David S. Waddell

CEO, Chief Investment

The Fog Cutter. Leader. Visionary. Trailblazer. Global Economics Maven. Writer. Speaker. Father. World Traveler.

David is W&A’s fearless leader. As the firm’s Chief Investment Strategist, David chairs the W&A investment committee and, pulling from his 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 name “Fog Cutter”, and encourages his team to push the standards of what it means to be a financial planner. David is often featured as a global economics and investment expert in national media outlets such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, and is an internationally recognized speaker.

David earned his BA in Economics at 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 and was soon recognized for his outstanding business development record and promoted to the Institutional Strategic Accounts Team, which interfaced with the Big 5 accounting firms and Schwab’s largest customers.

David currently acts as Chairman of Epicenter Memphis and Co-Chair of the Memphis Chamber Chairman’s Circle while also serving as a board member for LaunchTN and the New Memphis Institute. He previously served as Chairman for The Leadership Academy, the RISE Foundation and the Economic Club of Memphis and chaired the capital campaign to build the “Live” stage at the Memphis Botanic Garden. David has been recognized as a “Top 40 under 40” by the Memphis Business Journal and, in 2007, was a finalist for “Executive of the Year” by the publication.

Planning your next bucket list trip? You might want to give David a call. He has traveled to more than 32 countries with no plan of stopping. He’s made connections all over the world and learned from 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 teenage children and their doodles, NASDAQ and 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. 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. This company was started by my parents with the belief that there was a void in the personal financial services industry. Instead of focusing on extracting money from clients, they created a model that placed an emphasis on building relationships with their clients. They wanted every client to feel like family as achievements take time, collaboration and flexibility while requiring trust, common values, and commitment.”

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