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About Deaton and Thayer Financial

I’m Deaton Smith, CFP®, AIF®, ChFC®, WMCP®, CEPA® and I am the founder of Thayer Financial, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a West Point graduate, and an OEF Veteran.

I named Thayer Financial after the founding father of West Point (he’s a big deal there, and his legacy has had a lasting impact on my life) because I envision my company as something bigger than me. Firstly, it embodies the same values and principles of my time at West Point and in the Army: Duty, Honor, Integrity, and Loyalty. Secondly, these values are at the very core of everything I do and stand for. 

Benefits of Being Independent

Unfortunately, the existing business model is drowning in a sea of “trust me” salespeople riddled with major conflicts of interest. To illustrate, the complicated financial products that pay exorbitant commissions that are rarely, if ever, in the client’s best interest.

Consequently, that’s why I created my own firm. My values and beliefs did not line up with any major firms, and I knew that there had to be a better way to serve my clients.

In fact, creating a fee-only Registered Investment Adviser legally obligates my firm to work as a fiduciary 100% of the time… without exception.

Fiduciary Wealth Management in Hickory, NC
R. Deaton Smith III | President & CCO

I don’t accept commissions, referral fees, kickbacks, free vacations, or marketing dollars from insurance companies or investment companies.

Offering Transparency

In contrast, the only way I get paid is through a direct and transparent fee for my services. Thus, allowing me to work solely in my client’s best interest instead of selling products to figure out how I will be paid. Above all, working as a fee-only advisor provides transparency to the true cost of advice and the service they are receiving.

About Kelly

Financial Advisors in Hickory, NC
Kelly Smith

My wife, Kelly, a Clemson University graduate with a degree in Finance, joined me at Thayer Financial in January 2020. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the business after spending 7 years working for several large wealth management companies. Also, she spent the last 5 years running her family’s business in Hickory. 

Her background has been focused on creating operational efficiencies for both startup and existing financial firms. After spending years learning how the “big box” firms approached financial management, for instance, by pushing proprietary products, selling expensive life insurance, and positioning higher commission investments, she is a huge advocate for the fee-only financial planning approach and trying to change the paradigm for how people receive their financial advice.

As the daughter of a small business owner, Kelly understands the complexities and challenges of running a small business. Kelly focuses on the business’s operational side and will continue developing and refining Thayer Financial’s client experience.

Meet your team | Thayer Financial, L.L.C.

Thayer Financial’s Core Values

Morally and legally obligated to fulfill our obligations 

Holding oneself to a higher standard of conduct

Always choosing the harder right over the easier wrong

Loyalty to a client is the very essence of being a fiduciary

Contact Us


Thayer Financial
439 4th Street SW
Hickory, NC 28602

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CFP Professional XY Planning Network NAPFA Fee-Only Network Certified Exit Planning Advisor