Meet the Team: Will Tracy
Will Tracy has joined the Yeske Buie team as a Client Support Specialist in our Vienna, VA office, and it’s already been a pleasure to have his commitment to excellence and his sense of humor on our team. Will joins us after graduating from Virginia Tech where he earned Bachelor of Science in Finance from Virginia Tech’s CFP Certification Education Track. From his education and his internship experiences, Will is committed to building quality, trusting, and lasting relationships while performing meaningful work for Clients.
In this edition of Meet the Team, we learn more about Will’s journey into financial planning, who and what are most important in his life, and how he hopes to serve our Clients. Welcome to the team, Will!
Yeske Buie: Welcome to the team, Will! Let’s start with a Will Tracy history lesson – tell us about your journey into financial planning.
Will Tracy: Thank you – I’m so glad to be here! That’s a great question to start with. I think I was probably in high school when I first started to be particularly mindful of money. My friends and I would go out to eat after our games and I realized I needed to make some of my own money. The first job I got was as an umpire. I remember having to create an account where I’d get to see my earnings. That’s an early money memory I have – maybe my first memory of getting paid. It was a really tough job and it had a big impact on me.
Beyond those early memories, I think what originally got me into financial planning was investing. I’d been interested in investing from a young age, and this interest led me to start the Investments Club my freshman year of high school. We used one of those mock investing websites to test our hand at being a stock picker to see who would make the most fake money by the end of the semester.
Looking back, it was such a bad way to learn about investing – HA! It teaches you everything you should not do when it comes to investing. It does teach you the basics of buying and selling, but we were all just trying to beat a benchmark and didn’t consider much else.
Yeske Buie: And how about your journey to finding Yeske Buie – what can you tell us about how that unfolded?
Will Tracy: One of my first introductions to Yeske Buie was when Yusuf Abugideiri and Kacie Fawls visited the Virginia Tech Campus and spoke at one of our Student Financial Planning Association meetings. Each of our 13 meetings that semester featured a guest speaker, and Yusuf and Kacie were clear standouts for me. I knew I wanted to learn more about Yeske Buie and pursue any opportunities to work with the firm.
Once I did learn more, there were a lot of things that drew me in. It may sound cliché, but the company culture was one of the things I was most impressed with. Yeske Buie clearly has an outstanding company culture, and that came across in the application process and from my interactions with Yusuf and Kacie. As I continued in Yeske Buie’s interview process, something the firm did that I hadn’t seen elsewhere was that I had the opportunity to speak to every single person in the company and have an actual conversation with them. Yeske Buie says that relationships are their cultural imperative, and that was a moment when I felt the firm “walked the walk”. Those conversations gave me a good understanding of what the company stands for, and also showed me it isn’t just a few people making all the decisions – everyone has a voice, and everyone matters. And since I’ve joined, all of these assumptions have been nothing but confirmed.
Yeske Buie: Those are really kind things to say, and we’re glad that’s been your experience. Now that you’ve been serving in the role of Client Support Specialist for a few months, what would you say is the most important skill needed to succeed in this role and take care of Yeske Buie’s Clients?
Will Tracy: That’s easy – attention to detail. I think there’s a lot of different elements of the job that require attention to detail whether it’s something as simple as learning our Clients’ names, being a friendly and welcoming face when someone comes into the office, double-checking that there’s a full bowl of chocolates on the conference room table, or ensuring that you have a Client’s favorite coffee or drink available for them. We strive to deliver excellence to our Clients, and I believe that the small things that require attention to detail are immensely important to achieving our standard.
Going hand in hand with attention to detail, I also aim to be very intentional with the work that I do. I talked about how I see this exhibited in Client interactions, but intentionality with all the behind-the-scenes work I do in my role is also very important to me. Both of these characteristics feel innate to who I am – perhaps that’s why I think they’re so important! – and I’ve had a lot of practice flexing these mental muscles through my schoolwork and sports background. I think that because I’ve had those experiences, it’s helped me serve our Clients well so far.
Yeske Buie: We certainly appreciate all the work you’ve done for our Clients, so far. Is there more you can tell us about your schooling and/or sports background?
Will Tracy: Sure! I’ll start with my schooling. I consider graduating college to be one of my greatest achievements to date. There are a lot of distractions that can veer you off the path in college, and I’m proud that I got better over time. I’m also proud to feel that I found a program that I was genuinely interested in and a profession that I genuinely care about – I don’t think that’s something that a lot of people can say.
In terms of growing up playing sports, I’m still a very active and competitive person. I’m not Mr. Olympia, but I could talk about sports for hours! Whether it’s golf, basketball, or anything else with a ball, I’m in. I think having the opportunity to move and play every day is a gift, and that gratitude is a big driver in my life.
Yeske Buie: Oh, how cool. What else motivates you? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Will Tracy: There’s a few different answers to that question. Most of the things that I consider to be lights in my life start with my family – my mom, dad, brother, little sister, and girlfriend. I’m really close with both my siblings and my parents, and that was amplified after I went to college and we had the time apart. I realized we’re a lot more alike than we are different. I’d also say that working for a company that has similar traits as my family is a big motivator. Yes, it’s work, but it’s personal, too, and I have a lot of appreciation for that. Seeing my values reflected in my work is really meaningful to me. It makes me feel like the work is a part of me.
Yeske Buie: We’re so glad you feel that alignment. Which one of Yeske Buie’s values aligns with you most and why?
Will Tracy: I had a memorable conversation with Dave Yeske recently about how life is full of tradeoffs, and it made me think about how true our tagline is that it’s about the size of your life, not the size of your wallet. And I think this philosophy is something that I try to emulate in my life. I went to Lake Placid with my friends last year and I’ll be traveling to Cincinnati soon to visit my girlfriend, and I’m so grateful for the experience that you get from living life in this way. At the end of the day, I think life is more about what you do with your money than how much you have. There’s a balance between not being wasteful with your money and living big, and I can think of a lot of Live Big moments in my life and I look forward to all the moments that lie ahead.
Yeske Buie: Beautiful! What are one or two of your Live Big goals that you have for yourself?
Will Tracy: Oh! Right now, I haven’t gone to see my girlfriend, Grace, in Cincinnati yet, so visiting her is one of my Live Big goals. Another one involving travel is to coordinate a big trip with all of my friends like we did in Lake Placid last year. We’re thinking about going to Red Rocks or Myrtle Beach, but it’s been on my Live Big list for a while to vacation with that group of friends in a nice location. On the professional side, it’s a goal of mine to pass the CFP Exam within the next year, possibly sitting for the exam in March or July. I enjoy looking ahead and thinking about the future!
Yeske Buie: We look forward to seeing photos from both of those trips and more! We really appreciate all that you’ve shared with us today, Will. It’s been fun to get to know you better. As we wrap up, we like to ask one final question. What’s one thing that’s important to you that we haven’t asked you about? What’s something that someone might be surprised to know about you?
Will Tracy: That’s a fun question! I think people might be surprised to know that I’m really, really into chess. My dad taught me to play when I was young, and I played in real tournaments throughout my childhood. I sort of lost my passion for it for a bit until Queen’s Gambit came out again which re-energized my love for the game. I joined the Virginia Tech chess club – that’s a nerdy thing to admit but I liked it! – and we competed with each other. I would play online a bit, too, and with my family when I went home for breaks. My brother, Connor, didn’t get into chess like I did, but we’ll still play together from time-to-time. To level the playing field, I once played against him while blindfolded… and still won!