By Adam K. Wright, CFA®, CFP®
There are many reasons you probably chose your career. Maybe it was the excitement of future opportunities, the salary, or the flexibility. For me, my reason was simple: I wanted a career where I could have a significant impact on people’s lives while using my passions and skills. I knew that I wanted to make a difference, but it took me a little while to realize that being a financial advisor was what I was meant to do.
I’ll never forget when I was handed my first packet of employee benefits. I was working as a data analyst at Georgia-Pacific, and it seemed like the benefits package was thousands of pages long. My manager at the time just wanted to get it done, sign here, sign there, initial over here. I had no idea what I was doing. I was just glad when it was over.
Turns out my 401(k) was being defaulted into a generic target-date fund. A year after signing the account paperwork, it was now the end of 2008, that 401(k) plan was worth half. Amazingly, it was losing value faster than the contributions I was putting in! Luckily, I knew an advisor. It was my mother. She told me how to set up my allocations, and then demanded I stop looking at it. I didn’t know any better to push back, so I just did as I was told. Thank goodness I did!
The next time I looked at any 401(k) statement was in 2011. In just a few years, my 401(k) value had doubled! I did the math. I put in $25,000, it was now worth $50,000. After earning a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business, I left GP to work as a financial advisor at my family’s firm, Wright Associates.
It took a while for it to click, but reflecting on my mom’s initial 401(k) advice is why I love being a fiduciary financial planner. I was able to turn to someone I trusted, and she instructed me on the right thing to do. Listening to her advice made a huge difference in my net worth and future retirement. That’s who I strive to be for clients. I am the person clients turn to in good times and bad to get financial advice they can trust. Oftentimes managing your own money can be counter-intuitive (or dreadful), and that’s where an objective and professional advisor can help you create successful financial plans.
In 2016, I earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and went on to pursue the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification in 2019. Both have rigorous testing standards that serve as the bedrock for ethics and standards of professional conduct. More importantly, both demand practitioners be fiduciaries for their clients. I believe having both the CFP and CFA credentials demonstrates a commitment to high professional standards that people can trust. Today I am a Senior Financial Adviser and Managing Partner at Wright Associates where I focus on helping clients navigate retirement planning.
I live in Upper St. Clair, a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA, with my wife, Laura, and two boys, Ben and Harry. This is the community I serve, and my goal is to help more people match their retirement goals with their tax, risk, and investment plans so that clients can confidently retire by design, not by default. Afterall, hope is a risky financial strategy.
The Best Part
The best part of my career as a financial advisor is hearing a client say, “I wish I had come to you 10 years ago.” This is really their way of saying that I’ve helped erase the worry they felt. They trusted our firm, acted on our advice, and saw the results—much like I saw results when I trusted my mom’s advice all those years ago. It’s an honor to help my clients feel the same sense of fulfillment and confidence that I first felt when I trusted the financial planning process.
On a personal level, I also love that this career gives me the ability to become a little wiser and smarter every single day. I get to learn new things, be creative, and apply compounded wisdom and pass that on to my clients, which is incredibly rewarding.
Are You Ready to Stop Worrying About Your Retirement?
At Wright Associates, we can help you stop worrying about your financial future and instead retire with clarity and confidence. If you’re ready to retire by design, not default, schedule a complimentary phone call to get started.
Adam Wright is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ at Wright Associates, helping clients plan and prepare their investments to retire on their terms. If you’re serious about planning for your retirement and investing for your future, his annual process will help you make the right money choices today. Therefore, Adam and his team will proactively manage your accounts while communicating the progress of your financial plans. He believes the retirement advice you receive should be intentional and actionable.
Adam has a Bachelor of Science in Supply Chain and Information Systems from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Business Administration from University of Pittsburgh, Katz Graduate School of Business. He lives in Upper St. Clair with his wife and two children. When he’s not working, Adam enjoys the outdoors (fly fishing), reading, and taking long runs while listening to a favorite podcast. He’s also currently encouraging himself to take up golf. To learn more about Adam, connect with him on LinkedIn.