Travis Hughes, CFP®, EA

About Travis Hughes, CFP®, EA

I graduated from Texas A&M’s Mays Business School in 2008 (perfect timing for a job hunt!) and quickly discovered a passion for investing. During my eight years working in real estate, I devoured everything I could find on investing and personal finance. This led to the realization – far too slowly, my wife points out – that my true passion is helping others craft their best lives through real financial planning. Appalled by the status quo within the industry, and determined to serve families the way they truly deserve, I set out to found Downshift Financial with Eddie.

We founded Downshift Financial to deliver real financial planning to regular people through a service model that actually makes sense: flat quarterly fees. No commissions. No sales pressure. No BS.

Our goal is to help clients maximize their lifetime fulfillment through financial independence. Often, that means working less to free up time for family and hobbies.

Matthias Giezendanner, CFP®, EA (Enrolled Agent)

About Matthias Giezendanner, CFP®, EA (Enrolled Agent)

We work with Bay Area technology professionals navigating how to utilize their equity compensation (RSUs, ISOs, NSOs, ESPPs) to create a life that brings them joy and fuels greater freedom.

Together we’ll review your full financial picture, clarify where you are now, and empower you to make informed, thoughtful financial decisions now and into the future. We couple technical expertise in tax planning, investment planning, and knowledge of who you are in order to free you to spend more time doing the things you excel at and love.

Paul Monax, CFP®

About Paul Monax, CFP®

Agile Wealth is the culmination of a number of aspects of my life all coming together to help you Software Engineers & Techies plan for all the financial aspects of your lives from Today thru the Future.

★ Equity Comp & Stock Options
★ Lifestyle & Cash flow management – Give every $ a Job
★ Career & Side Hustle (Freelancing/Consulting/Startup) Integration
★ College Planning & Funding Beyond a 529 Plan
★ Legacy & Estate Planning
★ Tax Strategies
★ How All the Pieces Fit & Work Together

My backstory: I was a software engineer for 20+ years and moved into consulting work after the first couple of years of my career. That initially looked like working for a couple of small boutique consulting firms for a half dozen years and then I started my own solo consulting company.
At that point, I knew I was no longer going to have a company retirement plan, so I did the research to figure out what options were available for me in my own company and which one of the many plans was going to be best for my family.
While out doing software projects I would talk with my peers, other independent contractors & consultants, about what I had done with my company and retirement accounts, and they would have no idea any of that was even possible.
Fast forward 10 years and I was looking for a change and those conversations bubbled back to the surface. I decided to make that change be into the world of personal finance.
After gaining experience for seven years and seeing how the industry works, it was time to again head out on my own and launch my own financial planning firm and get further education to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.
Because of my personal experiences and the fact that I know the language and thinking processes of software engineers, I have focused my practice on helping software geeks & techies build your own financial lives and bridge the transition from Today into the Future.

Read Paul’s blog here:

Jiayi Xu, CFP®, MBA

About Jiayi Xu, CFP®, MBA

Kristy Jiayi Xu is the founder of Global Wealth Harbor, a Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor in San Francisco Bay area. She is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®). Global Wealth Harbor offers investment management and financial planning services to clients in both the wealth accumulation and wealth preservation stages. Kristy specializes in serving tech professionals, business owners, and Chinese immigrants who moved to the U.S. for education/work/business with cross-border financial planning needs.

Kristy is originally from China (and is a native mandarin speaker) and came to the U.S. at age 16 entered a boarding school in Pennsylvania. She received her bachelor degree from New York University, Stern School of Business and worked at Raymond James and The Stanich Group analyzing securities and developing investment portfolios for clients. She then came to realize that she wanted to meet the clients whom she built the investment portfolios for and directly help them with their investments and financial plans. So, Kristy pursued an MBA degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business, where she met her husband who was pursuing a PhD in Physics in the same university and they moved to the bay area after graduation. Kristy got to know many tech professionals from Carnegie Mellon University and they came to her asking questions about their investments. This is when she made up her mind to start her own company to help those who are great at their profession but need some help with their personal finance.

Kristy is passionate about utilizing her expertise to help her clients achieve their financial goals. She also enjoys sharing her financial planning knowledge, so you will see her sharing thoughts on Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, Investor Business Daily, Wealth Management, etc. She writes blog posts on financial planning subjects in her spare time.

Read Kristy’s blog here:

Christopher Sittner, CFP®, CPA

About Christopher Sittner, CFP®, CPA

As a modern individual living in a modern world, you are no stranger to life’s complexities. You want to simplify what you have and what you need. To get there seamlessly. Be it planning for the future or investing for retirement, it takes care and guidance to operate with confidence.

Whether you feel assured, cluttered, or bewildered about your financial path, a financial plan can guide you on your path.

