By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
EXETER – Most folks on this side of the country think financial wealth management is a game played on Wall Street. They imagine stockjobbers, day traders and powerful bankers running complex formulas on when to buy or sell. Little do they imagine a Visalia raised, Exeter surrogate homebody who takes clients one-by-one through the rigors of retirement planning. But that is exactly what 2017’s Exeter Man of the Year is.
Garrett German was adopted by Exeter 12 years ago when he located just outside the city limits on Anderson Rd. And since he has been in town he has spent his time as a part of service clubs and serving on boards. In all he has been a part of Kiwanis for 10 years, the Chamber of Commerce Board for 10 years, the Manor House Board and the Exeter Food Closet Board. While spending so much time in clubs meant to enhance Exeter is something usually reserved for a native, German simply wants to contribute and help Exeter maintain its homey charm.
In fact, German is originally from Visalia and a 1995 graduate from Redwood High School. He paid for his degree in finance from Fresno Pacific University and graduated in 1999. He says a couple days later he had a job with Valley Financial Group. Unfortunately things did not go off without a hitch.
“It was brutal. My very first day on the job I drove out to Tipton and sat in the guys’ parking lot for 45 minutes trying to figure out how to introduce myself and get a meeting,” German laughed.
But before long he got the hang of things, albeit with several doors shut in his face. He says cutting his teeth in places like Cutler Orosi, Tipton and other small towns in the area gave him a sense of resiliency. As it turns out that sense of resiliency was necessary for approaching Exeter.
“I went ot all these other towns and I never went to Exeter because I was too scared, because it was legit,” German confessed.
His youthful face made it hard for him to sell his experience. As German says, it was hard to get people to trust him with their money when he’s 25, but looks like he’s 18. Things eventually started to get on a role. He had a healthy amount of clients under his belt, and a few of them were from Exeter.
“I’d always tell them, ‘wow, you live in Exeter. You’re so lucky to live there,’ someday I’m going to move out there,” German said.
And in 2006 he did. Two years later he opened 2020 Financial in Exeter and has a healthy portfolio of 400 clients. But he does say that he would like to run for City Council.
“If only they would annex just my house, that would be great. I don’t think they are working hard enough on that,” German joked.
Until the city limits expand to encompass German’s house he’ll just have to settle with honorable service work helping the community maintain its presence. As for the reasons why though, German says there is a friendly feeling to being involved.
”I think it’s a quality of life for my family and making friends and having a tab at hometown…I have a tab at a downtown restaurant, it feels like I actually belong here,” German said.