Archive for Firm News & Events

Meet the Team: Victoria Harrell

Firm News & Eventson February 26th, 2015No Comments

Victoria HeadshotVictoria Harrell, Client Service Administrator in our Vienna, VA office, is Yeske Buie’s newest team member. With over nineteen years in the financial services industry, Victoria adds a great level of expertise to the team. Additionally, Victoria has a deep understanding of how the markets work and trading rules as she has earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Business Administration, has completed all of the course work for the CFP® certification, and holds multiple securities licenses. As Client Service Administrator, Victoria maintains the Client Private Pages®, places trades, and helps with paperwork and Client requests. In this edition of Meet the Team, we learn more about what Victoria hopes to accomplish at Yeske Buie and what she enjoys doing in her free time.

How did you become interested in working in the financial services industry?

Well, when I moved to Charlotte, I started working for Bank of America as a teller. It was there that I realized I wanted to stay in the financial services industry. As for how I became interested in the investments sector, an opportunity became available after college when Bank of America began expanding their investments group into Washington, DC. I was very interested in this position and was brought on as part of expansion. Here, I earned my Series 7 and have been working in investments ever since.

What are you most looking forward to about working as a Client Service Administrator at Yeske Buie?

I am looking forward to mastering my role and identifying areas within the Client Services role that could be made even better as I bring a fresh set of eyes and my professional experience to the team. From my first few weeks here, I can tell that the firm is always looking for ways to better serve our Clients and I hope to identify workflows within the firm and with our outside vendors to help our Clients get the best service possible.

What do you feel is your greatest strength that you add to the Yeske Buie team?

I feel that my greatest strength that I bring to Yeske Buie is my experience in the financial services industry. I feel that my nineteen years of experience in the business allows me to pick up on things more quickly and shortens my learning curve which therefore allows me to spend less time ramping up and more time serving our Clients.

What is one of your Live Big® goals?

One of my short-term Live Big® goals is to move into a larger home. My dream is to live in the city of Washington, DC in the H Street neighborhood as I love spending time in that area.

If you had 24 hours to do whatever you wanted and money was no concern, where would you be, what would you do?

If I had 24 hours to do whatever I wanted to I would be with my friends traveling to South Africa or the Caribbean. I went to South Africa in 2007 and found that the people were so kind, the history of the area was so rich, and I was fascinated with the culture and the food. While I had traveled internationally to Canada, this was my biggest international trip and I hope to visit there again in the future.


Victoria in South Africa

VH 2

View in South Africa



Lauren Grove Earns CFP® Certification

Firm News & Eventson February 26th, 2015No Comments

Lauren Grove, Yeske BuieAfter years of hard work and dedication, we are very proud to announce that Lauren Grove, Assistant Financial Planner in our Virginia office, became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional on Friday, February 6th. After learning that she had officially received the certification, we asked Lauren, “What three words would you use to describe how it feels to have earned the CFP® certification?”

“The three words I would use to describe how it feels to have earned the CFP® certification are: relieved, proud, and excited.

I am relieved because the certification process is intense and lasts multiple years. It begins with the education requirement, which I fulfilled during my time in Virginia Tech’s CFP® Certification Education Track; studying for three to four months for the two-day, ten-hour exam is next; and it is completed by fulfilling a two-year apprenticeship practicing the six steps of the financial planning process, which I have been lucky enough to complete here at Yeske Buie.

I am proud because I dedicated myself to accomplishing all three steps above.  And did it with excitement – I love every day in this profession!

I am excited to continue to learn every day and grow as a member of this Yeske Buie team and the financial planning profession. Becoming a CFP® certificant was one great stepping stone in this pursuit.”