When you work with the team at CS Wealth Management, you get knowledge and experience to help you make your financial decisions with the confidence you desire, and the peace of mind you deserve.

Develop a comprehensive map of your financial situation

Build an understanding of where you are and where you are going.

Understand your risks and timeline.

Invest in your future and your family.

No plan is one-size-fits-all. With experts by your side, you can develop the path to get you where you want to go. To make your complexity, simplified.

Matt Pruitt, CFP®, CFA

About Matt Pruitt, CFP®, CFA

I spent over 10 years helping corporations, hedge funds and institutional investors squeeze every last dollar out of their investments before I finally asked myself: what is most important in life, and what’s keeping me from getting there?

So, what’s important to me: spending time with my family, pursuing a career I’m passionate about and running a business that allows me to partner with like-minded individuals.

My dad passed away at age 58 and I constantly remind myself that life is short, and I better not regret how I live it. I am now lucky enough to say I work in a field that brings me happiness and fosters my personal values.

A perfectionist by nature and self-proclaimed finance/tax nerd, I genuinely love helping individuals simplify their financial lives so they too can focus on what’s most important to them.

George Kao, CFP®, ChFC®

About George Kao, CFP®, ChFC®, CRPC™, MBA

My philosophy is to help as many as I can (Reach), while at the same time, make those I’m helping smarter and more savvy with their finances (Teach).

I became a financial planner through divine intervention. That’s right! If God didn’t make me walk down this path, I may have never taken the leap.

You see, I spent the first 25 years of my career focused on building some of the world’s most innovative technologies (at that time). This was what I was trained in. These cool tech include virtual classrooms and virtual meetings, webinars, podcasting (in 1997!), streaming videos, wearable smart name badges, private corporate social communities, mobile targeted advertising, autonomous vehicles, just to name a few.

It was thrilling. It was fun. It was rewarding.

But then in 2019, I came to a fork in the road. For reasons that can only be explained by the divine, all doors that normally would be open weren’t, and the proverbial door slightly ajar during that time was this one door leading to financial advising.

In a decision base on faith, I stepped through that one door, and another door opened up. I stepped through that door and another door opened. This is how I started on my financial advising journey.

Now, I’m a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, a Chartered Financial Consultant®, a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor™, and a fee-only advisor.

Looking back on it now, it makes a lot of sense.

I made my share of mistakes with my own funds. I don’t want that to happen to anyone else. I also had worked with a financial advisor since my 20’s. Now, I’m setting out to be the advisor I wish I had. I love my clients, and enjoy every minute closely working with them to ensure a well-planned and protected future.

At the same time, I’m on a life-long pursuit to seek and discover what it means to be a great financial professional, and I expect to continuously be learning new ways to perfect and innovate in this craft.

Born in Hong Kong, I immigrated to the US with my family when I was a young boy. We settled in Framingham, a suburb of Boston. I’m a die-hard Celtics, Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins fan, which I’ve proudly passed down to my kids. I earned my degrees in Math and Computer Science, as well as Cognitive Science and Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University, and a MBA from the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Business.

I’ve been married to the love of my life for 23 years, and we are blessed with three awesome children. I’m fluent in Mandarin Chinese and attend and serve at Cornerstone Church in Chandler.

Thanks for visiting. I look forward to getting to know you more.

Will Hullinger, CFP®

About Will Hullinger, CFP®

I work with individuals, couples, and families to create confidence and peace of mind in their financial lives through strategic planning. I consider it both a privilege and rare opportunity to know my clients on such a personal level—and witness as they live out their deepest values and aspirations. My expertise is in equity compensation: how to take it, reduce taxable implications and diversify from the concentrated position tax-efficiently.

My journey in the financial industry began at Anderson University, where I majored in finance and minored in information technology (and played soccer). After school, before fully launching into finance, I held various roles, including network administration in D.C., church planting in AZ, and business valuation and litigation support in Detroit. These all served as informative experiences that eventually led me to my career today.

I transitioned into financial services at a Detroit-area hedge fund, where I wore several hats as controller, COO, and compliance liaison. After this, I served as a chief operating officer at another registered investment advisor serving ultra-high-net-worth families and institutions. Before starting Verity Wealth Partners, I was an advisor at a Detroit-Metro registered investment advisory firm for four years. I left in early 2020, fueled by a desire to spend more time with my family, engage clients on a deeper level, and make a greater impact in the city of Detroit. Starting Verity during a worldwide pandemic is my most significant professional achievement and challenge in life.

I was born and raised in a small town in Southwestern Michigan as the youngest of 2 children. I made my way to Detroit by way of Indianapolis, Washington D.C, and finally Tucson, AZ. I met my wife, Jen, at the University of Michigan, where I attended before transferring to Anderson University.

