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Mill Valley, CA Aspirean Wealth
San Rafael, CA Aspirean Wealth
St. Joseph, MI Aspirean Wealth

Picture It.
Peace of Mind.

Imagine having the freedom to focus on the things that give you energy.

Live life boldly and leave markets, planning approaches, and tax strategies to us.

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Life Isn't Linear

Navigating your finances through each phase of life requires more than just a plan. It requires a partner.

Through life’s ups and downs, we will be there to add insight, offer reassurance, and amend your plan so you can reach your ideal future.

When you work with us, you:


Achieve Clarity

Live your life now, and when you think about your future, be confident you’ll end up exactly where you want to be.


Feel Empowered

Know your financial strategy incorporates layers of hard evidence and is designed around your true needs and wants.


Gain a Partner

You, your family, your goals, and your most important dreams all play an important role in crafting a plan that embraces and improves the most important aspects of your life. Through sharing your values and goals, you are always at the center of your strategy.

If you believe a sound plan can be the foundation for achieving great things, you’re in the right place.

Trust your financial future to a team of financial specialists and peers who believe in living well. Your best interests are at the center of our evidence-based approach.

When you choose to work with us, your plan is backed by proven financial planning insights and decades of peer-reviewed financial research showing the right way to invest.

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A Clear Path
On Life's Winding Road

When life changes, your plan evolves. Life is layered with significant events that can influence your future.

When things change, you need a trusted partner who understands the short- and long-term financial impact so you can focus on living your life to the fullest.


Diagram depicting the winding road of life Chesteron, IN Aspirean Wealth

Experience is Everything. Yours.


Money, goals, life, and impact — your financial strategy is more than just investment decisions.


Your dreams and passions are too important to leave to chance. A sound financial plan encompasses every aspect of your life and will be the starting point of our work together.

1 Design

Embark on a personal discovery process to identify elements of your life that will shape the design of your financial strategy.

2 Build

Together we will build a custom plan with clear objectives and attainable action items, using academic research and financial science to increase your odds of success.

3 Protect

Regular check-ins will help protect your plan and allow you to measure progress toward your goals and adjust as needed.

Increase Your Odds of Success with Evidence

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You deserve the brightest minds on your side. An investment strategy driven by rigorous, peer-reviewed research gives you the best chance at reaching your goals. The strength of your plan comes from advanced strategies rooted in academia and a committee-based approach to investment policy.

A portfolio is an important piece of your overall financial strategy and should begin and end with evidence — no room for emotions here.

Experience what it’s like to have decades of peer-reviewed market research working for you.

The Power of Partnership

Whenever you need advice or insight, we will be there. No question or concern is too small.

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A Rigorous Academic Approach

Our team utilizes evidence-based strategies to create customized financial plans that help our clients reach their long-term goals.


A Fiduciary Commitment

Your best interest is our only bias. We are committed to your well-being every step of the way.


National Thought Leaders

A deep bench of specialists support us with the latest investment and planning insights.


Sustainability - Impact Beyond Returns

Invest globally in companies that align with the causes you care most about, without sacrificing your performance goals.


Strategic Partnerships

A truly holistic approach to your financial future may involve close collaboration between your advisor and attorneys, CPAs, and other service providers.


Experience is Everything

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Experience a sense of calm and confidence when you collaborate to create a dynamic plan that’s right for you.

Experience a smarter way to invest and plan infused with decades of evidence-based guidance, backed by national thought leadership resources and intellectual insight.

Experience the freedom to focus on the things that you value most.

Chris Winkler Photo

Chris Winkler

Founder | Principal
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Chris Winkler

Chris Winkler

Founder | Principal

My earliest inspirations came from my own family. My mother and my grandparents immigrated to the US from war-torn Lebanon when she was 6. I watched my grandfather work two full-time jobs, one in a Pullman rail car foundry and another pursuing his own American dream as a corner grocer. My young single mom worked two jobs to give me access to opportunities she did not have with the hope to provide an easier path. I had a front-row seat to their selfless sacrifice. 

My grandparents and mom never attained what many would recognize as wealth—materially. They did, however, leave quite a legacy within me—one of hard work, personal sacrifice and great compassion for others. They also quietly ignited the dreams of greater possibility within me. 

My profession provides within it many sources of inspiration. I am moved by the journeys our clients have taken to build their own financial security and wealth—their stories are ones of long-term discipline, hard work and temperance. Most of our firm’s clients are self-made, having built their wealth inside of their own lifetimes. Each of their stories are unique, but I am always fascinated to see the common threads of success. I am also inspired by the dynamic life experiences of our team members. You will see many common values we share with our clients, those of humility and altruism, as you get to know our firm’s culture. 