LF CFPTo obtain certification, a planner must have satisfied the CFP Board’s “Four Es” – Education, Examination, Experience, and Ethics. Specifically, candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree and must have completed a CFP Board-approved education program covering 78 financial planning topics. After the education requirement is complete, candidates sit for a 10-hour exam administered over the course of two days. As you may recall, we sat down with Lauren days before she took her exam to learn more about her diligent study schedule and announced in late August that she had passed her exam. After the examination requirement is complete, candidates must then accumulate three years of full-time practice experience (two years if under the direct supervision of a CFP® practitioner) and complete an ethics certification, which includes an inquiry into the candidate’s background and agreement to adhere to the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics. To maintain certification, a CFP® professional is required to complete at least 30 hours of “Continuing Education” credits every two years.


CFP® licensees are held to a fiduciary standard, which requires them to act in utmost good faith in a manner that is in the best interest of their clients. Over its now 40-year history, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM marks have emerged as the dominant professional standard in the United States and, through the Financial Planning Board of Standards (FPSB), in 22 other countries as well.

Yeske Buie Financial Planning Resident Program

Firm News & Eventson January 29th, 2015No Comments

YeBu Live Big Logo 03-15-11Yeske Buie has recently implemented a Financial Planning Resident Program. The purpose of the program is to leverage our Financial Planning team and to help contribute to the pipeline of new planners entering the financial planning profession prepared to work with financial planning clients.

The Financial Planning Resident will work directly with clients, preparing financial plans and reviews, and working in all aspects of financial planning, from the discovery process through to implementation and ongoing support of Yeske Buie’s Clients’ Live Big® goals.  The Resident will be overseen at all times by a CFP® and will “graduate” from this position with exceptional experience, prepared to join an established financial planning firm or start their own practice. During their time at Yeske Buie, they will also attend professional association events and have the opportunity to prepare for and take the CFP® Exam. Upon their “graduation”, the Resident will have the experience necessary to qualify to be a CFP® Licensee – learn what it takes to earn the CFP® certification here.

The Financial Planning Resident will be treated and have the same expectations as other Yeske Buie employees. However, the position will end after a specific time period and the Resident will move on to find other employment. At that time, the Resident will be highly qualified for attractive opportunities in the financial planning profession.

Smailhodzic, Sabina Headshot 2Our first Financial Planning Resident is Sabina Smailhodzic. Sabina joined the Yeske Buie team in August 2014 and has set a high standard for future Financial Planning Residents at Yeske Buie. Not only has Sabina hit the ground running in working with the rest of the Financial Planning team to ensure that clients’ financial planning needs are met, but she has also played an integral role in the development of Yeske Buie’s Financial Planning Resident Program. We asked Sabina about what she has enjoyed most about being a Financial Planning Resident:

“Although not the answer one may be expecting, I have enjoyed the learning curve with an incredibly steep start! I knew that I would be learning a lot during my time as a Financial Planning Resident at Yeske Buie, but I could have never imagined the amount of learning that would take place within my first five months. Just within the first two weeks I attended an FPA of San Francisco chapter meeting, the 25th annual FPA Far West Roundup, sat in nine client meetings, and began the on-boarding process for three new clients. Needless to say, I haven’t slowed down! I am very excited to learn more about the financial planning profession through my experiences at Yeske Buie and cannot wait to see how much I have grown by the end of my residency”

2015-01-21 RK HeadshotIn addition to Sabina, we are excited to have Russell Kroeger join us as our newest Financial Planning Resident in San Francisco. Russell graduated from Virginia Tech’s CFP® Certification Education Track in Spring 2013 and has over a year of experience working in the financial planning profession. To learn more about Russell, we asked him about his passion for financial planning and what he hopes to accomplish during his time at Yeske Buie – see what he’s most looking forward to in our recent Meet the Team feature. And, stay tuned to our Meet the Team Feature as Yeske Buie plans to continue to grow our Financial Planning Resident Program throughout 2015 with passionate, hard-working, and committed professionals like Sabina and Russell.

Meet the Team: Russell Kroeger

Firm News & Eventson January 29th, 2015No Comments

Russell Kroeger is Yeske Buie’s newest team member and second Financial Planning Resident. Russell graduated in Spring 2013 from Virginia Tech’s CFP® Certification Education Track and traveled across the United States to join our Financial Planning Resident Program in San Francisco. To learn more about Russell, we asked him about his passion for Financial Planning and what he hopes to accomplish during his time as a Yeske Buie Financial Planning Resident. The answers to these questions and more are shared in this edition of Meet the Team: Russell Kroeger.

