Although finance tends to be a male-dominated industry, that did not stop Katie Bruno from jumping into the field.
“There aren’t a lot of women mentors or people to look up to,” she said. “I’ve been lucky that I do have female mentors in my life, but I think that’s a challenge. So I want to be a part of changing the makeup of the industry.”
Bruno has spent her entire career working in personal finance and now carries her dedication and knowledge with her in her current role as a financial advisor at Morey & Quinn Wealth Partners. She specializes in divorce financial planning in which she works with divorcing couples to make financial decisions during and after the divorce.
Bruno got involved in personal finance via an internship at Creighton University while she was a student. Her upbringing made the business stand out to her as something she wanted to work in.
“Growing up, my parents lived paycheck to paycheck, didn’t know anything about investing, or, you know, retirement planning, or even really about Social Security,” she said. “So, when I got into the business, I found out that, ‘oh, wow, people do plan for this.’ And there is a path to financial freedom.”
Bruno describes financial planning as a rewarding industry because she can help people make financial decisions and see what’s possible from productively using their money.
“People think that you have to have a lot of money to work with a financial adviser, and that’s simply not true,” she said. “Financial planning is a process. And it’s a process that really offers people hope. Because if they come to you, and they don’t think that they have the assets to work with an adviser, they can leave walking away knowing what they need to do to meet their goals.”
Discipline and Ambition
Bruno describes how her work ethic has allowed her to advance throughout her career.
“I’m very disciplined, and ambitious,” she said. “I always have been from a young age and discipline is really what got me here. I had a mentor one time that told me ‘work like most people won’t for five years, live like most people can’t for the rest of their life.’ And that’s always stuck with me.”
In addition to her work in personal finance, Bruno is involved in several nonprofits such as 100 Women Who Care Omaha, the Omaha Public Library Foundation, the Financial Planning Association of Nebraska and the Women’s Center for Advancement.
“Each one of the organizations that I’m a part of has been a different path that got me there,” she said. “My involvement with the library came from a passion for reading and sharing that passion with somebody who was in the right place at the right time.
“But ultimately, I just want to give back to the community and I’m passionate about playing my part in that. As a young person, you can’t always do that with your dollars but you can [help] by serving and being engaged in sharing the work of the nonprofits.”
One of the ways Bruno hopes to make a difference is by getting more women involved in the world of financial planning.
“This is a great business for women, especially because we’re relationship people,” she said. “And you know, we’re good at being focused on the relationship, which is really what people on the other side of the table want. They want to know that they’re working with someone that really cares about them and their family, more than about the actual dollars.”
Currently, Bruno is teaching a retirement planning course at Creighton University. Additionally, she is hoping to grow the 100 Women Who Care Omaha group and launch a designated divorce financial planning practice separate from her everyday practice.
“I want to give back to Omaha and I want to help in ways that are my strengths,” she said. “Whether that is providing a financial literacy class or serving on a board in a financial role, to capitalize on the strengths that I do have, and give back to the community.”