Celebrating milestones with my Cambridge colleagues is something I always look forward to, and I got to do just that with my recent Cambridge Stronger podcast guest: Tom Bode — the president of Bode Financial Group.
This year we commemorate Tom for celebrating 25 years at Cambridge. His dedication and decades of service are a true reflection of who he is, not only as a person but as a business owner as well. As I ask Tom to reflect on his time with Cambridge, he shares that, “The values that we hold are unique to our firm. Very few firms or businesses really uphold the values that Cambridge stands for.”
We constantly strive to build our Cambridge family by seeking quality financial professionals who are always looking for ways to best serve their clients. For Cambridge, that means constantly living by our core values of integrity, commitment, flexibility, and kindness. Without our core values, we could not truly exemplify the Cambridge difference.
Before working in financial services, Tom was working towards a very different goal.
“I'm supposed to be a jazz musician traveling on the road,” Tom said. “I played professionally in Chicago and I got to play with a lot of guys from the Tonight Show… I realized that even if you make it, their lives are very, very tough away on the road with other influences.”
As he contemplated a potential career as a jazz musician coming out of high school, Tom looked to his parents for advice as an only child. He ultimately decided that he wanted to pursue a college education.
“I ended up going to Marquette University and chose to study accounting,” Tom said. “I thought to myself: ‘In four years, I can have a career, a professional degree, if you will.’”
Shortly after graduating, he began his first career at PrincewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational accounting firm, where he worked as a CPA. Tom’s days consisted of long hours, which he enjoyed, but he was ultimately looking to broaden his scope of work.
“We talked about becoming investment advisors, or establishing an RIA, throughout my entire relationship with the firm, and it made sense,” Tom said.
Once Tom understood that going independent could potentially lead to greater success, he began to pursue the idea of transitioning to wealth management.
“At one of my meetings, I befriended a guy in Florida and he said, ‘Bode, I'm meeting with Eric Schwartz, and you should probably fly down, because he's a guy that will take a look at you,’” Tom reflected. “Honestly, that was the best day for me career-wise.”
This introduction to Eric, Cambridge Founder and Executive Chairman, helped Tom build a foundational knowledge in the area of financial services, and led to the development of his book of business — all while maintaining his teaching position at Marquette. Not long after, Tom decided to join the Cambridge family.
“I'm grateful for that time and commitment Eric made in me when I'm not sure a lot of people at that time would have taken the meeting,” Tom said. “That's really how it started at Cambridge.”
Since Tom joined, Cambridge has experienced years of change and growth. It is truly amazing to see the growth we’ve experienced since our story began over 40 years ago, and a significant part of that success is thanks to financial professionals like Tom.
While he considered working for other firms, Tom said the flexibility to best serve clients led him towards independence.
“We're independent — we're able to offer what we think is best,” Tom said. “It allows me to do what I really want to do, which is to be involved in tax preparation, estate planning, life insurance, retirement planning, college funding, investment strategies, retirement — you name it… You can't find what we have at Cambridge anywhere else. I'm not on a promo tour, either. I'm just saying: You can't find it anywhere else.”
From building a successful business to prioritizing and promoting a healthy work-life balance, Tom is a true reflection of the spirit of Cambridge. To learn more about Tom and his story, I invite you to listen to our podcast episode.
Testimonial statements and personal experience stories may not be representative of the experience of others and is no guarantee of future performance or success. Quotes are highlights from the podcast episode and may reflect edits for brevity and/or clarity within this blog by Cambridge’s CEO, Amy Webber. These messages and materials are the confidential property of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (“Cambridge”). The ideas and information in this presentation are general in nature and provided for informational purposes only. The accuracy, completeness, and timeliness of the information cannot be guaranteed. The information contained herein is not intended to render tax, legal, or investment advice. All rights reserved. Further use is prohibited without prior written consent from Cambridge. Please contact ‘email@example.com’ for questions or consent.
Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and investment advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of Cambridge Investment Group, Inc. Cambridge and Bode Financial Group are not affiliated.
Testimonial statements and personal experience stories may not be representative of the experience of others and is no guarantee of future performance or success.
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