In 2013, Jen and I moved from the suburbs to the city of Detroit. We now attempt to maintain the peace in our home and keep our sanity while raising our four (mainly adorable) children, Scarlet, Eli, Emmeline and Marcus. When I’m not working, I exercise regularly, golf occasionally, BBQ and smoke meat, and savor quiet evenings sipping scotch.

Jane Mepham, CFP®

About Jane Mepham, CFP®

Hi, I’m Jane Mepham, a Certified Financial Planner and the founder of Elgon Financial Advisors.

I know what it means to move to a new country and be a cultural stranger despite what would have been considered some great academic credentials in the technology space.

I recall being frustrated at not knowing who or where to turn to for answers on personal finance as I wrestled with issues like taxes, investments, stock options, company-provided benefits, insurance, etc.

I turned to friends and looking back, I was lucky to not derail my American dream with some of the suggestions I was getting, but at the same time, I missed out on some great opportunities that would have allowed me to make different financial choices.

My goal is to help you avoid those mistakes, and partner with you as you pursue your version of the American dream.

Before, I became a financial advisor, I spent over 17 years in the high-tech field, rubbing shoulders with a lot of immigrants and their families – giving me valuable experience, that I draw upon in my advising business.

I understand the confusion and the disadvantage that comes with being in a new financial system, as a foreign-born individual. And over the years, I have helped clients answer questions like
– How Does the U.S. financial system work?
– What can I invest in if I’m on a work visa like H-1B, L-1 etc?
– How can I save for my kids’ college if I don’t know how long I’m going to be here?
– What about my overseas investments/assets?
– What tax strategies can I use to ensure, I maximize my resources
– How do I support my family here and overseas?
– How do I ensure, I stay on the right side of the taxman?
– How do I manage stock options especially if I am on a work visa?

My approach to planning is very hands-on via an agile methodology. While keeping your immigration status front and center, together we work on issues like
– Spending plans
– Retirement saving
– College funding and especially the options available to those on work visas
– Insurance planning
– Estate planning
– Gifting strategies
– Tax planning strategies
– Building generational wealth
– Investment strategies
– Saving for major goals including that special trip back home
– Essentially anything that involves money in your life.

If you are looking to partner with a Certified Financial Planner, who will keep your cultural background front and center of the planning relationship, let’s chat and together figure out a path forwards.

Alex Crouch, CFP®

About Alex Crouch, CFP®

I’ve always been fascinated by money, but I never planned on working in finance. Fresh out of college I moved to Columbus, Ohio to live with my wife while she finished up grad school. I needed a job, and I stumbled my way into a role at Morgan Stanley by responding to a sketchy Craigslist ad. I was about 70% certain it was a scam. Luckily it wasn’t, and I got the job! It was a great learning experience, and I got my feet wet while learning the industry fundamentals there.

After a few years though my dad recruited me to return to my hometown in Charlotte, NC to help run the family business in the natural gas industry. I loved working with family, but ultimately decided my heart wasn’t in it. Discussing thread counts on screws and the viscosity of silicone didn’t get my intellectual juices flowing.

Meanwhile I was spending countless hours of my free time researching personal finance and finally had the realization “why don’t I make a career out of this?” So I made the difficult decision (sorry, dad) to transition back into finance with a job at Vanguard. I was right. This was finally scratching that intellectual itch. But I wanted to make a more personal impact on people’s lives, and I couldn’t accomplish that as a tiny cog in a giant machine.

So I took jobs at a few smaller firms where I was able to develop personal relationships with clients, get their finances on track, and help them accomplish their goals. Now this was my jam! During my time there I worked with clients in tech and realized how much complexity there was in managing their finances. Managing their company equity was complicated! Managing their stock options was extra complicated! But I loved the complexity, I loved the people, and I loved the look on their face when it all finally came together.

Soon though, I began to get the entrepreneurial itch (thanks, dad) to start my own firm. I knew exactly who I wanted to work with – tech professionals. I saw first hand the impact I could have in their lives. That was my inspiration for founding Tech Financial Planning. Now I get to put it all together: intellectual fulfillment, meaningful relationships, and personal impact, all while working with awesome folk in tech solving their complex problems. Now that’s what I call a dream job!

As for a bit about my personal life, in 2022 I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary with my amazing wife, Allie. We met in high school and survived a 4-year long distance relationship during college while she attended school in Ohio and I attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. We have two amazing kids, Elliot and Reya, and an adorable, yet clingy Australian Shepherd named Cassie.

I value experiences over things, so my wife and I love traveling domestically and internationally to explore new places and cultures. I’m also a firm believer that you don’t need to spend money to have fun, so I’m always exploring my current hometown, Nashville, for fun, free activities. I love board games, I’m an avid podcast listener, and I’m always on the lookout for a great show to binge.