David B. Armstrong, CFA
President & Co-Founder
“Change almost never fails because it’s too early, but because it may be too late.”
Dave got into the industry when he discovered his passion for finance in his mid-20’s. He’s a combat veteran and served as an officer in the United States Marines Corps on both active duty and in the reserves, retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. While serving on active duty, Dave was unable to spend money on deployments, so he became a self-taught investor. Along with a few bucks cash as a bouncer, his investing performance grew to be good enough to pay for an MBA, a new car and two years of living expenses. He was proud of that, so after returning home for an MBA at his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, Dave became a CFA Charterholder (because, he says, “What could possibly be more fun than spending an additional three years earning the CFA Charter? Turns out, a lot of things,” but he’s glad he got it.) and worked for large Wall Street firms.
The reason Dave co-founded Monument is because it became abundantly clear to him that the financial services industry was drowning in a sea of sameness. Real wealth planning either didn’t exist or was nothing more than a mechanism to generate an asset allocation and sell products. Creativity was nonexistent, culture was focused on shareholder profits, and advisors were accountable to sales managers, not their clients. He was unimpressed—and very, very bored. So, in May of 2008, Dave co-founded Monument Wealth Management, experiencing a very real-life example of the difficulty in market timing. Dave can name a number of reasons why someone would want to hire Monument, but he says what really stands out about us is that our razor-sharp Team has a renegade spirit and a passion for what we do–-and it shows every single day.
Dave’s military experience has a strong leadership component to it, and that has given him a great perspective on being a business owner and entrepreneur. When you’re a business owner like your clients, it makes the relationship so much more deep and meaningful. He understands when a client says he or she is worried about a cash flow situation. Or when they say they have to take money out of their account for something that is going to make more revenue for them down the road. Dave’s been there and lives that every single day just like they do.
Other than continuing to build and grow his business, Dave’s passions are spending time with his wife Sara and their dogs, cheering on the USC Gamecocks and scoring under 100 on the golf course. He’s got a whole collection of 80’s movies quotes up his sleeve ready for any situation, as well as a never-ending supply of stories about jumping out of airplanes and directing artillery strikes. When asked what areas of the world he was sent for active duty, he loves to reply, “Everywhere you’d never spend your own money to see.” His latest adventure has been section-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, of which he recently completed over 200 miles through the California Sierra Mountains. However, he admits this interest could end at any moment, because it was “kinda hard.”
Board Member for Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, The Station Foundation and Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
Serves on the board helping guide the work of these incredible Foundations
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder
Awarded designation of Chartered Financial Analyst by CFA Institute
Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps (Retired)
Served on Active Duty for seven years, then in the reserves and now retired
Former Adjunct Professor
Former Adjunct Professor at the American University Kogod School of Business MBA program
Former member of the Board of Advisors
Former member of the Board of Advisors at the Moore School of Business at University of South Carolina
Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses” Scholar
Participated in invite-only class for successful entrepreneurs around the country
A Top 100 Independent Advisor in America
Selected by Registered Rep. magazine (award based on assets under management, 2009 & 2010)
#1 Top Ranked Barron’s Speaker
Ranked #1 Speaker by peers at Barron’s Top Advisory Teams Summit in 2015
Keynote Speaker at Barron’s Conference
Interviewed former SEC Commissioner in keynote at Barron’s 2019 Top Indy Conference
Frequent Conference Speaker
Speaker at various industry events, including those held by: Bloomberg, LPL Financial, Barron’s, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Investment Management Consultants Association® and more.
Features in the Press
Interviewed by and published in numerous publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, CNBC.com, Financial Advisor, InvestmentNews, Research Magazine, Financial Planning, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Bloomberg Radio, Washingtonian, Washington Business Journal, Barron’s Advisor Podcast, RVN TV and more