Letitia "Tish" Gray

Letitia "Tish" Grayage 38

Wealth planning adviser, Sagemark Consulting

Letitia%20%22Tish%22%20Gray

Tish Gray’s road to becoming a financial adviser is paved with good intentions — and the fact that she was too short to make it as a dancer.

“I always wanted to be a professional dancer, and I even moved to New York, but realized I was too short to audition for a lot of roles,” said Ms. Gray, a Dallas-based wealth planning adviser with Sagemark Consulting, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp.

The transition to financial advice came after watching her grandfather have an entire estate depleted while suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

“Clients have to trust the integrity of their adviser, but before they will follow the advice, they have to trust the adviser’s competency,” she said.

Many of her clients are board members or senior executives of Fortune 100 companies — a niche largely built up by referrals. She serves these clients in tandem with other advisers, whose expertise might be global investing or options strategies, but she is always the primary adviser.

“My real area of expertise is distribution planning and stewardship of wealth, which is the new frontier for our industry,” Ms. Gray said.

Another aspect of her life she finds “extremely rewarding” is leading financial literacy classes in her community through Crown Financial Ministries, which she’s been doing for seven years. She also is active in Lincoln Financial Network’s WISE Group (women inspiring, supporting and educating), which focuses on the success of both female advisers and clients.

“I love what I do,” she said. “I’d love to be doing what I do 20 or 30 years from now — and helping the kids of my clients.”

— Jeff Benjamin

Fast Facts

  • Started ballet at age 4
  • First job was selling fresh-picked wildflowers to her neighbors
  • Has visited 39 foreign countries and 44 U.S. states
Letitia%20%22Tish%22%20Gray