There’s no better testament to Michael Brady’s money-management or customer-service skills than the fact that the financial advisor responsible for more than $110 million in assets did not lose a single client during the Great Recession a decade ago.
“Whereas some others in the industry may have had difficulties dealing with what was happening, I was sitting down with my clients, meeting with them face to face,” said Brady, who started from scratch with LPL Financial 16 years ago.
“That’s what sets us apart at LPL – our ability to communicate. There are so many options out there for people, but we sit down with our clients semiannually, like a dentist, to understand their goals, to try to help them build that economic bridge to where they want to be in the future.”
It’s no coincidence that Brady strives to make his clients’ comfort his No. 1 priority. After all, he never left the comfort of Delaware County on his journey to becoming a respected financial advisor.
A Ridley Park native, he was a member of the last class (1993) to graduate from St. James High School in Chester. And he didn’t travel much farther for college, as he graduated from Widener with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
“Since I was in the Top 10 percent of my class at St. James, I was able to take a few classes for free at Widener, which was right around the corner,” said Brady.
He also received his MBA from Widener, while working there as a major-gifts fundraiser.
For one of his graduate classes, Brady had to write a paper on a financial firm, breaking the company down to its bare bones, in order to determine whether it was one that he’d ultimately like to work for.
“I missed the class where everyone got to choose which firm they were writing about,” he said. “By the time I got to the list, all the Morgan Stanleys were of course taken, so I just circled the first one I saw: Linsco/Private Ledger.
“I had never heard of it, but I’m glad I chose it.”
After researching what is now known as LPL Financial, he concluded that not only would he like to work there, but that it was the only place he wanted to work.
“As an independent financial firm, we don’t manufacture any products,” Brady said. “We can provide any solution for any client, regardless if they need a mutual fund or an annuity from some other company. It gives LPL a certain type of objectivity, where its advisors aren’t trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.”
Upon graduation, he was told that financial advisors don’t usually start their careers at LPL, a fact that only emboldened him.
“When you go to an independent firm, no one is handing you a book of business,” Brady said. “It’s not like you’re taking over the business of someone who was there before you, who’s just leaving or retiring. That’s why they suggest you start elsewhere for about five years, so you can build up a book of business.
“But I argued with them until they opened up a window for me and let me take my (registration) tests.”
Now, Brady, whose base is in Broomall, has two full-time employees, and helps to oversee 30 other LPL advisors in the tri-state area, helping them write, then fulfill their business plans.
Throughout the years, communication, he said, has been the No. 1 factor in building and sustaining a loyal client base.
“If you do right by your clients, they become your sales team,” Brady said. “We get referrals in our office all the time. They like how we communicate, how we lay out our value proposition in choosing us.
“We pride ourselves in what we deliver and, at times, over-deliver. And without (operations manager) Adam Marone and (office manager) Nicole Pizzo, this business would never be able to deliver the value to our clients that we promise.”
Brady served a three-year tenure as President of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. Also, he’s currently a board member at the Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County, and a member of Delaware County Council’s Workforce Development Board, a position he was appointed to, so he could extol the virtues of locating a business in Delco.
Michael Brady can be contacted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.