Have You Met Michael Bradley?
Even though Michael Bradley is a wealth management specialist, he seems to have grasped what true wealth is in this life. "There is so much more to real wealth than simple accumulation- it’s the way we conduct our careers, serve others, and give to others. It’s what we do, our values, not just what we earn. It’s our true vision!"
Bradley grew up in southwest Iowa, where for 57 years his grandparents and parents owned a livestock auction business. "After I went to college in Nebraska, though, I just never went back. And then my parents moved to Phoenix in the late 80’s. So I also made Phoenix my home for 23 years." Since 2011, Michael has lived full time in San Diego.
In 2002, Michael founded Bradley Wealth Management, where as President and CEO, he is a financial consultant and investment advisor for a select group of clients throughout the country. "I started the business with no clients, so I’ve truly grown it into the success it is today."
A genial and caring businessman, Michael himself was inspired to strike out on his own by watching the family auction business. "I grew up watching how money was handled, both the good and bad. Then I studied finance in college, and knew I wanted to serve others by helping them make smart money choices. I have a passion for people. My business hope is to bring "meaning to money", to incorporate a person’s values and goals with their investments."
Today Michael Bradley contributes to his meaningful life by serving with Helping Hands for Freedom. This nonprofit provides for military children and their families who are facing injury, loss, and multiple deployments. "Where I attended college in Lincoln, Nebraska, Rod Smith also went there and played football, although we did not know each other then. Years later we were traveling in the same circles, and found we knew many of the same people from college. After Rod came to a meeting with the state planning commission, I was invited to play in the HHFF golf tournament, and we just hit it off, and since then have made a life- long connection and friendship. We share the same Midwest roots and values. I started donating my time and resources, served on a committee, and recently have become a board chair for Helping Hands for Freedom."
As Bradley explains, "The strongest aspect of HHFF is that it is unique. Clearly we fill an unaddressed need in our society. When you look across the nation at all the soldiers that have gone to war, especially in the last decade, you see many children who have been left fatherless or without a strong support system. Through us, kids can be involved with a mentor and find renewed joy in living. No other charity does what we do."
Michael Bradley firmly believes, "The best life starts with a vision and a clarification of our values. Part of my business is to try to bring simplicity to living life. And ultimately, I think everyone gets one life to live and it is up to each one of us to make the most of it!"
What are your local volunteer activities? Helping Hands for Freedom (Board Chairman); Fiesta Bowl (Life Member); Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Who inspired you to give back to your community? High School Basketball Coach. He taught me that there are many non-tangible benefits to giving back. I believe that giving turns ordinary money into change, a change for the better that improves lives and the community. I feel it’s vital for mankind to always think about what they can do to better community in which they live. Whether it's volunteering for a community event, helping out a neighbor in need, or making a donation, the act itself doesn't matter. Even the smallest act of giving can spark change.
Which fundraising event is your favorite? Helping Hands for Freedom (HHFF). Helping Hands for Freedom is a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports military children of fallen and wounded service members, as well as children who currently have a parent that is deployed.
The children of our wounded service members, and those who lose a parent to war, suffer not only from the devastating loss of a parent and a life-changing home environment, but also from the absence of a significant contributor to their growth, development, and education. Children whose parents serve multiple deployments also face considerable change. To these children facing such significant issues, caring mentors and proven leadership provide the vital support, encouragement, and inspiration to help them reach their goals in life. We work to address the gaps in the military and government’s support for the immediate needs facing our military children and families.
HHFF has a tremendous team organized to reach military children not only in Arizona and Southern California, but all over the country.
Favorite restaurant? Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse (meat and potatoes always wins!)
Who do you most admire, and why? My mom for her unconditional love, enduring spirit, selfless acts, and zest for living life on purpose.
If your life were a movie, who would you want to play your part? Russell Crowe
Do you have any pets? Not presently (but it would be a dog)
When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? This was a "real" home and not an investment….warm and inviting…full of great memories!
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned through the years? Failure is not fatal, learn from your mistakes and move on.
What was your first job? Worked in the family auction business at 10 years old while growing up on a farm
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? Pursuing my long-held passion to conceive, develop, and start a private boutique wealth management firm that provides a signature experience to a select group of families and businesses
What is your most treasured possession? Memories of family, valued friendships (nothing material)
What is the quality you most like in people? Loyalty
Favorite books/Writers? Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? by Louis V. Gerstner, Jr
What is the trait you most deplore in others? Laziness.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Travel, improving my life, my person, my health, and my relationships
What would we be most surprised to know about you? I’m the son of an auctioneer from a small town in SW Iowa
What is the best advice you have ever received? Say please and thank you always
What are some challenges facing nonprofits? Things are not returning to the way they used to be, financially or economically. Income and jobs aren’t coming back. Non-profits today must constantly retool, improve collaboration, rethink strategy, and revisit prospective partnerships and donor sources.
i would like more info on your company. I want to see more