Building for the future

Financial advisor Pettit finds home in historic downtown FD

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Gabe Pettit, an Edward Jones financial advisor, stands at his desk in his office, located along Central Avenue.

When Edward Jones financial advisor Gabe Pettit was looking for a place for his Fort Dodge office, he saw great potential in a historic downtown building on the west end of Central Avenue that overlooks City Square Park.

The first thing he noticed when he looked at the building, located at 517 Central Ave., was workers tuckpointing the exterior.

“If you want a building to be around for a long time those are the improvements you make,” Pettit, of Humboldt, said. “It’s a beautiful spot on the corner.”

The inside of the 2-story structure left something to be desired. But Pettit saw it as an opportunity.

“I had to use my imagination,” he said.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
A view overlooking City Square in downtown Fort Dodge can be seen from the office of Edward Jones - Financial Advisor: Gabe Pettit, located at 517 Central Ave. Pettit has been in that office since January.

In the weeks that followed, Pettit met with the owner of the building, Steve Daniel, to see what would be possible in terms of a remodel.

“We got together on how it would look,” Pettit said.

Daniel worked with Kris Patrick, the Main Street Fort Dodge director, on maintaining the historical integrity of the building.

The end result?

“We renovated a 100-plus year old building into something that looks brand new,” Pettit said. “The exterior of the building was upgraded back to its historic originality. It was revived, bringing it back to its original character.”

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Gabe Pettit, an Edward Jones financial advisor, stands next a piano, in his remodeled office along Central Avenue. The player piano, which is about 100 years old, is a conversation piece, Pettit said. Pettit can play piano himself. He took lessions starting when he was 5 years old.

Wiseman Construction, of Fort Dodge, completed the work.

Pettit officially opened his new office in January.

The building features a modern interior with new windows and 15-foot ceilings.

“I love the west side windows that allow the natural light to shine in,” Pettit said. “My wife (Cori) came up with idea to put these windows in at the top of my office.”

Doing business in a historic building has been a joy, he said.

“I am glad to be a part of downtown revitalization with this building and a new office here,” he said. “I have enjoyed getting to know the community in and around Fort Dodge.”

Another eye-catcher is a player piano that’s almost as old as the building itself, Pettit said.

“It’s a conversation piece when you walk in,” he said. “This one can play for you and play the piece perfectly. It’s kind of neat.”

Pettit has piano playing experience himself.

He started taking lessons when he was 5 years old, he said.

But Pettit’s true calling revolves around helping others plan their financial futures.

“I’ve always enjoyed helping others and I enjoy working with numbers,” he said. “Marry those two together, financial education is something I really enjoy. This business allows me to work with individuals and educate them.”

Pettit, a native of Burnside, Illinois, has been an Edward Jones financial advisor since the fall of 2017. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Western Illinois University.

After he graduated from college in 2005, he entered the banking industry. Pettit first worked at Marine Bank and Trust in Carthage, Illinois.

In 2011, he moved to Humboldt and worked at Bank Iowa.

He later worked out of an Edward Jones office in Humboldt before he had the opportunity to branch off in Fort Dodge.

“Edward Jones was looking to expand their footprint in the Fort Dodge market,” Pettit said.

He’s appreciated being part of the Edward Jones team.

“Each office for Edward Jones is its own individual office, yet we work together as a team for the common good of our clients,” he said. “We are on the same team. We put our clients’ needs first.”

Helping his clients plan for retirement or helping them save for education are some areas of focus for Pettit.

“College debt is a huge topic of conversation,” he said. “Life happens, so it’s all about planning ahead. The quicker you can retire debt, the quicker you can start to build wealth.”

Pettit said his clients can be any age.

“My clients range from age 2 to I just had one who turned 100,” he said.

Pettit said his best advice for people planning their financial futures is to live within their means.

“Even though it’s hard, live within your means,” he said. “Find the right balance of enjoying life while preparing for the future.”

One of the first questions he often asks clients is what’s important to them.

“Our financial situations are all unique,” he said. “Once I know what’s important to them, we can start to build upon that and tailor a portfolio to prepare for the future.”


Favorite movie? “Top Gun”

Dream dinner guest? Paul the Apostle

Place you want to visit? Bora Bora

Favorite food? Anything off the smoker

Role model in life? My dad, for how he raised us as a family with not much. You never knew we didn’t have much.