PDS Planning Employee Spotlight – Joel Bleskey

At PDS Planning, we always seek quality, creative professionals to join our team. We are excited to introduce Joel Bleskey, our newest Associate Planner. Joel is eager to learn and grow in his new role and brings a fresh perspective to the PDS Planning team.

Keep reading to get to know Joel!

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I am originally from a small town in Illinois called Shelbyville. During my senior year of high school, I heard about a scholarship program for business majors at Indiana State University which led me to apply to the school and its Networks Professional Development Program. I received admissions for both.


What brought you to PDS Planning?

I knew I wanted to live in a community similar to Indiana, but I wanted to head further east. I also knew I wanted to work for a fee-only RIA and began looking for businesses around Columbus. I knew some people that attended Ohio State, and one of them was interning at PDS Planning at the time and highly recommended the company. I went through all my interviews and was very impressed by the character and friendliness of everyone I met.


How do you think PDS Planning is different from other financial planning firms?

First and foremost, there is something to say about the company’s culture. Everyone is very approachable and willing to impart knowledge to anyone who asks. Secondly, the fee structure. There are many ways that fee-only RIAs can charge their fees, and I think having a flat fee not based on clients’ assets allows us to truly work in a fiduciary duty. Finally, there is a focus on index investing to make sure the investments we recommend to clients are as low-cost and tax efficient as possible without giving anything up in potential returns. This is the first time I have seen a firm focus so much on reducing investment costs, which most firms don’t think too much about.


What is your favorite aspect of working at PDS?

So far, the openness and everyone willing to communicate their knowledge to me. Being new to the industry, there is a lot of information to learn. While we are going through client situations, an advisor often says, “Let me show you this, as it can be beneficial for you in the future.”


Do you see anything new on the horizon of the financial planning industry?

I see two things changing. First, the jump to fee-only. PDS has been doing this since before I was even alive, but I only learned about fee-only advising in 2021. I think there are many opportunities to teach individuals about the different types of financial advice they can receive, and with social media and people becoming more open to talking about their finances, I think it is only a matter of time before fee-only becomes mainstream.

Second, I don’t know how, but there is a lot of buzz about how Artificial Intelligence will affect the industry in some way. There will need to be legislation passed and compliance measures put into place; however, if the right software and robots come out, it may improve both efficiency in our process and possibly even investment returns for clients.


Tell us about your family

My father is originally from a small town in Wisconsin. He started his collegiate career attending West Point, then finished up his mechanical engineering degree at the University of Milwaukee.

My mom graduated from Sparks College in Shelbyville, IL. This was primarily a school for court reporters, which she still does today. They met while my dad was in Shelbyville for business.

They lived in Shelbyville until 2020, when my dad got a new engineering job in Clinton, Missouri, where they now live. My mom is still a court reporter but works primarily out of Kansas City, MO.

My sister is three years and one day older than me. She graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin with an Agricultural Business degree. While in school, she was on the D1 equestrian team. She now resides about 30 minutes outside of Nashville and sells milk replacement for calves.


How do you like to spend your free time when you are not working? 

When I am not working, I am most likely working out. I have always enjoyed being active. Going to the gym is an excellent way to maintain physical fitness while gaining positive results and recently have been thinking about starting to train for a half marathon. I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend (Jourdan), playing frisbee, reading, and going on random adventures. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends. I have had a good group of friends that I’ve had since high school. I am new to Columbus and I am still meeting new people. I am always looking for new fun activities to do in the city.


What are you reading/watching/listening to?

I usually don’t watch television or movies, but when I do, I rewatch Marvel movies or Cars (one of the greatest movies of all time). I spend a lot more time reading. The books I read usually are autobiographies discussing success in business or self-development. My favorite books include Extreme Ownership by Jock Willink and Leif Babin, Shoedog by Phil Knight, and The Go Giver by Bob Burg and John Mann. I have an Excel spreadsheet dedicated to tracking books that have been recommended and that I need to read.


Are you involved with PDS Cares?

I am not involved yet in a financial sense, but I am planning to get involved in the near future. I firmly believe that the better I do financially, the more I should be able to give. Around the office, we volunteer regularly, and I have been fortunate enough to be able to participate in some of our activities, like making blankets at The James or making breakfast at the Ronald McDonald House. We have more planned for later this year!

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