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Independent Advisors Giving Back

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A good number of financial advisors give back to their communities with time, services and financial support. Commonwealth Financial Network-affiliated advisor Nelson Ball really, really gives back. Hence, the independent broker-dealer presented him with its Special Service Award recently at its annual conference in San Antonio in November.

“My favorite story about Nelson’s charitable endeavors revolves around his church, which was long overdue for a fresh coat of paint but was lacking funds and volunteers to make it happen,” shared Commonwealth Financial CEO Wayne Bloom when presenting Ball with the award in early November.

“One Sunday morning, Nelson arrived at services dressed in overalls and a painter’s cap–carrying a roller. He then proceeded to walk down the center aisle and let everyone know what had to be done—and it got done,” Bloom said.

Ball served in the U.S. Army’s counterintelligence operations during the Korean War. He went into the financial-services business in 1965 and won the Agent of the Year Award from Monarch Life Insurance Co. in 1970. In 1982, Ball was among the first graduates of a Chartered Financial Consultant diploma and certificate of completion from the American College.

“I’m still having fun with clients I’ve known for 40- or 45-plus years,” said Ball, 81, in an interview. “I started my practice in the basement with five kids!”

During his long career, he founded the Rotary Club of Westborough, Mass., of which he was the first president, in 1960. “It’s a really active club,” Ball explained.

Speaking of active, Ball received the Good Scout Award from the Westborough Boy Scouts four years ago. The advisor also worked with a group of local business owners to help launch the Westborough Farmer’s Market, and he supported the expansion of the community’s YMCA as a board member over the past decade or so.

He and his wife of 57 years, Sylvia, have also supported the Pan Mass Challenge, which benefits cancer research, and a host of other causes, including support for programs that aim to find a cure for lupus. And best of all, according to Bloom, he helped launch the highly successful careers of advisors, and sons, Daniel and Jim Ball in the mid-’80s.

What’s next for the active advisor and philanthropist? “My granddad worked until he was 98 and lived to 103,” said Ball. “I’m going to beat his record. I love what I do … so I can work and give away a large part of what I make.”

LPL-Affiliated Effort

The LPL Financial-affiliated team of Sun Group Wealth Partners said recently that it is supporting 1,000 families with special-needs children who wish to visit an educational museum in Southern California.

“I am very pleased to partner with Pretend City on this important initiative. As someone who is very familiar with the challenges faced by families that have special needs children, I have always deeply valued Pretend City and its mission,” said Winnie Sun, founding partner of Sun Group Wealth Partners in Irvine, Calif., in an interview. 

The Sun Group manages about $138 million in client assets, and many of its clients are in the entertainment industry, as well as in the not-for-profit field. Sun’s advisor partner in the team is Brandon Chang.

“In addition to providing a great customer experience to our clients, Sun Group Wealth Partners has always felt it has a clear responsibility to give back to the community, and we could not think of a more worthy cause than enhancing Pretend City’s ability to support special needs children and their families,” Sun explained.

Sun Group recently hosted an event for clients at Pretend City to share the news about its special community project. “We thought this would very special, rather than doing an event somewhere like Lawry’s,” said Sun. “Our clients share our values, and this type of outreach is very important to them.”

“As a community-funded, guest-supported educational organization, we rely in large part on the generosity of others to support our programs,” said Sandra Bolton, executive director of Pretend City, in a statement. “It is only through affiliations such as these that we are able to grow and expand the Pretend City experience for children and families in our community.”

LPL Financial also expressed its support of the innovative community work being done by Sun Group. “LPL Financial is proud to serve as an empowering partner to Sun Group Wealth Partners, and we enthusiastically support their efforts to help families in their community while furthering the mission of Pretend City,” said Robert Moore, president and COO of LPL Financial, in a press release.