|Brian Fricke, CFP® is recognized as "America's Worry Free Retirement Expert". He's a Fee Only Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), who has worked with hundreds of retirees and pre-retirees from companies like AT&T, Sprint, Harris, Lockheed Martin and Siemens.
An accomplished speaker and author, Brian has hosted a radio show, provided expert commentary for local TV news programs, publishes a monthly newsletter and has been published in several professional journals.
He's been named a Top Wealth Manager 2004-2008 by Wealth Manager Magazine and a Top Financial Advisor by Orlando Business Journal.
More About Brian and His Company Story:
Rich! That’s the answer I would always give my friends in high school when asked what I planned to be after we all graduated high school. Back then, that definition meant being a millionaire. It didn’t bother me in the least that I had absolutely no idea how I would accomplish my dream. Except that I knew, at least for me, college was not the answer.
I guess deep down inside I always knew I would own a business.
To this day I remember my father always telling me “Be the best at whatever you do. If you do that you’ll always be well paid.” I could hardly wait until the day when I could join my father in the family business.
Then the unthinkable happened, my father died. I was 16, he was 42. One week later my mother went from being a “full-time mom” and part-time bookkeeper to a full-time business owner, with all the responsibility that goes with owning and operating a business.
Mom had no choice! There were not sufficient assets that would give her the choice of deciding whether she would continue being “just a mom”. She had to keep the company going to take care of her two boys.
I look back now and realize this is one of the main reasons I do what I do. My mother should have had choices. She should have been able to decide what she wanted to do with her life, without money influencing her decision.
I got my real estate license when I was 18 and started my career in residential real estate sales. I quickly learned that hauling strangers around in my car was not for me. I remember working with an investor who bought and sold rental homes and noticed his profits far exceeded my commissions, while I did the majority of the work. Soon after, I found myself buying and selling over 30 rental properties.
Then a funny thing started to happen. People started approaching me, asking me how to become financially successful. My financial planning future was born.
I interviewed with any and every company in town that said they did financial planning. I was very disappointed and disillusioned to find that these companies fell into two groups. One group were insurance agents, interested only in selling life insurance and the occasional disability policy. The other group only wanted to sell investments. I just knew there had to be something better.
I remember coming home one evening announcing with great enthusiasm to my wife, that I would be starting my own financial planning company the following week. We had $20,000 in the bank, with an understanding that when that money was gone I’d go back and get a “real job”. We also had a three-month-old infant. And my wife had recently quit her well paying job to be a full time mom. This was something we both felt was very important (and still do).
I was on top of the world. I owned my own company! It didn’t matter that there were no clients or income. My wife had absolute trust and confidence in me. It’s because of her I obtained the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. I just knew if I was really good in what I did no one would care whether or not I had any designation. My wife convinced me of the wisdom of obtaining my CFP designation. I love and admire her for having the trust and confidence in allowing me to pursue my dream.
I remember vividly the afternoon we sat down together on our living room sofa to review our finances. This was a pretty quick process. We had no money in the bank, $30,000 of credit card debt, both cars and the house. It’s also, the day she announced we would be having our second child. Clearly time for me to go get “a real job”.
But some how we both knew our circumstances would change for the better and they did. Today we are totally debt free, including our company. We now have two wonderful boys on their way to being outstanding young men.
In the beginning I would work with anyone. This made for long days and time away from my family. As time went on and the company grew I started to realize that it was time for a change and restructured the way we conduct business. Now we serve no more than 100 top clients, who leave the details of their finances to us. Therefore, they are able to do in life what’s important to them.
Along the way, I have found my definition of rich has changed. Now it’s not so much about how much money I have. It is about having the freedom and security to do what I want, when I want, and with whom I want. This, I truly believe, is what our company is all about.
Watching a client walk away from millions of dollars in stock options, knowing they already “have enough”. Willing to create the time to do those things important to them by sacrificing what some would consider significant wealth. Or the corporate executive who takes early retirement. Not because he’s asked to, but because we wants to. So he can pursue other opportunities that are more important to him, like managing the business side of his church or organizing missions throughout the world. Not to mention the couple experiencing the freedom and joy they get from traveling the entire U.S. in their motorhome.
None of our clients will show up on some wealthiest in America list. However, I suspect they are truly “richer” than many of this nations wealthiest families.
For more information about Brian Fricke and his company, please vist www.BrianFricke.com
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