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Ventura County Review

NYSE Member Jones Opens Santa Paula Unit

June 01, 1993|Jack Searles

Santa Paula, a city known mainly as an agricultural center, is hardly the Wall Street of the West, but it now boasts its own New York Stock Exchange member brokerage office.

The office is a unit of St. Louis-based Edward D. Jones & Co., which has more than 2,200 offices nationwide. Most of Jones' offices are in small communities, reports Michael S. Kelley, manager of the Santa Paula unit.

Kelley opened the Santa Paula office in March, but will hold a formal opening ceremony Wednesday in the city of 25,000.

"Jones is a conservative firm that has made small towns its niche," Kelley said. "We concentrate on low-risk securities such as tax-free bonds and mutual funds. We also market certificates of deposit, though there hasn't been much call for them lately because of their low yields."

Thus far, business has been "quite good," Kelley said. "Here, as elsewhere, people are turning to the stock market as an alternative to the low interest being paid by the banks."

Many of his customers, he noted, are retirees who moved to Santa Paula because of its mild climate and relatively low real estate prices.

Kelley, 52, is a certified public accountant who was a customer of Jones' Solvang office for a dozen years. "I liked the way they did business, so I entered their training program and went to work for them."

The new office is Jones' fourth in Ventura County; the others are in Ventura, Ojai and Camarillo.

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