By Dayna Smith
Sometimes our career journeys look less like a straight line and more like a winding road, but they get us to the right destination in the end. That’s my story. About a decade ago, I had the chance to grow in my role in the financial industry but chose other opportunities instead. Then 2020 happened, and like many others, my work life got upended and I reached a crossroads, reevaluating what I wanted out of life. For me, that meant finally following my heart and becoming a financial advisor.
First Career Steps
Let’s rewind a bit first. After graduating from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in education, I spent some years working in a variety of roles, including finding success as a personal banker at FirstMerit Bank. Just as I was analyzing future opportunities in that field, I was approached by the The Catholic Community Foundation and chose to get involved with their historical capital campaign, spending a fulfilling handful of years fundraising for this worthy cause. Right before the COVID-19 pandemic took our world by storm, I started a new position doing business-to-business sales. Unfortunately, because I was focused on new business and everything was shutting down, the company decided to cut back on roles like mine.
That was the final push I needed to pursue a career path that’s always been on my heart. I took a leap of faith and, with the full support of my husband, dove headfirst into a career as a financial advisor, grateful for a fresh start.
Now, as financial advisor and partner at Cedar Brook Group, I get to do what I always wanted—make a difference in my clients’ lives, helping them gain financial confidence and look to their future with excitement. This isn’t just a job, it’s a mission. I get the privilege of helping people understand what’s important to them and showing them how we can support them as they pursue their goals and navigate whatever life throws at them.
My specialty is designing and implementing comprehensive financial planning strategies for families and pre-retirees, focusing on lifetime income planning, investment planning, estate planning, and risk management services. Using The Humanity Factor™, I honor my clients as the central figure in their financial planning, not chasing returns or giving technical advice but building a road map customized to their life so that together we can work toward achieving unprecedented results.
Why I Love What I Do
I still remember a pivotal moment from my time working at the bank. A couple I was serving had an out-of-control debt-to-income ratio. We worked through multiple solutions and significantly lowered their DTI. They sat across the table from me, thanking me, saying that they’d still just be plugging along doing the same thing, getting more and more stressed, if they hadn’t come to me for help. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to do something bigger with my life.
The work we do at Cedar Brook Group is so important. Our clients entrust us with their livelihood and we get to be good stewards of their resources, bringing organization, clarity, and direction to their financial lives so they can feel good about their decisions and take advantage of opportunities to reach their short-term and long-term goals. I’m not just an advisor or a money manager—I’m a partner in their lives, celebrating their successes and supporting them through challenges.
The Next Step
Pursuing and achieving goals is much easier when you aren’t alone in the process. A helpful guide and advocate can make all the difference. If you’re interested in learning more about how I serve my clients, I encourage you to reach out to us at 440-683-9069 or email@example.com.
Dayna Smith is partner and financial advisor at Cedar Brook Group, one of the largest independent wealth management firms in Northeast Ohio. Dayna is passionate about making a difference in her clients’ lives, providing organization, clarity, and customized solutions so her clients can pursue both their short-term and long-term goals. She is known for going the extra mile, giving her best to steward her clients’ wealth and support them on their financial journey. Dayna serves families and pre-retirees, using The Humanity Factor™ to identify her clients’ values, dreams, concerns, and needs, and create a strong foundation for them to build on.
Dayna has a bachelor’s degree in education with a minor in English from Bowling Green State University and holds the FINRA Series 7 license. She is currently working toward the Series 66 license and the Retirement Income Certified Professional® credential. She also holds a Life, Health, and Variable Annuities license in the state of Ohio. When she’s not making a difference in her clients’ lives, you can find Dayna spending time with her husband, Darrin, and their two young boys, who take up much of their time! Dayna belongs to Holy Angels Parish and enjoys being with family, baking, and traveling. Because her father was a Command Master Chief in the U.S. Navy and many of the men in her life loyally serve our country, Dayna is a lifelong member of the American Legion Auxiliary to do her part in supporting our troops and showing respect for what they do. To learn more about Dayna, connect with her on LinkedIn.
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