Ralph Bunje Jr.: A Successful Exchange
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SAN FRANCISCO — Over the course of several decades working in the financial sector, Ralph Bunje Jr.’s professional emphasis gradually became more and more specialized. “After I got out of the Navy, I became a stockbroker,” he recounts. “About six years later, I became a CPA for a San Francisco firm, and after that I formed a financial consulting practice that handled a variety of needs. Today, we primarily handle 1031 exchanges, which is a process for deferring taxes on capital gains from the sale of investment properties.”
Today, as owner of Independent Exchange Services, Inc., Ralph says his favorite part of his job is helping his clients. “The current state of the economy has made things tough for many people, so when I meet with clients, my foremost concern is putting together something that will work for them in the long term. It’s not just about doing clerical work for them—it’s about making a difference in their lives.”
A resident of Foster City, Ralph spends most of his time outside of work pursuing a variety of pastimes, typically in the company of his wife, Sarah. “I’ve been married for 47 years and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he says. “We do a lot of things together, including traveling, playing golf and attending local theater productions.” Ralph also enjoys spending time with his and Sarah’s children and grandchildren, although some traveling is usually involved. “Our son, Ian, and his family live locally, while our daughter, Katie, and her family live in Australia. We try to get over there once a year to see them, but we’ve also found that Hawaii is a good halfway point for all the families to come together.”
In regard to his life and career, Ralph espouses the importance of doing what you love. “In many respects, I haven’t had a job for 40 years—I’ve simply been pursuing an avocational interest that happens to produce an income. I think if you do what you enjoy for work, you’ll always do your best. And if you’re doing your best, people will want what you have to offer, which will translate to revenue. So, my advice is this: Don’t chase the money…chase what you love to do.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: The San Francisco Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. I also enjoy going to Stanford University football games.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for dessert?
A: I don’t eat much dessert, but I do enjoy the occasional apple pie à la mode.
Q: If you could talk to anyone living or dead, who would it be?
A: Ronald Reagan. I actually worked for and traveled with him back when he was running for governor of California. He was a sound, solid individual, and working with him was an amazing experience.
Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: I like them both scrambled and fried.
Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: The love of my wife.