An extraordinary life may have once seemed unlikely for Edward Hidalgo—the son of immigrant parents who arrived in the U.S. with so little money the family lived in a small garage and shopped at the local Salvation Army. However, those humble beginnings were responsible for instilling a strong work ethic, a drive to work hard, set goals, and motivation to push beyond all expectations. This audacious vision of the future helped pave a path towards success to ultimately personify the American dream. With the support of his wife and mentors along the way, this dream would one day become a reality.
Edward’s innate ability to sell stemmed from a young age selling clothes from his mother’s corner street store, which helped build the foundation to be a successful entrepreneur and business man later in life focusing on financial wealth management and real estate investment. In real estate, Edward has completed $75+ million dollars in land sales over the course of his lucrative career. As further testament to his accomplishments, he is a member of the Chairman’s Council and the Million Dollar Round Table, and is the #1 Life Insurance Agent and overall, the #2 Worldwide Agent for OneAmerica® a Fortune 500 company. Today, Edward serves as a financial broker for Team Financial Partners in Redlands, CA—a general agency appointed with the insurance company of OneAmerica®. There, he leverages his strong background in financial and insurance products, estate planning, and real estate for the benefit of his diverse client base. Along with his natural ability to communicate well, he possesses a talent for identifying the unique needs of his clients and breaking down complex ideas into small, achievable concepts and providing clients with practical methods to create wealth. We sat down with Edward to find out more about his successful career.
How did you start in the wealth management and the finance industry?
I spent most of my youth moving from one place to another, working in FOREX while in San Francisco, then as the marketing manager for one of the nation’s largest commercial lawn corporations, and next a junior vice president for an international retail industry. In 2000, I decided to settle in California to be closer to my then fiancé, who was completing graduate school. I am fortunate that my wife and I make a strong team and share the same dreams and grounded values. She remains the strongest catalyst for my success. She encouraged me to obtain the California life and health insurance licenses. Utilizing my previous sales experience, this was a natural transition. In 2001, I accepted a position selling financial insurance products with New York Life and my career began to take off. I was averaging more than 50 cases per month. I received several Top Sales Awards and became one of New York Life’s best early career agents.
Who were your mentors?
I believe in the quote by Robert Kiyosaki, “Your mentors in life are important, so choose them wisely.” In 2004, I was introduced to my first mentor, Jet Sison. She is the CEO and founder of Capital Holding Inc., the largest private land holding company in the high desert of Southern California. I became an apprentice and Jet said to me one day, “You were born to sell,” and pushed me to add a real estate license to my growing list of qualifications. By 2005—my first year in real estate—I became the Top Broker for Capital Holdings with more than $75+ million in land sales alone. During that same year, I met my second mentor while working at a Fortune 500 company, John Fountain, CEO and founder of Creative Benefits, a financial service corporation. He encouraged me to complete the Series 6 and 63. He taught me how to further diversify my financial knowledge and skills and I began to learn about wealth management, the stock market, and fixed and variable financial products such as mutual funds and 401k retirement accounts to provide exceptional service to my high-net-worth clients as their wealth manager—educating clients rather than selling products. During this time, I was recognized as the Top Producer of the company.
How did you transition into commercial real estate?
I have continued to work in the financial industry this entire time, but remained with the Fortune 500 company until 2015, the year when I received an exclusive invitation to apprentice at Bentley Forbes Corporation and Metropolitan Equities in Beverly Hills. I discussed the opportunity with my wife and she encouraged me to take the position. She believed this was my chance to learn from the very best, and I agreed. My third and fourth mentor, respectively, was Fred Wehba, CEO and founder of Bentley Forbes and Gustavo Boros, CFO of Metropolitan Equities. Fred’s impressive real estate portfolio includes signature properties such as the Watergate Hotel in DC, the Bank of America Building in Atlanta, the Prudential Building in Chicago, and the Four Seasons in Austin. After completing a six-month apprenticeship, Fred appointed me as the vice president of Bentley Forbes. While at Bentley Forbes, I reviewed numerous financial statements of multi-million-dollar hotels and commercial real estate properties and multi-billion dollar real estate portfolios, directly working with Gustavo handling all M&A transactions. I collaborated with CEOs and CFOs of world-renowned real estate corporations; often times our competitors, to buy and sell hotels and break ground on new commercial real estate developments, as well as raise capital. I also worked directly with presidents of private equity and hedge fund corporations. My time at Bentley Forbes not only enabled me to work with the very top people in multiple industries—hotel and commercial real estate, finance and banking, private equity, and development but also presented me with countless opportunities I would have never received otherwise.
How did you integrate all that you have learned and experienced?
In 2019, I returned to the finance and insurance industry to continuously incorporate my experience with M&A, commercial real estate, and land sales. I chose OneAmerica® and joined Team Financial Partners as a financial advisor. I quickly became the agency’s top broker. When the world came to a halt in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew I needed to become even more dynamic than ever and build a team to successfully reach my goals. By July 2020, all the hard work paid off and my team exceeded beyond our projected goals. I became the #1 Life Insurance Agent and overall, the #2 Worldwide Agent for OneAmerica®. This was one of the greatest honors I have received.
Do you have a niche area at Team Financial Partners?
Yes, I focus on premium financing life insurance for high-net-worth clients who have a net worth of $5 million and above. This product is beneficial because it provides tax free income and can be used for estate planning, or for corporations a bonus structured plan for the executive leadership to help decrease the company’s tax liability and pay for the premium. Banks will contribute to the annual premium up to 10x the client’s contribution for a better rate of return. This product provides an innovative alternative to traditional investment vehicles. I am one of the few national financial advisors equipped to offer premium financing to customers. I also believe in every product I sell because I first purchase the product myself before recommending them to clients.
How do you spend your time outside of the office?
My wife, son, and I are world travelers. We have travelled the globe extensively from swimming with the sharks in the Philippines to walking through the Louvre in Paris, to making sushi in Tokyo, and cruising the Mediterranean. We are also very active and snow ski during the winter season, and do water sports during the summer. Because of the generosity of my mentors, I have now focused my attention on being a mentor to younger individuals entering this industry. It is competitive, but with the right mentors and laser focused hard work anyone can succeed.
Team Financial Partners
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