By Stephanie Bruno
We all want financial independence, right? The path to get there looks different for all of us, but most of us long for the empowerment and freedom financial independence brings. I was raised to value financial self-sufficiency, and this is eventually what led me to pursue a fulfilling career in the financial industry. Here’s my story.
My family was fairly traditional. My parents married young and my dad, the son of Italian immigrants, went to college and worked while my mom stayed home and raised my siblings and me. Even though this was the norm at the time, when I, the last of five kids, came along, my mom realized that being financially dependent on someone else was a disadvantage to her. She raised me to understand the importance of getting a good education and establishing a career so I could have the freedom to choose my path.
In high school, I worked at a small business and got to see the many moving parts of how a business worked. Bit by the business and finance bug, I went to college and earned degrees in both finance and English from the University of New Orleans and Ohio State University, respectively.
Armed with my diplomas, I began my career in private banking and eventually went on to work for a Fortune 100 financial firm. These experiences allowed me to see behind the curtain and learn how financial products work and what good advisors do to succeed. I also spent these years earning some of the industry’s highest regarded certifications, including Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU), and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF). Later I also became a Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) and a Retirement Manager AdvisorSM (RMA®).
I eventually returned to personal advising, even running a wealth management shop for a large regional accounting and consulting firm. These experiences were invaluable to me, not only for what I was able to learn and glean from some of the brightest minds, but also in that they revealed to me my true passion—helping my clients enhance their lives, not just amass money.
I saw many clients walk out the doors of the firms I worked for with a financial plan or investment strategy that would get them from point A to point B, but they weren’t any happier. I decided to take a leap of faith and start my firm, Sea to Peak Financial Advisors, in 2012 to help my clients use their money to bring more meaning to their life.
Now I spend my days working with my clients to discover the things that matter most to them and give them the tools and knowledge necessary to work toward their goals. We don’t limit our work to financial planning; instead, we are in the business of life planning, which we then combine with the financial and investment planning our clients expect.
Owning and running my own financial advisory firm is one of the highlights of my life, but it’s not without its challenges. Weeks like this one for instance when the markets decline rapidly and I know it can cause stress for my clients even though it is part of the normal investing cycle.
It is also hard work to stay on top of the innovations in the financial planning field and solve complex problems for clients. I dedicate significant time each year to continuing my education to make sure we are delivering our best work to clients, but this often takes me away from my clients themselves, which is my preferred use of time! One of the reasons I partner with Dynamic Wealth Advisors is so they can serve as my operation’s back office, which allows me to focus on where I can make the greatest impact in my clients’ lives.
Although there are challenges, I am rewarded each day when I see my clients achieve their goals and experience true happiness in life. I work hard every day simply to make a difference for my clients both financially and otherwise.
Partner With Us?
If you know you need professional advice to organize your finances but want more than the typical advisor offers, we think Sea to Peak Financial Advisors would be a great fit for you! Or if you have concerns about the current economic conditions and want to understand what this means for your portfolio, we can help. To get started on your journey to bringing meaning to your money, schedule a 15-minute phone call or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Clients please use your special client only email.
Stephanie Bruno is the founder of Sea to Peak Financial Advisors, an independent, fee-only financial advisory firm helping executives bring meaning to their money. Stephanie earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of New Orleans and a bachelor’s degree in English from Ohio State University and holds the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF), Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), and Retirement Manager Advisor®(RMA®) designations. She splits her time between Denver and Seattle, where her husband, Steve, serves as the head of Westside School. Outside of the office, Stephanie honors her mom by serving as board chair of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado. Stephanie and Steve have two smart and accomplished daughters, Emma and Leah, as well as two lovable dogs. To learn more about Stephanie, connect with her on LinkedIn.
Stephanie Bruno is an Investment Advisor Representative of Dynamic Wealth Advisors dba Sea To Peak Financial Advisors. All advisory services offered through Dynamic Wealth Advisors.