Joe Smith knew he wanted to work in financial planning after taking a personal finance class in high school. “My school implemented a mandatory economics and finance class, and my graduating class was the first to take it,” he says. “I got a glimpse of what the profession is all about and wanted to pursue it.” He went on to major in finance at Virginia Tech — and fell in love with the field.

Joe began his career as a financial planning intern, where he participated in dozens of client meetings. “The most valuable thing I learned is that each client is unique,” says Joe. “Every situation is vastly different. From person to person, regardless of their age or financial situation, life impacts people differently. So that means we customize the plan to the person and family.”

The culture at Verus is what initially attracted Joe to join our team. “The sense of camaraderie that I could feel just being around them for a couple of hours or even on the phone was something I couldn’t ignore,” Joe says. “It’s really a place I enjoy showing up to with people that I enjoy being around.” Citing the firm’s family-oriented atmosphere, Joe believes it’s a great place to learn and grow as a professional.

Joe was born and raised in Chesapeake and earned his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business CFP® program. He lives in Richmond and hopes to soon adopt a dog. In his free time, Joe enjoys hiking, swimming, and rooting for the Cowboys, Celtics, and Mets. He is also heavily involved in Relay for Life, both fundraising and donating to the cause. Says the Hokie: “It’s extremely important to me to help raise money for cancer survivors and for those who are battling.”