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Adam Marshall, State Bank of Cross Plains

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Adam Marshall, vice president – trust officer and portfolio manager, State Bank of Cross Plains.

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What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

I have always enjoyed investing for myself. I began investing on my own as a junior in college and decided that it was what I wanted to do for a living. I went on to obtain my master’s degree in personal financial planning and work with customers to invest based on their unique circumstances and goals. My favorite part of my job is that there’s no one solution — it’s a different set of puzzle pieces every time, and I like figuring out how to fit everything together to help each new person. The most challenging part is those tough conversations I have to have sometimes when a customer’s expectations don’t match their situation. When the math doesn’t add up, I have to explain that they either have to make some changes to their saving/spending habits, or they need to adjust their goals and expectations.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

It’s hard to work in finance and not admire Warren Buffet. He’s not only one of the richest people in the United States; he’s one of the richest men in the world. Yet, he puts such a high priority on philanthropy and giving back. I try to model my own philosophy about philanthropy after his example. I believe there’s a certain amount of responsibility that comes with success.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

In the financial services industry, there are designations and credentials that not only lend credibility to your expertise, but also indicate the level of dedication to continuing your education at a certain standard of excellence. Pursuing and obtaining my certified financial planner certification in 2010 was an incredibly rewarding journey and a high point for me so far. Just preparing for the test gave me a real sense of accomplishment.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Develop a thick skin! I started my career just two years before the Great Recession. I had to learn to trust the historical data, to trust my training, and most importantly to trust my gut and myself. I would also remind my 21-year-old self to appreciate and thank all the people — great co-workers, friends, professionals in the community, and more — who offered guidance and helped me develop in the industry. I’m amazed at how generous people can be in their mentorship.

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