Brent Bell, CFP®, MSPFP

About Brent Bell, CFP®, MSPFP

Personal Background
Hi, I’m Brent. I grew up in a small town in Illinois, met my wife in Texas at Texas Tech University, and then moved to South Lyon, MI to be near my wife’s parents in Ann Arbor, MI for support while we began to grow and raise our family. We now have 2 boys and 1 on the way (It’s a surprise!). I am beyond excited to be working closer to home, and spending added time with my family and connecting more with my community because of it.

Professional Background
I am the Founder and CEO of Bell Financial Planning and I have over 8 years of experience in the financial services industry. I attended Illinois State University, graduating with a Bachelor’s in both Accounting and Finance and then I later earned a Master’s in Personal Financial Planning (MSPFP) from Texas Tech University.
I am a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) where I serve as Board Treasurer for Michigan’s local FPA chapter and the Committee Chair for the Education/Programs Committee and the Symposium Committee.

Cathy Curtis, CFP®

About Cathy Curtis, CFP®

For the last 20 years, Cathy has engaged her skills to help women get clarity and feel confident about their finances. She has deep experience working with women who manage their finances on their own – single, divorced, or widowed and women who experience sudden wealth.

As an industry-recognized author, podcaster, and thought leader, Cathy helps educate the public on personal finance through her position on the CNBC Financial Advisor Council, her award-winning blog, Of Independent Means, and her widely-followed Twitter feed (@CathyCurtis). In 2019, U.S. News & World Report named her one of 9 Women in Finance to Follow on Twitter.

For the last four calendar years, Cathy has been named an Investopedia 100 Top Financial Advisor, and she was named among the top ten Most Influential Advisors of 2020. The Investopedia 100 celebrates financial advisors who are making significant contributions to critical conversations about financial literacy, investing strategies, life-stage planning, and wealth management. They influence the practice of financial advice, and help educate millions of investors.

Cathy was recognized by InvestmentNews as one of its 2020 Women to Watch in the financial advice industry. She was selected based on her demonstrated success and proven ability to effect change in the financial advisory industry, specifically by serving as a role model to other female professionals in her field and donating her time to educate her community on personal finance.

Cathy is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Mills College in Oakland, California. She stays current on personal finance topics through her affiliations with The National Association for Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), and the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP®).

In addition, Cathy is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. The CFP® certification is recognized as the standard of excellence for the financial planning profession. CFP® professionals have met extensive training and experience requirements, and commit to CFP Board’s ethical standards that require them to put their clients’ interests first.

Read Cathy’s blog here: https://curtisfinancialplanning.com/of-independent-means/

Daniel Kopp, CFP®

About Daniel Kopp, CFP®

Hello, I’m Daniel – husband to Anna, widower to Sarah, Air Force veteran, business owner, writer, speaker, CFP® Professional, financial planner, and Christ-follower. I’m the founder of Wise Stewardship Financial Planning where we offer fee-only, fiduciary financial planning and investment advice with a special focus on young widows and widowers as well as servicemembers and their families.

Grief changes everything. I know that all too well from personal experience as I became a widower at 31 and before that, father to 3 children in heaven. My passion and purpose now is to take what I’ve learned from those experiences combined with financial planning and advice to be a help to you in your own unique grief journey. Wise Stewardship works together with you to help gain stability in your current financial situation, prioritize next steps, and walk with you into a new and different future.

Here’s the rest of my story and why I became a financial planner. I’ve always been interested in money since I was a little kid, including out-bidding my siblings for chores-for-hire, to providing loans to my siblings and friends when they had spent all their money and diligently saving my allowance for future goals. Over time this evolved into reading the stock pages in the newspaper as a young teenager and then choosing to major in economics in college. After completing Air Force ROTC at Purdue University, I commissioned as an officer into the Air Force in 2009 but continued my personal interest into personal finances, investing, and all things money-related.

In my college years and early 20s, I read hundreds of books and spent thousands of hours studying financial planning topics. I also had the opportunity to be a volunteer financial counselor during many of the years when I was on active duty in addition to helping and educating family and friends over the years. Thanks to countless help along the way, I learned more about the financial services industry and found my way to fee-only, fiduciary financial planning. It was through these experiences that sparked my passion and helped me realize what I wanted to do whenever I decided to leave the military!

