Will joined Dowling & Yahnke in 2002 and became a Principal of the Firm in 2007. In addition to advising clients, Will serves as the firm’s Chief Investment Officer, overseeing all investment-and trading-related operations. In 2013 Will was named President of the Firm.
Will holds the designations of Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designations. He has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Harvard Business School. Will attended Duke University on a four-year Navy ROTC scholarship. At Duke, Will earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in History and graduating with honors.
Will’s prior experience includes nearly three years with Bain & Company, a management consulting firm in Boston. Prior to business school, Will spent four years in the U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet as a surface warfare officer on a Spruance-class destroyer.
A San Diego native, Will lives in Carmel Valley with his wife and their four children.
What do you find most rewarding about working at Dowling & Yahnke?
The passion and energy our employees bring to their work — and our clients — inspires me every day. At this point in my career, I consider it an enormous privilege to mentor and coach our advisors, but often all I need to do is point them in the right direction and then let them run with the ball. I’ve never been around such an engaged and caring group of people. I learn as much, or more, from them as they do from me.
Why did you become a financial advisor?
For me, the role of financial advisor is the perfect blend of analytical skills and client engagement. Even after almost 18 years at the firm, I still get to spend time thinking about financial markets and designing portfolios, and then head into a meeting to help a client navigate real-world issues and overcome the behavioral biases that affect every one of us. No two clients are the same, and the financial landscape and “rules of the road” are always changing, so there is evergreen opportunity to learn more and hone one’s skills. The icing on the cake is the moment when you see the weight lift off a client’s shoulders, when they intuitively understand that they are going to be okay or that their dreams are within reach. It’s tremendously rewarding work.
What is your favorite place in San Diego?
I love all of San Diego’s beaches, but the nooks and crannies of La Jolla’s coastline hold a special place in my heart. From La Jolla Cove, to Windansea, to the Shores, to Marine Street, to the pungent aroma of the Children’s Pool, La Jolla has it all. Of course, my fondness for La Jolla’s shoreline may be partly attributable to the fact that I proposed to my wife on a windy night at the Cove back in April 1995!
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Maui, specifically the area around Napili and Kapalua. I have wonderful memories of staying at the Napili Kai Beach Club with my parents and brothers when I was growing up, and have loved going back to that area with my wife and kids.
What is the best concert you ever attended?
U2 (360 tour) and the Black Eyed Peas at the Rose Bowl, October 2009. Packed house. I’ve always loved U2 and they were awesome, but special guest Slash playing “Sweet Child of Mine” with Fergie on vocals was pretty sweet.
What is your personal motto or mantra?
John F. Kennedy said it best: “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.” My parents exemplified the selfless spirit of doing important work—even when no one is watching and you won’t get “credit” for it. My wife and I try to do the same and pass this attitude on to our kids.