THE RISE | Jeremy McGilvrey
“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible – and achieve it, generation after generation.” ~Pearl S. Buck, Pulitzer Prize recipient, Nobel Prize in Literature
Attempting the impossible – and achieving it perfectly describes Jeremy’s career in the finance industry. Barely 20-years-old he became a financial advisor with Edward Jones Investments. Shortly thereafter, he was traveling to the firm’s headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri on a regular basis to train their investment advisors in his role as a “Visiting Mentor.”
As Jeremy McGilvrey’s success grew, so did offers from virtually every major financial planning firm. Against the better judgment of many of his close friends at Edward Jones, he was persuaded to join forces with Merrill Lynch as a vice president to their High Net Worth Division.
However, before long, Merrill’s philosophy of maximizing commissions instead of maximizing returns began to make Jeremy feel uncomfortable. Furthermore, consistently being forced to sell clients what they want, rather than what they need did not sit well with him either. Eventually, these malevolent tactics drove him away.
Despite his disappointment with Merrill Lynch, Jeremy McGilvrey had an intense passion for the finance industry (which he still has), and he had developed a substantial client base. Jeremy wanted to remain a financial advisor; he just wasn’t certain where. He began interviewing with several prominent advisory firms and decided to take a position with Bank of America’s Private Client Group in Austin, Texas.
The arrangements for a seamless transfer to the bank were planned so that his move could be implemented without Jeremy losing any of his clients. Nonetheless, the night before he was to make the transition, he had a conversation with his father and the advice he was given gave him second thoughts. Jeremy McGilvrey’s father told him as long as someone wrote his paycheck his growth would always be limited. That induced Jeremy to contact the bank the following day and tell them, “Thanks, but no thanks.” He recalls this being an extremely difficult decision because the position at the bank also included a $500,000 upfront bonus. But Jeremy knew his father was right. So he took a leap of faith, resigned from Merrill Lynch, and started his own firm, Hill Country Wealth.
Jeremy McGilvrey’s father told him as long as someone wrote his paycheck his growth would always be limited. That induced Jeremy to contact the bank the following day and tell them, “Thanks, but no thanks.” He recalls this being an extremely difficult decision because the position at the bank also included a $500,000 upfront bonus. But Jeremy knew his father was right. So he took a leap of faith, resigned from Merrill Lynch, and started his own firm, Hill Country Wealth.
This gave Jeremy the ability to unleash his full potential. Not long thereafter, he went on to achieve extraordinary success accomplishing things that were unprecedented in the finance industry. Jeremy McGilvrey was named The Financial Planning Expert by an NBC television affiliate and prominently displayed on all of their TV networks. Reuters Advice Point™ selected Jeremy McGilvrey as one of the Top 200 Financial Advisors in the United States. Other awards, such as the Top 40 Under 40 Business Owners, Chairman’s Club, and Top 10 Largest Financial Planning & Advisory Firms began to accumulate. It appeared Jeremy’s career in the finance industry was flourishing. The firm he founded was managing nearly half a billion dollars ($487,000,000) and employed more than a dozen Certified Financial Planners®.
Jeremy McGilvrey eventually relinquished his day-to-day operations and began solely focusing his attention on growing his firm by purchasing other advisory practices in addition to developing his mentorship program for financial advisors.
Then, catastrophe struck…
“I’ve concluded that while nobody plans to mess up their life, the problem is few of us plan not to. That is, we don’t put the necessary safeguards in place to ensure a happy ending.” ~Andy Stanley, Senior Pastor North Point Community Church
High-Flying Financial Advisor Crashes read the front-page of the Sunday newspapers. “Gone are the striking black Bentley convertible, the junkets to Las Vegas and Australia in private jets, and the photo ops with Eva Longoria and the other beautiful people,” read directly below the eye-catching headline, as well as “Gone too, apparently, is the much-advertised Midas touch.” This was just a small part of many devastating blows the press would take.
The demise of Jeremy McGilvrey and his financial advisory firm Hill Country Wealth was one of the most public debacles the state of Texas had seen. Several headlines read: The Bernie Madoff of the South. Jeremy states, “It’s tough when you make the biggest mistake of your life and it’s put on the front-page of the newspapers day-after-day-after-day for the world to see.”
Without question, being young and ambitious can have its advantages, but it can also have its disadvantages. Humbly, Jeremy McGilvrey readily admits he made several mistakes at the investment firm he founded. That’s why it was important to him to take full responsibility for the ill-advised transactions that took place. He wanted to make certain people knew exactly what kind of person he truly was – which was a man who runs towards problems, not away from them.