As an officer on active duty for almost 9 years, along with a brother, sister, and brother-in-law in the military, I experienced firsthand the benefits and challenges that military life can have on all aspects of life especially finances. Frequent changes like TDY’s, deployments, and PCS’s add unique potential opportunities and obstacles to meeting goals and dreams. Add in the often disparate and sometimes confusing military pay, benefits, scattered military benefits and discounts, and countless people offering advice or services, and there is often a lack of clarity on how best to optimize all of these to best meet goals.

I’ve seen almost everything military life can throw at you and been through much of what you probably have questions about. I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t; what’s important and what isn’t. I’m now able to use these vast experiences to help my clients navigate the challenges of the busy military life, get the most out of your hard-earned benefits, and help you achieve your goals.

My journey to become a financial planner was also profoundly impacted by what happened in my personal life. I met and married my wife Sarah back in 2012 and we embarked on military life together, at the time thinking I would be on active duty for a full career. As time went by, God brought countless joys as well as numerous trials. Sarah was a cancer survivor when she survived thyroid cancer at the age of 21, and had experienced other health trials and surgeries in the years before we met. Then in the first three years of our marriage, we experienced the agonizing sorrow of grief from the loss of three children through first term miscarriages. Sarah’s health continued to decline over the course of our marriage and medical answers mostly eluded us as we saw dozens of doctors and specialists.

Sarah became mostly homebound as her energy failed so I became her primary caregiver as family was thousands of miles away while continuing to work fulltime as an officer in the Air Force. However, it rapidly became evident that I could no longer continue down the active duty career path so I began planning to transition out of the military. Given the flexibility I would need as a primary caregiver, I explored entrepreneurship by launching my own financial planning firm to marry my passion for helping people with their finances with my need to take care of my wife.

Before that plan could come to fruition, a medical crisis landed Sarah in the hospital from which followed a cascading sequence of events in which we lived in hospitals across two states for the next six months. Finally, the doctors said there wasn’t much more they could do and Sarah and I made the difficult decision to enter hospice. We were able to spend a precious 6 weeks together as well as flying out family and dear friends to be able to say goodbye. Sarah passed away in the late summer of 2017 as I held her hand and bid her an earthly farewell. She was only 32, and we had been married just under five truly amazing years.

Suddenly, my entire life had been turned upside down. I was 31 and it felt like every plan I had made was shattered yet again.

My abiding faith in God and His endless grace helped bear me up in the agony of grief in the months that followed. Thanks to the boundless support of my family, fellow young widowed spouses I connected with, my church, Air Force family, network of friends, and an invaluable grief counselor, I found a way to keep moving forward.

I also received further confirmation of the incredible value of financial planning when I hired my own financial planner in the middle of my grief journey to help me sort through all the variables of my financial life, have a compassionate and rational (as sometimes my grief was not very logical) outside perspective, and figure out what my new financial future might look like. I also gained an inside perspective to the other side of the estate planning experience as I acted as the executor of my wife’s estate. I dealt with everything from dealing with creditors, bequeathing personal items, transferring titles of houses, vehicles, settling life insurance policies, closing accounts, and much more. While I would never have wished to learn in this way ,these unique personal experiences prepared me to understand not just the “science” of estate planning, but also the intimate and personal art if helping clients work through the full range of emotional nuances in this process.

I ended up separating from the Air Force in early 2018 and embarked on an 8 month sabbatical. Sarah and I long considered taking a few months off after active duty so we could travel some more, visit friends and family across the US, and take advantage of a mid-career transition to do something that otherwise isn’t possible with normal vacation time off. We had been saving up for this opportunity for several years and I ultimately ended up buying a truck and RV trailer so I could maximize my travel flexibility. Over the course my sabbatical, I visited 38 states, drove more than 27K miles, saw 14 National Parks, visited dozens of friends and family, and made incredible memories!

The time off gave me opportunities to heal, rest, think deeply, journal and write, and lay the groundwork for launching Wise Stewardship. However, there was something even more amazing and unexpected that happened in the midst of my sabbatical. I ended up meeting someone and falling in love!

In a beautiful story that I could never have imagined on my own, God brought Anna into my life. Over the course of my sabbatical travels, we began a relationship that quickly became apparent to us and everyone that knew and loved us, that this was something very special.

I ended up moving to the Boston area to join Anna after we got married capping off a whirlwind of a year! It’s been an amazing journey to this place and I’m so excited about this next chapter! Anna is the gift that I thought I would never have. She has demonstrated to me that love and a different future was possible.

