By Robyn St. James

Walter Pearson likes to tell the story about how he fought in the first World War, and that his interest began when his parents bought him a soldier uniform when he was 4. Since then, he’s done many things, and now at age 98, he has an amazing story to tell to anyone who will listen.

Pearson’s parents were born in England but immigrated to the U.S. before he was born. Around 1945, he fought in Italy during the second World War. While serving, his platoon was pulled from combat due to battle fatigue. Walter said that the men who were chosen to go in their place encountered enemy movements, and 12 of them were killed. Pearson would have been one of them if his platoon had gone into combat.

Pearson started working when he was 15-years-old. He sold magazines door-to-door at age 25 and eventually moved into a brokering position. Later, he became president of First New England Securities, Co. which led to the founding of Pearson Capital while still living in Massachusetts. With over 50 years in the business, Pearson Capital is a private money management firm. One of the things Pearson Capital is proud of is that no one has ever transferred from the company, which means complete customer satisfaction. Pearson still spends his time researching stocks working along with his son Donald, who is an active member of the Apollo Beach community.

Nine years ago, he and his son Donald held their first Toys For Tots collection party where 32 businesses made donations. Last year, 133 businesses gathered at a bowling alley, placing the Pearsons’ endeavor among the top three largest collections in Hillsborough County with 40 bicycles and $4,000 collected.

The Pearsons personally pay about $1,500 for all costs each year. The Veterans of Foreign Wars bureau has been a partner with Pearson Capital for several years, collaborating Toys For Tots and Business After Hours.

“We’re trying to give something back,” Donald said. “Sometimes God blesses you with the right things.”

Walter is also an author. He has written Investing for the Millions, along with writing columns for various publications.

Pearson Capital currently serves 600-700 clients in America.

“It’s nice to give back,” Donald Pearson said.

Fifty-eight years after the company’s founding, Pearson Capital is still giving its customers the same quality service it began with. It is a member of the SouthShore and Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce. For more information on Pearson Capital, visit pearson or call 641-7575.

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