Ryan Smith, CFP®, RICP®, MSFP
About the time I turned 30, my body started to hurt. First it was my feet, with a long-lasting and troublesome case of plantar fasciitis. A few years later, just after my wife and I had our second child, my back started acting up with what was later diagnosed as a pinched nerve. For someone who had never dealt with any sort of physical limitations, it was an incredibly frustrating time.
Compounding the frustration was the difficulty I had in finding the right team of people who could guide me back to full health. It seemed like everyone that I spoke with wanted to give me a cortisone shot or fit me into orthotics without taking the time to listen. I didn’t want just a shot or a product, I wanted someone interested in understanding how my symptoms started, how they impacted my life, what being back at full health meant to me, and who was willing to coordinate the other specialists I needed to regain my strength. Thankfully, although it took quite awhile, I finally found that person.
Running a close second in importance to your physical health is your financial health. The journey to find a trusted advisor can be, at times, no less frustrating than what I experienced in finding a doctor that truly understood. You may have previously sought out a financial advisor, only to leave a first meeting feeling like he or she didn’t listen, or that they saw you as an opportunity to sell a product and nothing more. Maybe you already have an advisor, but don’t feel they are coordinating with the other important professionals in your life. You might be seeking one out for the first time or maybe you’re just unsure of where to start. Do you start with taxes? Insurance? An attorney? It can be daunting.
My experience bouncing from one medical professional to another has shaped my career in countless ways. I am passionate about serving my clients in a way that seeks to first understand why they are meeting with me and what their concerns are. Only then can we collaborate on a financial plan that addresses their worries and helps articulate what their wealth is for. When help is needed for insurance, tax expertise, or estate planning, I recommend trusted professionals or work with any existing relationships to be sure all aspects of a financial plan are addressed. As often as possible, I attend meetings with attorneys or CPAs to be sure nothing falls through the cracks. A financial plan is dynamic and ever-changing, making collaborating amongst professionals vitally important.
Just like your physical health, your financial health cannot be ignored. The question is less about whether or not you need a financial advisor and more about what type of financial advisor you want to place your trust in. I would love to hear from you if what I’m passionate about providing my clients resonates with you.
I have been a Wealth Advisor since 2005 and earned a Master’s of Science in Financial Planning from Bentley University. Soon thereafter I became a CFP® professional and received my Retirement Income Certified Professional® designation in 2015.
Born and raised on the North Shore of Massachusetts, I moved to Raleigh in 2011 to marry my wife, Emily. We have two kids, Jack and Gwen, and are members of Church of the Apostles in North Raleigh.