Dave Ragan
Dave Ragan38

Vice president of financial planning,
Grunden Financial Advisory

Fast Facts

  • Attended 21 consecutive Texas Rangers season openers.
  • Avid amateur photographer.
  • Rang the closing bell at the NYSE.

As David Ragan headed for a career in photojournalism, he took a course in personal finance at the University of North Texas to help him prepare for life as an adult. "I fell in love with it," said Mr. Ragan, who promptly changed his college major.

In his senior year, while driving around town, he saw a new road sign for Grunden Financial Advisory and decided to drop in. He learned that Ricky Grunden, an early RIA, had broken away from a partnership in Dallas and opened a business in Denton. After his visit, Mr. Ragan kept calling and following up, and six months later he was offered a position.

"The process took so long because Ricky wanted to make sure it was a good fit, since it was just him and two assistants," he said. "A personality consultant interviewed each of us separately and then jointly to make sure we were all aligned."

With the addition of Mr. Ragan, who sat for the CFP exam nine months after graduation, the investment-oriented business added a financial planning component, and now provides complete wealth management services — with Mr. Ragan as a partner.

Always involved with his alma mater, Mr. Ragan was invited back eight years ago to become an adjunct lecturer in financial planning.

"I started by teaching the same introductory course that changed my career path," he said. "Now I teach the senior capstone class."

When not busy at work or teaching, the father of three enjoys extensive road trips with his family — and taking photos along the way.

—Evan Cooper

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