Melanie Nichols, CFA, CFP®

Melanie Nichols, CFA, CFP®

Melanie most enjoys working with clients to create peace of mind in their financial lives. A part of the Waverly Advisors family as partner since 2011, Melanie brings more than 30 years of experience and expertise to her work serving families and individuals through comprehensive financial planning. Melanie has devoted a large part of her practice to working with women, especially those in the midst of hard seasons like navigating death of a spouse or divorce. She is passionate about walking alongside all of her clients, understanding their unique goals and equipping them with the tools they need to succeed.

As a Chartered Financial Analyst, Melanie has extensive knowledge about investments and serves as an integral part of Waverly’s Investment Committee. She helps direct the management and decision making for all client portfolios, retirement plans and nonprofit organizations.  Her experience and expertise have been recognized by Forbes the past two years, earning her the honors of being named one of Forbes 2023 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors and 2024 Top Women Wealth Advisors in State.

Melanie and her husband Jay enjoy traveling anywhere Southwest Airlines flies, especially when it means seeing their son, Colin and daughter, Dailey. As a family, they enjoy experiencing all the good of life together; Broadway shows, concerts, or a great meal at a new restaurant. Melanie is actively involved in her church, Asbury United Methodist. She teaches Sunday School, serves on the floral arrangement committee and as a member of the handbell and chancel choirs. She enjoys volunteering time with organizations close to her heart: the Heart Gallery Alabama, Custom Made Kid Foundation and Oasis Counseling Center.

Awards & Rankings

  • FORBES 2024 Top Women Wealth Advisors – Best-In-State
  • FORBES 2023 Best-In-State Wealth Advisors


  • Bachelor of Arts in International Economics
    Birmingham-Southern College, Birmingham, AL
  • Master of Business Administration
    University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • Certified Financial Planner
    College for Financial Planning, Denver, CO
  • Chartered Financial Analyst
    Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts, Charlottesville, VA

Professional Affiliations

  • Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Alabama
  • Financial Planning Association of North Alabama
  • Vanguard’s Registered Investment Advisor Council

Community Involvement

  • Heart Gallery Alabama, Former Chairperson of the Board
  • Oasis Counseling Center for Women and Children, Advisory Board
  • Asbury United Methodist Church, Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Chancel Choir, Handbell Choir and Altar Guild

Ask Me About

  • Ways institutions can protect their capital in volatile markets
  • Why a spending policy matters to your institution
  • How to create “bond-like” returns in a challenging interest rate environment
  • Why multi-generational families need to talk more about money
  • How to teach your children and grandchildren to manage charitable giving
  • Majoring in music & religion, and how I ended up in the financial services industry