Meet the Team: Sabina Smailhodzic

Firm News & Eventson September 11th, 2014No Comments

Get To Know Sabina

We are excited to welcome Sabina Smailhodzic as Yeske Buie’s newest team member and first Financial Planning Resident. Sabina traveled across the country from Kentucky to join the team in San Francisco.  We recently interviewed Sabina about her life and interests and here share the results of that conversation.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a minor in Biology, how and when did you become interested in Financial Planning?

When I graduated college, I had no idea what I wanted to do career-wise for the rest of my life. Quite honestly, I wasn’t too worried at the time.  I decided to take the opportunity to check numerous items off my Bucket List.  Unfortunately, nearly one year after graduating, I still had no idea what I wanted to do.  My parents suggested that I go back to school for a graduate degree in Chemistry, but I knew that I did not want to work in the field of science; I couldn’t see myself being an analytical chemist like I once could.  In attempt to find the right career for me, I took various personality tests.  I very quickly noticed that Financial Planning was a suggestion on nearly all of them!  I had become really good at saving money and prioritizing expenses in order to afford the various trips I have taken, but I never knew there was a career for helping people with their money!  After a few more Google searches, I found that Western Kentucky University had a CFP® Certificate Program.  Within a week of reaching out to the program director, I was enrolled and ready to begin classes.  I completed the program in two years and have enjoyed learning more about what is means to be a Financial Planner through various jobs and internships.

What is your favorite aspect of Financial Planning?

The subject area that I enjoy the most is Estate Planning.  However, my favorite part of Financial Planning is the client-advisor relationships and the potential to make a difference in someone’s life.

 What would you say was the best item you crossed off your Bucket List?

That is a tough call!  I really enjoyed traveling.  I spent the summer following graduation working as a Team Leader for an academic and life skills camp in Hong Kong.  Once I returned to the States in the fall, a friend of mine asked if I would like to join him on a trip to Jordan.  He knew that I had taken Arabic during my last year of college and thought it would be a great opportunity to put my education to good use.  I couldn’t have agreed more, and before I knew it, I had landed in Amman!  I contemplated attending the University of Jordan to master Arabic and become a translator, but after a month, I realized that Amman was not the best fit for me. The geography of the area made it impossible for me to continue my favorite hobbies, which are mostly outdoors.  There are only so many times one can drive five hours to hike Petra!

dead sea in Jordan - Copy Petra with camel

Besides travelling, what were some of the other items you crossed off your Bucket List?

Upon returning from Hong Kong, I became the mascot for an aluminum can recycling program: Drive To A Million.  I had always wanted to be a mascot, but never found the right one for me.  That is, until I found the Can Man!  Or shall I say Can (wo)Man?  The mascot encourages parents to bring aluminum cans to local schools as a means of raising money.  I attended fall school festivals and pep rallies to raise awareness for the program, as well as teach kids how to dance the Cha Cha Slide!

Another item on my Bucket List was to be a cashier on Black Friday at a major retail store.  I applied to Old Navy and negotiated my seasonal employment to include being a cashier at midnight on Black Friday.  The management team must have thought that I was crazy, but I was very excited to experience the busiest shopping day in America from the other side of the counter.  I enjoyed it so much that I remained an employee and worked Black Friday for the following two years. 

On a more adventurous note, I went skydiving for the very first time and had a blast!  I would highly recommend that everyone do it at least once in their lifetime.  I can’t even describe the feeling of literally walking off an airplane and spinning in mid-air! 

Can Man sky dive - Copy

What is one of your Live Big® goals?

One of my Live Big® goals is to travel throughout Europe for a month.  As a native of former Yugoslavia, nearly all of my family lives in Europe.  I have not had the opportunity to visit my family for several years and look forward to seeing them soon.  I would also like to explore Norway and Sweden!

What is your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?

