Dave Baker grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and graduated from Western Michigan University with dual majors in teaching and business. Kalamazoo is a well-rounded, desirable college town halfway between Chicago and Detroit, and it’s not uncommon for people to never leave the area. After graduation, Dave landed several sales and management positions with increasing levels of responsibility and success, but it was at a firm called IDS Financial Services (later to be known as American Express Financial Advisors and then Ameriprise) that he first found his calling as a financial advisor.
IDS provided excellent training and background, but through the years Dave found that he was required to sell proprietary products rather than doing what he thought best for each client. So, he eventually became an entrepreneur, organizing his companies as independent fiduciaries with access to thousands of financial instruments from multiple providers, dedicated to providing advice in each client’s best interest rather than any financial institution’s. He developed a desire to help federal employees and pursued special training and accreditation in the specialty, leading him to form Federal Employee Benefits Education Services LLC, which now has more than 15 advisors.
Dave attributes his success to education and being a “problem-solver” rather than a “salesperson.” Knowledge is key, and teaching federal employees about their options and what benefits selections are in their best interest is his passion.
The youngest of two sons, Dave grew up in a family that demanded scholastic achievement because his parents were both teachers. They were not rich, but Dave had a childhood rich with great memories. During the summers off, the family would sail their 35-foot sailboat up and down the Great Lakes.
Married with twins, Dave still loves to sail in his free time.