Episode 1: Meet John Browning

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Welcome to the Build Your Life Podcast with Financial Expert John Browning.

On this episode, you'll learn about John and how he got started in the Financial Planning field and why he's so passionate about bringing his personal values to the workplace.

For more information, visit www.GuardianRockWealth.com to learn more about what John can do for you.

Welcome to the building your life podcast with John Browning. Building your life is a relaxed and unedited conversation with financial expert John Brownie. John's the founder of Guardian Rock Wealth in Lake Forest, Illinois. He's also the author of the Book Build Your Life, not a portfolio, a guide to your financial future based on your personal values. Now you can purchase John's book on Amazon, or you can stay around to the end of today show and I'll tell you how to get a free copy milk right to your door. I'm Michael to lawn, your host for the next few minutes as we chat with financial expert, business owner and author John Brownie. Hello John, how are you today? I'm doing great. Michael, how are you? I am tremendous. It's a beautiful, sunshiny day here and it's always good to talk with you for a few minutes. Thanks for a squeezing us into your schedule. Absolutely. Hey, I want to start this podcast series off. This is your in brand new podcast and I love the fact that you're going to be going out to your listeners and your clients with great information on a regular basis.

But we want to start this whole thing off really with what I called the orientation, you know, John, and getting people to know who you are and why you do what you do. So give us a brief background of who you are, your background. You know where you grew up, family values, things of that nature. Yeah, sure, you know what. I grew up in West Virginia, of all places. It's beautiful state and like any any young boy in West Virginia, I enjoyed running around the hills and the woods and I grew up just outside of the capital city of West Virginia, so I did did know a little bit about city life and understood that. But really my first Love was getting out in nature and just enjoying things and unfortunately, for much to the Chagrin of my parents and my teachers, I spent more time outdoors running around than I did on my studies, and I think with that's probably why they suggested at the time, even as I worked my way up and began to realize it would have been a better...

...idea to spend more time when in the books, it was suggested that I go into farming or something outdoors and just kind of forget about this whole notion of going to college. But I will say that my parents always instilled in me the determination and the not necessarily the necessity, but the wherewithal to to try and get something else out of life, something besides something besides the you know, the idea of manual labor, something besides something that I could do for the rest of my life. And so I ended up trying and I took the test and I frankly squeaked by, by the skin of my teeth, got into got into college, place called now called Cedarville University. Yeah, and it you know, it was a tough first year because I didn't...

...really have the background that I needed in the studies to really make it in college. And Yeah, my Dad, I remember my dad talking to me and he said you got to make this work. This is really expensive, and he's right. So I buckled down. I got the help that I needed. That's one of the things that I have learned is that asking for help is not a weakness, it's it's actually a strength. Got The help that I needed and and it up actually doing fairly well in college and it wasn't too long before, and early in my freshman year, when they found out that I could actually I could actually sing. If you can believe that, and they put me on a quartet called the kingsman quartet and we traveled throughout the United States for I did that that year. Yeah, it was three years and it was it was fun. It was I got to know a lot of people, I got to understand the different cultures around the United...

States and I begin to really appreciate the differences that are out there, even within our own country, and and really enjoyed meeting those people and learning about them and their lives and and I think that's part of why I do what I do today. So, wow, cool, yeah, good. Quick back on. Tell us a little bit about family. Yeah, so in College, actually, the reason that I didn't I wasn't on that quartet for all four years as I went against once again against the advice of my parents and got married on my in my senior year to my college sweetheart, Christine, and thirty years now and she's still putting up with me. So she's like a big part of what I do here at Guardian Rock and helped me with the book and all of that. We ended up we had three children and then we began to work in the foster care system here in Illinois and...

...we ended up through a lot of different kids coming through our house and taking care of them. We ended up with three adoptive kids as well. So we've got six kids and I think and almost all of them are adults now we have one who's thirteen and making her way through middle school with all the drama that goes along with a teenage girl. So we've gotten through that and gotten through sending some kids to college and all the planning and financial planning, frankly, that goes into that. So we still live here in Wheaton, Illinois at this point and it's been a it's been a great experience. Just just with that. That's awesome. Yeah, well, you know, you may know my backgrounds very similar to year. Has Been Married thirty years within foster parents. We adopted to and my eldest daughter is thirteen or eleven. So I'm a couple years behind you. So I'm going to be looking to your for some council advice navigating these years. But what a blasting, what...

...a joy to be part of the foster care system and adopt those girls into your forever family. Way To go. That's awesome and it so talk to us a little bit. So that's kind of who you are now. What do you do and how to get into this business? Well, to be perfectly frank, when I graduated from college we were in the middle of a bit of a recession and guy with a business major and business management really we had a hard time getting a job, frankly. So, just to be very honest, I took what I could get and it ended up being a financial firm. Here I was kind of came in on the customer service side, you know, didn't didn't make a lot of money, but it was a start, and I didn't think this way at the time, but it was actually the perfect place to start for a career on Wall Street. I took on every extra project that they threw at me and eventually moved. I...

