When Bleckley Dobbs was 17, he took his $2000 of hard-earned paper route money and invested it in a mutual fund. That was the beginning of his interest in investing and saving money. He still holds the investment in the same fund. “I have been actively involved in investing all my life. Even as far back as high school I was fascinated with making money grow, and I learned a lot on my own. I know the value of receiving (and following) good financial advice, as well as the pain and disappointment of making some poor decisions.”
His philosophy towards investing hasn’t changed all that much: start early and use discipline and patience. Bleckley Dobbs joined Lucien, Stirling & Gray in 2004, after a 20-year career with 3M. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. He also holds a Certificate in Financial Planning from the University of Texas at Austin and is a past board member and president of The Financial Planning Association of Austin.
Bleckley said, “I also love working with other people to set and accomplish goals. I have experienced the power of following a systematic, long-term financial plan, and I enjoy helping others share the benefits of a long-range view and a consistent, steady approach.”
One of the most valuable pieces of advice Bleckley ever got was from his first supervisor out of college. “He basically insisted that I save money in the company’s new 401(k) plan. This was when they were brand new, and I had never heard of them. At first it seemed difficult to take a reduction in take-home pay, but after a couple of months I didn’t even miss it.”
When Bleckley decided to pursue financial advice as a career, the engineer in him chose a thorough, methodical approach. “I knew I wanted to pursue the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation, the most widely recognized and respected credential in our profession, so I started by enrolling in UT’s Financial Planning Certificate Program. This gave me a strong technical foundation in taxes, estate planning, insurance, and financial planning principles,” he says. “When I joined Lucien, Stirling & Gray I knew I had found a firm that shares my philosophy of client service, and a group of professionals that is very experienced and supportive.” He is known for his thorough attention to detail and follow through.
In 2013, the American College of Financial Planning started a new program focused specifically on helping people plan for and live in retirement, the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP®) program. In 2014, Bleckley was one of the first advisors in Central Texas to complete the three graduate classes required for this program and obtain his RICP® designation.
As the father of two newly launched independent daughters, he brings practical experience to college planning and helping children achieve financial independence. He enjoys helping families through the challenges and joys of transitions and can make dauntingly complicated tasks manageable for people.
Bleckley enjoys spending time away from the office with his family. He is active at St. Luke’s on the Lake Episcopal Church, where he teaches Sunday school and is on the Endowment Committee. He actively supports HeartGift, an Austin-based organization that provides life-saving heart surgery to children from around the world where specialized medical treatment is either scarce or non-existent. He also enjoys running, swimming, and playing golf.
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