Hey there! My name is Jeff Brainard and I’m the author of The Mile High Money Blog. Thanks for stopping by.
I know, I know…there sure a lot of bloggers out there writing about personal finance. You might be asking, “what makes you different?”
I think I have a pretty cool perspective, to be honest. I am the founder of a financial planning and investment management firm in Littleton, Colorado called Columbine Wealth Planning. We provide financial planning, advanced college planning, and investment management services to all kinds of folks.
I coach youth sports, too. Coaching is one of my passions…but one that doesn’t pay very well, especially at the youth level. It’s a great excuse to spend time outside and, more importantly, spend time with my boys.
Did I mention that I love the University of Colorado football team? Like, really love them? You may see commentary from time to time about the Buffs on this site. Broncos, Nuggets, and Rockies, too. Go Buffs.
My Career and ETFs
I started my career in finance in 1999. I went to work for an upstart mutual fund firm in Denver, Colorado called ALPS Portfolio Solutions and, quite literally, barely understood what a mutual fund was. But I knew that mutual fund portfolio managers made a ton of money and it seemed cool, so I decided that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up.
As luck would have it, ALPS became a major force in the popularization of the Exchange Traded Fund, or ETF, which is possibly the greatest investment innovation of the past 30 years and continues to disrupt the entire industry on a daily basis. I was blessed to stumble into working with the Sector SPDR ETFs in 2004 as their first hire for institutional sales.
Working with ETFs gave me the amazing opportunity to work with some of the largest investment management firms in the world, including State Street Global Advisors, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, and New York Life’s Mainstay Investments. I traveled the country for over 10 years educating financial advisors and institutional money managers on building investment portfolios using ETFs until late 2016, when I started laying the foundation for my own firm.
My Love Affair with Personal Finance
I probably haven’t mentioned that I own a BMW that I have no business owning. Easily one of the worst financial decisions I’ve made as an adult. Everyone is susceptible to their own stupid ego from time to time and everyone makes bad decisions with money.
I have spent a lifetime trying to learn about personal finance in my career and in my own home.
I’m a staunch believer in using ETFs and other low-cost index funds for investments. I think you should probably never own a whole life insurance policy. And I subscribe to the notion that the majority of financial problems can be solved by saving more money and spending less of it. Most of the other things will require some help.
This blog will be both educational and an opportunity to explore the world of personal finance and the decisions we make with our money.
Join me. It’ll be fun.
My Street Cred
It just so happens that I also spent over 15 years working for the marketing and sales juggernaut that is otherwise known as the mutual fund industry before I made this move. I’ve had the luxury of getting to see what’s behind the proverbial curtain in the Land of Oz called Wall Street.
I’m a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), a graduate of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, a husband, a father of three beautiful kids, and very curious about the way the world of personal finance works – both inside and out.