Advancing Knowledge in Financial Planning
The team at Kitces.com is committed to making real financial advisors better, and more successful.
It is our mission to help advisors who are serious about their craft to fulfill their sacred duty to clients by advancing the knowledge and practice of financial planning. Which we do by being the leading online source of research, resources, education, and training, for real financial planners.
We serve real financial advisors because it allows the work we do to have a 100X multiplier effect. For every advisor we help to educate and grow, they help the 100 active clients they can serve, allowing us to have an even greater reach and impact!
Michael Kitces is the Head of Planning Strategy for Buckingham Wealth Partners, a private wealth management and advisor TAMP platform based in St Louis, MO, that oversees approximately $50 billion of client assets.
In addition, he is a co-founder of XY Planning Network, AdvicePay, New Planner Recruiting, fpPathfinder, and FA BeanCounters, the former Practitioner Editor of the Financial Advisor Success podcast, and the publisher of the popular financial planning industry blog Nerd’s Eye View through his website Kitces.com, dedicated to advancing knowledge in financial planning. In 2010, Michael was recognized with one of the FPA’s “Heart of Financial Planning” awards for his dedication and work in advancing the profession.
Rachel Zeller is the Managing Director of Kitces.com. Rachel’s journey with Kitces started back in 2008 as an assistant and bookkeeper. As Kitces.com has grown, Rachel has grown with it, moving into Operations in 2017 and taking on new challenges as our team has grown. With a background in Counseling, Rachel is going to the next level to develop teams and create an enviable work environment. Favorite opportunities at Kitces.com include working with an exceptional team, the freedom to promote change for the better, and fireworks for a job well done.
Brian has spent over a decade designing and implementing software solutions for many different types of organization from start-ups to Fortune 500. He has managed projects including web design, mobile application development, and building and launching SaaS platforms. He has built from scratch a software consultancy firm, Web Pyro, which he sold in 2020. Additionally, Brian writes weekly IT columns for Gannett news outlets and has appeared on sites such as the Akron Beacon Journal, Columbus Dispatch, and Columbus CEO. Brian lives in Wooster, Ohio with his wife, Olivia, and two young daughters.
Sydney joined the Kitces team in February 2021 as managing editor. Prior to joining Kitces, she managed content and workflow production at media companies with audiences ranging from 600 to 16 million. She has also functioned as a graphic designer, editor, and writer within those companies. She has an abiding love for the creative process at all stages.
When not working, she can be found playing tennis, hiking, and cooking overly elaborate meals.
Matt joined the Kitces team in 2019 as the Director of Advisor Education. He spent most of his career at a large financial services organization, resulting in teaching and leading financial advisors, representatives, administrative personnel, and managers as the National Field Training and Performance Director. In addition, he oversaw performance management and organizational development initiatives and programs. He then launched his own independent training and development platform for advisors on improving their business management and communication skills. On the Kitces Team, Matt’s focus will be continuing to expand and develop our Members Section, including building out both our video content and other learning resources as well as our forthcoming deep-dive courses on even-more-advanced financial planning topics.
Steve loves making things work…efficiently. Solving problems and finding solutions is his passion. Steve lives to create SOPs, workflows, and systems that are scalable and always evolving. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a team operate like a well-oiled machine. In previous lives, Steve ran a magazine and helped start a marketing agency in Austin, Texas.
Outside of work, he serves on the board of Northwest Little League, a league that has been a staple in Austin for more than 60 years; coaches multiple youth sports teams with a special interest in competitive baseball. When not creating efficient systems and solving problems or coaching you may find him flexing a creative side as he enjoys painting and drawing.
Jeffrey Levine, CPA/PFS, CFP, AIF, CWS, MSA is a nationally-recognized and award-winning financial advisor, speaker, and educator. He is the Lead Financial Planning Nerd at Kitces.com, home of the popular Nerd’s Eye View blog, and also serves as Chief Planning Officer, Buckingham Wealth Partners.
In 2020, Jeffrey was named to Investment Advisor Magazine’s IA25, as one of the top 25 voices to turn to during uncertain times. Also in 2020, Jeffrey was named by Financial Advisor Magazine as a Young Advisor to Watch. He is a past recipient of the Standing Ovation award, presented by the AICPA Financial Planning Division for “exemplary professional achievement in personal financial planning services,” and is a member of the 2017 class of 40 Under 40 by InvestmentNews, which recognizes “accomplishment, contribution to the financial advice industry, leadership and promise for the future.”
