“The Retirement Coach”
Northwest Financial and Tax Solutions Inc. was founded by Jeff Dixson. The company’s direction and heart have stemmed from Jeff’s passion to help people achieve financial success. Please enjoy the story in his own words.
MY EARLY YEARS
I grew up poor in a large Catholic family with four boys and two girls. My father was a postal worker, who usually worked two or three jobs because he had a lot of mouths to feed. Growing up, we lived in a very small home where my three brothers and I all slept in the same room.
I didn’t get my first pair of new shoes until I was 9 years old. At a young age, I got up at 5 a.m. to deliver newspapers before school. Having grown up like this, I can relate to people from every background.
With my wife, Brenda, I spent 29 years in corporate America, working for one of the largest grocery store chains in the country. I started out at as a courtesy clerk and went into management at 17. By 19 I was the grocery manager, and at 21 I was given the keys to a $10 million a year supermarket and charged with the management of over 100 employees. From there, I kept moving up the ladder and went on to become a store director, grocery sales manager and the youngest district manager in the company’s history.
As a grocery sales manager, I was in charge of purchasing for 41 stores, which was a huge responsibility. I also set prices, approved all advertising and designed shelf arrangements.
Corporate America started to sour with me into my 40’s. At that point, I knew it had provided a great lifestyle for my family, but it wasn’t fun anymore. It was hard to give up the six-figure income, retirement accounts, benefits and five weeks’ paid vacation, but I walked away from it.
GOING IN BLIND
At that point, I didn’t know my purpose. After leaving my job, I had the clear vision to turn my hobby of investing into my career. I began in March 2000. After studying to become a financial advisor, I eventually got my first office in an Exec-U-Suite building.
THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD
After I was there for a year, we moved into what I like to call “the little engine that could.” This office reminded me of the little house where I grew up.
It had a gravel parking lot and an old wooden ramp that creaked as you walked up it. My wife was embarrassed to even come by. She would park a block away because she didn’t want people to see our car out front. We had one room that was 12 by 16 feet and had four desks in that one little space. There was also a small conference room for my office.
THE BEST IDEAS ARE DOODLED ON NAPKINS
Because of our early success, we built our own brick-and-mortar office building. This office was my dream. I actually drew the original plans on a napkin while flying home from San Diego. Our clients love coming here. We wanted it to feel like you were walking into a northwest living room with warm hospitality, a rock-faced fireplace and a fresh pot of coffee always brewing.
THE FORMATIVE CRASH
When the stock market crashed in 2001, I lost over $1 million dollars in personal assets. Fortunately that wasn’t everything we had. The company stock was at $67 a share and six months later it had dropped to $20 a share.
This incident shaped my view on investments. As you can read about in “Our Approach” the story should never begin and end with stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Tailoring an investment plan to our clients’ specific needs and having a professional on your side is paramount when planning for your retirement.
Jeff is the retired founder of Northwest Financial & Tax Solutions, serving individuals in Portland, Oregon, and all over the Portland metro area. He founded the firm with a belief in preservation of principal and using strategic investment and insurance vehicles to generate growth opportunities and income.
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