Jane Young, financial planner, Rotary president

Jane Young turned a life-long love for money matters into a successful business as a Colorado Springs financial planner.

But her advice, expertise and leadership aren’t limited to her clients. Young has strived to share those talents with the Colorado Springs business community in an effort to improve her hometown of 48 years.

“I’ve always encouraged everyone to get out and do something — get involved some way,” said Young, co-owner of Pinnacle Financial Concepts, Inc. and Divorce Solutions, Inc. “We are all stewards of the community. If you don’t get involved, you can’t complain. It takes the involvement of everyone.”

This year, Young was elected president of the Rotary Club, an organization she’s been involved with since 1997. Its commitment to service fits perfectly with Young’s personal philosophy.

“Rotarians are so willing to give of their time and make donations,” she said.

Young’s favorite Rotary project has been the Butterflies and Friends, which she has been involved in and helped promote for the last three years. This year 31 local artists created butterflies that were displayed around the city. The butterflies were then auctioned at a gala. The event raised an about $50,000, half of which funds community service projects and the other half supports art programs at local schools.

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“It gives artists a platform and puts art on the street to share and for the community to enjoy,” Young said.

As Rotary president, Young said she is focused on “continuing to bring in young, vibrant professionals” and to “have more fun.”

“I am always trying to work on projects that are good for the community and to educate the community on what’s important and what can make us stronger,” she said.

In addition to her Rotary work, Young has endured a challenging couple of years as a financial planner. Pinnacle’s revenue stayed flat for the past two years after enjoying double-digit growth annually for many of its first 15 years. The number of new clients fell by half during the recession.

“People were scared and stopped doing anything,” she said. “During that time, I needed to spend a lot of time talking to clients, understanding their long-term goals, and putting it all in perspective. I tried to make sure people were not overreacting or reacting in an emotional way.”

Young and Pinnacle co-owner Linda Leitz established the company to be fee-only financial planning. They believe that removing commissions allows them to give advice to clients free of any conflicts of interest. As the economy rebounds, Young expects Pinnacle to return to growth mode.

“We’ve built a really successful business from absolutely nothing,” Young said. “We’ve got a great group of clients.”

Young’s educational efforts extend to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where she serves on the College of Business’ Alumni Leadership Board and has taught students as an adjunct instructor.

In July, she coordinated a city stop for the National Your Money Bus Tour, by the Foundation for Financial Education. While developing partnerships with Penrose Library and UCCS, she also made sure certified financial planners were on hand for two days to give free financial advice.

“I’ve always been absolutely fascinated with investing and personal finance since high school,” she said. “It’s important people get good, unbiased financial advice.”

By Dennis Huspeni