Veinot, 42, found seven shares of Wendy’s stock under the Christmas tree in 1982, chosen by his father because the Lexington family ate at Wendy’s every week.
Young Jason followed that stock like a sports fan tracks a baseball team, starting a lifelong fascination with all things financial.
“I’ve always enjoyed investing and managing money,” he said. “I also like to study business cycles and how markets work.”
He also enjoyed work itself, particularly on his own. As a 13-year-old, he walked his neighborhood in Lexington, selling house number signs to residents.
Through his teens, he washed cars, shoveled snow and cleaned gutters after school and on weekends – all while rising every morning at 4:30 to deliver newspapers.
While at UK, Veinot formed an investment club and also worked at a health club and a nutrition store.
After he graduated in 1996 with a degree in business finance, he took a sales job at Lexmark but watched as stricken employees faced layoffs and an uncertain future.
“That was awful,” Veinot said. “I could see how upset people were, how frightened they were for the future. I saw it as an opportunity for me to help.”
That help began in earnest in 1998 when he left Lexmark and became a licensed financial advisor and investment representative working with American Express.
Veinot embraced the challenge of helping clients but felt hamstrung by aligning himself with only one company.
He realized he could better serve clients as an independent financial advisor and has worked that way since 2002.
In 2010, he formed Enhance Wealth with his wife, Ann, who is an insurance and long-term care specialist.
“As an independent, I can be client focused instead of company focused,” Veinot said. “We are not tied to specific companies or services so the client determines what is best for them.
“I have always realized that these are real people grappling with the difficult problem of saving for retirement and managing that money in retirement.”
That challenge has spiked in the 21st century when the ground twice shifted under clients with big market drops in 2002 and 2008. Six years ago, some folks lost 40% of their net worth virtually overnight.
The problem, according to Veinot, stemmed from outdated investment strategies that failed to grasp new market realities.
“The markets had changed, but the strategies had not,” he said.
“I feel that what separates me from everyone else is that I don’t believe in buy-and-hold and waiting through the bad times. The key is to ride out the good times and to protect during the bad times.”
Many Veinot clients have adopted his protect-and-grow strategy. They want to protect their principal and generate cash flow while also allocating some funds for growth.
Linked investments with large insurance companies provide income protection and cash flow. Proven money managers with track records for success in good times and bad plan for growth.
Art Thomas, a 68-year-old retired coal company executive who lives in Lexington, attended a Veinot seminar and was intrigued with his approach.
Like many retirees, Thomas was rattled by the seismic changes in the market.
“I felt frozen, scared of the markets. I couldn’t afford another 40% drop,” he said. “Jason didn’t have a canned approach and I liked his focus on planning.”
After three or four subsequent meetings, Thomas shifted all his investments to Veinot.
“Jason makes everyone feel like he or she is the only client he has,” Thomas said. “If I send him an e-mail with a question, he replies promptly and in great detail.”
Those words are gratifying to Veinot, who prides himself on customer relations, particularly with retirees. He admired his grandparents, Lois and Wayne Carrico, who were married for 72 years, and vows to treat his clients like family.
He also has managed the investments of his 60-something parents, Sandy and Richard, since 2000.
Said Veinot: “I know the threats that people in retirement face, and it makes me sleep well at night to know that I am making them feel secure.”
Jason Veinot is an author, radio show host, and owner of Enhance Wealth, a consulting firm specializing in Social Security maximization, lifetime income planning, and low-risk, high-yield growth plans. For questions or a review of your situation, contact Jason directly at 231-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.