Anthony Fallahi talks about his career in finance and the importance of financial education – News Azi | Vette Leader

Anthony Fallahi, the youngest of three boys, was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He graduated from Olympus High School, earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Utah and an MBA from Baylor University. Mr. Fallahi completed a two-year service mission in Spain between high school and college.

During his college years, Anthony worked as a waiter and worked odd jobs to pay for college tuition. He began his career in financial services at a small non-profit focused on debt management before joining Fidelity Investments where he held various senior management positions for fifteen years. After achieving numerous professional milestones, Mr. Fallahi has designed and implemented financial wellness programs for several Fortune 100 companies. He has been recognized for his outstanding commitment to innovation and has received multiple awards for his work with Fidelity.

His focus throughout his career has been change management and financial wellbeing.

When not working, Mr. Fallahi enjoys hiking, skiing, teaching and travelling. As a self-proclaimed techie, he likes to keep up to date with the latest developments in AI and mobile access.

What was the inspiration for your success?

Early in my career I saw people who were really struggling financially. It wasn’t necessarily because they made bad decisions – in many cases, life had just worked against them. The reality is that most Americans are just one major setback away from serious financial trouble. Growing up gay and ethnically mixed in an otherwise extremely homogenous community, I’ve always been inclined to look out for those who might not fit the paradigm. Everyone deserves to know the rules of the game and have access to the same resources and support. In the financial services industry, things are often unnecessarily complicated. My passion is making personal finance accessible and inclusive for everyone.

What keys to productivity can you share?

Building repeatable processes is critical to both your productivity level and the quality of your output. As your career progresses, look for opportunities to expose yourself to different models and further refine your own approaches. The process allows us to learn and retain the best and to repeat things that don’t work. These can be simple, like Steve Job’s infamous wardrobe, or more complex, like creating and delivering a presentation for an important client. In any case, some structure encourages creativity and drives results by reducing the time and energy allocated to the mundane and allowing additional time to explore new areas.

Name us a long-term goal in your career.

When it comes to teaching our youth the basics of personal finance, we have failed miserably as a nation. For better or worse, this space is often filled with credit card companies, financial services firms, and Reddit threads. The lack of quality, unbiased financial literacy, coupled with skyrocketing college tuition, has left young workers saddled with record-breaking debt just as they are entering adulthood. We must fill this knowledge gap with all necessary private and public funds. This is a problem that is not only solvable, but only produces winners when solved.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned throughout your career?

The value of preparation. I remember going to Utah Jazz games with my grandfather as a kid and marveling at how effortless everything looked for these pro athletes. As a young fan, I didn’t think about the hours, days, and years in the gym honing every facet of the game. That’s true in any field, and I’ve found that it’s often what separates the good from the great — a willingness to do an extra read, go an extra hour, get another opinion. I love this quote from Lincoln: “If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first 45 minutes sharpening my axe.” If we keep our tools sharp during preparation, we can do a lot react faster and more decisively when changes and setbacks occur.

What advice would you give to others who want to be successful in your field?

Regardless of your chosen field, the best advice I would give anyone is to be someone that others want to be with. Ultimately, it comes down to the ability to connect with others, communicate effectively, and inspire those around you. Yes, you have to be good at what you do, but these are table stakes. If you want to stand out, people have to like you.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

I love everything that has to do with nature. Growing up in Salt Lake City, I woke up every morning surrounded by breathtaking mountain peaks. Whether hiking or skiing, the mountains have my heart. I love podcasts, travel, politics, culture and technology. Spending time on things that are important to me has become more and more rewarding in my life. I work with an organization called SIFMA that provides financial education to children, as well as local animal rescues.

How would your colleagues describe you?

That seems like a loaded question! I hope to be remembered as someone who is passionate and energetic about ideas and people, and always willing to embrace new and diverse perspectives. The way my clients and colleagues experience the journey is just as important to me as the end result.

Which technology helps you the most in your everyday life?

That is hard. We all walk around with supercomputers in our pockets these days; Technology is ingrained in everything we do. I recently bought Amazon’s Echo frames which are super cool. If you spend a lot of time on video conferencing, I would check it out. I find that a lot of people don’t take full advantage of the CRM their company uses. Salesforce, for example, has so many quality of life features to help you stay connected. It pays to dig behind the first few layers and learn how to take full advantage.

Who was a role model for you and why?

My role model is my grandfather, my Gramps. He was someone who took personal responsibility very seriously, which I always admired. He knew he was in a position where people would turn to him for help and guidance, and he never shied away from that weight. He was also an accomplished jazz musician and an award-winning tennis player. He helped me open my first savings account (and made my first deposits), taught me how to swim and shoot basketball, and how to treat people with dignity and respect. He taught me what it means to be a good man.

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