Justin R. Miller, CFA®

Justin R. Miller, CFA®

Chief Investment Officer

Justin Miller – Specializing in Corporate Executives and Retirees

“It’s the start that stops most people.” This quote by Don Shula made me pause when I first read it. It resonated in me and has settled into my consciousness since. Starts can be scary and seem unmanageable or overwhelming. However, taking certain risks and working towards set goals while exercising self-discipline can lead to the most rewarding pieces of life’s puzzle.


I did not always know I wanted to be a financial advisor. I grew up in a small town nearby and learned my work ethic from blue-collar parents. My father was a truck driver and spent a decent amount of my childhood “on the road.” This left my mother, a payroll manager, in charge of running the day-to-day tasks for my sister and me. They sacrificed and worked very hard to provide a comfortable home where I had a wonderful childhood. While they were busy like all parents are, they managed to keep family and important core values I carry with me today at the center of our lives.

As a kid, sports were always of great interest to me. My first love was racing! I enjoyed how competitive racing is and all the work that goes into getting a car to go just a little bit faster. I would build elaborate race tracks at home with my toy cars and do time trials to keep track of how fast they could go. I also enjoyed football and learning everything I could about it. As much as I liked the game, I liked the numbers behind the game even more. I learned the statistics of all of my favorite players and most from other teams as well.

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By the time I got to high school, I had found something else I loved – music! I began to learn guitar from my father around age 8 but my interest and skill level soon led to weekly lessons. I spent most of my free time focusing on mastering songs from my favorite bands. Luckily, my closest friends also played instruments and had the same level of enthusiasm. Before long, we formed a band and were writing our own music. We played many local venues and even toured several states on the East Coast the summer after our senior year. My first business experience was renting out fire halls for our band to play. It was my first time making a bit of my own money and I began to learn its value. It is nice earning money doing something you love!

After high school, I decided to attend Kutztown University and major in business. By my sophomore year, I knew I wanted to concentrate on finance and economics. That summer, I began working as an intern at Milestone learning everything I could about financial planning. By my senior year, I was invited to join the AIM group at Kutztown, which is an exclusive finance team that manages a portion of the school’s endowment, and was awarded a scholarship from Kutztown to pursue the CFA designation. My wife (Stephanie), and I got married the summer after college and began planning our future.

The CFA charter is viewed as the gold standard in investment management and is one of the most difficult series of exams in finance. Studying for the CFA took years of some of the most challenging work I’ve ever taken on and required a lot of sacrifices. It requires three levels of success in excruciating 8-hour-long exams offered only once a year. Maybe that’s why less than 3 percent of financial advisors have earned the charter. It was the first time achieving what I set out to do was much harder than I thought. Still, I pressed on and while studying for my second attempt at level 2, we found out we were expecting a baby. The greatest lesson I have ever learned came from that experience.

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Our daughter, Ellianna, was born with a brain injury. She spent 3 weeks in the N.I.C.U. and her health was very fragile. To our amazement, she made a full recovery and is a healthy, energetic 7-year-old today. This time in our lives tested our marriage, rocked the foundation we had been building, and taught me that as thoughtful as we may be, sometimes life has other plans for us. My mentality changed and I learned a higher level of respect for life and the unknown – and empathy toward others. I use these lessons in my career as I keep in mind that while we are analyzing the best options for clients, some solutions don’t come from a book. The relationships built with our clients help us to relate and roll with life’s ups and downs. I passed level 2 of my exams while Steph was pregnant and level 3 the year after Ellie was born. It turns out she was just the push I needed.

We’ve since added another little one to our crew. Emma was born in 2019 in a much different fashion. She arrived to the sound of Prince’s “Party like it’s 1999” and wow was that a leading indicator! She can go 0–60 in 0.21 seconds! Justin Family Picture