Dr. John Colegrove is the CEO of Cornerstone Financial Team, a family-owned financial planning practice that provides hometown investment advice in the greater Georgia area and beyond. A CFP® Professional, he has been serving the financial planning needs of families and small businesses since 2001. But the journey which led him into a financial planning career is quite unique.
From the time he was in high school until the completion of his doctorate in 1999, Dr. John sought a college teaching career in music with a focus on college marching bands and trombone instruction. To accomplish this goal, he dedicated his life to the study of music, and his trombone. He won scholarships to UGA and full assistantships to the University Notre Dame and UNC Greensboro. And as a result, earned degrees from all three Universities, including his doctorate.
While at UGA, Dr. John was a member of the UGA Redcoat Marching Band, where he met his wife, Ruthie. During his master’s at Notre Dame, he was a graduate assistant director of bands, working directly with the famed “Band of the Fighting Irish.” Also, during his years at Notre Dame, Dr. John was a featured solo performer on tours, played a gig with Manhattan Transfer, and served as bass trombonist of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra.
Upon his graduation from Notre Dame in 1995, John and Ruthie were married. And in that same year, he pulled away from University life and was hired as a car salesman at Barrett Dodge in Athens. Although he imagined this only to be a stepping stone, it represented so much more. It represented his first taste of the business world. To this day, he recognizes the importance of that experience with his managers and colleagues, including: Dan Barrett, Sharon Maxey, Carl Terry, Dewitt Dooley, and Shorty Elrod.
In 1996, Dr. John was awarded a full assistantship to the doctoral program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). However, towards the end of his doctorate, in 1999, a volunteer stint as the VP of Finance for the UNCG Graduate Student Association forever altered his career path. Through this experience, Dr. John came to realize that his colleagues struggled with the basic understanding of finances. As he began to explore how his passion for teaching was shifting from music to finance, he sought the council of James Calder (JC), his father-in-law. Through their conversations, Dr. John came to realize that financial planning peaked his interest. JC served as his mentor and assigned Dr. John one of the most important lessons of his life – selling books door-to-door through the Southwestern Advantage Company. After completing a summer of bookselling in Provo, Utah, Dr. John returned home to study and earn the required licenses to join the profession. He was licensed on the heels of September 11, 2001, an event that has forever shaped and changed the lives of many Americans.
Since 2001, he has served as a Financial Planner, growing his own book of business. In 2015, JC and Dr. John completed the successful transition of the practice, and since that time, Dr. John has served as CEO of Cornerstone Financial Team. In that same year, Dr. John completed his 2-year course of study at Oglethorpe University and passed the board exam to earn the designation as a CFP® Professional.
In 2018, Dr. John was recognized by the University of Georgia Alumni Association, through a #9 ranking of the prestigious Bulldog 100 – a CPA-certified ranking of the 100 fastest growing businesses of UGA graduates (Note: our firm name at that time was Calder & Colegrove Investment Group). Additionally, Dr. John was recently named to LPL’s Director’s Club, a distinction given to the top advisors based on their business success compared to the more than 16,000 LPL advisors registered nationwide.
Dr. John is a long-time resident of the great state of Georgia. In his spare time, he and Ruthie love playing their instruments together at every opportunity. Watch this video of him playing in the NYC Subways with the famed Lucky Chops NYC band. Dr. John is also a rabid fan of the Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs. He and Ruthie have been married since 1995. They have two children and reside in Peachtree Corners.