The instant Jeremy McGilvrey learned of the misconduct that took place at his firm – he took a direct flight to Texas and worked diligently with federal authorities to make certain all wrongs were made right. He was confident solutions had been offered for all problems that arose and when the dust settled – Jeremy began focusing on his mentorship programs again, which taught financial advisors marketing strategies, prospecting methods, and closing techniques.
Unfortunately, Jeremy was wrong. The federal authorities were satisfied with the solutions he offered and chose not to pursue charges. However, state authorities were not satisfied. Jeremy McGilvrey was arrested and booked into the San Antonio jail without bail because he was deemed an extreme flight risk.
After months of incarceration, Jeremy ultimately lost everything. He eventually was appointed an attorney by the state. The attorney assured him as long as federal authorities chose not to indict – this was nothing more than a publicity stunt by the state. Jeremy McGilvrey’s court appointed attorney promised Jeremy he could smooth everything over and get him released “unscathed,” assuring Jeremy he had nothing to worry about.
However, shortly after Jeremy entered the courtroom – this proved to be the worst advice he would ever receive. Instead of going home October 22nd of 2009 – Jeremy McGilvrey was given not one, but two 20-year prison terms (40-years).
In shock and disbelief, Jeremy was escorted out of the courtroom and sent to some of the worst penitentiaries the state of Texas had to offer because of his substantial prison term. He constantly tried to contact his lawyer to figure out what happened, but discovered he withdrew as his attorney the day after he was given 40-years.
Now the headlines read: Investment Banker Sentenced to 40 Years.
Getting up when you can’t…
“Getting knocked down in life is a given. Getting up and moving forward is a choice.” ~Zig Ziglar, Motivator Extraordinaire
Recently, Jeremy McGilvrey was asked at a speaking engagement, “What kept you going all those years in prison?” He quickly responded, “The days I doubted never outweighed the days I believed.”
Due to Jeremy’s 40-year prison term, he often shared cells with convicted murderers. Thankfully, because of his unwavering faith and steadfast will, he didn’t let that stop him from using rock bottom as the solid foundation from where he began to rebuild himself.
Arguably, Jeremy McGilvrey has one of the strongest minds of anyone you will ever meet. He says it was not easy picking himself up off the floor (literally) but he had to go into something he calls “let’s go figure this out mode.”
For the first four years of Jeremy McGilvrey’s imprisonment, he did something that may surprise you. Rather than going to work on his criminal case to reveal the truth – he instead, went to work on himself.
Jeremy McGilvrey spent a myriad amount of time reflecting on his past decisions. He devoured one book after another looking for answers. And although he was certain no criminal conduct ever took place at his firm, he knew he had several thinking-errors and needed to figure out how to program his brain for the moment the truth did come out and he moved into the rebuilding phase of his life.
When Jeremy McGilvrey was confident he answered all the questions he constantly asked himself in solitude, he wrote them down in a book titled: 7 Secrets Guaranteed To Skyrocket Your Success which will be published March of 2017.
Now, after nearly five years of confinement, Jeremy McGilvrey shifted his attention and assembled an elaborate outline that gave a detailed account of exactly what took place at his financial advisory firm. He borrowed from friends and family to retain counsel. Then, the same day the outline, which featured more than 50 Exhibits of evidence was presented to the Board of Pardons and Paroles – Jeremy was given an immediate release.
Jeremy McGilvrey did just as he had envisioned all those years, and walked out of a Huntsville prison with his head held high. Jeremy had not only maintained his dignity throughout what could have easily been a life-ending knockout punch, but he actually came out of this horrible situation much stronger than he went in. Jeremy believes that what could have very well been his darkest hour – actually became his finest hour. “I learned how to keep on keeping-on, no matter what the circumstances may be. This is a lesson I feel I needed to learn before I could ever achieve success again,” he explains.
One of Jeremy McGilvrey’s favorite quotes comes from the book How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins. It states: “The signature of the truly great versus the merely successful is not the absence of difficulty, but the ability to come back from setbacks, even cataclysmic catastrophes – stronger than before.
Great nations can decline and recover. Great companies can fall and recover. Great social institutions can fall and recover. And great individuals can fall and recover. As long as you never get entirely knocked out of the game, there always remains hope.”
Undeniably, Jeremy McGilvrey not only has a wealth of wisdom to share with his tens of thousands of followers, but perhaps more importantly – he exudes what it takes to sacrifice, struggle, persist, and eventually overcome an obstacle by never losing hope in what can seem like a hopeless situation.
Recently, Jeremy McGilvrey wrote a story that instantly gained tremendous popularity about how he maintained his mental toughness. You can find it by clicking the title: Hit the Delete Button.