After attending Purdue University, I was recruited by a large privately-held wealth management firm that ultimately was sold to Transamerica. My time there was an exciting period of dynamic growth and challenge. I had many diverse roles over my 12 years: advisor development, practice management and senior leadership. I was fortunate to have great mentors, many of whom I still have close relationships with today. Ultimately, I discovered my greatest fulfillment came from working closely with clients, which led to my resigning to form our firm in 2009.

Our team has a strong belief in evidence-based planning. We believe financial advice should be rooted in objectivity and tested with academic rigor, not speculation or impulse. With this standard, our team is inspired to create a meaningful impact in the lives of the clients we are fortunate to serve. Our objective is to help our clients aspire to live fuller, more purpose-driven lives, knowing they are in very trusted and capable hands. 

We are private and boutique by design. For several reasons, we limit the number of clients we take on each year. The clients we do work with become long-term partnerships, and often great friendships. It is hard for me to imagine more fulfilling work. We work in a conflict-free culture serving on behalf of people we have great regard for.   

On a day-to-day basis, my activities are widely varied, which I could not enjoy more. Each day brings with it an opportunity to connect with someone or to solve a complex problem. I am regularly in meetings—with clients, team members or with one of our strategic partners to create even greater outcomes.

Like many, the priority for me away from the office is family. My wife Lauren and I have twins, Audri and Camden, who are the joys of our life and have become our own greatest teachers. 

I enjoy living an active lifestyle which in its current form has me training for triathlons, hiking, playing golf, gardening, wine collecting and organic cooking. 

I also consider myself a fervent, lifelong student, always finding inspiration in a new relationship, a great book or podcast.

We love to travel globally as often as our schedules allow with favorite spots in Maui, coastal/wine country in California, the Baja of Mexico and Italy.

Paul Grace Photo

Paul Grace

Founder | Principal
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Paul Grace

Paul Grace

Founder | Wealth Manager | Partner

Phone: 415-383-8404
Email: paul@aspirean.com

One of the most important things that humans can do is help one another. And one of the things that many people need help with is managing their financial lives, so they can be free to enjoy their lives without stressing over money. 

At a young age, I was taught (and also discovered the hard way) the importance of financial stability and balance in life. It brings me great joy to coach others on how to achieve both financial security and relaxation. The byline of my business has always been as follows: straight talk, genuine advice and exceptional service. These principals guide my ongoing interactions with my clients. 

As both a wealth manager and tax advisor, I am very involved with serving my clients’ financial needs on a daily basis. I work to create and regularly maintain their financial plans and investment portfolios so they can live with greater peace of mind knowing that their finances are taken care of. 

I graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a degree in anthropology, then I went on to do graduate studies at Tulane University in New Orleans. For nearly 5 years, I worked for the Internal Revenue Service as an auditor. I also worked in the nonprofit sector for a number of years before I went on to establish my own tax and wealth management firms.

My most important professional association is with Buckingham Strategic Partners, which serves as an important partner in delivering all aspects of portfolio management to my clients. I am also a member of the National Society of Tax Professionals. Separate from my business, I serve on the board of directors and am the treasurer of No Abode Monastery.

Outside of work, I enjoy being outdoors and partaking in activities like swimming, hiking, running, skiing and weight training. My beloved, Maria, and I like to travel to Kauai two times a year where we spend as much time swimming and exercising at the beach as we possibly can. We have a daughter, Lauren, who we are so proud of as she takes on life in her 30’s. I am also involved in helping Zen Buddhist meditation practice be available and accessible in the San Francisco area.

Professional Licenses & Registrations

  • Investment Advisor (FINRA | SEC)
  • State of California Insurance License
  • California Tax Preparer (CTEC)
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Brad Alvarez

Chief Operating Officer | Chief Compliance Officer
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Brad Alvarez

Brad Alvarez

Chief Operating Officer | Chief Compliance Officer | Partner

Email: brad@aspirean.com

I began my career in financial services in 2005 after serving for 6 years in the US Navy’s nuclear field. While in the Navy, my engineering mind developed an interest for learning the rules of money and investing for retirement. With the Navy being the first major step in my working career, I knew that I wanted to start the good habit of systematically putting money away early in my working life, but had no idea where to begin.  When I started asking around to my peers about how and where they were saving, I quickly realized that for many, this wasn't an area of their lives they had even begun to think about.  At that point, I figured I needed to find a way to educate myself around this subject of money. 

What started out as just a personal interest through my own reading and research very quickly turned into a passion, as I started becoming the guy who was urging my friends to start their own investment accounts and capitalize on the fact that “the earlier we started, the better off we could be long-term!” As I continued learning more, I realized this was the career route I wanted to take when I was finished with my time in the service. I knew that what I had just experienced, where others weren't really thinking about this topic like I was, wasn't exclusive to the military.  I felt like I had the opportunity to really make a positive impact for others who wanted help in this area of their lives.  During my last year of service, I was able to gain valuable financial counseling experience when selected to become certified as a command financial specialist on the submarine USS Michigan.

