Steve was raised and educated in Dallas, and has had a multifaceted career in investments, business, government, public affairs, media relations and marketing for more than 45 years. His professional experience has included wealth management for private clients and churches, business planning and marketing, high-level government relations, and program development responsibilities. He is currently a Registered Representative with LPL Financial, an independent Financial Advisor with Private Advisor Group (PAG), and is President of Cotton Wealth Management Associates, a financial planning and wealth management firm.
Steve holds his Series 7 Federal Securities license and Series 31 Managed Futures license through LPL Financial, his Series 66 State Securities license through both PAG and LPL Financial, and his Group 1 Insurance license through the State of Texas.
Prior to launching Cotton Wealth Management in 2014, he was one of two founding Managing Partners of the Cotton-Adams Financial Group, LLC from 2005-2014. Prior to starting the joint venture at Cotton-Adams, Steve was a successful financial consultant at A.G. Edwards and Morgan Stanley. He has also held senior management positions in the largest division of a high technology, Fortune 100 defense corporation, helped develop public policy in the U.S. Congress and Texas Legislature, directed media relations, public affairs, and political campaign work, served a major Texas university, and served private clients as a corporate business consultant.
For ten consecutive years, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, Steve has been named a FIVE STAR Wealth Manager in Texas Monthly magazine, an award based on 10 objective criteria associated with providing quality services to clients such as credentials, experience, a clean regulatory record and assets under management, among other factors.*
Steve is a former member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Council on World Affairs and the Rotary Club of Dallas. He served on the Rotary Board of Directors 2010-2013, serving as Chairman of the club’s Outstanding Teacher Awards program. He also served on the Rotary Club of Dallas Foundation Board of Trustees and is a member of its Investment Committee. In 2006, he was selected to be the first President of the new Dallas Association of Southwestern University Alumni. In November, 2013, Steve was honored as an “Outstanding Professional Alumnus” by Southwestern University at the annual Homecoming Celebration, one of only three alumni chosen nationwide that year.
Mr. Cotton earned a B.A. in Political Science from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas in 1977 and received his M.A. in Government with Certification in National Security Studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in 1986. During his public policy career, he served in the Texas Legislature as Administrative Assistant to a Texas State Senator, Administrative Assistant to a Texas State Representative, worked for a Texas Supreme Court Justice, and served with three Members of Congress in Washington, D.C. as a senior Legislative Assistant, Special Assistant, and Press Secretary/Communications Director. He is a graduate of the Congressional Research Service’s Institute for Legislative Staff.
During his service in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, Mr. Cotton handled a broad spectrum of national and international policy issues. He worked directly with the White House, executive branch agencies, public policy groups, business, military and national security groups, health care representatives, technology experts, with the state, national and international news media, and rural development and social service advocates.
Mr. Cotton’s private sector background includes service in the aerospace technology industry. As a senior manager at the General Dynamics’ Fort Worth Division from 1986 to 1991, Mr. Cotton helped direct marketing and government affairs activities at the company’s largest business unit ($1.5B in annual sales), and advised the Division’s Political Action Committee. In 1987, he was honored with the company’s Extraordinary Achievement Award.
Mr. Cotton has a passion for teaching and has served as a Special Guest Instructor at four major Texas colleges-- Trinity University, Southwestern University, Texas Christian University and Texas Tech University. His topics have ranged from financial planning and investments, to economics and market issues, to U.S. arms control and foreign policy issues, to the congressional budget and governmental process, to national security issues, to technology, health care and telemedicine issues, to congressional and presidential politics, and elections.