BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Wellington Smith has been scoring wins his whole life.
Throughout his four years at Summit High School, the 6’7” athlete was a star basketball player. Later, as a student at West Virginia University, Smith played on the basketball team managed by Hall of Fame Coach Bob Huggins. There, Smith was part of the group that won the NIT Championship game in 2007, was in the Sweet Sixteen in 2008, and took home the Big East Championship in 2010. That year, he went on to the Final Four before going on to Japan, where he played professionally before returning to the States.
Today, the 24-year-old Smith is still shooting for the gold as a financial services professional at Emerald Financial Resources, a Bridgewater firm and member of Mass Mutual Financial Group that offers advisory services to individuals covering issues like life and disability income insurance, retirement savings and income needs, investment and estate planning.
Emerald Financial Resources also works with businesses to address issues that range from family business succession planning to buy-sell strategies and employee benefit programs.
Smith has been with firm for about a year, and is currently working with clients on savings and investment strategies, and on disability and long-term care matters. He already holds a variety of financial service licenses and, like a hoops player who’s constantly upgrading his game, he is studying for a “Series six” license that will enable him to offer mutual funds and annuities to clients.
“My background in sports as well as my college studies have definitely helped me in this career,” he says. “When you’re on a basketball court you’ve got to formulate a strategy before the game starts, but then you’ve also got to be fluid, and able to react quickly if the situation changes. Similarly, my multi-disciplinary university studies, which included sociology, communications and English, equipped me to handle a broad variety of situations.”
Given the roller-coaster economy, more people today are asking what will happen when they turn 65; and how they’ll be able to fund their retirement.
“They’re worried about whether or not Social Security will still be there, and if their investments will generate enough income to carry them,” Smith explains. “I’m candid, which helps to reassure them, and I’m also diligent about helping them to explore their options.”
After spending a lifetime interacting with teammates, Smith says it’s good to work with individuals and families in his financial career, too.
“I enjoy interacting with people,” he says. “While I spend a fair amount of time in the office, boning up on research and other matters, I’m also able to get out a lot, meeting with people, attending seminars and getting a good feel for the pulse of the community. Some people remember me from my time at Summit High or from West Virginia University or even from my days as a pro in Japan. I tell them my story and then I listen to them tell me theirs, and together we move forward.”