About Us | Our Certified Financial Planners
First Things First
What is a Certified Financial Planner?
From the CFP Board itself, The CFP® certification marks identify professionals who have met the high standards of competency and ethics established and enforced by CFP Board. CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct require CFP® professionals to act in their clients’ best interests.
More plainly, the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is a formal recognition of expertise in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning, and retirement planning.
What Can a Certified Financial Planner Do for You?
Financial planning isn’t a sell-it-and-forget-it kind of service. Financial goals change as life goes on, making it necessary to adjust your investments, spending and saving habits along the way. It’s a certified financial planner’s job to help you determine the best adjustments to make as your circumstances change to ensure that you meet your financial goals.
CFPs work with you on an array of financial goals.
If you’re just starting out:
A Certified Financial Planner can help you manage your student loans, save for a large down payment (on a house, car, or boat, for example), or merge finances with a significant other. As you begin settling down in life, a CFP can assist in the financial planning for your growing family as well as help you plan and make decisions for college financing, retirement, life insurance, business issues, and much more.
Midlife presents a more complex financial ballgame
A CFP can be a huge asset. From figuring out tax strategies for higher income levels and estate planning, to care for aging loved ones and long-term care options, your CFP has the knowledge to guide you in the right direction.
At retirement age:
You can count on your certified financial planner to help you with things like managing your retirement and assisting your children in managing their inheritance.
What Does it Take to Become a Certified Financial Planner?
To obtain the designation of a certified financial planner, a person must successfully complete the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc’s. required initial and continuing certification program. Areas of study include financial planning, taxes, estate planning, insurance, and retirement.
Becoming and maintaining CFP credentials is hard work, as yearly ongoing education programs are required to retain certification. The amount of experience and education the Summit Wealth CFPs possess ensures you get the best possible service to help you reach your financial destinations.
Get to Know Summit Wealth’s CFPs
Regardless of the stage of life you are in, the team at Summit Wealth & Retirement Partners can help you achieve your financial goals. Ours is an ongoing service that grows and changes as you do, always adapting to accommodate any life circumstance that comes your way.
For more information on how our certified financial planners can help you, contact us at (925)927-1900 today. We look forward to helping you achieve the bright and successful future you want and deserve.
As a young child I saw firsthand the stress that personal finances can cause within a family. I often witnessed my parents in disagreement over how money was being spent and whether or not enough was being saved. I resolved at a very early age to learn everything I could about personal finance so that I could help my parents and relieve some of their stress.
By age 12 I was investing in individual stocks, and still have the original stock certificates from my first purchase (Nike). By age 15 I was investing in mutual funds with my savings from working at a local deli. Every Saturday morning I sat down with my folks as they paid the bills. I knew what their salaries were, how much went to taxes, and how much all of the bills amounted to. This was a great early lesson because I knew how much, or little, was left.
I believe it was Confucius who said “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I am quite proud to say I followed this advice. At Summit Wealth & Retirement we handle the investing and financial planning for about 250 families in the Bay Area and several Western states. Our clients value our honest and direct approach, and know that we have the skills and experience to help them make better decisions and feel more secure about their money. Regardless of net worth, the #1 fear that people have is that they will run out of money. I’ve spent the past 15 years addressing this fear head-on by designing, implementing, and monitoring financial plans that help ensure my client’s money will last longer than they do. Whether it’s protecting what they already have, growing their wealth, minimizing their taxes, or designing a plan to pass assets to their kids, we are here to help. In addition to having a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation, I also hold my Series 7, 66, and 24 licenses, and hold certifications in asset management and retirement planning. I am also a registered tax preparer and an Adjunct instructor in Financial Planning at UCLA. Most importantly, I live in Danville with my wife Maryline and my three wonderful children Dylan (age 9), Tyler (age 7), and Nyla (4). When I am not at work I enjoy spending time with my family and enjoying the many natural wonders of Northern California.
Throughout my experience in the financial services industry, I’ve witnessed the impact that planning, or perhaps more importantly, the lack thereof, can have on families. At certain times we all have choices to make as we prepare for and respond to life events. I'm proud to be part of an organization whose core mission is to partner with clients to make better financial decisions, so that they can feel more secure and confident about their futures.
I joined Summit in the spring of 2018 after a 15 years with Lincoln Financial Advisors. My experience in leadership there taught me that the most important thing we do as Advisors is build trust by always putting our clients needs first. This “Serve First” philosophy has been engrained in me as a fundamental key to our business. I'm passionate about finding new and better ways that we can serve our clients, using proven processes, systems, and technology to deliver service and support in a way that distinguishes us as a premier provider of highly customized advice.
I graduated with Distinction from Purdue University, earning Bachelor of Science in Management and Management Information Systems. I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) Professional, and hold the Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC®) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designations. I also maintain the following FINRA licenses:
Series 24: General Securities Principal
Series 7: General Securities Representative
Series 63: Uniform Securities Agent State Law
I live in San Ramon with my wife Maureen, and our two young children Cara and Owen. We moved from Indiana to the bay area in 2011and love exploring the beautiful state of California.
On Thanksgiving Day, 1985, in the frigid oilfields of eastern Montana after graduating from the local community college and six months into my initial career as a roustabout, I sat in the cab of a Shell Oil truck with a frozen nose and iced-over cup of coffee in thirty-below-zero weather and had the epiphany that there were probably some alternative and better career choices to which I could devote my life. A very persistent aunt convinced me to move to California where I enrolled in the Business program at California State University – Chico. Two months later, I attended a lecture from a local financial planner and found my calling. Four years later with a BS degree in Finance, I challenged the Certified Financial Planner exams and was the first graduate from the Cal State - Chico College of Business to be awarded the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
After many years devoted to public speaking and writing on the topics of financial planning (FOX, NPR, KRON, KQED, Financial Planning Journal, et al), I developed an interest and expertise in assisting clients with portfolio management and financial decision making during their retirement years.
In 2019, after thirty years with Lincoln Financial Advisors, I moved my practice to Summit Wealth and Retirement, following Rob Cucchiaro and Ryan McCloskey. The independence and professionalism at Summit allow for a commitment to act in the best interest of clients, and I greatly enjoy working with a group of advisors who are smarter than me.
Outside of the office, I enjoy painting watercolors, writing novels and short stories (San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, et al), and running a small organic farm in Castro Valley with my partner, Curtis.
I came to work for the Summit Wealth team in June 2013. As an Associate Advisor, my primary responsibilities are data gathering, case design, plan development, review preparation, research, reporting, and presentation development. I also maintain all aspects of our financial planning software and reporting tools. My favorite part of the job, though, is working with clients to help them define and then achieve their financial goals.
In November 2015, I received a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from Bryant University. Then in February, 2016, I became a Certified Financial Planner Professional. My education also includes a Bachelor's degree from Drake University and a Master's Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, both in music performance. After realizing that being a musician was not providing me with the financial stability that was so essential to me, I branched out into new areas. After spending time in both the higher education and insurance fields, I was excited to find a career path that would allow me to combine my natural interest in improving people’s financial lives with my research and analytical skills.
I am an active member of the Financial Planning Association of the East Bay. As part of that membership, I enjoy participating in pro bono financial events and also am on the career development committee. I’m currently pursuing a designation in divorce planning called the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.
After living in many locales (from Texas to Japan) as an Air Force spouse, I settled in the charming town of Crockett. I enjoy spending time with my two adult sons --one a recent college graduate and economic analyst for the Almond Board of California and the other a student at Cal State Chico. During my spare time, I also enjoy playing the cello, reading novels, watching movies and taking my energetic Great Dane for walks.