Christopher S. Smith of Dover, Dela- ware, joined Edward Jones after earning his undergraduate and
graduate degrees in business in 2008. He
then went on to earn his CFP designation
at Georgetown and the related Accredited
Asset Management Specialist designation.
Over the past decade, the advisor pursued his professional and personal dreams
with careful guidance from mentors, peers
and others. Along the way, he used a
pay-it-forward approach to working with
clients, which he credits for his success.
How and why did you begin your
career in wealth management?
Around age 10, many of my family members gave me a nickname that sticks with
me to this day — “Wall Street.” Every
birthday and holiday, my family members
would give me money as gifts. I would
promptly put that money in the bank,
and it was always a joy for me to see my
savings account grow.
I was very intrigued to learn more about
the nickname I had been given. I found
out that Wall Street is a place where peo-
ple can invest their money to make more
money. This idea was absolutely intriguing
to me and prompted me to invest my own
savings as a teenager and to eventually
attend graduate school to earn my MBA.
While in graduate school at Hampton University, I knew I wanted to be in
wealth management, but did not know
which firm would be the best fit. In a
leadership development class, I observed
a presentation given by a principal from
Edward Jones named Emily Pitts. She
described how great her firm was, how
they treated their clients and the career
opportunities within her firm.
I felt this was a company I needed to
look into. That summer, I was able to land
a financial-advisor internship working at
an Edward Jones office in St. Louis. That
experience proved to me that the culture
Emily Pitts spoke of was true, and at that
moment, I knew this was the firm for me.
What have you learned from your
supervisors and/or colleagues?
Does one of them stand out — and,
if so, can you tell us why?
At Edward Jones, we have a culture of
volunteerism. There is always someone
there who has a dedicated interest in your
success and can offer helpful advice. An
individual that I have learned a great deal
from is my regional leader Joe Quig in
Hockessin, Delaware. Joe Quig is a very
inspirational individual and opened the
first Edward Jones office in the state of
Delaware in 1996.
He taught me to take a long-term view
of my career and to start building a business based on where I want it to be in 20
years. He encouraged me to earn my CFP
designation. I feel this knowledge base
allows me to better understand the needs
of my clients and find the best ways to
help them reach their financial goals.
Most important, he instilled in me the
importance of putting my clients first and
showing them that I truly appreciate them
for choosing to do business with me. I still
think of Joe whenever I welcome a new
client, because he helped me embrace the
solutions-based process early in my career
— which helped me quickly and accurately
By JANET LEVAUX
From ‘Wall Street’
to Main Street
Advisor Christopher S. Smith of Edward Jones has benefitted from the
support of others, so he shares that diligently with his clients