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Our Clientele

What services are offered at Thayer Financial?

We help clients with retirement planning, investment management, and qualified retirement plans (including 401k’s, profit-sharing plans, & cash balance plans). Our philosophy is that a comprehensive financial plan coupled with our investment management services result in the best value to our clients; however, clients are not required to use both services.

Who is your ideal client at Thayer Financial?

Finding the right fit for your wealth management needs is critical to your financial goals, and for us finding the right client is essential to foster the best working relationship. Our ideal client is approaching retirement age, has accumulated investable assets of at least $750,000, and seeks professional guidance or is a business owner with complex tax situations. They understand the importance of having an ongoing plan and commit to being fully engaged in the process.

Do you have to live in North Carolina to become a client?

No, nearly one-third of Thayer Financial’s clients currently reside outside of North Carolina. Our financial planning and investment services are offered virtually, which allows us to work with clients all over the country.

How often will we meet?

We will meet more frequently to develop the plan and begin implementing the necessary changes in the first year. Once a plan is established, we will scale back and meet twice a year to evaluate the plan and make any necessary adjustments. Outside of these formal meetings, we are always available to clients and encourage them to check in with us frequently if any questions arise that impact our plan or investment accounts.

What is your data security policy?

Data security is essential to us, and we maintain and implement industry-leading principles to keep our client’s information secure. We use unique complex passwords for all logins and passwords (think 25+characters), multi-factor authentication when available, and have leading malware protection on our computers. We also do not keep or store clients’ passwords for their client portals, bank accounts, etc.


Is there an account minimum to work with you?

We do not have an investment minimum, but our clients are typically pre-retirees and retirees with $750,000 or more in investible assets. In certain circumstances, we work with younger clients and business owners to assist them with their investments and planning needs.

How do you get paid?

We get paid only by our clients. Our clients pay us directly via a check, ACH, or through an investment account deduction. There are no kickbacks, referral fees, commissions, hidden fees, and other miscellaneous fees companies are implementing these days.

If you refer me to someone for other work, do they pay you?

No. We have vetted partners that we refer our clients to because we trust them.

What products do you sell?

None. Not even one. We work for you. We are compensated for our advice and services, not for pushing investment or insurance products.

Our Background

What is your education?

Deaton Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Geospatial Information Science and Engineering from West Point and designations as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®), Wealth Management Certified Professional (WMCP®), and Certified Exit Planning Advisors (CEPA®).

Kelly Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Clemson University, is a GIA Graduate Gemologist, and is working towards her series 65.

Are you a fiduciary?

Yes, 100% of the time, and we would not have it any other way!

My current advisor is retiring in the middle of my retirement… how old are you?

Deaton is 37, and Kelly is 36. We love what we do and don’t plan to retire for at least 30 (plus) years.

What contingency plans do you have in place should something happen to you?

As a husband and wife business, we take a team approach to work with our clients, which prevents unnecessary interruptions in our business for clientele. Keeping the firm small allows us to provide a higher-touch, more personalized service than you would get at larger firms. Our clients appreciate this aspect of our business. In the unlikely event of our premature deaths, our clients are custodied with TD Ameritrade, with thousands of other independent Registered Investment Advisors in their network that can help take over planning and investment support. The strategies that we implement are built around long-term goals, so there will not be any need to rush, and you will be able to take your time finding a new advisor.

Have you been cited by a professional or regulatory governing body?

No. We take pride in our reputation and proudly report that we have a clean record with no complaints.


What is your investment philosophy?

  1. Keep investment fees low without affecting the integrity of the strategy
  2. Keep investments aligned closely with personal objectives
  3. Do not purchase or hold investments based on their past performance
  4. Rebalance strategically with a key focus on the client’s personal goals
  5. Minimize tax implications to the fullest extent possible
  6. Remain broadly diversified relative to personal goals and objectives

Where is the money in my investment account held?

We utilize the TD Ameritrade platform as a third-party custodian. TD Ameritrade provides both recordkeeping and security for your investments. The account is set up in your name, and you will give Thayer Financial limited power to manage investments, debit quarterly investment management fees, and transfer money to and from your investment accounts and banking accounts. We never have possession (custody) of your money.

What if I am unable to reach you and need access to my money?

We pride ourselves on the fact we are always available to our clients, and our goal is to return calls and emails immediately. Our office phones roll over to our cell phones even while away from the office and even on vacation. Clients also have full access to TD Ameritrade to access funds at any time. We believe that open two-way communication is imperative to having a successful relationship.

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