 My boyfriend and I enjoy being outdoors on Sundays, especially kayaking and hiking.  Kentucky is known for its outdoor attractions, including lakes, rivers, and cave systems.  We oftentimes kayak down a river nearby his home or hike the trails at Mammoth Cave National Park.

hiking in CO

Sabina Hiking in Colorado

hiking with Alex

Sabina Hiking with her boyfriend, Alex

What is your first impression of San Francisco?

So far, I really like it!  I recently walked along the northern Fertile Crescent from Fishermans Warf to the Golden Gate Bridge.  Im finding that people love being outdoors here with the year-round beautiful weather and everyone seems very friendly.  Also, I love the variety of food in the city, especially the different fusion places with unique dining options.  Last week, I ate at Shushirrito which offered hand-held sushi burritos stuffed with savory Asian and Latin-infused ingredients and flavors.  What a combination!

Lauren Grove Passed the CFP® Exam

Firm News & Eventson August 28th, 2014No Comments

Lauren Grove, Yeske BuieAfter months of studying and weeks of waiting for results, we are pleased to announce that Lauren Grove has passed the CFP® Exam. The CFP® Exam is one of three steps required to earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designation (in addition to the education requirement and the two year apprenticeship requirement). It is a 10 hour exam taken over two days. Lauren used the Ken Zahn (Zahn, Inc.) study program which focused on three to four months of pre-study materials, a four-day in-person live review course, and post study materials given at the live review course. Lauren will complete the two year apprenticeship requirement by Spring 2015 to officially become a Certified Financial Planner. Learn more about Lauren Grove and earning the CFP® Certification.

Far West Round-Up

Financial Planning, Firm News & Eventson August 28th, 2014No Comments

The Yeske Buie Financial Planning Team attended the 2014 FPA Far West Round-Up Conference in Santa Cruz from Thursday, August 14 to Sunday, August 17. The Round-Up has many features of the Old West, including a designated sheriff (leader), posse (conference committee), and greenhorns (the new attendees). Dave has presided as sheriff for five years running. Financial planners gather at Round-Up for many reasons, but the main value is best expressed by the following quote from our good friend and fellow financial planner from Sacramento, Jim Johnson:

“Want to know what will be going on in the financial planning profession in the next 10 years? Go to FPA Retreat and Far West Round-Up.”

We will be sharing some of the insights gleaned from the conference in the next Digest. As an example, a particularly insightful presentation by attorney Ray Sheffield on planning for “portability,” a relatively new dimension of estate planning, spurred the financial planning team to initiate a new kind of review that we’ll be bringing to clients’ estate plans in the coming months.

For now, we hope you enjoy some of the photos from the event.

Intro Session WL The Q Group WL Group Picture WL 1st Session Attendees WL Santa Cruz WL Boardwalk WL Dinner in SF WL

YeBu East Coast Gives Big

Firm News & Eventson August 14th, 20142 Comments

For the second time this year, YeBu East Coast team members volunteered with Dreams for Kids, an organization  focused on organizing life-changing activities that empower children with physical and developmental disabilities to unite with their peers and realize their full potential. Dreams for Kids’ Extreme Recess clinics enable children with disabilities to enjoy sports and realize their full potential to succeed in all aspects of life. This time, some of our team members participated in the Extreme Recess Basketball event. Kids and volunteers were paired up one-on-one and participated in various passing, dribbling, and shooting drills. The event concluded with a mini-game and pizza. Everyone involved had a great time playing games and making new friends!

YA and Robert

Yusuf and Robert during the dribbling drill.

LV and Johanna

Lauren and Johanna high-fiving after making a basket!


Cristin, Yusuf, Summar and Lauren at the Dreams for Kids event.

LV and CE with Johanna

Johanna, Lauren, and Cristin having a good time playing basketball.

Robert Shooting with YA

Yusuf and Robert during the shooting drill.

LV Passing Drill

Lauren, Johanna, and others during the passing drill.