How did you become interested in Financial Planning?


My interest in finance started in my junior year of high school. One of the teachers offered to teach a personal finance class before school and anyone who was interested could sign up and sit in the class. Being as it started before the normal school day, there were only a handful of us who regularly joined the class. I learned very simple practices about debt management, buying vs. renting, and compound interest but when I was done with the class, I was hooked! I started to look into college programs that could provide learning opportunities within those areas and found Virginia Tech had one of the top programs in the country. I didn’t apply anywhere else and when I was accepted, I talked to the professors to learn anything and everything about the profession, who to be involved with, and what it would take to be successful. Also in college, I found that I really enjoyed volunteering and sharing my knowledge with others. For the FPA student chapter, I often volunteered to go to intro level business classes right before class started to talk about my experience and the things I learned in class to inform or inspire others to become interested in the profession and helping people.

So how did I become interested in Financial Planning? Well, I’ve wanted to do this since I can remember (or at least since I knew what was good for me) and I think the profession provides me with a phenomenal opportunity to utilize my skill sets while making the world a better place. I love that Financial Planning allows me to live my life in a way that is aligned with my morals and values. It’s important to me that my career directly reflects my values, skills, and passions.

What do you feel is your greatest strength that you add to the Yeske Buie team?

I feel that one of my greatest strengths is the true passion I have to help people. And, as passionate as I am about helping people and using my resources, I want to allow people to realize it’s not just about their financial goals, it’s about their LIFE goals. It’s not the mortgage numbers that are important, but WHY a client is driven to make a house their home. It’s not the specific amounts that someone wants to donate to Charity, but WHY the Charity is important to the Client’s values. Consistent reminders of the motivations behind ideas and strategies makes it easier to commit to big decisions. I want to help people to look back and know that their success was not limited to financial accomplishments, but that they too were able to be the good they wish to see in the world. My passion to help people be able to do that is unique and I hope it is felt in every Client interaction.


Russell jumping from rocks into glacier runoff while canyoning in Switzerland.


Russell participating in the 2014 Frosty 5k with his mom.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time as a Financial Planning Resident at Yeske Buie?

Outside of maturing both personally and professionally, my goal is to contribute to the firm in such a way that the Clients are able to feel the value added. I want Clients to know that Yeske Buie’s culture lives not just within its permanent employees, but that their ideals and dedication to excellence are infectious and encouraging to aspiring young planners. I also hope to advance the Financial Planning Resident Program so that future residents have a more fulfilled experience while ensuring that the firm is better able to service Clients through our accomplishments during my experience at Yeske Buie.

What is one of your Live Big® goals?

Ultimately what I want to do with my financial planning knowledge is to develop a program that adds value to the community in an effort to help people make more informed financial decisions, which will (hopefully) lead to live more fulfilled lives. Whether the program is within the community at a recreation center or a high school education program, I want to not only educate people in finance but also to make them aware of the profession and the positive impact it can have on peoples’ lives. I want to help all age groups but I also want to focus on younger individuals either as a professor or through an optional high school course where I first found my passion for finance and financial planning. Being blessed with the mentorships and opportunities I have, I want nothing more than to provide that spark, that “AH HA!” moment for someone because knowledge is empowering and everyone deserves the opportunity to find their passion.

In my personal life, I very much want to travel the world, experience different cultures, learn different perspectives, to understand why things are important to people. It’s such an interesting concept that people value things so much in one part of the world and a few hundred miles away, the value is placed on something completely different. I traveled Europe when I was in college and I loved the entire experience. These new experiences provide a new lens through which to see the world, as well as how to approach challenges and opportunities. Next, I’d really like to experience Thailand, Singapore, and the Asian culture. I think exploring South American culture would be really cool, too, and I’d also like to take a trip to Africa…. Basically, anywhere I can experience something new!


