James J. Williams, CFP® , MBA

CEO & Founder

As the CEO and Founder of Williams Financial, James (JJ) Williams has built a team that is passionate about helping clients understand and play an active role in their financial planning. As a wealth advisor, he works with clients to organize all the moving parts of their finances and creates a comprehensive plan to help them achieve their financial goals. Under JJ’s leadership, clients stay at Williams Financial for generations. This is because JJ’s vision for intergenerational planning actively includes both the client’s children and parents, bringing the whole family together as they create a personalized financial plan.

JJ is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a certification that is the standard of excellence in financial planning, with over 20 years of experience. And after 15+ years of working with clients to create personalized financial plans, JJ understands the importance of listening and connecting with his clients to develop a plan that fits their unique needs.

JJ holds a business administration degree from Southern Vermont College, an MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, as well as a certificate in financial planning from Boston University. Further, he has held multiple securities licenses, including the Series 7, 63, and 66 FINRA licenses. His work history reflects his passion for helping clients truly understand their finances. JJ started his career as a bank manager and was promoted to marketing director. He then moved on to managing an independent broker, where he oversaw operations, finance, and compliance. During this time, JJ also counseled his own clients, which inspired him to start an investment advisory firm.

Helping and educating people has always been a driving factor for JJ. He has taken his knowledge and experience into the classroom, teaching several business courses at Castleton University, Community College of Vermont, and Southern Vermont College. He has also held the position of Department Chairperson – Entrepreneurship at Hudson Valley Community College, a SUNY college. Currently, JJ also serves as a trustee at the Bennington Museum. In addition, he is the chairperson of the Membership Committee of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), as well as a board member for NAPFA’s Northeast Mid-Atlantic Regional Board.

When he’s not working, JJ is an avid traveler, having a particular fondness for Ireland. He also loves history, reading, hiking, and golfing. JJ lives in Shaftsbury, VT, with his wife, Kathy, and they have two adult sons, Noah, and Luke.