The end of the year is synonymous with holiday gatherings, gifts, themed music and treats. It’s also the time when people stop to reflect on how they can make the next year better. At the top of most of these lists are goals for better physical health and financial wellbeing. While there’s no sure way to vet all the “experts” who will emerge to help in these areas, the people at T. Rowe Price have tools to help you get your financial wellness together. 

Jerome Clark is a Strategic Program Manager – Multi-Asset. As a self-proclaimed military brat and member of the Marine Corps, Clark is no stranger to navigating various environments and finding ways to forge his own path. After teaching math to young midshipmen for nine years, Clark joined the T. Rowe Price family as a Quantitative  Analyst. Almost 30 years into the game, Clark led the company’s target-date funds and is a highly decorated fund manager. Today, Clark is dedicated to helping people work toward a more secure financial future through tools like college savings and retirement plans.

Getting People to the Bag

Clark was able to merge his experience as a Marine with the work he’s doing to help people become more financially stable. While the areas are very different, there are a  few similarities. 

“You’re looking out for people in a more physical, maybe structured, manner. You’re looking out for their livelihood,” Clark explains. 

As a Black man, Clark understands the importance of financial wellbeing and how this knowledge can be a game-changer for his family and for those in his community. Clark achieved his position through education, access and hard work. It’s critically important  

for Clark to leave a legacy by sharing key information and guidance with his children for financial prosperity. Being empowered by the diverse and inclusive culture at T. Rowe  Price, Clark has thrived as a long-term employee and stockholder — all while helping the company and being a resource for his community. 

“When I started focusing on the challenges of all of us when it comes to achieving financial goals, I also became aware of those challenges being greater for minorities such as myself. That made me even more sensitive and more focused on those challenges and helping in that way,” Clark points out.

A Guide to Being Financially Fit

Clark has dedicated his career to ensuring people have access to resources that benefit their financial wellbeing. Thanks to all his experience, he’s developed tips to help people tap into financial health. 

1. Don’t Neglect the 401(k): Retirement programs like the 401(k) have the benefit of tax deferments. Take full advantage of the plan offered to you. While the typical 401(k) is set at a 3% match, some companies like T. Rowe Price offer employer contributions up to 12%. Investing in such a plan is a means of offsetting the financial equity gap. Investing in retirement can seem like a  financial sacrifice, but it’s worth it. Going to dinners and getting a pumpkin spice latte may be a vibe but scaling back could mean getting more money in your regular 401(k) savings for an enjoyable retirement. 

2. Investing Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint: Focus on the long term and the high levels of equity. This method may not be as exciting as day trading, but there’s a benefit in patience. Long-term, strategic investments often yield positive outcomes. 

3. Avoid the Tradition: Many people grew up learning about traditional means of saving like money market savings accounts and CDs. While these aren’t bad tools, constricting oneself to only conservative products can limit the amount of income one can have in the future.  

4. Investment Strategies Are for Everyday People: One of the biggest misconceptions is that the financial services industry only exists to help the rich get richer. While some firms do have a focus on the well-off, companies like T. Rowe Price are committed to helping a wide range of people prepare for their future. No matter where you are in your financial journey, there’s a plan that can benefit you and your family.

5. Think About More Than the Salary: When people look for jobs, there’s a great focus on income. While yearly salary is important, there are other facts one should consider when making a long-term commitment to any organization. Pay attention to things like retirement plan benefits. How much is the employer contributing? Is there a college savings plan offered? Do they offer a health savings account and tuition reimbursement? These factors contribute to the overall financial health of an individual. Life can be unpredictable, and a salary alone may not be enough one day. Think through the ways a company can provide access to investments. That’s one of the keys to holistic wealth.

There’s no sure-fire way to secure the bag, but people like T. Rowe Price’s Jerome  Clark are doing what it takes to ensure everyone has access to the tools available to achieve financial wellbeing. With decades of experience in the financial industry, Clark willingly shares his expertise to those looking to grow and build.  

To learn more about the work T. Rowe Price is doing to help all people build wealth and explore open roles at the company, click here. 

This editorial is brought to you in partnership with T. Rowe Price. Keep in mind that all investments involve risk, including possible loss of principal. This material is provided for general and educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, or investment advice. This material does not provide recommendations concerning investments, investment strategies, or account types; it is not intended to suggest that any particular investment action is appropriate for you. Please consider your own circumstances before making an investment decision.