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Christine Damico, CFP®, EA

 

My path has taken me from Virginia to Minnesota, around the world and back to Virginia. After graduating from Virginia Tech’s financial planning program, I completed a financial planning residency (the first of its kind in the country) at a boutique firm in Minneapolis, MN. During my four years there, I had the opportunity to participate in over 1,200 client meetings and assisted the advisors in preparing for client meetings, prepared tax projections and financial analyses, and collaborated on tax, retirement, estate planning and education planning strategies.

After the residency program, I fulfilled a long-time goal of traveling around the world, making stops in southern Africa, central Europe, and Vietnam over a four-month period of time. I have been fascinated by animals since I was a child so it’s no surprise my favorite part of my trip was spending two months on Zululand reserves volunteering for Wildlife Act. I tracked wild dogs and participated in a leopard survey to help the government educate their citizens about the declining leopard population and the need to restrict hunting permits.

Once I returned, I worked for a wealth management firm in Vienna, Virginia as a Client Advisor. While there, I managed 70 client relationships for high-net worth families.  My favorite part of my position was creating and implementing the firm’s 10-week summer internship and 4-week winter externship programs.  That was a clue to me that I really enjoy mentoring and teaching the next generation of financial planners.

You never know when new opportunities will appear. Teaching in a formal environment has never been on my radar, but when the opportunity to teach at Virginia Tech became a possibility, I knew I had to go for it.  I relocated to Blacksburg in August 2017 and I am currently teaching an introductory financial planning course where I can share my experiences and help prepare students for “the real world.” When I am not in the classroom, I work at OLIO as a financial planner and I also help shape the process that creates a successful experience for our clients. 

Outside of the classroom and office, I believe it’s important to give back to my community and the financial planning profession as whole. While in DC, I volunteered developing exam questions for use on future CFP® examinations, served on the Financial Planning Association (FPA) National Capital Area’s Board of Directors, and dialogued with federal policy makers on Capitol Hill to advocate for a fiduciary standard as part of National FPA Advocacy Day.  

In my free time, I enjoy working with Izzy, a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, to improve her nose work and obedience skills as well as my own handling skills. I have learned patience and positive reinforcement play a major role in achieving the desired result. It’s a great lesson in how to make a connection and build a relationship with both my four-legged companion and with clients.