Russell hiking the Swiss Alps.


Russell exploring Mexico with his girlfriend, Paola.

What is your first impression of San Francisco?

My first impression is that the weather is nice and it smells delicious! Everywhere I walk there are restaurants with open doors or a delicious smelling bakery. I walk through little Italy on my way home and by the time I get home I feel like I haven’t eaten in days. My first few weeks have me excited for the diversity of experiences that I have the opportunity to enjoy during my time here!

How You Will Receive Your 1099

Firm News & Eventson January 15th, 2015No Comments

1040While Yeske Buie posts quarterly tax reports to your Client Private Page® for taxable accounts, these reports are for planning purposes only. To complete your 2014 tax return, please refer to your Schwab 1099 for dividends, interest, and capital gains in your taxable account(s), as well as any distributions from your IRA(s). As required by the IRS, Schwab will send 1099s in the mail and post them to your Schwab account between the end of January and mid-February. Below is a screenshot of how to locate the report on the Schwab Alliance website. If you use the Schwab Alliance website, here are instructions for accessing your 1099 electronically. If you have lost your paper copy or are having difficulties accessing the forms online, please do not hesitate to call our office at 1-800-772-1887 or send us an email and we will be happy to assist you.

  1. Log in to
  2. Select the account for which you need the tax form.
  3. Select Accounts > History & Statements > Statements & Reports > Tax Forms.
  4. You can enter a customized date range or you can select the form in the field below the date range.

Schwab Alliance 1099 Updated

Yeske Buie Celebrates Its 7th Anniversary

Firm News & Eventson December 31st, 2014No Comments

7 Golden BalloonsOn January 1, 2015, Yeske Buie celebrated its 7th anniversary. Elissa and Dave have been in the profession of financial planning for more than 30 years and in business for themselves for 25 years, Yeske & Co. having been founded in 1990 and Financial Planning Group in 1993. The merger brought together two distinct cultures and approaches and blended them into something that was truly greater than the sum of its parts. While some have suggested that the 2008 merger was inevitable following their 2006 marriage (Investment News ran an article on the merger titled “Matri-Money breeds partnership”), Elissa and Dave are always quick to quip, “Have you never been married? That was the LAST reason to merge!” It was only after friend and consultant David Brand challenged their negative assumptions that they embarked on two years of hard work to determine if the synergies were worth the risk. Ultimately, they came to realize that their two firms had unique competencies – one focused on efficiency and the other on effectiveness – that were worth combining. As for the firm’s name, Elissa and Dave considered many possibilities before settling on Yeske Buie, largely on the advice of marketing guru Harry Beckwith, who believes that professional service firms should adopt the names of their founders if those individuals have any kind of public profile.

What Elissa and Dave didn’t know as January 1 of 2008 arrived and the merger became official was that the world was already sliding into the worst recession in over 80 years. And while no one would willingly choose such a scary time to embark on a grand new enterprise, surviving the turmoil of 2008 and 2009 truly forged the Yeske Buie identity. Including the Live Big® philosophy, notably reflected in the firm’s 2009 piece, “What does it mean to Live Big® in these trying times?,” which garnered hundreds of ideas from clients and friends and which eventually inspired a cover feature in Financial Advisor Magazine. There were also dozens of requests from other advisors to reproduce “The Live Big® List” in their year-end letter to clients.

Looking forward, Elissa and Dave and the rest of the YeBu team are energized by our goal to be the recognized best financial planning firm in the country (not to demean our many successful friends and colleagues, but everyone should dream big!) while feeling both humbled and honored by the trust that our wonderful clients continue to bestow upon us.

YeBu East Coast Gives Big at DC Central Kitchen

Firm News & Eventson December 18th, 20141 Comment

This past Wednesday, our staff on the east coast volunteered at DC Central Kitchen’s Evening Meal Prep event. DC Central Kitchen is America’s leader in reducing hunger with recycled food, training unemployed adults for culinary careers, serving healthy school meals, and rebuilding urban food systems through social enterprise. The Kitchen is located right on the edge of Capitol Hill in the basement of the Federal City Shelter, the largest shelter in the country. The team helped DC Central Kitchen’s staff transform 3,000 pounds of donated food into 5,000 balanced meals to be distributed at little or not cost to nearly 90 nearby homeless shelters, transitional homes, and non-profit organizations. The team approached the evening with a great attitude and a willingness to work and had a very productive and rewarding experience.

