The future is now

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Continuous confusing reports concerning the economy should not cause concern if you have your financial matters in order, says Andrea Russell of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. As the only female and African-American advanced financial adviser in the area, Russell is eager to assist people in feeling confident about their future.

With seven years of experience as a senior financial consultant at PNC Investments and a year with Ameriprise, Russell identifies her goal as to educate people on what they can be doing at any stage of their life to become financially secure and to live comfortably. “There is more to the financial market than just investments,” says Russell aiming to change the thinking of her clients.

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PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE— Ameriprise financial adviser Andrea Russell prepares to help a client organize for the future.

Well qualified to consult, advise and work with people’s money, Russell is a graduate of Robert Morris University and has acquired her Series Seven, Series Sixty-Six and Life/Accident/Health licenses. In September she plans to get her Financial Planners certification.

Through relationship building and getting to know her clients, Russell says she helps them analyze where they are today, help clarify where they want to be in retirement and collaborates in developing a financial plan tailored to a goal of an ever-increasing level of financial independence. Her five areas of concern are cash management, protection, investments, taxation and estate planning. “It is important to know what’s coming in and going out, to have adequate insurance whether it be for long-term care or disability, to examine where your investments are and if they are working for you, to know what tax bracket your money is putting you in so in 2010 you won’t get hit with the capital gains tax and to have your house in order by having an updated will inclusive of a power of attorney,” she said.

With 110 years of experience standing by their clients, Russell says Ameriprise offers the tools and services she uses. She says their focal point is personal financial planning for retirement, estate planning strategies, wealth preservation strategies, tax management strategies, protection planning for family security, cash flow management strategies, retirement income strategies, small businesses, investments and education funding.

Ameriprise is classified as America’s leader in financial planning. Based out of Minneapolis they claim to have more than two million individual, business and institutional clients as of Dec. 31, 2008 and reported $372 billion in assets owned, managed and administered. They are known for offering a unique and comprehensive dream, plan and track approach to assist their clients. Their philosophy is to define your dream, develop your plan and track your progress.

Russell says she enjoys her affiliation with the company because they treat their clients well. Aside from the great services they offer, she says they sponsor interesting client appreciation events like going to Pirate games and touring Heinz Field. In September a day at the zoo is planned.

Introduced to money and the concept of investing at an early age by her parents, Russell says she and her sister were taught to place half of their allowance in a savings account. “My dad was a large influence. He was business- minded and involved in financial management back in the 70s. He always talked about investing in the future,” she recalled. As a child she says the family moved around a lot as he managed hotels and food chains. He also owned a convenience store and restaurant on Lincoln Avenue in Homewood.

Born and schooled in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Russell remembers settling in the Pittsburgh area in 1986. Mentioning that her life was not a bed of roses as a child, she now enjoys talking and working with youth. Encouraging them to stay in school and to find their passion, her aim is to teach them the concepts of money and the importance of saving and investing. In the future her desire is to operate a junior achievement-type program for young people. Now she and her husband, Eric, strive to lead their sons, 17-year-old Eric Jr., and 4-year-old Andrew, in the right direction to become savvy investors.

Obligated to the Black community as well as women, Russell says she plans to host comprehensive educational seminars and workshops to get people to start thinking about becoming financially stable no matter what economic level they are at or how young or old.

“Andrea is very passionate about what she does,” says Brad Hilbert, Ameriprise Financials’ local field vice president. “She is a talented and resourceful financial planner and dedicated to helping people.” He says she is a great asset to the company and the community in which she serves.

Located in Sewickley, Russell says understanding that everyone’s situation is different, her mission is to take a personalized approach and work with each client to help them meet the needs they have today while saving and investing for tomorrow.

(Russell can be reached by telephone 724-799-2766 or e-mail: Andrea.L.Russell@ampf.com.)

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