My Story

Christian J. Brandetsas, CFP®

Portfolio Manager
Wealth Management Services, Cleveland - Akron

Christian Brandetsas grew up in the east-side Cleveland suburb of Mentor, in a family that was accustomed to praying together and often talking together about their respective relationships with God.  That background played a key role his first year at The Ohio State University’s Newark campus.

A few weeks into his freshman year, Christian wasn’t having the kind of college experience he had expected.  He was three hours away from family and feeling more alone than he ever had.  His decision to transfer to John Carroll University was not a big surprise, considering it was only 30 minutes from his parents’ home – compared to nearly three times as far from OSU’s campus in Newark.

“I thought I should go farther away from home to be on my own and learn life’s lessons.  What I didn’t realize was that trusting in God was probably the greatest lesson I could learn.”

After his first semester at John Carroll, Christian’s parents told him if he wanted to live on campus, especially at a school within commuting range of home, he would be obliged to pay half his room and board. He figured how much he’d need to earn, hammered out a budget and went to work.  He reached his financial end of the deal right before spring semester.  In the process, he learned a lesson about the importance of setting goals.

He was accepted for a resident assistant position in one of the dorms, which paid for his room and board.  Becoming an R.A. turned out to be one of his best decisions, both financially and personally.  It’s how he met another John Carroll R.A. named Ciara.  He remembers thinking she had the most beautiful smile he’d ever seen.  Still does.

Christian and Ciara married in 2020 and live in University Heights, just down the street from their alma mater. They have a 13-month-old daughter named Rose and hope to add to their family.

These days, Christian’s idea of a good time is hanging out with his family.  He’s in a group that does a weekly Bible study, and he also enjoys hiking, cooking and trying new restaurants.  One of his favorite pastimes is taking evening walks with Ciara and Rose around the neighborhood.

Christian is a portfolio manager at Johnson Investment Counsel’s Cleveland office.  He’s grateful for the chances he gets every day to interact with people in intimate areas of their lives.  Gratitude is one of his primary drivers.

“I tell my clients that I don’t take it lightly that they trust me to talk about their financial situations, manage their money and navigate trade-offs and decisions that have both short-and long-term implications.

“It’s all about this one thing: I truly believe in helping to deliver on the Johnson mission of providing clients peace of mind, which comes down to the idea of helping them align their money with their priorities.”