DC Central Kitchen

Cristin, Lauren V., Lauren G., and Yusuf at DC Central Kitchen

CE, LV, and LG (2)

Cristin, Lauren V., and Lauren G. ready to start the meal prep.

LG, YA, and LV (2)

Lauren G., Yusuf, and Lauren V. in the Kitchen.

Peeling Potatoes

The potato peeling station.

DC Central Kitchen Mission

DC Central Kitchen

Laurens Peeling Carrots

Lauren G. and Lauren V. on carrot peeling duty.

Yusuf Cooking Chickens

Yusuf was responsible for cooking 500 pieces of chicken.

LG Peeling Carrots

Lauren G. at the carrot peeling station.

Cristin in the Kitchen

Cristin helping out with the canned goods.

YeBu East Coast Volunteering

The East Coast team is still smiling after all their hard work.


Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Firm News & Events, TheLiveBigWay Digeston November 26th, 2014No Comments

With all the noise and turmoil that sometimes fills our daily lives (not to mention our daily newspapers), we all cherish the opportunity for quiet reflection and the joyful fellowship of family and friends that Thanksgiving Day brings us each year.  On this eve of another Thanksgiving, we wanted to say how thankful we are for all the special people in our lives and to take the opportunity to share again a few suggestions from The Live Big List.  As you may recall, the List was started in 2009 as an attempt to refocus on the things that mattered most at a time of financial turmoil.  As we put it then, “if we can find the place of gratitude for what we have, we can find joy in the most mundane of places, and, hopefully at least get our minds off of how scary the world can feel at times.”  Here are a dozen entries from the 88 items now on the list.

  • - Walk the dog (borrow one if you don’t have one of your own)
  • - Hug someone (be careful, in general it should be someone who you know)
  • – Teach a teenager to balance a checkbook
  • – Read all those books you’ve been accumulating
  • - Watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Love Actually” or some other feel good movie
  • – Write an old fashioned letter to someone
  • – Give a stranger a compliment
  • – Throw a Board Game Night at your house for friends, family, neighbors
  • – Put a puzzle together
  • - Take a leisurely walk around a new neighborhood in your city – be a “tourist”
  • - Call a friend and tell them you value their friendship
  • - Make a charitable contribution

You can read all 88 entries on the Live Big List (and add your own) here: What it means to Live Big in these trying times.

Happy Thanksgiving

Elissa and Dave Speaking in Korea

Firm News & Eventson November 20th, 2014No Comments
Elissa and Dave have been in Seoul, Korea this week, having been invited to speak at the Korea Financial Planning Association’s annual conference.
In his keynote presentation, Dave will be discussing the three phases of good retirement planning, from uncovering client goals, vision, and values, to designing effective strategies for accumulating retirement savings, to establishing a Safe-Spending path to ensure a sustainable lifestyle throughout retirement. One of the themes at the heart of this three-phase process is the use of Policy-Based Financial Planning, an approach that Elissa and Dave have been writing and presenting on for nearly a decade, including a discussion with the Wall Street Journal in 2010.  Elissa and Dave are in the process of writing a book on TheLiveBigWay Safe-Spending System.
Elissa’s presentation is titled, “Building Client Trust and Commitment Through a Strong Relationship Management Strategy.”  During this workshop, Elissa will review some of the research related to how financial planners can most effectively work with their clients in order to develop a full understanding of what matters most to clients, as well as communicate planning strategies in a way that motivates change and helps ensure successful achievement of client goals.

