2003 – 2020: Seventeen years as a member of the best networking group in the country, as well as the best networking group in Dallas, Texas! As a financial advisor, I certainly would not continue to be a part of a networking group if it did not make financial sense for me. Well, at least a good networking group. I must say that being a part of LeTip of Dallas has been a joyous experience for most of those 17 years.
Before I became a member of LeTip of Dallas, I was the lone member of an Irving, Texas LeTip group. Yes, you read that correctly. There were five LeTip groups in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex at the time and I could not get into any of them because the financial advisor category was filled in each of them. Being in the top five categories does make it difficult to get into an established group, but from my own unscientific surveys, having a relationship with someone within a group makes it so much easier to get into an existing networking group. Therefore, I ventured to start my own. It did not work out. Did not have the support I needed, but that was before Kim-Marie took charge and made LeTip what it is today.
Luckily, someone at International remembered me and I was able to get into LeTip of Dallas when the current advisor left the group. Thus began my education in networking.
As a financial advisor, I strive to help my clients reach the financial goals they deem important. Within my group, I can see similarities of my profession with other members. We both want to build our businesses, but to do so ethically. After all, if one does a bad job for a referral, the likelihood of gaining other tips from members becomes difficult. However, business, as in life, is a two-way street and personalities sometimes do not mesh, both in financial planning as well as networking.
I have seen LeTip of Dallas grow as large as 42 members—and for us that was big!—to as small as nine members back in 2009 during the economic crash. All through those times, both good and bad, I have stayed with my group, being President many times for many years, as well as all the board positions except for Secretary. Now I am enjoying being past-President, group mentor, and being there to assist the board and my fellow LeTippers. As in financial planning, I like to be in the background helping others, seeing them grow, and feeling a sense of accomplishment that together we were successful. That is also why I am so proud of my group because we are the oldest, longest standing group in the state of Texas, and I enjoy being the most tenured member of my group, which began in 2002. Oh, so close to being a charter member!
I know, this article is supposed to be more about me and my profession. I have been so intertwined with LeTip of Dallas for so long that I tend to forget about me.
I began my career as a financial advisor in 2001. I was an advisor with American Express Financial Advisors, which later became Ameriprise Financial. One of my associates told me about LeTip, which is how I eventually became a member. Networking was helpful in building my practice during the formative years, but I felt that I needed to get away from the corporate structure of a financial institution and be an independent advisor because I wanted to give unfettered and truly objective advice to my clients. Sales goals, pushing products… those were things I abhorred and did not want any part of those. In 2011, I became an independent financial advisor and went with a small but top-notch broker-dealer, Sigma Financial. Working with other ex-captive advisors, many of us collectively do business as Upstream Investment Partners. Each of us independent of one another, but collectively a family of advisors that I certainly can rely on for ideas and business practices if the need arises.
During the current Covid-19 pandemic, I spend time between Dallas and the family farm in Northeast Texas. I continue to keep in touch with my clients during this time, by either phone or video conference. I have brought on a few new clients during this time, including a fellow LeTip member. Unlike many advisors, I do not insist on a minimum amount of investable assets before working with anyone. My clients range from those just starting out to those who are millionaires. What counts is the dreams my clients have and what I can do to help them achieve those dreams.
I hold several designations, which include CFP®, CRPC®, and AIF®. If you want to know more about my practice, feel free to view my website: http://www.myadvisordavid.com. Neat name, eh? I truly am my client’s advisor named David Smith, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner, with Upstream Investment Partners. Securities offered through Sigma Financial Corporation; Member FINRA/SIPC. Upstream Investment Partners is independently owned and operated.
Investment advisory services offered through Sigma Planning Corporation, a Registered Investment Advisor.