Wise Stewardship Financial Planning launched in November 2018 to offer fee-only, fiduciary financial planning to help fellow young widowed spouses as well as servicemembers and their families. I count it a privilege to now help others by taking what I’ve learned about the journey of grief combined with the math of financial advice. Finances are just a tool to accomplish our goals in life so I help people figure out what is most important to them, and then build their lives and finances to be able to accomplish them. I am here to be a companion to you as you navigate many financial issues and life circumstances.

Professional Biography

Daniel Kopp is a fee-only, fiduciary financial planner and founder of Wise Stewardship Financial Planning where he helps young widows and widowers as well as servicemembers get their financial lives in order by aligning their money with their values. He is also an Air Force veteran after almost 9 years as an officer on active duty during which he served as an Air Battle Manager participating in combat deployments and training opportunities all across the world. Outside of his official military commitments, Daniel has always had a passion to help servicemembers and their families master their finances where he served as a volunteer financial counselor during most of his time on active duty.

Daniel is a widower after his wife Sarah passed away in late 2017. In the few years prior to her death, Daniel had become her full-time caregiver due to a variety of health conditions including the loss of three miscarriages. During that time, he learned how to persevere by ordering his life around his faith in God and aligning family, work, and finances with his personal goals. Daniel now combines his financial training and experience helping people with a deep, personal understanding of how grief affects every single area of life.

Daniel is now married to his wife Anna, and lives in the Boston area where they love to explore new places, try interesting cuisines, serve in their local church, and take advantage of the rich history of New England. You’ll find a fast way to become their friend if you play board games with them!

Daniel is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM) having met the rigorous professional standards and agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence when dealing with clients. Daniel received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics from Purdue University as a third-generation Boilermaker, where he graduated with Highest Distinction (top 3%) and was named one of the Top 10 Krannert School of Business Seniors in a graduating class of over 850. He has also received his Master of Arts in Military Studies and Strategic Leadership from American Military University, and is also pursuing a second Masters of Science in Advanced Financial Planning and Financial Therapy from Kansas State University to even further deepen his competencies. Daniel is also a frequent personal-finance freelance writer and speaker, especially on military-related topics.

Daniel is a distinguished Air Force veteran as a three-time Air Force Distinguished Graduate (#1) for each of his three formal training courses as well as the Air Force’s David C. Schilling Award for the most outstanding contributions to the field of flight along with numerous other awards and accolades in his military career.

Sweta Bhargav, CFP®, CFA

About Sweta Bhargav, CFP®, CFA

Becoming a business leader and executive is a height rarely achieved, and it doesn’t happen by accident. You earned your seat and the financial rewards that come with it.

As your financial situation has matured and become more complex are you still managing things the way you did out of college or graduate school?

As a fiduciary financial advisor, I help business leaders and executives using my R.I.S.E. (Reach Financial Independence, Invest Smarter, Save Taxes, Elevate Your Life) method so you can feel confident you have secured your family’s future.

Business leaders come to me when they:
✔ Have a rapidly increasing income and realize that just saving is not enough
✔Have neither the time nor mental energy to properly manage their increasingly complex finances, career and family
✔ Want to figure out what their number is to become financially independent
✔ Realize that given their marginal tax bracket, tax planning is a priority

The landscape has changed for business leaders and my clients are tired of:

❌ Working long hours, traveling, sacrificing family time, and still not knowing if they’re on track to achieve their family’s goals
❌ Figuring out their complete compensation package and the tax consequences
❌ Not knowing how much of their savings they get to keep with future tax rates
❌ Not knowing if their portfolio is properly allocated according to their risk tolerance and time horizon

Within just a few months of supporting business leaders they’re frequently able to:
🎯 Increase wealth and decrease stress
🎯 Feel at ease with a plan they can rely on
🎯 Relax knowing they have a proactive financial partner on their side
🎯 Feel a sense of relief of outsourcing personal finance and investing to a trusted advisor so they can spend time on their career, family, and hobbies

Do you spend the bulk of your time with work, travel, and family responsibilities and not nearly enough energy addressing any gaps in the management of your finances?

That’s where I come into play.

As a CFP Professional and CFA Charterholder with international financial experience, I understand that financial planning for you is highly dynamic, with many moving pieces that are constantly in flux. We focus on partnering with you so you can continue to RISE.

