John Martin ’79 Recognized Among Top U.S. Financial Advisors
The Financial Times has named John Martin to its elite group of Top 400 Financial Advisors for 2020, chosen among advisors from the largest brokerage firms in the nation. 

A global leader in business news and information, the Financial Times (FT), selects its annual list from advisors with over ten years' experience and $300 million in assets under management. The FT then weighs in factors such as AUM (assets under management) growth rates, compliance records, industry certifications, and online accessibility to calculate a numeric score for each advisor. 

“Some people live vicariously through their children,” John said. “I live vicariously through the successes of my clients.” 

After studying economics at The University of Texas, John launched his career as a financial advisor in 1984. He began with Dean Witter, moved to Rauscher Pierce, then to A.G. Edwards, which later became Wells Fargo Advisors, and now serves as managing director of investments for Raymond James. 

In 2006, he expanded his practice to include his hometown of Victoria, Texas, where his father, Robert “Bob” Martin, would later join his practice. “Dad and I worked together until his retirement in 2013,” John said. “Working alongside my father was the most rewarding time of my career.” 

John served as a Tau Trustee and alumnus advisor during the late 80s and early 90s, a time he described for the Chapter as “recovering from a pretty low spot and beginning to flourish.” In 1992, the Chapter presented him with the Frank C. Erwin Award in recognition of his exceptional support and leadership. He was chosen the same year as Outstanding Alumnus Advisor , a national award presented by the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. 

“To this day, the national award from Kappa Sigma is my most gratifying accomplishment,” John said. “Like being named a top advisor by the FT, it was an acknowledgment of a team effort with a group of very loyal people.” 

Reflecting on his years as a Tau Chapter active, he recalls, “We were a close group who knew we could count on each other. That has certainly played out in my career.” In fact, his first client came to him by way of introduction from a Kappa Sig brother. That client is still with him today. 

What advice would he offer today’s Tau actives? “Follow your passion without exception. Understand that winners never quit and quitters never win," he said. "Never compromise your good name. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Be ethical, honest, grateful, and generous (qualities that give you a strong sense of self-worth). And, know that happiness and optimism are personal choices,” he added. “If you’re happy and optimistic, others will be drawn to you.” 

Optimism is a trait John is known for among his Tau brothers. “Marty, as he is known to his friends,” said Rick Warren ’78, “is always there to make you smile.”

Pledge brother Mike Sharpe '79 noted “Marty is a study in contrast. He’s an experienced, sophisticated, and astute businessman, and he’s also a genuinely funny and entertaining guy whose company we all seek. He always makes us laugh and feel good about ourselves.” 

John is also known for his generosity. His chosen charities include the Alzheimer’s Association, Partnership for Children (Austin), The Victoria Bach Festival, The American Book Review, David’s Legacy Foundation (a resource to fight cyberbullying), The University of Houston-Victoria, The Austin Parks Foundation, and several other worthy causes. He has also given substantial donations to the Tau Chapter capital campaigns to build the Lodge and Warren Residence Hall. 

As a financial advisor in these turbulent economic times, John relies on his many years of experience tracking the stock market with assiduous attention to detail and his ability to see “the big picture” for long-term performance. His calm demeanor helps him keep concerned clients focused on their long-term plans. “I sometimes need to remind them that life is a marathon,” he said. “The objective isn’t necessarily to win, but to finish.” 
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