ADDRESS: 520 NW Oak Ave, Suite A, Corvallis, OR 97330
OWNER: Brian Robertson
YEARS IN BUSINESS: 13 total (4½ in Corvallis)
WHAT YOU SELL: Financial planning, retirement, investments
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Individual care and attention
Brian Robertson is the owner of Willamette Investment Advisors. He feels he had a calling for this line of work, and he discovered his passion for it at a very early age. His office is conveniently located in NW Corvallis. It offers a comfortable, accommodating atmosphere for either a drop-in visit or scheduled private appointment.
Brian, when and why did you decide to start your business? I have always enjoyed the challenge of finding solid investments. When I was in middle school, I feel like I was the only kid who was looking at and interested in the business section of the newspaper, searching for a good investment to grow my savings. I knew I was destined to work in the financial world someday, and starting my own business has offered me the ability to do what I feel is right for my clients.
Tell us more about your services. I charge an hourly rate for financial planning advising and review. I charge a fee on the accounts I manage. There is no commission or conflict of interest and, best of all, no sales pressure. I enjoy all aspects of my business. No phone call is left unanswered. I find challenges and am excited about every account I manage.
What does being featured as the Local Business of the Week mean to you? I am a good representative of what a local, independent business in Corvallis is all about. I started in the corporate world and became independent, choosing Corvallis as the best place to start this venture. This says a lot about Corvallis, as well as affirming that there is such strength in locally owned and operated businesses.
Do you fill an unusual niche? Why should people patronize your business? I feel that I do fill an unusual niche since I have an unbiased view in such a heavily regulated industry. I have an independent perspective which, in my opinion, is helpful. Being an objective partner in your financial success, I’m guided by your goals and not influenced by commissions. This is important. I have my clients’ best interests at heart, and I work hard to help my clients reach their goals.
What challenges have you faced as an independent local business owner, and how have you met these challenges? What does your future look like? Living through the recessions, just being in business during those times was difficult. Being independent is wonderful for so many reasons. There is more flexibility in what I can do for clients. On the other hand, being independent presents a marketing challenge because I don’t have the name recognition like the big firms.
During those rough years, just keeping in constant contact with my clients was very helpful. My future looks bright because I feel people in Corvallis appreciate and support local businesses.
How many people do you employ? I have one at this time. Ruth Enas is my valued, trusted assistant. She brings with her over ten years of top-notch administrative experience, as well as great customer service.
What is your relationship to the community? Currently I serve as the Treasurer for the Boys and Girls Club. I am in the Rotary Club of Greater Corvallis, Kiwanis, Leadership Corvallis, Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, and a member of CIBA. I am also very involved in the running community. Our running group has started up the Corvallis All-Comers meets at Corvallis High School again, which has been a popular summer event for people of all ages and abilities.
Please give us your one-sentence take-away message about your business. Whether you are in the accumulation, distribution, preservation, or transfer-of-wealth stage in life, we take the time to understand your goals and objectives and guide you toward success.
(Interview and article by Debra Hascall – October 13, 2013)
The Local Business of the Week program is designed to help the Corvallis community identify our locally owned independent businesses by featuring one business each week. The program is part of the Buy Local First campaign co-sponsored by the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Community Independent Business Alliance (CIBA).