My parents emigrated to New York from Czechoslovakia when I was two. They were exceedingly careful with money—when I tore the knees of my (generic) jeans, my mother would patch them, not buy a new pair. We saved for the big things—like education and family trips. So when I asked my parents for a $3,000 loan to help fund my move to teach English in Japan after college, I was amazed when they said yes. One of my proudest moments was paying them back within that first year of teaching overseas.
That experience—saving to take advantage of opportunities I wanted to pursue—set the course for my future.
The confidence I built supporting myself abroad opened doors to my next ex-pat opportunities: writing investment research in Malaysia, becoming an equity analyst in the Czech Republic and later London (ABN Amro and Citigroup). Finally, I came full circle—back ‘home’ to New York marketing equity research for Citigroup and Auerbach Grayson.
But after a career spent with institutional investors, something was still missing: I realized that my greatest joy and satisfaction came from helping my clients on a personal level. That’s when I decided to train as a financial planner and now here I am, doing my best work yet at Financial Life Focus.
Today, I’m using every one of my financial, international and life lessons to help other families build the life they dream of.