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Giving Back Can Be the Best Reward

Giving Back Can Be the Best Reward

Get to know Andrew Crowell, Vice Chairman, Individual Investor Group

Doing work that matters: Andrew shares his biggest motivator and other tips learned throughout his successful career in finance.


1. Your family has deep roots in the investment business, and yet you started your career elsewhere. Can you tell us about that decision?

I spent most of my junior year as an undergraduate in France’s Loire Valley before attending grad school in London, where I studied business as well. I intended to work with a large multinational firm in the business side of an entertainment company. As timing would have it, however, I ended up working for a large advertising agency that specialized in serving the needs of nonprofit organizations. I appreciated an environment where I could use my business background and skills to benefit worthwhile organizations. Today I do the same thing except for individuals, families, nonprofits and business owners.

2. Your work includes allocating donations to nonprofit organizations for D.A. Davidson. In the face of so much need, how does your committee make those decisions?

As a firm, our core values include giving back with time and resources in the communities where we operate. We budget funds throughout our corporate footprint and charge our local leaders with finding strategic opportunities so our investments will make a meaningful impact. We know we cannot meet all the possible needs, so we work hard to identify those projects and organizations and causes which we feel we can affect the most.

3. What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?

Helping clients and advisors achieve goals is what gets me out of bed every day. I’m motivated by the fact that our work matters to the clients we serve and we are making a difference in their lives.

4. What advice would you offer to young people as they consider investing and planning for the future?

Start early and save often: Establish an early habit of saving and investing for your future goals and needs. Waiting only makes it that much harder to start, and you lose out on years and years of potential compounding of your savings. Further, the discipline of learning to live below your means teaches invaluable life lessons regarding needs versus wants.

5. What book is currently on your nightstand?

I try to read a chapter every day from “The Inspired Leader” by Richard Blackaby. A series of short essays written by business leaders in various industries, each chapter provides a challenge for living a life of significance in the workplace and beyond.

6. Which living person do you most admire?

My mother. She’s a truly amazing woman who has accomplished incredible things while having to undergo adversities that would have sidelined many others. She never complains and always shows a genuine interest in others and their needs, ahead of her own.

7. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Pure joy for me is spending time with my family and seeing our children pursue their dreams and excel. My wife of 25 years, Keri, is an amazing partner and mother, and has had a profound impact on me and them — nurturing, challenging and encouraging us.

Information contained herein is from sources we consider reliable, but is not guaranteed, and we are not soliciting any action based upon it. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, based on interpretation of data available at the time of original publication of this article. These opinions are subject to change at any time without notice. Investors should consult their financial and/or tax advisor before implementing any investment plan.