Read Sweta’s blog here: https://www.advisowealth.com/blog

Pamela Rodriguez, CFP®

About Pamela Rodriguez, CFP®

Fulfilled Finances is a holistic FEE-ONLY financial planning firm based in Sacramento, CA. It started with the philosophy that life is meant to be truly lived on purpose and dreams are meant to be fulfilled. Many times we look at money in a way that doesn’t serve that purpose. The constant stress of making or having more money or not losing our money really gets in the way of our joy. I believe that we have a calling to enjoy life to the fullest and to be responsible and diligent with our finances. We are called to be good stewards. We are called to live in abundance and not scarcity. We are also called to prosper and give to those who need our help. We must first change our mindset but eventually we must take action.

At some point in our journey we start feeling like we need to achieve more, have more, spend more. More is not always better. I help you take a step back and analyze where you are and where you want to go without adding more work to your already busy life. The goal is to live fulfilled and enjoy life.

I have seen almost every form of financial advising and I understand that the industry has done a great disservice to those it is supposedly at “serving”. I acknowledge that some of you have the right to be jaded and skeptical but I promise you that my goal is not simply the bottom line. Time and time again, I am reminded that the things that truly matter are not our possessions but what we do with those possessions.

I created this financial planning firm because I want to honor my calling by helping you achieve true fulfillment. I want to guide you and show you that not only can you fulfill your dreams, you can actually make a big impact in your lifetime!

Being fulfilled means being satisfied and content. Your finances will never satisfy your dreams or your passions. Using a Financial Advisor frees your mind up and gives you the peace to focus on the things that matter the most to you instead of worrying about all of the different strategies and investments that you need to implement. Your family, your friends, your business, your hobbies, your passions, your animals, your community. Whatever it is that makes you feel alive.

At the end of our lifetimes, we will not be able to take anything with us.

It is my hope that you will use our services. Clients tend to hire me for my teaching style and my strategies, but they stay because they know I care. Allow us to serve you and take care of your finances so you can fulfill your dreams.

How will you choose to use your time and resources?

Sarah Ponder, CFP®, MBA

About Sarah Ponder, CFP®, MBA

Professional:
Hi, I’m Sarah! I’m a CFP® experienced in working with individuals and institutional investors, including non-profit organizations, foundations, and retirement plans. I currently do comprehensive financial planning for real estate agents and real estate professionals.

I founded two companies dedicated to helping people with their finances: Fiduciary Financial Education LLC and Real Estate Wealth Planning. Prior to starting these companies, I was a Regional Director at Dimensional Fund Advisors, a low-cost investment asset manager, where I helped manage investments in a straightforward way that lets clients sleep at night.

Before I worked in financial services, I spent nine years in the education sector, first as a sixth grade math and science teacher, and then as Director of Partner Services for EverFi, an education technology company focused on financial literacy and life skills. Throughout my career, I traveled throughout most of the United States in order to teach thousands of children and adults in-person and virtually.

I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin – twice! First, with a BA in Sociology and ten years later with an MBA.

Personal:
My family lives in beautiful Sunset Valley, Texas, which is a tiny 1-square-mile municipality full of walking trails surrounded by the City of Austin.

I am proudly married to Ross Ponder, a high-producing REALTOR® at Compass. Ross and I have three children, Lucy, Hank, and Ruth. And of course, our family wouldn’t be complete without our two rescued German Shepherds, Bear and Molly.

When I went through my own financial life planning process, it was really clear to me that my most cherished values are spending time with my family and friends. I love to gather people in our (usually messy!) home, cook something I found on Pinterest, and laugh at the inevitable antics that our toddlers get themselves into.

Outside of our home, I love Austin’s incredible restaurant scene and exploring the outdoors that we are blessed to live near. Our family attends St. David’s Episcopal Church in downtown Austin where I serve on the foundation board of directors.

My Why:
Growing up, my family was raised on a public school teacher’s salary, so money was always tight. Poor decisions by extended family members essentially wiped out much of my college fund, forcing me to become very frugal and financially literate as a teenager.

Throughout my career in education, I taught math, financial literacy and business skills to middle school and high school students, which solidified my belief in the power of a good education as the great equalizer. I believe all people deserve access to fair, unbiased information about their finances, which is why I am both a fee-only fiduciary financial planner and also provide educational content through my other company, Fiduciary Financial Education LLC.

