Gregory Knight, CFP® Engage Advising

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About Gregory Knight, CFP®

I am the founder of Engage Advising located in Oakland, California. My interest in financial planning dates back to my ten years living in Japan. I needed to learn about managing my own finances and investments while living abroad. I love working with folks who want to engage with their finances to improve their well-being. I live in the diverse community of Oakland, California with my husband, Randy, and it is a great place to live. We have a ton of wonderful restaurants, museums, and the East Bay Regional Parks. I love to hike, travel, fly fish and enjoy visiting the wine regions around California. Spending time volunteering for non-profits is also a favorite past time. You never know, you may see me pouring wine at a fundraiser, taking a course through a favorite non-profit or joining a group hike. Keep your eyes open!

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Recently Published

Money and Family; Two Key Precautions

May 21, 2019

This month I am focusing on lending money to family or close friends. Family dynamics generally are fraught with more conflicts than lending to a friend. Regardless, this week I am giving you two key precautions to take if you decide to go forward with lending money.


First, be willing to charge interest. This is not so you can profit off of someone’s misery, but it could prevent you owing gift taxes (depending upon the amount you are lending) and the need to file a gift tax return. For 2019 you are allowed to gift any individual up to $15,000 without the need to file a gift tax return if indeed you intend for the money to be a gift. If you are going to be lending more than this amount, seriously consider charging interest. However, be sure it is a fair interest. Interest will also indicate that you are serious about being paid back and that the amount is not a gift. It will also show that there is an opportunity cost to lending money.

Second, get it in writing. If you truly expect to be paid back, get all of the details and terms in writing. This is a good way to outline all of the guiding principles and discuss the loan and terms in detail. Getting it in writing will help prevent disputes later on. Otherwise, your loan and the terms could become a matter of your word against the borrower’s. Getting the details regarding amount, timeframe, interest, and default can help resolve misunderstandings later should anything arise. Having the terms in writing is the best way to protect both parties.

Charging interest and getting the agreement in writing is both practical and smart. It documents that the loan is truly a loan and not a gift, and it clarifies the arrangement between lender and borrower. This will help protect both parties and provide a starting point for resolving issues that may arise.

As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you decide if you should lend money. Contact me and let’s discuss your situation. #talktometuesday #getstarted #HowIcanHelpYou #GetHelp #Hireaplanner #familymoney #lender #CFPPro #savemoney #borrowmoney #lendmoney


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Money and Family; 3 Tips to Keep in Mind

May 14, 2019

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Last week I wrote a blog post about lending money to family and friends. If you recall, my first tip for you was to discuss the need for the money. Ask questions and don’t be shy about doing so. This week, I’ll give you three more tips to keep in mind.

The first is to consider lending cash. By this, I mean that you should not co-sign a loan or provide a credit card or charge account to a family member or friend in their name based on your credit worthiness with you as the responsible party. This will protect your good credit score and limit your potential loss to the amount of cash you hand over.  It will also keep your credit options available should you need a loan for yourself.

Second, consider the impact that lending the money will have on both your immediate and extended family. Once other family members find out that you have lent money, they may feel emboldened to ask for a loan as well. If you are unable to comply with this additional request, it could end up driving a wedge between you and the family member. Depending on the family dynamics and who you are lending to, it may be worthwhile to call a close family meeting and be open, honest, and upfront about who you are lending to and why. It could be that another family member is willing to help, thus easing the burden on you. Either way, you need to consider the impact that making a loan to one family member will have on the entire family.


Third, do not lend more than you can afford to lose! That’s right, it may seem obvious, but do not lend more than you can afford to lose because there is a good chance you will not see this money again. And, if you are going to help a loved one, you need to be comfortable with this possibility. You do not want to drain your own emergency fund or put your only savings at risk to help someone if there is a good chance you will never see the money again, or at least not for a very long time. Despite their good faith and best intentions, your family or friend may fall on hard times and not be able to repay the money.

There you have it: lend cash, consider the impact, and don’t lend more than you can afford. So far, I’ve covered some of the more dire points of lending money. Next week, I’ll cover practical tips if you do decide to lend money.

As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you decide if you should lend money. Contact me and let’s discuss your situation. #talktometuesday #getstarted #HowIcanHelpYou #GetHelp #Hireaplanner #familymoney #lender #CFPPro #savemoney #borrowmoney #lendmoney


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Money and Family; To Give or Not to Give?

May 7, 2019


This month, I’ll be writing tips for you on how to handle family and friends who either ask to borrow money, or seem to always need help with their money. Before you think I am being cold and just downright mean, you need to stop and consider each situation very carefully. Keep in mind that a bad decision on your part could dramatically affect your own financial future! This week, you’ll receive your first tip, so read on!

Money, is an emotionally charged topic. It’s not that we should immediately say no to family or friends who ask for money, or other forms of financial assistance, it’s that we should have some ground rules in place. We also need to understand the ramifications of our actions. It’s not uncommon for money issues among family and friends to sour relationships.

So, before you say yes and dive in, you need to consider all aspects of lending money. You also need to know whether you can truly afford to extend help.  After all, money is a topic that generates a tremendous amount of stress for all of us. Let’s face it, whether you have too little, or even too much, money causes us stress.

To kick off this month’s topic, the first tip you should keep in mind is that it’s ok to ask questions and to think about whether you want to lend the money. As the lender, you should feel free to pursue your own due diligence so ask away! Go ahead and open dialogue with your family member or friend who has asked for money. After all, they started the conversation by asking you in the first place.


Don’t be shy about hashing out the why, what for, how much, etc. Don’t be general, be specific! Ask what they need the money for, and why they don’t have their own emergency fund. You can and should ask if they have considered a part-time gig, if they have tried a loan, or even peer-to-peer lending. Feel free to say you need time to think about it and don’t let yourself be pressured.

That’s the first tip for this week – open dialogue, ask questions. Check back next week as we continue our discussion about family, friends, and money. We’ll dive into even more tips and guidelines to help you tackle this topic and decide if you can, or should, lend money to someone close to you.

As an independent Certified Financial Planner™, I can help you focus on your finances and make decisions that are comfortable for you. Contact me and let’s get started. #talktometuesday #getstarted #HowIcanHelpYou #GetHelp #Hireaplanner #familymoney #lender #CFPPro #savemoney #borrowmoney


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