Wellspire Financial Group, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., finds its roots back 32 years ago when Eddie McNeal began work as a financial advisor with IDS Financial Services (which became Ameriprise).
Eddie’s daughter Carrie Beth Randall joined the practice in 2003 after working in student recruitment at Mississippi State University.
As a graduate of Mississippi State University, Eddie’s first career in ag-lending brought the McNeals to Starkville in the late 1970s, and it has been home ever since. Both Carrie Beth and Eddie say they enjoy the unique blend that Starkville has to offer as small-town Mississippi while being home to the state’s largest university.
Randall said, “There is a strong sense of and connection to the community in Starkville that can be harder to foster in a much larger city.”
“Starkville is a place where people always come back – to relive fond memories, to connect with old friends, to send kids off to college, to start new chapters in life – it truly is a special place,” said Randall.
Randall said, “The Partnership has been responsive to anything we’ve ever needed – from offering a platform to promote our practice, keeping us informed and providing opportunities for us to support various community activities and events that contribute to a better quality of life in Starkville.”
“We want to support the Partnership because of its dedication to keep Starkville growing and thriving. The Partnership offers a great support system for community businesses, and we believe that is important,” Randall added.
Since being built in 2017, Wellspire Financial Group has enjoyed operating the practice from the Investors Building. The Ameriprise predecessor company – IDS – was founded in 1895. The first Mississippi office opened in Jackson in 1915.
When Eddie began his financial planning & advising career, most of the clients he met had been clients for 25-30 years or more. The trust they had in the company and their advisor was very impactful on Eddie. A common theme was that those clients often referred to their IDS account as their “investors account” and their representative as their “investors rep.”
That made an impression on Eddie. The positive impact the “investors rep” had on those clients set the stage for striving to impact the next generation of clients. So the building on 47 Lynn Lane is named Investors Building to honor those IDS representatives and their legacy that formed the path for Wellspire Financial Group to continue to serve today’s clients.
One particular client recollection of Eddie’s is a client named Ms. Mary of Calhoun City. Ms. Mary invested through The Depression, WW II, Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict, during both good and bad economies and many different presidential administrations. With all the changes, she continued to invest.
By the time Eddie and she met, she had accumulated a rather impressive six figure mutual fund account that even in her early 90s remained invested in mostly stock mutual funds. She was truly a long term investor.
McNeal said, “At an important time in my career I learned a lot from her about investing and the importance of challenging my clients to focus on the long term – in good and bad times.”
There was another “take away” for Eddie that day. He said he was happy to listen to how complementary she was of the “Investors” representatives that assisted her during her long affiliation with the firm. She was so appreciative of the positive impact these advisors had on her life and there was no doubt she had confidence in the safety and security of the firm.
“When I returned home that evening, I shared this story with my wife. I told her “I don’t know if I’ll make it in this career or not, but two things I know – I’m with a great company and if I do make it, I want my clients to be able to able to speak as positively about me and my impact on their lives as she did about her advisors,” said McNeal.
In striving to be a good neighbor over the years, Wellspire Financial Group has supported many of the charities and organizations the Starkville community has grown to love including the Palmer Home for Children, Catch-A-Dream, Backpack Buddies, Habitat for Humanity, the Starkville Community Market, and many more.
The Partnership is proud to have Wellspire Financial Group as a member of the Committee of 100.