Namsan Park

At Namsam Park overlooking the city


Jogyesa Buddhist Temple

ChanDeokGung Palace

Changdeokgung, one of the five palaces of the Joseon Dynasty emperors

Traditional Neighborhood

The narrow streets and traditional homes of Jongno-gu district

Dave in Korea Korean Food Elissa in Korea
Elissa and Dave enjoy a meal at Namdaemun Market


Meet the Team: Dorothy Navales

Firm News & Eventson October 23rd, 2014No Comments

Dorothy Navales is a member of Yeske Buie’s client service team working in our San Francisco office. Dorothy has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and has been with Yeske Buie for over 4 years. Prior to joining Yeske Buie, Dorothy worked for Citigroup’s Institutional Investor Group, Shuman & Schneider, Wells Fargo Foreign Exchange Trading & Sales, and Union Bank of California’s Capital Markets division. Dorothy interacts directly with the firm’s clients on a daily basis. Additionally, her responsibilities include operational and administrative support to enhance the client experience and the support of the financial planning team in serving clients. We asked Dorothy to share a bit about her professional and personal life and learned a lot about her life as a a working mother of a promising athlete!

How did you begin working in the financial services industry?

The simple answer is, I was incredibly blessed with various opportunities in the financial services industry and it just fit right for me. I came to the United States from the Philippines with my dad and I had no sense of direction on what I wanted to do. My first job was a teller at Bank of America and as the job evolved, I was working in Foreign Exchange. Even with the progression of the job, I wanted more for myself and ended up changing jobs and working at Union Bank as a vault teller and foreign exchange teller. I then moved on to the investments area and eventually found a love for financial planning and Yeske Buie.

What is your favorite working at Yeske Buie?

I love working with Clients! I just love being around people, learning about them, and building a relationship with them. Every time we hold an Open House event, it’s amazing to see everyone and get closer to people. I learn about them and their families and they learn about me and my daughter and remember things about my life. Together we may come across difficult situations but the hard work is very rewarding. I also love the flexibility that Yeske Buie has; it was so important for me wherever I worked to have flexible hours so I could be a part of my daughter’s life and take her to her games and practices.

WEDDJ Group Photo WEBMany of your current updates include news about both you and your daughter, Dannika. There’s no doubt that you and Dannika share a very special mother/daughter bond. What can you tell us about your life as a sports mom?

Well Dannika was a very active child and kept me busy! I had tried to take her to playgrounds but it just wasn’t enough for my child. A friend suggested to me that she needed somewhere to direct her energy and it happened that I had a friend who taught soccer and he recommended we try a program in Palo Alto. Dannika and I showed up at the practice and they immediately rejected her because she was tiny. My friend convinced the coach to try her out and by the end of the practice she had a jersey and a spot on the team. From there, I found out my daughter was very athletic and by first grade, people were already talking about scholarships. As she grew up, I spent a lot of my time and weekends traveling to practices and games and loved every second of it.

IMG_0005 image (5)

Wow, that’s great! Does she still play sports today?

Yes, she is currently on the basketball team at Whittier College and I try to attend as many of her games as I can. In her sophomore year, I attended my favorite game of her college career. The team was struggling and as I was watching, I felt bad and had mixed emotions because as a mom you want the best for your child. What I thought would be a regular game turned out to be a game where she scored 38 points and ended up on the front page on her school paper! After the game, the other coach asked to talk to her about her amazing performance. From a distance, I could see how happy she was and all the great compliments she was receiving from the coach – I was SO PROUD! I will never forget that game.


What a special game to watch your daughter play! Will basketball continue to be in Dannika’s life after college?

Dannika hopes to continue playing, ideally in a different country over in Europe. She has a good friend who plays in France and she wants to do that, too. As her mother, I want to support her in any way I can and have been looking for an agent to help her reach that goal. In addition to loving basketball, she loves Europe. As her high school graduation gift, I gave Dannika the option of a car or a trip to Europe and she picked to travel with me. So, she and I took a mother /daughter trip to the UK, Spain, Italy and France. The trip was very dear for both of us; she could have picked the car but she picked me and that made me very proud of her.image (7)

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~Marianne Williamson