A Q&A with Justin Binion, financial advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors
Justin grew up in a small town in Fayette County. He is a 2011 graduate of California University of PA. Upon graduation he moved to New York City to work for the Knicks and Rangers. While there, he was a top performer on their sales team. After his time there he was then offered an opportunity to move to Philadelphia and work for the Flyers and 76ers in the premium sales department. After realizing his true passion was helping people, he chose to change his career path towards a new trajectory and embarked on a journey where few people from his background ventured. This sparked his third relocation to Pittsburgh when he began in the “bullpen” at Merrill Lynch in their wealth management division. After successfully graduating Merrill Lynch’s rigorous developmental program, Justin found a home at his current firm, Wells Fargo Advisor (Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC). He resides in the South Hills where he spends his free time as his daughter Rylee’s #1 fan and chauffer to her extracurricular activities.
Are you a lifelong Pittsburgher? If so, what keeps you here? If not, what brought you to Pittsburgh?
I’m a lifelong “Southwestern PA’er,” but I’ve made Pittsburgh my home since I moved back to the area in 2013. I saw a need not only for young professionals in the city, but for minority young professionals. There have been recent studies done illustrating the lack of diversity in our workforce, as well as the underrepresentation of young professionals in the city. I’ve taken advantage of that opportunity, and I’m hopeful that others see the potential and do the same.
How does Pittsburgh inspire and inform your work?
There’s a tremendous amount of growth opportunity here. In wealth management, the average age of a Financial Advisor is around 60. Being able to integrate myself into a city starving for young talent, while also choosing a career that is in need of young professionals, has been very rewarding. With the aging population and amount of baby boomers nearing retirement, Pittsburgh is the perfect place to build my practice.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ll tackle this week?
Most days I have a busy schedule and the day can get away from me pretty quickly. I recently sat down with my manager and did some time-blocking to structure my days. My biggest challenge will be sticking to the time blocks. Haha!
What excites you the most about your work?
Helping people set and achieve their financial goals.
It’s time to unwind. Where do you head?
I’ll hit the gym to get a workout in. It really helps me let off some steam and also gives me some much needed “me” time. I also enjoy reading books on self-development. Every time I read a new one I pick up a few things that I can implement in my daily life.
What’s the one Pittsburgh event you can’t wait to attend?
The Fund for Advancement of Minorities Through Education (FAME), a local organization that provides access to college preparatory education to African American students, puts on a great Annual Celebration for their students every year. I love attending and can’t wait for the next one.
Why is giving back important to you?
Growing up, so many people gave to me. Whether it was their time, advice, ideas, or their moral and financial support, so many people helped shape me into the person that I am today. The least I can do is pay it forward.
Why United Way? How has your Bridges Society membership helped you, personally and professionally?
Being part of United Way’s Bridges Society, I’ve been introduced to so many likeminded young professionals. I’ve also been afforded the opportunity to give back to so many different causes that I care about. United Way relies heavily on its members and because of that I’ve been asked to be part of some amazing committees that make real decisions and initiate real change in the community, such as the Coaching Boys into Men initiative. It really makes me feel like I’m making an impact in the community.