David Gardner

David Gardner Bio Pic
David Gardner, CFP®, EA, Confluence Financial Advisors, LLC

Dave grew up in California and Oregon, attended the University of California, Berkeley, moved to the nation’s capital to work on Capitol Hill and with the President’s telecommunications advisor before delving into a career as a consultant for the telecommunications industry. The birth of his first child spurred change. “I had a very early mid-life crisis,” Dave explains. “I realized I would be responsible for another human being, so I had better get my own act together.” He recalls asking himself if at some point he would want his boss’s job, and answering “no.”

By this time Dave had moved to Colorado, where he began exploring new career options. He was encouraged by a NAPFA-registered financial advisor to consider the personal finance industry, and began taking CFP® courses. After passing the CFP® exam (and taking his wife and child on a six-month sabbatical to Mexico), Dave was ready to get started in his new profession. He knew he needed a support system, and in 2007 he joined ACP. “ACP first taught me the basics, then showed me how to build a sustainable practice over time. I do not start every new year with a calendar of open appointments because the ACP method creates relationships, not transactions.”

Dave also received support from other ACP advisors in the Boulder area, who referred “overflow” clients to Dave to help him get started. “I was blown away by the generosity of fellow ACP members—from the instructors who provide training on a volunteer basis, to the advisors who allowed me to shadow their practice for a day, to my study group partners who encourage me while holding me accountable—the level of giving is astounding.”

In 2015, Dave merged practices with another ACP member. Now he and his partner rely on each other to build and improve their business. “Having a fellow ACP member as a partner is a great way to combat stress. I don’t have to worry when I am away from the office. I know the practice is covered.”

Dave describes ACP this way: “ACP puts new advisors on its back, so to speak, and carries them through the process of building a practice. It’s not just an association of like-minded professionals; it’s a community. I would not be where I am today without the ACP family behind me.”