Read Sarah’s blog here: https://realestatewealthplanning.com/blog/

Ian Wild, CFP®

About Ian Wild, CFP®

All-Pro Advisors provides financial advice to Millennials and Gen Xers who are looking to build wealth by properly managing debt (credit cards, student loans, auto loans, mortgages, and lines of credit), saving and investing (retirement and non-retirement accounts), reducing tax liability, and optimizing cash flow. We don’t sell products or believe that your financial future should be sold to you. We provide information and data to make decisions that will generate the best possible outcome…and our clients pay a fee directly to us for that advice.

I founded APA to help the younger generations understand money and the challenges that are different than the Boomers who are retiring right now (student loans, dual income households). The only constant in life is change and we are here to help our clients keep up!

Erik Goodge, CFP®

About Erik Goodge, CFP®

Erik Goodge is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Erik was born in Evansville, Indiana, and raised in Newburgh, Indiana. He attended Reitz Memorial High School before joining the Marine Corps in 2007. In August of 2009, Erik was wounded in Afghanistan by a pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED). He was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in action as well as a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Valor for heroic actions under fire. In 2012, Erik retired from the Marine Corps and moved back to Evansville to pursue work and education. Around this time, Erik began to independently manage his own retirement account and research different investing strategies. Before long, Erik began looking for ways to turn his passion for investing into a career.

In 2015, Erik began working as an Investment Advisor Representative for a local fee-only firm in Evansville. In 2017, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Evansville with a B.S. in Economics and Cognitive Science and a minor in Philosophy. After graduation, Erik began to think about ways in which he could utilize his skills and the newest technology available in the financial industry to more efficiently and effectively provide comprehensive financial planning to his clients.

On January 4th, 2018, uVest Advisory Group was born with just such a mandate. In addition to financial planning, Erik is passionate about learning and self-development, reading, running, and fly fishing when he has time.

Read Erik’s blog here: https://uvestadvisory.com/blog/

Carolyn Cook, CFP®, CRPC

About Carolyn Cook, CFP®, CRPC

MY MISSION
The first time I remember standing up for injustice was on the playground during 2nd grade recess. A couple of bullies were picking on a scared girl. I marched up and gave these bullies a piece of my mind and the girl and I become best friends. After entering the Financial Services industry in 2007, I quickly realized there were many “bullies” that used their knowledge to intimidate clients into pricey products and services.

What About Us Financial was founded in 2019 to stand up against the status quo in Financial Services. We are the 99% that deserve our own beautifully successful life. Money is power. It brings us security and confidence. Saving and investing is not only for the rich. We can all prosper and thrive through thoughtful budgeting, savings and investing. This is my mission in life – to empower the underserved so they may obtain financial freedom and success.

MY EXPERIENCE
I’m a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM Professional (CFP®), a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®), and hold a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Management Innovation & Change. I have the letters to demonstrate knowledge, but it is more important to convey my heart to demonstrate compassion. I am a Fiduciary, which is the highest standard of client care. I must always act in the client’s best interest, even when it’s in opposition to mine. (This is big stuff! Do some Googling to see the efforts to hold all advisors to this standard. They have failed, so it’s still a scary world.)

MY OFFICE
My office is located inside my home in Bellbrook, Ohio. I see no reason to tax environmental (and personal) resources to open a fancy office space. We can meet at your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, office or kitchen table. And there is always video conferencing through Zoom, FaceTime or Skype.

Ross Patterson, CFP®, RLP®

About Ross Patterson, CFP®, RLP®

Ross Patterson founded Simaris Financial in 2019 to help individuals and families discover their true purpose and build lives that are fulfilling, energizing, and meaningful. Ross was a software engineer before discovering the Kinder Institute and making a major shift in his life through the EVOKE process. Through Kinder he realized his passion for combining Life Planning with financial expertise, and Simaris was born. Ross spends his free time with his wife, Kristin, his two adult children, and their dog, Pepper. Ross is an active and passionate believer in serving his community. He is the Pro Bono Director of the Financial Planning Association (Austin Chapter), which partners with community-based organizations to offer planning and guidance regardless of means. For several years, he has also served as a Volunteer Leadership Team Member at Foundation Communities, providing IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) to Central Texas citizens. Credentials: RLP® (Registered Life Planner – Kinder Institute), CFP® (Certified Financial Planner®), NAPFA, FPA, and XY Planning Network.