My name is Reno Frazzitta.
This is my personal Bio, written by yours truly. You can read the boring version written by my copywriters in my Professional Bio here.
I'm a financial advisor, business owner, father & husband. I could list all my fancy titles and designations here... but I've learned over the years that none of that really matters.
In fact, when I think about the type of people that I would personally prefer to work with, it all boils down to three things: their passion for what they do, their knowledge and expertise in their subject matter, and more importantly how they treat and think about others around them.
Life is way too short not to be living in the moment like that.
Thanks to good fortune, hard work, and some help from UP ABOVE, I'm having a blast running Smart Money Financial Advisors and working with an amazing group of clients and colleagues.
Here's a little story of my personal journey.
I was born and raised in the suburbs of the "D"... that's Detroit, Michigan for all of you non-natives.
I was enamored with all things finance ever since high school. Instead of "hanging out" after school like most kids did, I would "hang out" at the local brokerage firm. Checking in on the markets and learning about investing was what I did there (and my wife reminds me what a nerd I am every time I talk about that).
I was so enamored with the financial world that I wanted to be in the center of it all. So, I attended New York University, where I would go on to receive my degree in Economics and International Business.
During college, I spent time working at a Wall Street investment bank and got a lot of experience under my belt.
In 1993, I was working in the World Trade Center, when terrorists drove a truck bomb in the basement. The first thing I did after walking down 47 flights of stairs was call my mom to let her know I was ok.
After that experience, something kept nudging me that I wasn't really meant to be there.
There I was in my dream location, my dream job and my dream situation...but I TRULY wasn't happy. I didn't care much for the Wall Street culture, and I was away from family and friends.
Then, on a plane one day coming home for the holidays, I struck up a conversation with a nice lady. I was telling her all about myself and my work, and she turned to me and asked me a very blunt questions:
"Why are you working all the way out there? We need all the help we can get back home in Detroit"...
That one questions sealed my fate.
I've been back in the "D" ever since.
After working at a major brokerage firm during the first few years of my career, I decided that I hated the "selling" methods I was being taught, and I especially hated "cold calling" people.
Luckily for me, they "let me go" for not meeting their sales quotas.
That experience gave me the kick in the pants that I needed to resolve myself to doing what I loved...as an independent. I struggled along for several years trying to get it figured out, but I never looked back.
Incidentally, I believe everything in life happens for a reason. In fact, just days after I got back to Michigan, I met my wife Maria, and we married exactly four years later to the day.
Shortly after starting my own firm, I started noticing a trend: I was finding myself cleaning up after bad financial advice more often than not.
Then one day, I began working with a client who was tired and worn out from working so many years in her physically demanding job.
She REALLY wanted to retire.
Unfortunately, she'd been plowing a lot of her money into a life insurance policy that her prior advisor had sold to her years prior.
The problem was...she had no spouse or kids! And no one to benefit from that life insurance policy. All that money should have been going towards her retirement instead.
I HATED having to be the one to tell her that she had to keep working longer.
I immediately knew I had to play a role in promoting financial literacy in the community and sharing the wealth of knowledge that I (and the whole financial industry) had accumulated over the years.
I had NO experience writing articles, being on video or teaching in front of a group (which was one of my biggest fears).
And it took me a while to get over those hurdles...but teaching about money is now one of my favorite things to do!
Early in my career, when I was trying to learn everything I could about being a good financial advisor, I actually paid a "top industry veteran" a lot of money to mentor me.
I was so excited to be able to learn from such an experienced and accomplished person!
So, what did I learn? How to use a bunch of scripts and fancy lingo to impress people into doing business with me. I can't believe I fell for that!
A huge waste of time and money. But that experience did open my eyes to a lot of things that were wrong in my industry, and it helped me formulate how I wanted to go about running my own business and practice.
It's my family.
My wife Maria is the glue that keeps it ALL together! She has been incredibly supportive in my business through the years and actually runs the office now (while still running our houseful)!
Together, we have two beautiful kids, Alexia and Nicholas.
FUN FACT: They both got their black belts in karate.
Although I can sometimes be a workaholic, I make it a point to have at least one vacation as a family each summer.
I'm obsessed with wood-fired pizza. Yes, I can single-handedly polish off a whole pie myself.
I can get carried away...
They DO have to overcome some psychological hurdles, us guys (as if running a business weren't hard enough). And there are way too few female financial advisors around, even though they usually make better ones than us guys.
I am fluent in Italian and it might be related to the pizza thing, but who knows.
One of my most humbling moments: Remember that brokerage firm I hung out in during high school? They were my first interview when I came back from New York.
Ir was a hardball-style interview given by a couple hard-nosed managers that I was totally unprepared for.
They pretty much ridiculed my out of their office. Needless to say, I never ended up working there, and I'm more than okay with that.
Well, that is my story, and I hope to learn YOURS someday!