Melody W. Townsend, CFP®
Born to young parents in rural Powell County, Kentucky, Melody Townsend had the ideal childhood. Raised on a family farm, she learned to work hard, while always putting God and family first. Although Melody’s family did not have much money, her parents were selfless and always provided. Most importantly, she learned at an early age that richness in life doesn’t have to come directly from finances.
Melody started her journey in the realm of finance while working as a student teller at a community bank. As a first-generation college student, she earned a scholarship to Morehead State University and was excited to attend one of the only schools in the area that offered a program to prepare for becoming a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. While at Morehead, her professor shared an opportunity to compose an essay to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Chicago. Always determined, Melody entered the competition, and her essay, titled “Why I Am Interested in Entering the Fee-Only Financial Planning Profession,” won! Never having flown before, and one week following the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Melody flew to Chicago and attended the conference that changed the trajectory of her life. She fell in love with the profession and knew she wanted to be a fee-only advisor.
After graduation, Melody interned with one of the few fee-only planners in Kentucky and was later hired by the firm. Following another job transition and tremendous professional growth, Melody reevaluated her goals. Family first – a value that was instilled in her at such a young age – was always at the forefront. Being newly married and knowing she wanted to start a family in the future, she could not imagine having work-life balance in her current job situation. At age 26, Melody courageously decided to end her 65-minute commute and stable job position to open her own firm in her hometown of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky.
Her firm, Townsend Financial Planning, celebrated its 15th anniversary in October 2021, and Melody could not be happier. The company has seen substantial growth, with total assets under management growing from $15 million in 2017 to $94 million at the end of 2021. Since starting the firm, Melody has been quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Financial Advisor magazine. She loves the trusted relationships she has built with her clients and employees over the years and says, “Most days do not even feel like work. It just feels like doing life with some really amazing people!”
Melody started a family and was able to be a present mom. Her two children, Anna and Alden, now ages 10 and 8, spent many days in the office as babies, which allowed Melody to be both a successful mom and advisor. She now even has time to enjoy her hobbies of reading, playing card games, road trips, and enjoying occasional date nights and delicious food with her husband of more than 20 years, Jason! Giving back to her community is also important to Melody. In 2015, she was elected to serve as a County Commissioner. In 2019, she was re-elected for a second term. However, due to tremendous business growth, she opted not to seek re-election when her term concluded in December 2022.
Melody always thought she would be a teacher… and, in some ways, she is. She is a true fiduciary; she breaks down challenging financial topics and helps her clients be good stewards with their money – proving that with planning comes peace. If she could be remembered for one thing it is that she gives people all the grace. She wants people to know they are important and that their lives truly matter to God.