Previously, Jeffrey served as Ed Slott and Company’s Chief Retirement Strategist, where his ability to simplify the complex laws that govern individual retirement accounts, combined with his unique blend of humor and tax planning, was first recognized. Jeffrey continues to be an active speaker, traveling the country each year to educate thousands of Financial Advisors, CPAs, Attorneys and consumers on retirement, tax and estate planning strategies.
Jeffrey is the author of The Financial Advisor’s Guide to Savvy IRA Planning. He is also the Creator and Program Leader for Savvy IRA Planning®, as well as the Co-Creator and Co-Program Leader for Savvy Tax Planning®, both offered through Horsesmouth, LLC. Jeffrey is a regular contributor to various industry publications, such as Forbes.com and FinancialPlanning.com, and has promoted retirement and tax education on television stations such as CNBC, Fox Business News, CBS and Public Television. He is regularly sought after by journalists for his insights and is frequently quoted in publications throughout the country, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Investment News, Morningstar, ThinkAdvisor, Financial Planning, Financial Advisor, Forbes, Reuters, Barron’s, Bloomberg, Kiplinger’s, Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, Money Magazine, Newsday, MarketWatch, CNBC.com, U.S. News, Smart Money, Retirement Weekly, TheStreet.com, MainStreet.com, AARP, Consumer Reports, Next Avenue, and Yahoo Finance.
Joined Kitces in August 2020. Software professional with strong analytical skills combined with experience in object-oriented programming techniques. Initiator and leader in all stages of software development efforts and architecting some of the most complex systems. Enjoys spending quality time with my family and providing volunteer services.
Derek Tharp is a senior research nerd at Kitces.com and an assistant professor of finance at the University of Southern Maine. He earned his Ph.D. in personal financial planning at Kansas State University. In addition to writing at Kitces.com, Derek regularly contributes to the wealth management section of the Wall Street Journal’s Experts Blog. His research has been published in academic journals such as Financial Planning Review, Journal of Financial Planning, Journal of Retirement, and Journal of Personal Finance.
Erica Mito joined the Kitces Team as Senior Technical Editor in July 2019. Coming from a background of doing molecular biology and genetics research as a doctoral candidate, Erica made a career change into the financial services industry in 2013, quickly earned her CFP certification and EA license, and after several years of working in independent advisory firms, decided to join the Kitces Team to help us expand our educational mission for the whole advisory community. Erica’s day-to-day focus is editing all of the content that appears on the Nerd’s Eye View, ensuring the content is high-quality and well written, is technically accurate, and is relevant for financial advisors in the work we do with clients.
Meghaan R. Lurtz, is our Senior Research Associate at Kitces.com. In addition to her work on the site, Meghaan teaches at the University of Maryland University College in their CFP program. Meghaan has finished her Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning at Kansas State University. Meghaan is a past President of the Financial Therapy Association. She can be reached at [email protected]
Ben joined the Kitces team as Senior Financial Planning Nerd in August 2021. Ben took an irregular path to financial planning, earning a degree in vocal performance and working as a professional musician before pivoting to finance in 2012. Prior to joining the Kitces team he worked in institutional investment consulting and wealth management and founded his own solo advisory firm. He couldn’t pass up the opportunity to nerd out on financial planning every day and help create a better financial advice industry in the process.
Andrea joined the Kitces team in Summer 2021 as the Operations Manager. Prior to joining Kitces, she worked in television production at media outlets such as National Geographic, Time Warner, and Scholastic holding positions from PA to Producer. Organizing complex teams and projects is what gets her gears going.
When not planning, organizing, or color-coding you can likely find her logged into a class, reading, or out on a run.
Corrinne joined the Kitces team in 2020 as the Education Events Manager and is responsible for producing on-platform events such as Kitces Office Hours and webinars. Prior to her membership among the Team of Nerds, she worked as a financial counselor who helped military personnel and their families achieve financial security. Her undergraduate degree in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University laid the foundation for both her wanderlust and her excitement about processes, efficiency, and checklists. However, it wasn’t until she completed her MBA at West Texas A&M that she discovered her passion for working with ever-evolving and values-driven organizations. Working with the Kitces team is Corrinne’s professional dream come true, and she pinches herself every morning when she plugs into her remote office aboard the 1975 Whitby 42 sailboat her family calls home. If she’s ever near your port of call, she’d love to hear from you and chat about all things related to financial education, aviation, sailing, and podcasts.
Joining the team in 2020 as the Engagement and Events Manager, Sarah’s roll at Kitces.com is to liaise with clients on behalf of our speakers, seeing events through from start to finish. She also manages membership enrollments and live webinars. Prior to this, Sarah worked in the wedding industry with her cake creations featured in Bride’s Magazine and Martha Stewart Weddings. No stranger to hard deadlines and tight turnarounds, Sarah is happy to serve our clients to help bring them the quality and relevant Kitces content they crave.
