Murray Smith has joined Ashton Thomas as Director of Advanced Planning. Murray oversees all aspects of the financial planning process in support of the firm’s advisors, including tax planning, cross-border planning, estate planning, and financial planning software integration.
Murray was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. After graduating from the University of Calgary with a degree in economics, he decided to immediately purse his Master of Arts in economics at the University of Alberta, graduating in 1995.
After graduating from the MA program, Murray took a position with the Alberta Treasury as an analyst for the $13.5 billion (Canadian) Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund. Over the next decade, he held a number of marketing positions with a major beverage company in Vancouver and then a management role at Telus, a major telecom player in Canada, back in his home city of Calgary. It was during his at Telus time that Murray met his future wife, Kristin.
After leaving Telus, Murray worked for a brief time in ad agency run by one of the Lion’s Den – Canada’s equivalent of Shark Tank – personalities, where he learned a great deal. However, Murray’s passion was primarily still in the world of finance and economics, so he decided to dive back into the financial world. After a brief stint in real estate syndication, he joined a friend from college who was an established financial advisor to help with marketing, portfolio strategy and transformation of the wealth management practice. The position evolved into a comprehensive financial planning role and provided Murray with much of the material which fuels his passion for the profession today.
After Murray and Kristin’s son was born in 2013, they decided to follow her family and relocate to Arizona. While working as a cross-border consultant, Murray obtained his Canadian Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation through FP Canada. Shortly thereafter, he pursued and secured his US Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) Professional designation through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. In 2017, he joined a cross-border financial advisory firm, Keats Connelly Associates, of Phoenix, Arizona.
“Education is at the core of sound financial planning, no matter one’s age or background,” says Murray. “You can’t tell anyone what to do. Give people well-thought-out, relevant options and make recommendations so they can make informed decisions. That’s the most sensible approach.”
Murray is very active in the Financial Planning Association®, the professional association for financial planners, and is currently a board member and president of the Greater Phoenix FPA chapter.
Murray, Kristin and their son reside in Mesa. They are avid gardeners, having developed over 400 square feet of food gardens and cultivated more than ten types of fruit trees. Murray also enjoys DIY home projects and computer programming, particularly where it helps make their home “smarter.” Additionally, Murray is a guitar player and past band member in Alberta.