David is W&A’s fearless leader. As the firm’s CEO and Chief Investment Strategist, David chairs the W&A investment committee and, pulling from over 20 years of experience, combines macro-economic forecasting, macro market analysis and macro risk assessments to design portfolio strategies for clients utilizing public market securities worldwide.
David is gifted with the ability to take complex topics and ideas and present them in a compelling manner that everyone can understand. He essentially cuts through the fog, hence the moniker “The Fog Cutter,” and encourages his team to push the standards of what it means to be a financial planner. David has been featured as a global economics and investment expert in national media outlets such as CNBC, Bloomberg, Business Insider and Barron’s. He also continues to speak at various clubs and organizations in the Nashville and Memphis areas.
David earned his BA in Economics at The University of the South and his MBA with a concentration in finance and investments from Babson College in Boston. He began his career at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., where he was recognized for his outstanding business development record. He was soon promoted to the Institutional Strategic Accounts Team, which interfaced with the Big Five accounting firms and Schwab’s largest customers.
David is a member of the Alliance Abroad Global and Connect Music boards and holds a seat on the New Memphis Institute Board of Governors. He previously served as Chairman of The Leadership Academy, the RISE Foundation and the Economic Club of Memphis. He is a founding member of Epicenter Memphis and chaired the capital campaign to build the “Live” stage at the Memphis Botanic Garden. David was recognized as a “Most Admired CEO” by the Nashville Business Journal in 2020, 2022 and 2023. Additionally, David was honored as a ThinkAdvisor 2021 LUMINARIES Award winner*.
Are you planning your next bucket list trip? You might want to give David a call. He has traveled to more than 32 countries and has no plan to stop any time soon. He has made connections worldwide and continues to learn by immersing himself in different cultures. David also lived in Hong Kong for 18 months, studying Asian economies and the long-term prospects for the “Chinese miracle.”
David stays just as busy outside of work, keeping up with his two grown children and their doodle, Ripley. He is a skilled guitarist and yachtsman and dreams of captaining his own boat in the not-too-distant future – a passion that inspired his own father to start the W&A business. David is now driven to empower his clients to make their dreams a reality. Read the full W&A story here.
How Waddell & Associates is changing the Financial Planning landscape:
“At Waddell & Associates, we are in the relationships business, not the transaction business. My parents started this company believing there was a void in the personal financial services industry. Instead of focusing on extracting money from clients, they created a model that emphasized building relationships with them. They wanted every client to feel like family as achievements take time, collaboration and flexibility while requiring trust, common values and commitment.”
*Waddell & Associates did not pay to participate in any of the listed awards or recognition programs.