Why Work With Kara And Her Team

Kara Smith is a native Central Oregonian, formerly from Prineville and now residing in Bend, who has turned her love of community into a passion for helping people obtain financial freedom and plan for their futures.

Kara is a licensed financial advisor who helps individuals, families, and business owners achieve financial security. Her goal is to help clients make sense of this complicated financial world, so that they can achieve their important financial goals, now and in the future. In her first year with Northwestern Mutual, she was recognized in the top 1% of her national peer group and has subsequently been awarded “Best Year Ever” every year since. Kara operates a comprehensive financial planning practice, including retirement and education planning, as well as life, disability, and long-term care insurance planning. She is well-positioned to serve her clients, with a Bachelor's in Economics from Willamette University’s College of Liberal Arts and an MBA with a finance emphasis from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management, graduating with honors.

When not at an industry conference or networking with fellow professionals, you will find Kara enjoying outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, and floating the river; as well as sampling local selections of beer and wine. In addition, she is highly involved in several community organizations, including the Central Oregon Estate Planning Council, FemCity of Bend, and Camp Fire Central Oregon. Kara also has a passion for educating and inspiring others through public speaking. You may have seen her speak at Celebrate + Elevate last spring, as one of two keynote speakers. Kara is excited to lead the session “Things You Should Have Learned in College: Financial Success 101” at the upcoming 2019 Bend YP Summit.

“My mission is to inspire others to dream courageously and live with purpose."

Professional Summary

Kara L. Smith, MBA is a licensed Financial Advisor and holds her FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Series 7 and 63 certifications.

Kara runs a broad practice offering a wide variety of services including:

  • Flexible financial planning for established individuals and families
  • Guidance with multigenerational and estate planning
  • Comprehensive planning for small business owners
  • Foundational planning for young professionals and young families
  • Financial planning for the LGBTQ+ and other diverse communities

Check out her full list of areas of expertise here or learn more about her planning process here.


Years of Experience

Representing Northwestern Mutual since 2016.


Degree Major Institution
Masters of Business Administration Finance Willamette University, Atkinson Graduate School of Management
Bachelor of Arts Economics Willamette University, College of Liberal Arts

Kara L Smith, MBA

Financial Advisor

  • Mobile 541-410-1810
  • Office 541-317-0447

To learn more about Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC and its financial representatives, visit: FINRA BrokerCheck