Ashley’s love of the written word and obsession with all things grammar led her to join the Kitces team as an Associate Editor in August of 2020. Her unique and varied job history included roles that ranged from working as a personal trainer to managing federal security contracts, with past roles that have run the gamut from training and project management to logistics and RIA compliance. She is excited to use her wide-ranging experience to support the editorial team in providing the relevant, high-quality, error-free content to our readers and listeners.
Shelitha joined the Kitces team as Associate Curriculum DesigNerd in March 2022. She previously worked for a wealth management firm as a financial advisor and the director of financial planning. Shelitha is currently pursuing a doctorate in personal financial planning from Kansas State University.
Adam is an Associate Financial Planning Nerd for Kitces.com. He previously worked at a fee-only financial planning firm in the Washington DC area and was a financial journalist earlier in his career. He has an MA from Johns Hopkins University and a BA from the University of Virginia. In his spare time, Adam can be found playing tennis, volunteering, and sharing his love of puns.
It surprised no one that by the time Paula Frey was eligible to vote in her first election, her name was listed on the ballot as a candidate for Precinct Chair. By the time she began working at the Texas Capitol for State Senator Jane Nelson after college, Paula had worked on several dozen campaigns at nearly every level of office.
Paula took a brief break from advocacy to work in the mortgage industry for Atlantic Bay and Chase Home Finance. She then went on to become the Deputy Director of the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA) Political Action Committee. At TMA, she fell in love with giving practitioners the tools they needed to do their job better. She then employed this passion in her consulting endeavors aiding veterans’ organizations, healthcare providers, musicians, advocacy groups, and political candidates.
When the opportunity arose to help financial advisors realize greater success in serving their clients, Paula was beyond excited to join the Kitces team in July of 2021. She is the mother of two amazing young girls and three trouble-making cats. If you want to learn more about Paula, dust off your old Taebo DVDs and you will see her in the background exercising and pretending to know how to throw a punch.
Previous to joining Kitces, Ryan spent time as a college learning management systems administrator in Tennessee. He is passionate about technology and its involvement in education. When not setting up new, exciting learning technology, you can probably find him riding his motorcycle through Tennesee’s hills.
Sarah joined the Kitces team in 2021. She is thrilled to be part of a team of nerds doing big things in the world. She gained her own nerdy reputation as she worked in several different industries, managing a mortgage loss mitigation team through the mortgage crisis, mitigating risks as an internal auditor at a regional university, and providing bookkeeping and payroll support for small businesses. Along the way, she earned an MBA and the CIA designation (which sounds significantly less fun when you learn that CIA = Certified Internal Auditor). But most of all, she has a passion for helping people with their finances, and a strong belief that personal finance is not about money – it’s about the opportunity to live a better life.
Elissa joined the Kitces team fall of 2021 and brings with her over 15 years of media production experience. Her passion for radio/audio production really began when she received a Talkgirl as a gift when she was 11 years old. For most of her career, she taught all aspects of radio and video/television production at the collegiate level. Elissa transitioned to commercial radio for a few years where she was the executive producer for the morning shows at a news talk radio station. She has received national awards for her work as a program director and show host.
When not working, she can be found cooking, painting/drawing, sewing, swimming, playing softball, going out to eat, and hiking with her husband and dog, Sir Charles Barkley.
With over nine years of experience in the graphic design industry, Ashley has had the privilege to work alongside some great clients, helping them launch and grow their business. As of 2017, Ashley started working exclusively with financial planners as she saw a need for improved design and higher quality graphics. Ashley studied graphic and web design at Grand View University and has always had an eye for design. As a child, she spent a lot of time making PowerPoint presentations, doodling in MS Paint, or creating masterpiece displays for middle school science projects (FYI, she’s no scientist, but she can rock a poster board presentation!). When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she’s outdoors with her husband (Derek), daughter (Raelee) and two dogs (Bella & Harlow). Ashley and her family currently reside in Manhattan, Kansas, but frequently travel back to Des Moines, Iowa, to visit family and friends. If her and her husband are not working, they’re taking day trips exploring the open roads finding the best hiking trails around the Midwest.
For every work task you don’t like to do, someone else’s dream job is to wake up every day being responsible for that. At Kitces.com, it’s our goal to have everyone in a role that allows them to maximize their natural strengths.
This browser is no longer supported by Microsoft and may have performance, security, or missing functionality issues. For the best experience using Kitces.com we recommend using one of the following browsers.