Professor David Griswold founded Vantage Point Financial in 2002 to serve clients' financial planning and investment needs without the limitations imposed by national wirehouse firms.
After receiving his Doctorate in Finance and Economics at Boston University, David took a position as an investments professor at Simmons University in Boston, admiring the university's core mission of "educating women for their own empowerment and for leadership."
While at Simmons, David became interested in the divergence between the academic approach to investments and what was actually practiced in industry, so he decided to temporarily leave academia to gain working experience in investment analysis at a consulting firm. From there, he went on to work at one of the major national wirehouse firms in financial planning and investing, and he also returned to academia, teaching Finance and Economics at Boston University.
Simultaneously teaching and practicing investing was eye-opening. On the one hand, in the investment firm where he worked, David witnessed the "Wall Street" approach, which involved commissions and limited, expensive investment choices. On the other hand, David taught his students at Boston University how to avoid these expensive investments. He was also becoming acutely aware of and disappointed by the fundamentally systemic gender imbalance in the industry.
The dissonance between these two approaches was powerfully illustrated in his work at the investment firm where he was encouraged to recommend mutual funds owned by his employer while also being encouraged to recommend expensive investment choices to clients in order to boost his commissions. In essence, he came to understand that he was a captive financial advisor to a major national firm, and he wished instead to be an independent financial advisor with the freedom not only to choose any fund from any company but also to work on a fee basis as a fiduciary.
This desire led him to found Vantage Point on November 1, 2002, a firm dedicated to gender balance, clients' education, and independent financial advice.
As an investments professor at Boston University, David offered semester internships at Vantage Point to his students. Although financial advising is a profession that is well suited to both women and men who want to help others, 80% of financial advisors are men. Given his disappointment with industry-wide gender imbalance, David encouraged women to enter the field, and he has since trained many who have gone on to be successful leaders in their careers.
In the summer of 2012, Ashley Ott, a psychology major from Harvard University, joined Vantage Point as Client Services Manager in a temporary position. By the end of the summer, Ashley realized she loved working with clients to help them achieve their financial goals. Fortuitously, her interest in the work converged optimally with the needs of the firm, and she became a full-time permanent staff member.
For the next three years, Ashley experienced a crash course in economics, finance, and investments. She learned finance and economics first hand from David, and she attended classes at Boston University to earn her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification. Not long after, she took the opportunity to teach finance in the undergraduate program at Boston University for several semesters.
Ashley never imagined that a temporary summer job would turn into her lifetime career and that her passion for helping others, which drove her to be a psychology major, could be applied to financial planning services; but that is how her story has unfolded. After four years, she became an associate advisor and, two years later, part-owner of Vantage Point. In 2018, she spearheaded the creation of our west coast office in Seattle, Washington.
Vantage Point Partners Ashely and David have set an example of how to move the industry forward for the next generation of advisors. Both of them are regularly consulted by financial advisors for guidance and have been asked to speak around the country to share their experience with other advisors who wish to develop talent in their firms.
In June 2019, Joanna Long joined Vantage Point, and she lends her considerable talents and experience as Client Services and Outreach Officer to support its growth. She is currently also pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications at Boston College and is also fast-tracking to become a financial planner.
In our practice, we are proud of our work-life balance and generous company benefits which include four-week vacations, a 36-hour work-week, a 401k plan with company match, earned four-month family leaves, and a continuing education allowance. As new positions open, we encourage candidates from all majors and will train as needed. We continuously seek to further increase diversity in our workforce and value the strength that comes from a variety of talents and points of view.