Upon leaving the military, I joined a national investment firm, where I had roles in branch development, compliance, product training and new rep development. In 2009, I was recruited by our former firm, Legacy Advisors. My role includes supporting many areas of the firm, such as building, implementing and overseeing the firm’s internal systems, processes, workflows, procedures and compliance requirements. I also help the team’s advisors with portfolio design, research, maintenance and client education.

I completely understand that money and investing can bring with it emotional challenges to many people. I take great pride in our firm's duty to operate with a scientific priority to portfolio design, holding high regard for research, process and time-tested data. At Aspirean, we know that clients benefit most when we combine this research and experience, utilizing prudent evidence-based strategies to solve their investment needs. This is what keeps me passionate about the work I do, 20 years after my own journey with money began.

My wife Kristina and I share a love of the many beaches, trails and natural environments of the Indiana Dunes National Park on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, which is why we planted our flag in Miller Beach, Indiana in 2015. We share a dune-top home with our many rescued four-legged children.

Registrations

  • General Securities Representative (Series 7)
  • Uniform Combined State Law (Series 66) 
Marian Jung, CPA Photo

Marian Jung, CPA

Wealth Manager | Senior Associate
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 Marian Jung

Marian Jung, CPA

Wealth Manager | Senior Associate

To me, maintaining balance in one’s life, not only financially but physically, emotionally and spiritually is essential. Helping clients establish and maintain financial wellness and achieve a better balance in their lives is a joy that goes beyond my job description. Being able to positively impact my clients' lives holistically is why I do what I do. 

Clients are like family to me, so they always come first. I’m just a phone call away to assist them with immediate needs and big life changes, whether that means buying a new house, getting a new job, or helping out aging parents. As for portfolio management, I regularly check in with my clients about their progress, whether in person or via zoom, at their preference. 

I help guide clients through each life season, and in particular, I have a personal understanding for those dealing with aging parents. For the past 5 years, I have been managing the care and livelihood of my elderly mother. She is a true survivor, having gone through World War II in Hong Kong and most recently, she is one of the few 99-year-old’s who survived Covid-19 in 2020. I have dealt with dementia in its various stages, down-sizing, budgeting on a fixed income, managing caregivers and conflicts between family members, and choosing facility care. This experience has been eye-opening while also being most precious to me, as it is a delicate and complicated endeavor to support a loved one with their end-of-life journey. It has also heightened my awareness and knowledge of what is needed when dealing with a loved one unable to care for themselves. 

I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with my degree in business. Directly out of college, I joined Arthur Andersen & Co, an international accounting firm. I was fortunate to have selected the small business practice division, which included tax training and tax preparation. I learned quickly about the intricacies of small businesses and how owners and their businesses are unique in that they have not only business concerns and goals, but personal objectives.

In addition to my work experience, I am affiliated with our Family and Children’s Law Center, a non-profit in Marin. Their mission is to help families navigate the legal system, whether it be dissolution, custody or domestic violence. As a woman having gone through a divorce, I feel very strongly about all persons having access to and proper representation in the courts. Plus, a healthy family adds to the well-being of the community.

I remarried in my 50’s and met my husband, Patrick, dancing. Locally, we enjoy gardening, hiking and occasionally we still get out dancing. I love flower arranging from our bountiful garden and often share my arrangements with my clients. We have traveled internationally and look forward to visiting new places, while still going to our favorites, like Italy. I also enjoy cooking, exercising, reading and entertaining. I have two adult children in their 30’s and love to get together with them and their loved ones. 

Professional Licenses & Registrations

  • Investment Advisor Representative (FINRA | SEC)
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
  • NMLS Licensed and Mortgage Originator License
  • Real Estate License
Kay Confer, CFP® Photo

Kay Confer, CFP®

Director of Financial Planning | Founder
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Kay Confer, CFP®

Director of Financial Planning | Founder

Thirty-five years ago, I shifted my career focus and began a search for a new place to land. I sought a way to assist others and coach them into living a life they loved. This quest led me to financial advising, where I now help individuals and families clarify their dreams—and provide structures to transform these dreams into realities. 

By working closely with our clients, building relationships is at the core of what we do at Aspirean. We support our clients through the ebbs and flows of their lives, creating comprehensive and evidence-based wealth strategies that we regularly review and revisit together throughout the years. Through hands-on guidance, our clients are prepared to make wise decisions towards their financial security and aspirations. 

I extend support to many aspects of the firm—from communicating with clients to analyzing data and upgrading our systems into newer technologies. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, I have passed a series of rigorous exams and uphold a fiduciary standard of unbiased service in my work with clients; I also hold a Series 7 and insurance licenses. My education includes a BA in Social Work and Psychology as well as post-graduate work in counseling. Before my work as a financial advisor, I managed five senior centers for the Area Agency on Aging. 

