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Pastor Fuster Jr.

Founder, Fuster Financial Group

Recalling the time five years ago when he decided to go independent and his wirehouse manager told him he would never make it, Pastor Fuster Jr. said the words didn’t sting, they only made him more determined.

“I was used to hard work and knew I could do it,” said Fuster, who came to Miami at age 6 from Cuba, after his family spent a year in Panama awaiting entry. He remembers helping his father sell communion dresses at flea markets to earn money, and his parents insisting that he attend college.

Graduating from Florida International University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business, Fuster later earned a CFP, becoming one of only about 3,000 Hispanic holders of the designation.

Around the time he affiliated with LPL Financial, his then-3-year-old son was diagnosed with autism. Fuster threw himself into learning about the condition and got involved in local volunteer efforts, becoming board chairman of the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, which serves 15,000 families in South Florida. Today, Fuster is studying to receive the Chartered Special Needs Consultant designation and is working on solutions to help combat the 85% unemployment rate among adults with autism.

Evan Cooper