Dad got me investing at age 13 (1984) in Wal-Mart back when it was small. I invested $1,500 of cow-calf money I made at Warren County Fair (Indianola) and dad gave me $1,500. Over about eight years I would read daily from the back of the DM Register – Sports section the stock quotes seeing what WMT price was listed. It would go up by fractions of 1/8th in the day and boy did it go up over time. $3,000 turned into about $26,000 in about eight years. I LIKED THAT! When I was 16 I felt if I could help others make money then that was what I was going to do. I wanted to be a stock broker and trade stocks. I still have that ambition today.
Dad came from humble beginnings and showed me the importance of hard work, investing money and to finish a four year degree. Kids learn money matters from their parents. An MarketWatch article May 2018 stated that 79% of Millennials ages 21 to 35 are not invested in the markets. Two-thirds of millennials said their parents didn’t show them how to increase their wealth beyond having a job.
I took my education seriously early on in school graduating from Norwalk and then at Northeast Missouri State in Kirksville now called Truman State. While in college 1993-94 I became a Commodity Broker at CSI in West Des Moines. I traded in the futures markets with contracts of Corn, Beans and Livestock. Given only a few people make a lot of money in the commodity market and most lose … I felt it was best to complete my years in college and chase the pigskin around. Right out of college I had about 4 jobs lined up in the financial industry and chose Edward Jones.
A short time later (1996) I went to work for IDS Life which is now Ameriprise. After a dozen years with this company I wanted to be free of the chains of high client fees, overseas service calls and a limited number of products to offer. In 2006 I became an Independent Financial Advisor working with Cambridge Investment Research. At that point I began working through TD Ameritrade as the Custodian to my client accounts.
I started with one account and built up to 750 (IRA, Roth, Joint, Individual) accounts. Today, I manage $76,000,000. It has been a lot of hard work and study over long nights, weekends and the help of a personal assistant. We used to call it ‘dialing for dollars.’ Today I am proud to say that most of my evenings and weekends are orchestrated by my two daughters. I however will meet clients about anywhere and time. Clients are welcomed to stop in unannounced or contact me by e-mail or call Monday – Friday 8:30 to 5:30 pm.
I had a wonderful staff member Linda Packard for 17 years. She wrote a Testimonial below on her impressions of working with me and FMDFS clients. She was outstanding. Today, I am blessed to have another Linda. Linda (goes by Lynn) does an awesome job having an understanding of investments and financial planning and needs to be told something only 1x. Linda is retiring before too many years so keep an eye out for me!
David manages money in the State of Iowa under the name of Fort Des Moines Financial Services. He has worked as a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) since January 2008.
David practices the golden rule in providing clients the types of products he uses for himself. He stays clear of high expense investments like annuities, A & C share Mutual Funds, Limited Partnership and Private Real Estate Trusts. The guy stole my line on TV – “I Hate Annuities.”
He is dedicated to what he does while also trying to improve the South Side – Business Development and Christ the King School / Church.
Dave is a devoted husband and former coach to his girls multiple athletic teams and lives on the South Side. He graduated from Northeast Missouri State (Truman State), Norwalk High School, and was born in Cumming, IA. While other advisors may come and go, Dave has etched his name in stone underneath the word ‘Investments’ on his building along Army Post-Fort Des Moines Financial Services.
The first time I walked into Dave Harkin’s, I was hesitate. I only had a few thousand dollars in my savings account and assumed it was not enough to invest. Dave quickly erased my doubts and was eager to help my goal of saving to achieve financial security. That was many years ago and I now am retired with no financial stress.
But that is only part of my story. About 20 years ago, Dave called me to see if I would work for him. I thought it would be wonderful to have a part time job. Working with Dave confirmed my first impression. His honesty and hard work ethic was inspiring. The trait I admire most about Dave is his authenticity and genuine concern over each individual. He does not group people together but strives to know each client’s unique needs and desires.
One of my favorite memories from work was the day that someone walked into the office with over a million dollars he wanted to invest. Of course Dave was very thoughtful and thorough as he worked with this man to prepare a portfolio. Later in the day a man walked in who wanted to begin saving $50/month. Dave treated both clients with the same respect, concern and interest.
Finally it was an honor for me to work with Dave and to be his client.