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling, reading, knitting and golfing. I also love to spend as much time as possible with our three grandchildren. 

Affiliations

  • Former president of Southwestern Michigan Estate Planning Council
  • Former president of Executive & Professional Women of Southwest Michigan
  • Anderson University Board Member – 10 Years
  • First Church Endowment Board of Directors – 25 Years
  • Lori’s Place Crew Member
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Marcia Dinges

Director of Client Services, Third Coast
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 Marcia Dinges

Marcia Dinges

Client Services Director

I have always loved helping people in any way that I can, and this passion translates into my work as the client services director at Aspirean. With a genuine interest in our clients’ lives and well-being, I enjoy not only resolving their challenges but getting to know each and every one of them personally. 

I’ve worked in the financial services industry for 40 years and am well-versed in creating a seamless experience for clients along their financial journeys. I enjoy taking care of the details and tending to client needs, from answering their account questions or executing their requests efficiently and diligently. I spent 20 years working in banking as a teller, teller trainer, customer service representative and call center representative before becoming an administrative assistant in the investment field. Additionally, I hold a series 7 securities license. 

I currently live in Michigan and have one son, a daughter-in-law and two granddaughters who reside in the Atlanta area. I enjoy visiting them a few times each year.

In my free time, I volunteer at our local hospital and for the museum in my hometown of Three Oaks, MI. I also enjoy reading and traveling to see my extended family and friends.

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Liana Jackson

Director of Client Services, Marin
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Liana Jackson

Director of Client Services, Marin


Buckingham Strategic Partners Mill Valley, CA Aspirean Wealth

Buckingham Strategic Partners

Buckingham Strategic Partners supports independent wealth management firms and advisors to serve their clients and families in achieving their ambitions. They are dedicated to providing solutions that create a more seamless wealth experience for advisors and clients alike. By partnering with Buckingham Strategic Partners, we deliver academically rooted and evidence-based investment solutions towards your financial confidence. As a member of this nationwide community, we provide collective wisdom and resources to help build and protect our clients’ wealth.


Dimensional Logo San Rafael, CA Aspirean Wealth
Vanguard Logo Chesterton, IN Aspirean Wealth


Charles Schwab Logo St. Joseph, MI Aspirean Wealth

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab was founded in 1973 with the objective of making investing accessible to the public. Since its founding, Schwab has become a leader in the financial industry and the most robust custodian of Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) assets, offering custodial, operational, practice management and trading support to over 7,500 independent RIA firms.


TD Ameritrade Institutional Logo Mill Valley, CA  Aspirean Wealth

TD Ameritrade Institutional

TD Ameritrade provides one of the industry’s most advanced trading platforms. The company has also won several awards for its superior customer support and state-of-the-art educational resources — helping investors make smarter, more informed decisions.

Perspectives

FAQs


Do you have a minimum asset level?

Yes. Due to the time-intensive, comprehensive, accountability-focused nature of our work, we best serve individuals with at least $1 million in investable assets (including 401(k) plan assets), or those whose financial situations tend to be more complex. For new clients who don't meet this investment minimum, our minimum annual fee is $7,500.

How would you describe your investment strategy?

We implement an evidence-based investment strategy. Decades of objective, peer-reviewed financial research guides our recommendations. As your advisor, we will help you ignore the market’s uncontrollable elements and maximize those that can be managed — such as reducing costs, managing investment risks through global diversification, and avoiding hyperactive trading generated by reactionary emotions.

Are you the best financial advisor for us?

We hope so, although we’re not for everyone. Are you seeking a partner to help oversee your interests and create better outcomes so you can focus on the things that give you energy? Have the demands on your time limited your availability to manage your financial life well?  Do you agree that “speculative” investments — such as hedge funds and private equity  — are more likely an expensive distractions? Do you you relish delegating financial tasks to have a coordinated plan in place? If so, we look forward to speaking with you. If you are looking for ad hoc investment tips, we’re probably not the best fit.

How are you compensated if we work together?

We've designed our structure to minimize conflicts of interest. We are a fee-based, Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and a fiduciary. We are paid via a percentage of the assets we manage.

Contact Us


If you’re ready to have a conversation or you’re wondering if we may be a good fit, we’d love to hear from you.

Meet with Us

EMAIL

info@aspirean.com

PHONE

(844) 687-5342


Mill Valley

6 Knoll Lane Suite B
Mill Valley, Ca 94941

Phone: (415) 383-8404

San Rafael

1101 Fifth Avenue, Suite 220
San Rafael, CA 94901

Phone: (415) 464-4288

Saint Joseph

505 Pleasant St Suite 303
St. Joseph, MI 49085

Phone: (269) 983-3030

Chesterton

160 Rail Rd, Suite 4
Chesterton, IN 46304

Phone: (844) 687-5342