My earliest memories of being exposed to the stock market are drawn from experiences with both of my grandfathers. As immigrants without any formal education, investing was a way for them to partake of the American dream and grow their limited but hard-earned wealth. I have memories of being at my grandparents’ home on a Friday night and watching Louis Rukeyser’s “Wall Street Week” on public television in the 1980s. Occasionally, I would even receive a share or two of stock for my birthday and with that, my passion for investing and the capital markets was born.
After college graduation, I went to work on the floor of the exchange and before long, I scraped up a little money and leased a membership at the Chicago Board of Trade. At that time, the 30-Year Treasury Bond pit was the largest, most active futures contract in the world. That’s where my journey began. While personally trading a thousand contracts a day at times, I saw firsthand how devastating a lack of discipline and planning can be to your financial health.
After a series of business opportunities, I was offered a wealth management position with the Wall Street firms Morgan Stanley and later at JP Morgan. The training and experience at the big firms was great but with their emphasis on selling financial products, I became frustrated. My compensation was largely based on what I sold, not on how I advised regarding wealth accumulation, retirement or tax planning. I had learned years ago from my father, a CPA with his own practice, that relationships are your most valuable asset. My father, in fact, has served some clients and their families for over 50 years- and that is not an accident.
My firm, Breakout Private Wealth, was founded on that principle.
Everything begins and ends with my family. My boys, Andrew and Blake, now teenagers, have taught me more about life than any book or designation. Our time together at the rink, on the field or just at home challenges me to continue to be a better version of myself. My wife Jami, who had no idea that a blind date at the Chicago Blackhawks game twenty plus years ago would turn into a lifetime of hockey rinks and a garage full of sporting equipment, keeps us all on track.
"I think to provide the maximum amount of value for our clients we, as advisors, need to go deep and narrow. That will allow us to be subject matter experts in the areas that matter most to the CLIENT, not to a large firm, or to a commission competition.
If more of us would do business in this way, more people would feel comfortable getting the help that they need. Then everyone wins.
I just started the Gen X Wealth Academy specifically for this reason. It is a way to meet people where they are, not where Wall Street thinks they should be 😯
Accepting 10 founding members now....for free"
Music in this episode was obtained from Bensound.