William “Bill” Smith, RICP®, MRFC®
Retirement expert William A. Smith is the CEO of W.A. Smith Financial Group and Founder and Chief Strategist of Great Lakes Retirement, Inc., an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor.
Bill Smith is CEO of W.A. Smith Financial Group and Founder and Chief Strategist of Great Lakes Retirement, Inc. Bill has been serving clients through holistic financial planning, disciplined investment strategies and proactive personal service since 1995.
Author of two retirement books: “Retirement Tune-Up: Plan Well and Prosper in Retirement” (2020) and “Knock Out Your Retirement Income Worries Forever: The Ultimate Training Guide for Developing Financial Security” (2011).
He hosts the television show “Retirement Solutions,” where he addresses top concerns for retirees and their investments with co-host Robin Swoboda. The show airs at 11:30 a.m. Sundays on WKYC 3 and noon Sundays on ABC 5 in Cleveland.
For three years running, W.A. Smith Financial Group has been among the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in America as determined by Inc. magazine, the largest investment advisers in Northeast Ohio as determined by Crain’s Cleveland Business, and the top 500 fastest-growing registered investment advisors nationwide as determined by Financial Advisor Magazine.
On a national level, he has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Smart Money magazine, Yahoo! Finance, AOL Finance, SecondAct.com, CNBC.com, Forbes.com and Kiplinger.com. Locally, Bill has been featured on ABC Channel 5, CBS Channel 19 and Fox 8 in Cleveland, and CBS Channel 11 in Toledo as well as the Sandusky Register, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the Morning Journal.
Bill’s professional credentials include Retirement Income Certified Professional® through the American College of Financial Professionals and Master Registered Financial Consultant® with the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants. He is a licensed insurance professional and holds a Series 66.
Bill was surrounded by many family entrepreneurs growing up in Wooster, Ohio. He had multiple hard-working mentors, including his mother and grandfather, who gave him a desire to own his own business at a young age. At 15, Bill started B&B Enterprise with his brother selling pumpkins, outdoor Halloween decorations, trampolines, and children playsets! He graduated with a degree in business management from the University of Akron. With the driving principles he learned from his mentors, Bill jumped into the financial world with two feet and never looked back. Today, W.A. Smith Financial Group is one of the top financial firms in the country with the mission of “ensuring clients focus more on their lives and worry less about their money” and a vision of “being the last advisor our clients ever need.”
Bill and his wife, Erica, have been married since 1995 and are the proud parents of three adult children—daughter Hallee and sons Blake and Cameron. When their busy schedules allow, they enjoy spending time together as a family, boating on Lake Erie, eating out, fishing, hunting, attending sporting events, and playing with the family dogs, Luna and Sola.
Get to Know Bill
Favorite food: Italian
Favorite book: Lead for God’s Sake
Favorite holiday: Christmas
Favorite quote: “Do it, ditch it or delegate it.”
Favorite cartoon as a kid: Roadrunner
Hidden talent/interests: Hunting, fishing and outdoors
Biggest accomplishments: Raising three great kids and building a successful business from nothing.
If you could meet anyone, past or present, it would be: Ronald Reagan
Best piece of financial advice you’ve ever received: Always pay yourself first. Respect pennies because they add up to dollars.