Kevin X. Smith, CFA
Email: [email protected]
Kevin is on a mission to continuously find better ways to explain complex concepts in increasingly simple and meaningful demonstrations. Everyone has a different level of interest in learning about investing – ranging from “I just want to know that I am investing responsibly” to “I want to understand my risk exposures to currency movements” and everything in between, so the educational experience is designed to be adaptive to each individual client’s situation.
When you talk to Kevin about investments, it may feel more like a visit with a professor during office hours than a discussion you would expect to have with an investment advisor. He uses a combination of economics and psychology to help clients understand and deal with the trade-offs of important financial decisions. You won’t leave the conversation with a secret investment strategy sure to provide you with instant fortunes, but you will likely leave with a concrete understanding of how financial markets work and how to make decisions about which combination of investments is appropriate for you. Investments can be overwhelming, but after talking to Kevin you will feel relieved that there is a way to sift through the constant barrage of financial information and noise that leads to a rational approach to investing.
Kevin believes that making investments with the help of a financial advisor should be more of a collaboration than a proposal. As one of his favorite philosophers, Thomas Sowell, famously said, “There are no solutions, only trade-offs.” When it comes to investing and many other decisions in life, there is no right answer. Instead, there is a range of possible decisions, each having its own range of possible outcomes. For example, a sports car and an SUV will both likely get you from New York to Los Angeles, but with different risks, at different speeds, carrying different amounts of cargo, incurring different costs and providing different experiences. Finding the right fit takes a combination of education, effective communication and a commitment to intellectual honesty.
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Kevin was raised in a handful of mid-western towns, finally landing with his family in the Dallas area where he attended high school. He then moved to Austin where he earned a degree in Finance at the University of Texas with honors.
As a senior in college, he began work as an intern for National Financial Partners where he developed processes and technology to provide financial advisors tools to efficiently create appropriate investment portfolios for their clients. He went on to help create one of the country’s leading Practice Management divisions, providing business consulting to small business owners – advice ranging from organizational structure to client service processes.
Kevin earned the CFA designation which taught him about the investment decision making process, capital markets, ethics, and behavioral finance – which became his passion.
Kevin’s wife, Julie, is a scientist working at the University of Texas. They have two children, Zoe and Jack, and a Labrador Retriever named Lizzy. On the weekend, you will find this family exploring the many parks, swimming holes and trails around central Texas. That has become extended to every two years since his children were born. His parents are retired in Georgetown, TX, and his sister is a fashion designer in Los Angeles.
Interest facts about Kevin:
Kevin has a lifelong objective of picking up a new sport or activity every couple of years. The list includes mountain biking, trail running, kayak/canoeing, golf, windsurfing, adventure racing, boxing, parkour and, most recently, bouldering.
- Favorites Band/Performer: Wilco
- Favorite Movie: The Big Lebowski
- Favorite Team: Longhorns
- Favorite Writer: Steven Pinker
- Favorite Blog/Podcast: EconTalk
Favorite Austin Places
Austin Bouldering Project
No ropes needed - just show up and climb. This place is one giant puzzle that keeps changing.
Turkey Creek trail
If you love being outdoors with dogs running free, this is as good as it gets. There is plenty of shade and many creek crossings to cool down the 4-leggers.
Parkour is a sport I never thought I would try. Now it is a staple for our family on weekends. The challenges are endless.