...learned in customer service how to how to deal with people. I learned to understand the difficulties that real people go through in their financial life just getting things done. It can be pretty frustrating just to get the right paperwork, the right types of signatures, all that, and I learned how to do that and do that well. As a result of taking on those extra of responsibilities every time they came up, I began to get recognized and I moved up into an analyst roll, fixed income analyst, first as a municipal bond analyst, then as a corporate analyst, then got into the equity side of things. Eventually, long story shorts, I ended up managing a division that controlled over about a hundred and twenty billion dollars in assets and in through all of that, I think again, there was a lot of times I didn't feel like this was a great thing. It just it was hard, it was very difficult, but I learned from some of the greatest minds on the Wall...

Street. I sat in some of the conference rooms with the people who you know from Goldman sacks, from Morgan Stanley, Meryll Lynch, all the big firms, teaching me and building into my life as I learned and frankly, sometimes failed. I like to call it failing forward. It's right because you'll because you learn more from that and then you do from from all that time I spent at the university, absolutely really the best place to learn from. So I was really privileged to go through all of that and now through almost thirty years on the big in the Big Wall Street firms and buying and selling some of my own businesses. I've taken all of this and and I just want to apply that to individuals, individual clients, and show them some of the tricks and the and the insider secrets of Wall Street help them actually save...

...some money while they're building their life and their portfolio. That's great. That's great. Talk to us a little bit and we'll get into this more an in and upcoming episode. But who would be an ideal client for you? I mean too many times we look at financial advisors, wealth managers and things and we exclude ourselves because we don't have a seven figure income and think, but who would be an ideal client for you? Who should call you that for help? You know what? I like to think the I can add some value to just about anyone. And if they're not, if they don't have the assets that we can really make a difference in, I'm happy to tell them that. But I'm also happy to add value. I'm a big believer in the more value that you add to anyone out there, the more value eventually comes back. But if you don't have to have a seven figure income to work with us, a Guardian Rock. As a matter of fact, a lot of our clients come from fairly modest incomes that they're making,...

...but they again, they've they want to develop a plan that's consistent, that matches with their values through our advocacy investing program often, and certainly, the more money you make helps, but it's not not really always the the determinants of whether or not it's good for us to work with them. Right we can. We can work with a lot of people and make a big difference in their financial lives well, and that's good to hear because what you know, the subtit of your book, the books title is build a life, not a portfolio, and we want to talk more about that in your philosophy behind that. The subtitles a guide to your financial future based on your personal values. And so many times we forget about the personal values in the foundation they need to lay for our financial future, because some people may have values not to not to grow a net worth of a million dollars or two million...

...dollars or eight million dollars, but to have a value of giving the money away while they're here, let's saying, supporting a charity or foster care or doing something with that money. That's a personal value decision that plays into of financial plan. But you can never understand that until you sat down and talk with them. Right, that's exactly right. Everyone, everyone is a different set of values and that comes from their different perspectives, all the way back to how they grew up and and what their family life was like. And I I'm not here to suggest that what they believe is wrong or is right, but I am here to help them invest in a way that they build their life the way that they want to build it and and end up with the goals that they really want to have. And that goal doesn't have to be having ten million dollars by the time that they retire. I think that's another myth or missnormal that's out there. Many people can survive just fine for...

...for many, many years on much, much less than that. Yeah, and that's a breath of fresh air actually, because all we hear from media and everybody else is you know what your number and you've got to have a few million dollar savior you're going to be in the poorhouse, and that may not always be the case. Right. So there is hope for for them, and that's what I love about what you do and in your perspective and really frankly the book. As as I read through the book, it was really good at it shed light on a lot of things. But it's not just about tactics and strategies. It's more philosophy and and how do you take your personal values and bring that to the table and build a financial strategy around that to support that? And we want to talk in an upcoming episode about Your Book and Why you wrote Your Book and things, but we'll save that for later. You've done it. You're not a great job today just kind of orienting us to who you are, your background with college and meeting your wife and foster care and raising on six kids and why you do what you...

...do. So you're not a new be at this by any means. You've been on Wall Street. You've been around the block a few times. So that that has a lot of credibility and credence and comfort really to people realizing that we can come to you, we can call you and talk and whether I have Tenzero, a hundred thousand, a hundred million, you've got something of value to bring to the table. So that's that's really cool, John. I appreciate that. So let's let's wrap this section up. And we'll have another episode coming up that we're going to unpack the book and some other aspects I want to I want to dig a little bit deeper into your understanding of money and how you look at money, John, because I thought it was really interesting what you wrote in the book. So we'll talk about that maybe in an upcoming episode. But so as a pleasure talking with you, John, money really is a big part of our lives and John Brown, I can help you and your family learn how to keep money in this proper place. It is important, but it's only a tool that can help you build the life that you really want. And if you'd like for John De Melio free copy of his book again, his books titled Build a life,...

...not a portfolio, you can just go to John's website. It's Guardian Rock wealthcom, and then you click on the contact us link and there's a form there. You can fill out that form and just in the in the comment section, just write you know, Free Book and John Will Send you a free copy of his book absolutely for You. Don't have to face shipping or anything. He's going to send it to you and it's a great read. You're going to really understand who John is and a little bit more about how you can build your your portfolio to support your life. So thanks for listening to the building your life podcast with John Browning. Be Sure to subscribe to this podcast so each new episode will be sent to you automatically when it is released. Have a terrific day.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (135)