comes to standards of excellence.

Linda Reeves had a fantastic time during her growing period as a finance person with great mentors. But these opportunities always added something extra as her mentors had no fixed ethnic origin. They came from different ethnicities, both men and women, some younger and some older. Such a diverse background had a lasting impact on her and was enriching.

In her childhood days, she got to experience life in a close-knit working-class Liberian West African family. Her mother was in healthcare and worked hard for a living. “She worked three jobs” to put her through school. But it was she who sowed the seeds of this desire to help others in Linda. She always used to take in family members and friends to shelter them and she taught Linda and her brother “that a person should never be treated like a stranger when you take them into your home.” This sense of deep bonding, this lesson to treat others as equal, have inspired Linda Reeves to grow as an empathetic person.

At the same time, she saw her father recover from COVID 19 and eventually passed away from Dementia. He was a well-educated man with two Postgraduate degrees in Economics and Statistics, and inspired Linda to learn as much as possible.

Linda’s insatiable thirst for knowledge and a desire to provide people with maximum opportunity led her to be a part of Annie T. Doe Memorial Foundation, Classroom Central, and the American Heart Association.

With ATDoe, she and her fellow board members focused on providing education, women programs, and basic health care services.

Her life in inner-city New York influenced her to work for students who don’t get a chance to enjoy standard tools. As a Classroom Central board member, she, the staff and other supporters, distribute “free school supplies to largely diverse underserved teachers and students across 200 schools and 6 school districts in Charlotte NC.”

She also contributes in notable ways to the American Heart Association to bolster studies related to various heart diseases, research projects, and inclusion of advanced tools to ease treatment.

The Deterrents

There were several — some personal and some influenced by her surroundings. But one stood out; it was her fear. In her starting days, she was concerned about image. A more experienced colleague pointed it out and asked her not to put up a persona and use her individual qualities as a differentiating factor. This advice helped strengthen her as she grew in tenure and experience.

Financial Literacy

During her first job, when Linda was new in her office, a colleague named Tina taught her the importance of saving. She told her to be disciplined and save for retirement in each paycheck.

Over the years, she has increased the amount of that savings, and to do that, Linda Reeves personally follows three basic principles- live beneath her means, invest to ensure a reasonable chance of enjoying growth, and control expenses.

Generally, it is never too late to start saving. There are ways in which one can seek to achieve goals and professionals can help.

Her Views On Leadership

When it comes to leadership, Linda believes that every person has leadership qualities. Each person has a role in society and is able to inspire. It takes vision, service, leading by example and living with purpose.

Their work should also reflect a blend of honesty and a constant drive to challenge oneself with on-going personal growth, curiosity, and humility.

This is foundational. Greatness means putting the team and mission ahead of personal agendas. If you, do what is best for clients, then the organization wins every time.

As a successful Financial Service Leader, Linda’s belief system is simple; “serve others, work hard, live courageously in faith and integrity.”

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