Not many people earn the title of partner under 35. However, Brandon Williams has made it a goal to excel in his career, while helping others.
At only 32 years old, Williams serves as lead financial advisor and a partner at The Smith Group Tax and Retirement Planning in downtown Aiken.
Born and raised in Aiken, Williams graduated from South Aiken High School and went on to get his bachelor's degree in business at USC Aiken.
He has since acquired a Series 65 license, insurance license and a Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) certification, strengthening his knowledge in the field.
Williams said that right out of college, he tried out a few different things.
"When I graduated, I kind of did what a lot of people do, and I went out to the Savannah River Site and did various things out there," Williams said.
However, it was the father of a friend who inspired him to go into financial advising.
"I started reaching out to offices, and I ended up having a chance meeting with Carl Smith, who is the founder of The Smith Group, and we kind of hit it off," he said. "Five or six years later, here we are."
Williams said being a partner isn't something he would have expected five years ago.
"When I started, Carl really took a chance on me," he said. "I came in and put my head down and did everything I needed to do to learn everything I could about the business and financial planning. It's really just with his help, with the help of the firm, and with some of the other mentors that we've had available to us that have really helped me grow very quickly in the business."
One of the things Williams loves most about his job is being able to help his clients feel secure.
"I enjoy helping people in the community be able to retire and have a sense of comfort that they can actually do the things they want to do when they leave their work," he said.
In 2018, Williams attended a convention where he met with the founder of the American Financial Education Alliance (AFEA), a nonprofit organization that gives non-biased information workshops teaching people about different aspects of finance.
Williams said he thought the workshops were a really great idea and something he could do locally.
Since The Smith Group partnered with AFEA in 2018, Williams has taught classes at local colleges in Aiken, helping others learn more about Social Security, Medicare options and taxes at no cost.
"I think we helped a lot of people that maybe otherwise wouldn't feel like they could go to an advisor to ask for help," he said. "I really enjoy doing it."
Williams said his main goal going forward is to continue to grow the business and expand the company's staff.
"I'd like to be kind of a mainstay in the CSRA area, and we might even eventually look at expanding across the river and doing some different things there, too," he said.
However, Williams said he doesn't have any plans to leave the area.
"I grew up here and met my wife here at college," he said. "It's a great place to raise a family, and we really couldn't be happier here."
Williams and his wife, Claire, have a 3-year-old son, Carter.