Cover Story

Trust in Your Future: Compass Retirement Solutions

Marvin Mitchell, president and CEO of Compass Retirement Solutions, was not born to money. In fact, he knows firsthand the impact financial hardship can have on a family. A graduate of Parkway North High School (’02), he attended Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville to study law, but did an about-face when his grandmother became gravely ill and he returned home to look after her. “The stock market crashed; she had no long-term care insurance and ran out of money quickly,” he explains. “The family pulled together, but my grandmother felt she was a burden. It ate me up inside.” After she died, Mitchell set out to have a career in finance.

After five years at a large Wall Street firm in town, the native St. Louisan formed Compass Retirement Solutions. This summer, his company will be honored at the St. Louis County NAACP’s annual Freedom Fund Dinner for its dedication to the community. In the past year, Compass Retirement has given out more than $50,000 in college scholarships to area youth. “And we’re just going to keep on giving,” Mitchell says.

OBC_compass-retirement-solutions-NOBOX-6.22In addition, the 31-year-old recently learned he is among five finalists being considered for Retirement Advisor magazine’s Retirement Advisor of the Year award, in recognition of Compass’ status as one of the fastest growing retirement advising firms in St. Louis. In 2015, the company quadrupled in both clients and revenue, Mitchell reports.

He says he started his practice in memory of his grandmother; her end-of-life experiences illustrated to him the importance of protecting the future. “We understand our clients’ pain points,” he says, citing primary concerns like turbulent markets, low interest rates for savings accounts and complex industry jargon. “People facing retirement want to increase their assets, reduce risk and protect their hard-earned money, so they don’t outlive their income,” he says.

Although his company serves people of all ages, Mitchell says he is “most passionate” about baby boomers, who make up 90 percent of his clientele. This generation tends to be responsible and motivated to leave a legacy, he explains, adding that at any age, people need uncomplicated language and someone they can trust. “Our mission statement is: Positioning you for a safe and secure retirement,” he says. “And that is what we do.” Part of Mitchell’s process is to refer clients to experts, when appropriate, in areas such as estate planning, taxes, and health care legislation.

In addition to their financial contributions to the St. Louis community, Mitchell reports that he and his staff also give their time, volunteering regularly in nursing homes, homeless shelters and elementary schools. “To whom much is given, much is required … it is a requirement in my life and in my business that I give back,” he says. “I am a firm believer in paying it forward, and it brings me great joy that I am able to do so now.”

Pictured: The Compass Retirement Team: Arlene Hudson, Suzanne Clare, Marvin Mitchell, Jessica Williams and Jessica Pedraza
Photo: Tim Parker Photography

Compass Retirement Solutions focuses on positioning baby boomers for a safe and secure retirement. Pictured on the cover: President and CEO Marvin Mitchell. For more information adn to schedule an appointment, call 314.373.1598. Cover design by Julie Streiler | Photo by Tim Parker Photography