Walking In Dad’s Footsteps

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Walking In Dad's Footsteps

How My Father’s Career Led to My Career

On June 3, 1965, Ed White made history by being the first person in U.S. history to walk in space. A historic moment for everyone back on Earth, White’s path to space was almost written in the stars.  White was a descendant of pilots and military officers. His family was known for its service to this country, and a career in space was just what would be expected of White.

Believe it or not, I can relate. I’ve never been to space or even flown a plane, but I also followed in my father’s footsteps.

“Dad always emphasized that a career in finance is so much more than the numbers.”

My dad began working in the financial industry in the late 1970s, and by 1985, he was working at Vanguard Group.  Started by Jack C. Bogle in 1974, Vanguard is one of the most respected investment firms in the world. As of 2020, it oversees more than $7.1 trillion in assets. My father had the opportunity to meet its founder and then CEO Jack C. Bogle on many occasions. Mr. Bogle even personally signed one of my favorite investment books of all time titled “Enough,” which my dad has since given to me as a family heirloom.

From an early age, I can remember my father talking to me about money. I’ve always been a numbers person. Dad always stressed to me the importance of creating good habits around money, and that started with my piggy bank as a child. I like to think my interest in numbers closely relates to my passion for sports. I always played sports in school. At its core, being a good athlete to me is as much about your mindset as it is your physical ability. The best athletes in the world have an uncanny ability to remain steadfast in their work, even when it may be uncomfortable and exhausting, in pursuit of their long-term goals.

As I mentioned, my career interest in the world of finance really stems from my relationship with my dad. Like most kids, I bounce ideas off him, and I feel really lucky our passions are the same. I’ve learned a lot from him through the years. In fact, he’s a big reason I’m working at Patriot Wealth and not at some large firm like he did.  Dad always emphasized that a career in finance is so much more than the numbers. The relationships built through the work we do is really what I enjoy about this “work.”  The personal relationships built are much more rewarding than studying the numbers— although I enjoy that as well! So, Dad encouraged me to seek work with a boutique firm. He knew I would get more out of my career if I could interact in person with my clients every day. (This would be in a world without COVID-19, of course.) I’ve always respected his advice, so that’s what I did. And I’m glad I did.

My dad and I have a very close relationship. I am proud to follow him into this career, and while my girlfriend may tease us for “talking shop” all the time, I enjoy sharing this time with my dad! I think dad would agree, one of our favorite quotes of all time is from Bogle:

“Your success in investing will depend in part on your character and guts, and in part on your ability to realize at the height of ebullience and the depth of despair alike that this too shall pass.”

Thanks, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!

Austin Kobilka

Austin Kobilka


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