Carrie Waters Schmidt, Lincoln Financial Advisors

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Carrie Waters Schmidt, a financial planner with Lincoln Financial Advisors.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job?

I save people from making major financial mistakes. That, in and of itself, is both challenging and rewarding! Many people are strongly habitual, and it’s very hard to show them the benefits of alternatives. And unfortunately, in my industry, there are many things that cannot be predicted. But even with the obvious challenges, I love my work because I have seen dreams and financial plans come to fruition that I know I had a significant role in helping clients achieve.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business?

I’ve looked up to Judy Faulkner of Epic. She’s built an amazing empire that keeps growing. She doesn’t work for accolades and applause; she does it for internal reasons. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to make her vision real. I only hope someday someone can say they look up to me for the same reasons.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

Splitting from a successful, well-respected advising group and going out on my own during the very early stages of recovery from the Great Recession. I’m proud to say I did it, even though it was horribly scary. The good news is, I’ve never looked back. In fact, every year has been better than the previous! 

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4. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

There are a few things. First off, I’m a greenie and have progressive political views. I love that I can be that freely in Madison, especially since financial planners are stereotypically very conservative. Secondly, I am proud to say that I’ve only felt sexism twice in my almost 11 years in the business (which is also stereotypically a male profession). Perhaps it’s affected me more often than that. Who knows? But I can say it’s only been obvious to me twice. I’m not so sure I could say these same things anywhere else! 

5. Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I often stop at ice cream shops when I’m out and about and grab a cone. You can find me in between meetings at one of the Chocolate Shoppes around town, but when I’m really in need, I’ll settle for a McDonald’s cone if I have to!

If you’re interested in being an IB Professional of the Week, contact Online Editor Tom Breuer at tom@ibmadison.com.

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