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Eileen Freiburger

The reason I got into this profession

In part, I can thank my grandmother. When I was a teenager, she presented envelopes to me, my siblings and cousins. Each envelope contained a stock certificate from her AT&T shares splitting into the Baby Bells. My envelope was for US West, and I tracked end-of-day prices and reinvested dividends on a green ledger pad. To this day I love to see clients come in with their own tracking forms, ledgers or Excel spreadsheets.

After leaving my first financial job, with Charles Schwab & Co., in my late 20s, I spent many years honing my skills with organizations such as Cal Fed, City National Bank and Great Western Financial Services. However, as a bank branch manager with extensive investment background, I was pressured to sell to my clients in order to help my team exceed their branch goals. Can you imagine my frustrations when one inner-city branch manager hit her annual goal on a single business client and I was asked why I couldn’t do the same with our more affluent Manhattan Beach clientele? Rather than violate our clients’ trust, I resigned. I’ve been in the fee-only fiduciary world since I opened my own independent advisory firm in 2002 and would never conduct business any other way.

Outside of work, my passions include

I still love to watch my kid’s athletic competitions. It’s probably the one and only place I can just sit and relax. As often as possible, if our family dog is healthy enough to join me, I’ll also be out meandering on dog-friendly hiking paths or off-leash parks. Although I live in the South Bay, I’m not a beach person, but put me in any national park or outdoor woodsy venue and I’m in bliss.

Since time to hike does not happen often enough, I also find myself just relaxing by cooking. I’m always spotting and saving some recipe or another. However, truth be told, I am not that good, and when recipes do work, I am usually never able to re-create them.

One goal I’m saving for

As a parent, deciding how much college to pay for is always difficult. We have two college-aged children. Will we cover just undergrad, or should covering grad school, and possibly med school, come into play? We are having to face those questions, just like many of my clients do.

My husband retired several years ago, and I think these soon-to-be-empty-nesters need to take some time for ourselves finally and start to travel and have our own private R&R. I also feel I’m at a point in my life and career that it’s more than time to give back our own energies and funds to charities and community programs that can make a difference in others’ lives.

The primary way I’m advancing my career knowledge

In mid-2015 I made a decision to close my independent, fee-only advisory firm and join Abacus. I’d been working successfully in my firm alone or with one other dedicated employee for almost 14 years. However, I’m convinced that by merging my firm with a much larger and more experienced brain trust, I will become a wiser, more patient advisor and teacher.


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