My purpose is to create financial plans that allow families to live dreams they never believed to be possible.
Bradley Simich joined Howard Bailey in November 2018. Since then, he has used his passion for helping people to help families build comprehensive financial plans that allow them to retire with purpose. Brad uses his experiences as a U.S Marine and his genuine approach to financial planning to allow Howard Bailey clients to live with meaning. Originally from our Fort Wayne office, Brad moved up to Mishawaka to help expand our second location. In this next installment of our interview series, we talked to Brad to get an idea of how his life experiences help influence his approach to financial planning and how his transition to Mishawaka has been.
Q: What types of jobs did you have as a Marine?
A: I started as a helicopter mechanic on CH-53 Deltas. From there, I got qualified and moved into the role of plane captain, in which I would inspect aircraft before flight and approve them to fly their missions. After receiving more qualifications, I became a collateral duty inspector, where I would go out and inspect the maintenance actions of other Marines. As I started to get higher in rank, I moved into other roles such as a work center supervisor. I also took on an MOS (military occupation specialty) as an aerial observer/aerial gunner. One of the cool parts of that job was that I got to man a .50 caliber machine gun. I would also go on missions and help crew chiefs and pilots. In my first deployment to Afghanistan, I wouldn’t go on very many high-risk missions. As I went into my second deployment, I would go on more specialized and high-risk missions.
After that, I reenlisted into a non-deployable unit in North Carolina and began instructing new recruits on helicopter maintenance. I became an instructor evaluator and additionally added the role of a course supervisor. I would develop the course curriculum, teach material to new instructors and travel to different schoolhouses to help improve their teaching process. From there, I went back to Hawaii and became a job supervisor, in charge of 70 Marines. I served as more of a manager in that role; I was in charge of the day-to-day life and mentored the soldiers I managed. I also would make sure they were meeting all of their qualifications. After that, I was medically separated, and I moved into financial advising.
Q: How has your experience in the U.S Marine Corps helped you in your career as a financial advisor?
A: I think what prepared me for that is in the Marines, it’s not just dealing with people you’ve been around your whole life. I’m no longer dealing with people just from Michigan, where I grew up. I’m now dealing with people from every aspect of life. Whether it be poverty, wealthy families, people that grew up in the U.S or are from a different country. You have to learn how to interact with everybody. Just because you do something one way doesn’t mean they are responsive to that. You have to learn to adapt to the way they learn. I think my passion and my attention to detail helps with the planning process and looking to develop plans that really fit people’s needs.
I initially started at Edward Jones, I did all my training through them and set up my securities licensing. But once I got there, I realized that their business model wasn’t what I was looking for. I liked the idea of working for myself, having my own office and not having to deal with any corporate-type setting. I had a lot of free time and was able to really focus on being a parent.
But I wanted more. Once I started talking with my family members that were retiring, my parents and grandparents, I realized I couldn’t really provide what I wanted to for them. Coming to Howard Bailey, with our purpose-based retirement framework, I was able to see some commonalities with what I wanted to do. So, after several meetings with Casey and talking with him, I decided to make the switch to Howard Bailey, and I’ve loved it ever since.
Q: What drew you to Howard Bailey and working in the financial services industry?
A: I like forming a comprehensive plan that can really hit every aspect of a person’s needs, not just putting money in the markets.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job as a financial advisor?
A: I love interacting with families. One of my biggest takeaways is watching someone that you’ve had a relationship with transition into retirement or realize that they can retire when they always thought they couldn’t retire. I’ve had families start crying once that realization hits. That brings me joy, showing that what you’ve helped them create means something to them and creating those lifelong relationships.
Q: What is your favorite part about meeting a new client?
A: My favorite part is getting to know any new clients. At the very first meeting, I’m not really talking about finances or making recommendations, it’s really just about getting to know them. One of my favorite questions to ask a married couple is how long they have been married and how they met. It’s really interesting to see some of the ways that people have met throughout their life. My wife and I have an interesting story as well so it’s fun to hear those stories, whether it’s that they met in college or at work or some other way. It’s a really fun question to ask somebody.
Q: What are some tips you have for pre-retirees or retirees who are looking for a financial planner?
A: The biggest thing is that a lot of people think they can do it on their own. People start getting close-minded in a sense. A lot of do-it-yourself investors are like that, they look at one specific timeframe and a specific action. They aren’t looking at the whole picture. When you come in with a financial planner and look at a comprehensive plan, we are looking at the whole picture. We’re looking at how the decisions we make today are going to affect us 10 years down the road. We’re not just looking at how to get the biggest return, we’re looking at what really makes sense for the plan. If somebody doesn’t need a 15% return, why are we risking all of their assets for something we don’t need. I find that happens a lot
When you start looking at the bigger picture and start looking at their finances, they might be spending unnecessary taxes on money they aren’t even touching. So, we need to look at how we can more efficiently position their funds to meet their goals. This all goes back to their purpose. What brings them the most joy in life? What do they want out of retirement? What does the money they saved mean to them? The biggest goal is to develop a plan to allow people to spend with confidence and take that worry away from them. It’s really a partnership. I’m not here to just be a one-way road. My ideal client is someone who I can have a conversation back and forth with and they take my advice and I take some of their advice, and together we form a plan.
Q: What’s next for you at Howard Bailey?
A: I just took over the Dave Ramsey SmartVestor Program, so I’m the SmartVestor Pro here in Mishawaka. I’m also working towards my Certified Financial Planner®, I’m on my third course right now. With everything going on, it’s a long process. I’m working on completing the CFP® education and then going to sit for the exam
Q: What are some of your favorite things to do/ places to do in Mishawka?
A: With everything going on currently, we don’t really get out much. When I get off of work, I’ll get home and eat dinner, I’ll play basketball with my youngest son. My older son prefers to play video games. But every night, my younger son will say “Dad, can you move the cars so we can play basketball?” We moved into a new home, so I’m still doing home projects. Now, I’m in the process of moving my dad in with me, so I’m going back and forth to Fort Wayne to get his house on the market. Once I’m out of work, I like to relax and be with my family.
Q: What does your perfect day off look like?
A: It’s kind of weird, but I like going to movies by myself. I would go see a horror movie if there’s a new one out. I love having nothing to do, so really just relaxing. If I don’t have anything to do, I love just going with whatever feels right. I love going out to eat. My wife can’t stand that I love going out to eat, but I love it. I might go on a bicycle ride. I used to have a motorcycle, so if it was a nice day I would go and take the Harley out. I would love not having anything on my plate, no objective for the day. On vacations, even if it’s just going to see family, I like to shut off my email, not answer any phone calls and just enjoy the peace and quiet.
Q: How would you define your purpose and meaning?
A: My purpose is to create financial plans that allow families to live dreams they never believed to be possible. I create meaning through developing relationships with the families I partner with as well as being intentional about supporting my fellow team members.