Helping others was in my blood. I grew up watching my parents sacrifice their time, money, and energy to give back to others as scoutmasters, PTA presidents, community leaders, and founders of various groups that cared for local parks. In their volunteer roles and careers as a hospital social worker and director of a social agency, they cared about our neighborhood, our city, and our country. It’s no surprise that when it came time to choose a career, I wanted one where I could influence and impact the lives of others.
After a brief period of wanting to play professional baseball like my grandfather (I discovered that the baseball gene had unfortunately weakened with each generation!), I then turned to politics, imagining myself as the Mayor of Philadelphia. I earned my bachelor’s degree in political and social thought from the University of Virginia. After graduation, I gained some real-life political experience working on several mayoral and congressional campaigns before attending the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard to earn a master’s degree in public policy. The MPP degree combined economics and finance along with management and decision-making.
Degrees in hand, I began working at an economics consulting firm and then a public finance firm. I managed $250 million in municipal bond proceeds and wrote the war risk insurance policy used by the federal government during the Gulf War. I created economic models to measure the impact of infrastructure projects, most notably the project that led to the building of the airport in Hong Kong, which at the time was the largest public works project in the history of the world. These were all projects having to do with the public interest, helping me pursue my life goal of making the world a better place.
Finally, I had the chance to run for public office. I lost by only 277 votes out of over 32,000 cast, but we all know that close is only helpful when it comes to horseshoes and hand grenades! At this pivotal moment in my career, my campaign policy chair gave me some advice that led me to make a major career shift. He said to me, “David, there’s a way for you to have an even greater impact on people’s lives than if you had won.” I didn’t believe him at first, but now I do.
What was he referring to? Finances. Whether we like it or not, money makes the world go round. It affects every decision we make and thus how we live our lives. I decided to become a financial advisor, wanting to be like Jimmy Stewart’s character in It’s a Wonderful Life, knowing everybody in town and making their lives better. I earned my Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), and Behavioral Finance Advisor (BFA®) designations from The American College, and over 20 years later, I’m still at it, trying to impact people’s lives by listening to their hopes and dreams and helping them create strategies for overcoming their worries and fears.
What I Do Today
Now I am president and wealth advisor at Keystone Asset Management Strategies and spend my days helping clients establish, test, track, and communicate their financial goals. While it’s a wonderful life, indeed, there are still challenges to overcome. I juggle many tasks throughout each day while still focusing on my clients, and it can be difficult to get everything done and also stay efficient and organized. Thankfully, my team is fantastic at what they do, and together we offer excellence at every turn.
There’s just nothing like helping people find a way to live their lives the way they want to, giving them the freedom and hope to pursue their dreams. I work hard every day because I believe that “a promise made is a debt unpaid.” (1) I have made a commitment to my clients and I will make it my goal to not let them down.
Now It’s Your Turn!
Now that you’ve heard my story, I’d love the chance to get to know you. If you think our firm would be a good fit for your financial needs and want to find out if our KeyAMS Strategic Process will help, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 267-421-8272 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Barol is president and wealth advisor at Keystone Asset Management Strategies with over 20 years of experience. He specializes in helping clients create a values-based financial strategy so they can turn their dreams into achievable goals. David earned his bachelor’s degree in political and social thought from the University of Virginia and obtained a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School at Harvard. He spent many years working at an economics consulting firm and then a public finance firm, making significant contributions to our society, including writing the war risk insurance policy used by the federal government during the Gulf War and creating economic models to measure the impact of infrastructure projects, most notably the project that led to the building of the airport in Hong Kong. He even ran for public office before beginning his career as a financial advisor. He earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), and Behavioral Finance Advisor (BFA®) designations from The American College and loves doing his part to make our world a better place. To learn more about David, connect with him on LinkedIn.
(1) Robert W. Service, The Cremation of Sam McGee.