At Raleigh Wealth Solutions and Raleigh Capital Management, Inc., we value the relationships we are able to build with our select families. An important part of any relationship is discovering someone’s “why.” What makes them get out of bed every morning? What makes them excited each day? Of course, we aren’t the only ones asking the questions. You are probably wondering the same things about Brian. We want to share Brian’s story with you so that you can get to know him as more than the president and founder of our companies. He is a humble, charismatic, and passionate leader who genuinely loves what he does and takes a lot of pride in helping people to feel more secure in retirement.
When I was 12 years old, my dad told me that he was cutting the gas line and heating with wood. It was the 80s and gas prices had skyrocketed. I quickly learned that I would be cutting ten cords of wood a year to heat our house. Growing up in a small New England town close to the Canadian border, heat was a pretty big deal.
I loved hockey and was a big sports fan. However, hockey was a very expensive sport. My parents said they could get me to and from practice, but I would need to figure out a way to earn money for the ice time and equipment. At ten years old, I began a paper route career. I grew it from a few families to the biggest paper route in the county. I learned the value of a dollar at a pretty young age! I don’t remember feeling poor. While we didn’t have a lot of stuff, I knew we were really happy and had a great family.
There were 11 total Raleighs running around in my neighborhood. I was the oldest of four and always wanted to be a good role model, not just for my siblings, but the cousins as well. I also wanted to make my parents, aunts, and uncles proud. Sports kept me busy and out of trouble.
I went to undergraduate school at the University of Vermont and worked to help pay tuition. It turns out I was pretty darn good at math and went on to get my Master’s Degree in North Carolina, where I met my wife. I really wanted to master money issues. I think this stemmed from never wanting to tell my children that they could not have things that mattered in their lives.
I took my first position in a Fortune 500 financial services firm. It took me about three years to get into the top 1% of that company. After a successful 10-year career in corporate life, I knew that in order to serve my clients without corporate self-interest, I needed to start my own firm. I was no stranger to hard work. My dad worked in a steel factory and my mom had worked in a paper plate factory – both of their jobs required long hours.
My first five years included 70+ hour work weeks. I knew it would be worth it and I would be better able to shepherd the retiree and business owner clients I loved, without the corporate quotas I had witnessed in the larger firm models.
I was very fortunate to have mentors who made sure that I got a great education in this industry. They always encouraged me to invest in myself and to invest back into the business. It has probably been one of my secrets, if there is such a thing as a secret to success. I tell everyone that it only took us 20 years to become an overnight success.
Making a real difference in the quality of my clients’ lives is what fires me up and keeps me going. A strong work ethic, family, and a natural ability to sort out complex financial matters are what made me who I am. I learned that you need to be 100% committed to those you serve, seek out the best mentors, and always be a lifelong learner.