We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephen D. Ambrosini CLU ChFC and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephen D., we’d love to hear about a book that’s had an impact on you.
The Truth about your Future by Rick Edelman was the most influential book I have read in a long time. It’s been particularly timely based upon the exponential changes that we have seen hit the nation and the world recently. Whether be it Block Chain, Bitcoin, Driverless Cars, HealthCare; the world is rapidly changing before our eyes and is not going back to the way things were. These changes are permanent and we’d be smart to embrace them. As a small example; look at Commercial Real Estate. How would you like to be the landlord of Commercial properties today? Some companies have told their employees there is no going back to the office, you will permanently work from your home. I’m happy to report that my industry was built for, and in my case, prepared for working from afar. Years ago we transitioned to a paperless environment, cloud storage, electronic applications, photo check deposits. I’ll admit we never saw a international pandemic coming but we were thankfully and unexpectedly ready when it did.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
2020 Financial Advisers is a dually licensed RIA which operates from two different companies. One is a traditional financial planning organization which uses life and disability insurance along with annuities and various investment products to address client needs, Then there’s 2020 Capital Management Inc., which is where we invest our clients money in various managed accounts. Together these two firms have assets under administration just south of one billion dollars. We started the company almost 20 years ago, and the story line begins in a hot tub in Maui. Many of us had already been in the business for a long time and saw the direction the industry was heading. We felt it was necessary for the benefit of our clients and families, if we separated from the parent firm and gained independence. Fortunately for everyone, the main firm agreed and we created the original firm, 2020 Financial Advisers. We have since grown to ten offices nationwide, and continue to expand. We’re all very proud of what we built and in a lot of ways, we’re an American story. Young people with a vision and dream, together built a national firm. Pretty impressive from that kind of view. Something I’m most proud of it’s how we continue to treat and service everyone equally. I did not come from money. A typical middle class Italian / Irish family growing up in the New York suburbs. When I began my career it was those same type of folks that we helped, and the natural inclination is as you move up and become more successful you leave smaller clients behind, and work with the higher net worth individuals. We don’t do that, we never did nor never will. We treat everyone equally. We believe this approach transfers to greater loyally and stronger client referrals. Finally, what separates us from the crowd? Our dedication to service and forward looking vision. We see the world changing and we don’t hold on to old standards. As a basketball player, I’m passing to where my teammate is going, leading him there, not to where he’s been.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many wonderful things to do in San Diego, I mean we live where other people vacation. Whether it’s the Zoo, SeaWorld, Little Italy, The races at Del Mar, or the fairs. There are just too many options. So instead of a week, how about a day? It would have to begin, and maybe even end at the beach. I surf and have been since I was a kid. If they wanted too, we’d would hit the waves. Where I go is popular but it’s spread out so you’re often by yourself. It’s not unusual to have pelicans diving for fish twenty feet away and schools of tigers sharks feeding nearby. Recently after I rode a very nice wave, as I paddled back out a dolphin rode another wave right pass me, and I swear he winked at me as if to say “Pay attention kid, let me show you how to do it.” That would start the day. We’d grab a cappuccino at one of the numerous great coffee shops, and head down to Encinitas. There we would wander through The Meditation Garden at the Enlightment Center. This beautiful garden is built on the bluffs of the coast. Streams meander over waterfalls, Koy Ponds and silent pools. It’s very peaceful, on the beach and just simply beautiful. From there we could walk the streets of Encinitis or head down to La Jolla. This lovely town is again on the beach, with plenty of art galleries and shopping for those so inclined. We could end the evening at any one of the fine Italian restaurants in La Jolla, or head back to my home where I would cook, something which I love to do. We could also swing back up to Carlsbad and have a picnic on the cliffs at sunset. Add a nice bottle of wine, and it really doesn’t get any better than that.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
While there are to many people to thank and recognize for our success it absolutely begins with my wife, Dee Ambrosini. We have been together for a long time and share a dream of independences, travel, family, and success. We pulled the dream together on moving to SoCal, and when things were not going well, there was no finger pointing and casting blame. We planned it together, and together we sank or swam. Thankfully success came our way as did some of the other dreams. My business partners also deserve a lot of credit. They drive me to be better than I am, and competition pushes me. I’ve been a competing athlete my whole life, and I’m a good team player. I want to win, and I want credit for my effort. I’m also big enough to accept blame for my part in a failure. That drives me to get better and learn from my mistakes. Finally, I have to recognize all of my clients who have trusted us over the years. We are successful because they put their concerns in our hands and they trusted us to deliver results, and we did. Say, does that sound like my Academy Award acceptances speech?
Photography by Todd LeVeck