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Meet Blake Murphy of California Wealth Transitions in Carmel Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Blake Murphy.

Blake, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My wife, Margie, and I moved to San Diego from Alabama after we got married in 2015. I left the financial firm I was with in Alabama and got started with another in La Jolla for greater career opportunities and to begin building my own financial services practice, helping clients achieve financial freedom. The issue was that I didn’t know anyone in San Diego, having no natural network here presented a big challenge.  My industry is very relationship/referral driven. So, I spent the first three years of my career calling people, holding seminars at Duke’s in La Jolla, taking folks to lunch, attending networking events, essentially anything I could to get in front of new faces and start to develop relationships with them. Maybe luck, hard work, or a combination of the two, but I was able to build a good practice and grow my list of clients while I was there.

I realized over time, that many people I was meeting were entrepreneurs. After spending many hours getting to know entrepreneurs, helping them with their personal and business goals, I realized that I was pretty entrepreneurial myself, and I’d learned in my time with the other firms what really matters to clients and how to make the biggest impact on their lives, so I wanted to branch out on my own to a place where I could put a larger emphasis on the things that, in my experience, really added value to my clients.

I began interviewing other firms and after a long due diligence process was introduced to Keith and Nicki Brandt who started California Wealth Transitions in 2012 after leaving another large firm. I was so impressed with their knowledge and experience that I knew transitioning my practice would only benefit my clients, so I made the jump.

It’s been almost exactly one year since I joined the team and it was the best decision I could have made. Not only has my experience grown as an advisor, but the benefits have flowed to my clients and the value I add to them which was the goal from the beginning.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has been a rocky road. Starting a business from scratch is not easily accomplished, especially when you’re moving across the country to a place where the only people you know are two of your wife’s old high school friends. It’s incredibly intimidating. On top of that, I came to build a business that required relationships with people and their families. Building relationships is the only way to earn their trust and prove that you are honest, intelligent, and capable of managing their financial future. Throw in the fact that I was 26 when we moved here, and you can see the cards were definitely stacked against me.

It was either be successful and build a practice, or pack up and go home. So, I had no choice but to work as hard as I could and put a smile on every day, talk to as many people as I could, and hope for the best.

We’d love to hear more about the business.
CWT is a financial planning and investment management firm. We’re a small group and we work with select clients that truly benefit from our services and advice. From generational and estate planning to tax minimization when selling a business for $50 million we figure out the best solution based on each client’s situation.

The reason I left a very well-known firm for a relatively unknown regional firm was because of the team and the culture. I interviewed with maybe 15-20 different groups during this process and I weighed all of my options very carefully. After all this wasn’t just a career move for me, but more importantly for my clients.

CWT is a family owned business and it was easy to tell when meeting Keith and Nicki that they truly thought of their clients and my wife and I as an extension of their family. There’s a tremendous responsibility in my industry and seeing clearly how much they cared about their clients and how deep their relationships with clients were showed me CWT would be a great place for me and my clients.

What sets CWT apart from the other firms I interviewed was not only how they treated and discussed their relationships with clients, but also the level of knowledge and experience that comes from having a successful 35+ year career like Keith. He was an advisor, a regional manager, and trained new advisors at his previous firm and the amount of knowledge that I have gained from working with him has truly been invaluable to me.

What were you like growing up?
I was a relatively shy kid growing up. I still think of myself as somewhat introverted which is funny because the industry I’ve chosen requires the ability to be personable when meeting strangers and you really have to put yourself out there. I grew up playing baseball, fishing and hunting with my dad, spending time with my grandparents on their farm, and obsessing over all University of Alabama sports.

My mom taught 3rd grade at the school I went to, so I didn’t have many opportunities to get into trouble, all of the teachers and principles knew who I was and everything about me so I was on a tight leash. I do think my mother’s influence as a teacher instilled a love for learning that I have. To this day, my wife pokes fun at any new hobby or interest I come across as I tend to get obsessed with things and immerse myself. Recently, due to quarantine, that’s been watching Chef Thomas Keller’s Masterclass and learning how to make some incredible food at home.

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