Andy Smith Title: Financial Planner and Realtor Education: Rivier University, University of South Carolina, College for Financial Planning Location: Hendersonville, NC Expertise: Financial Planning, Investing, Personal/Auto/Home Loans, Mortgages, Personal Finance, Real Estate, Retirement, Taxes Member of The Balance's Financial Review Board.Expert financial manager, analyst and investor for 35+ years. Education and work experience in financial analysis, personal and corporate finance, real estate and teaching. Self-employed consultant, Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and licensed realtor; more than 10 years full-time teaching experience in leadership, management and finance related courses. Experience Andy has a wide range of experience with a diverse range of technical skills in financial planning and analysis, cost estimating, forecasting, budgeting and program management. Andy held many leadership positions throughout his career in the United States Air Force within the Air Force financial management and policy analysis communities, from hands-on analyst to senior leadership as a squadron commander and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).After his military career, Andy embarked on second career as a consultant, educator, realtor and financial planner. In eight years as a finance lecturer at the University of Denver Andy taught various financial concepts (time value of money, risk vs. return) and analytical tools (capital budgeting, financial statement analysis and forecasting for valuation). When teaching students or advising clients on personal finances or real estate, Andy believes it is imperative to break down complex concepts and making them understandable, even to someone with no background in the topic. This ability to synthesize data and facts into actionable solutions (similar to a solid financial plan or investment strategy) was reinforced through his academic and practical experiences. “The path to financial success does not need to be overly complex. Most people can rely on a few simple steps to make steady progress towards achieving their goals. First, a budget is your roadmap—know where your money is going, pay yourself first and spend less than you earn. Second, invest early and often-- starting early and investing consistently are perhaps the most important keys for long-term financial success; stay the course through the gyrations of the market. Last, consider home ownership. The Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances shows home ownership is one of the best predictors of financial success, as homeowners have net worth on average 40 times more than renters.” Education Andy received his MBA from Rivier University, his Master’s in Personal Financial Planning from the College for Financial Planning, and his Bachelor’s from the University of South Carolina in Real Estate and Finance. About The Balance The Balance, a Dotdash Meredith brand, makes money easy to understand. We give people tools they need to not only make smart financial decisions but also prepare for the experiences they will have along the way. Our team of expert writers and editors have extensive qualifications in the topics they cover, and many of them have MBAs, PhDs, CFPs, and other advanced degrees and professional certifications. We require our writers to use primary sources in their articles, which are also approved by our Financial Review Board and fact-checked. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.