Green Living Connections: Ken Edwins

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Meet Ken Edwins, ChFC, senior financial planner, financial services representative and owner of Sonoran Ridge Wealth Management, an office of MetLife.

SPIRITUALITY, SELFLESS GIVING AND A STRONG FINANCIAL PLAN

As a successful wealth manager for 21 years, Ken Edwins draws on life experiences and a lengthy and varied education to create sustainable financial plans for his clients. A life steeped in spirituality, generational models of selfless giving, and a near-death experience have influenced the way Ken connects with family and the community he serves.

His story begins two generations before he was born.

grandparents in china

It was 1941 and the Japanese were invading China. Dr. August William Edwins, a Lutheran missionary who had dedicated his life to serving in China, had an opportunity to evacuate the war-torn area with his wife and children. He chose to stay with those to whom he was ministering as a demonstration of his faith. The Japanese captured him and he was held as a prisoner of war for two years. Eventually released, his years of dedication ended when he suffered a stroke during transport back to America. He was buried in the South China Sea, never to be seen by his family again.

Nearly 60 years after his death, the patriarch’s story continues to be shared among Chinese Christians who herald him as a person of unwavering faith who was so spiritually committed that he stayed with them under life-threatening conditions.

Today, Ken Edwins, grandson of the Lutheran missionary and son of a Lutheran minister, reflects on how his heritage has impacted his life.
“Growing up hearing stories of the selflessness of my grandparents and watching it in my parents instilled in me the belief that serving others brings a quality and value to your life apart from whatever professional success you may attain doing it. I learned that what you do matters in people’s lives.”

Ken not only impacts people’s lives through his financial planning skills. He has been active in the community as a board member for Desert Foothills Habitat for Humanity, a member of Arizona Leader Force, and a member of La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church. He has been active with Rancho Feliz Charitable Foundation and was on the Board of Directors for Palomino Community Builders.

ken.family.biking Ken and his family often participate in cycling events that raise awareness and funds for a variety of charities. “My wife and I ride bikes together and raise money for charitable organizations. We’ve done a number of events over the years,” Ken says, most recently for the Rancho Feliz Charitable Fountdation and their work in Aqua Prieta as well as rides to support St. Mary’s food bank and Tour de Cure, the latter of which he is currently on the planning committee. “Our kids are involved as well. It has been a great way to help us in terms of fitness and doing things as a family as well as raising money for other people.”

Fitness is important to Ken who draws a connection between physical and financial health. He is planning to host a health and wealth seminar later this spring.

”I believe one of the most sustainable things you can do as an individual is take care of your body. It is the one single asset we are given when we come into this world. Your life and your body are the first gifts you get.”

About four years ago, an excruciating headache sent Ken to the hospital where doctors diagnosed him with a subarachnoid hemorrhage and marveled at his ability to be walking. The damaged blood vessel in his brain prompted doctors to ask if his affairs were in order, and to suggest that Ken’s wife bring the children to see him. It wasn’t until weeks after he left the hospital, that the shock of the near-death encounter was replaced with momentary fear and a clarity about certain aspects of his life. Recognizing that moments on earth are finite, he values and fervently protects his time. He also says he is less likely to be impatient. Most importantly, he focuses on the quality of his relationships and allows himself to enjoy them more than he used to.

Savoring relationships and building community are cornerstones of Ken’s life. As a wealth manager, he explains that having a sound financial plan is essential to being able to care for those things that are most important. “You need enough money to enjoy your relationships in retirement,” Ken explains. “Everybody needs to have a good partner in the financial world, just like you need a good doctor in the medical world.”

Ken’s expertise is making wealth management simple in a complex world. He helps his clients with financial analysis, debt management, insurance, tax strategies and retirement investing.

Ken also helps them to include sustainable investments in their portfolios when appropriate.

The sustainable movement from an investment perspective has mostly focused on investments with large institutions, large charities and pension funds…the expectation that people who are committed to the sustainable movement would potentially give up return to live congruent with their beliefs is inappropriate in our perspective. We have created an investment process that allows our clients to take appropriate levels of risk and get appropriate returns with sustainable investments as a portion of their portfolio.

The wealth management processes we utilize were developed as a direct result of the needs and concerns our clients have articulated to us. What really drives and motivates me in terms of putting the office together is providing a great level of service that acknowledges our clients as unique individuals with needs and desires. Our clients are really important to us.”

Born in San Pedro, Calif., Ken has been married his wife, Taina, for 35 years, and has two children, a 23-year-old daughter, Kayla, who studying to be a physician’s assistant, and a 27-year-old son, Kelsen, who works in the financial services industry. Ken has lived in the North Phoenix area 14 years. He graduated from California Lutheran University with a BA in Psychology and furthered his education by obtaining his Master’s Degree in theology at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., and studying communication theory, physics and metaphysics at a PHd level at Claremont Graduate School, and a Chartered Financial Consultant degree at The American College.

To reach Ken, call 480-222-0064 or email kedwins1@metlife.com

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