Growing up my Dad would say, “With your expensive taste son, you better get a good job.”
At the time, nor he or I knew it wasn’t a “good job” that set a person financially free, it was a different paradigm.
We were a typical middle-class, blue-collar family living in St.
Louis. Dad came from Croatia. Worked as a lab engineer at a heating and cooling manufacturing company. He also usually ran
a business on the side, in the evenings and on the weekends.
My mom was a stay-at-home parent for much of my childhood.
She was laid back and did an excellent job getting us to where
we needed to be while making sure we didn’t kill ourselves
during the day.
I didn’t see my dad all that much growing up because he was always working. But I admired his work ethic and his ability to figure anything out. He was a hard worker and always produced positive results.
As a teen, I dreamed of having upscale things, cars, and homes and such, but I had no example to follow for how this is actually done.
While my dad worked hard, he always traded time for money. If he wanted something he would do extra work to create the money to go buy it. The challenge is that he always had to rely on his ability to work to create the cash flow to do the things he wanted to do.
I always respected his dedication and work ethic. So as a young man in my twenties, I mistakenly chased material things and found myself having to work harder to keep up with my lifestyle. I learned the hard way that the status quo for achieving wealth was broken.
After doing it wrong for years, I finally had an epiphany. I realized I needed to create assets that are income-producing and that would pay for my lifestyle. I set a goal to have all my bills paid by passive income, and I accomplished it! And that’s when my focus for what I’m really trying to do for clients came into clarity.
Today, I am 29 years into my profession and 27 years into my marriage with my awesome wife. We have three children that make us so proud. Our son is married with three children, our oldest daughter is married with two children and our youngest daughter is in college working on her Physician Assistant degree.
Throughout their lives, my wife and I have taught our children two main things:
Most importantly, to pursue a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ and live out your faith in your daily walk.
A worthy pursuit in life is for the thing’s money cannot buy; building relationships, investing in others, creating memories and experiences with the people that you love. And the pursuit of things will never bring satisfaction. So, rather than focusing on acquiring things, use your money to build income producing assets that can buy your toys and fund your dreams. Real wealth is not found in things but in the freedom to live your life free from having to work for a paycheck or trade your time for money.
The same thing I want for my children is the same thing I want for my clients and the reason I love my work.
Brian Skrobonja, ChFC®, CPWA®, is a Chartered Financial Consultant, a Certified Private Wealth Advisor professional, an author, blogger, podcaster, speaker, and prolific producer of content on topics related to wealth creation, preservation and utilization. He is the founder and president of a wealth management firm based out of St Louis, Missouri dedicated to helping people make smart choices with their money.
He has spent years challenging his audiences to think differently about money, debunking common financial myths and helping people identify the purpose for their money. He’s often contrarian, sharing messages not heard elsewhere, encouraging people to let go of limiting beliefs and challenging them to seek the truth about what it takes to build wealth.
Brian embarked on this mission in 1993, entering the financial services industry and quickly realizing that the information that’s widely believed to be true about money was actually false or based on half-truths. He also concluded that the advice being distributed by advisors, the financial media and entertainers were all rooted in these misperceptions.
His goal as a professional is to help his audience discover the root of their beliefs about money as the pathway to reaching their goals. It is this unique approach that has allowed for Skrobonja Financial Group’s growth in recent Years.
Brian is passionate about educating his audience by writing books, producing a podcast, writing blogs, and speaking on topics related to wealth creation, preservation and utilization.
Brian Skrobonja, ChFC®, CPWA®, is a Chartered Financial Consultant, a Certified Private Wealth Advisor professional, an author of three books: “Common Sense,” “Generational Planning” and “Retirement Planning,” and is the host of FORBES Top 10 Podcasts by Financial Advisors, the Common-Sense Financial podcast. He has been featured on KMOX radio and 97.1 FM Talk in St. Louis, The Dave Ramsey Show, and has been interviewed by Advisors Magazine.
In 2018 he received the Future 50 Company award and in 2021 received Best in business by St. Louis Small Business Monthly, a publication which named Brian among the Best Wealth Managers in St. Louis in 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. He is a contributor for Kiplinger magazine, Medium and Advisor magazine.