Summar is a Registered Paraplanner

Firm News & Eventson July 31st, 20141 Comment

We are proud to announce that Summar Briede recently received her Registered Paraplanner (RP®) certification. In order to become a RP®, Summar had to:

-Complete an educational program in theory and practical application developed by the College of Financial Planning
-Pass the proctored and timed end-of-course exam with a 70% score or higher
-Complete a three-month long internship to verify mastery of a set of basic financial planning-related skills

Summar will continue to serve as one of our Client Service Administrators, but her RP® certification has given her insights that will help her better support Yeske Buie’s aim to be the recognized best financial planning firm in the country.

Congratulations Summar!


Meet the Team – Summar Briede

Firm News & Eventson July 31st, 2014No Comments

What types of martial arts do you train in and how did you become interested in the sport?

  • So my interest in Mixed Martial Arts started as a way to get in shape. My husband, Will, really wanted to do something to get in shape but also teach us self-defense skills. After some research, Will found a coach who taught Muay Thai at a gym that was close to our home. I started there shortly after and I loved it. We began doing the Muay Thai classes regularly and I had so much fun; it didn’t take long for me to decide I wanted to learn more! So, we made the decision to do personal training. Dave Carter, our trainer for all of our Muay Thai classes, was a natural fit to be our personal trainer. Carter has trained in all kinds of Martial Arts. We continued to train in Muay Thai but also became interested in other art forms including Kali, Jeet Kune Do, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Combat Submission Wresting, and putting it all together to create Mixed Martial Arts. Carter keeps us busy and some days, I’m convinced he’s trying to kill me!

Group shot after a self-defense seminar. Coach Carter is in the front and Summar is “choking” Will on the left.

How long have you been training? What does your training schedule look like?

  • Will and I have been training for two years now. We do classes two or three times per week and do a personal training session once per week. Our classes on Tuesdays and Thursday go from 6:30pm to 10:00pm. If we feel up to doing the Wednesday classes, we are training from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. Our personal training sessions are on Saturdays for a few hours. And on top of that, we also enjoy participating in seminars related to our training that come to town. These are usually one or two full days of training.

Certificate of completion for the Guru Dan Inosanto seminar.

What does it mean to you to be a fighter?

  • The thing about fighting and Mixed Martial Arts is that it teaches you discipline, it keeps you in shape, and it gives you confidence. There is something so rewarding about knowing that I can protect myself and if I am out with friends, I can defend all of us. There is also a piece about competing in tournaments or fights that means a lot to me. These tournaments induce stress and simulate a potentially real situation which consequently teaches you to operate in high pressure situations, to remember your training, and to stay calm. After the tournament, you have a sense of accomplishment and motivation to be that much better in training for your next fight.

Summar with her teammates and coach after competing in her first grappling competition.

What is your favorite style of Mixed Martial Arts?

  • I am more naturally comfortable on my feet so I prefer the Muay Thai and Kali style. I enjoy them more and I feel like they’re more natural for me and if I had to pick just one to focus on, it would be Muay Thai or Kali. Oppositely, I struggle with ground fighting like Combat Submission Wrestling and do not find it enjoyable. 

Who would be your dream teacher to learn Mixed Martial Arts from?

  • There is one female fighter than I really admire and would love to fight the way she does and that is Rhonda Rousey. To be able to fight like she does and learn from her would be a dream come true. I admire Rhonda because she doesnt let anything get in her way. If she knows there is an area she is weak in then drills at it and if there is an obstacles in her way then she finds a way to deal with it. She doesnt let other peoples opinions bother her and she never lets go of her standards. She is the perfect example of the type of fighter I strive to be.
2014-04-26 17.33.26

Summar and Will pictured with the famous MMA Fighter, Eric Paulson.

What are the biggest benefits that Mixed Martial Arts provides you?

  • The biggest benefits that Mixed Martial Arts has given me are better awareness of self, more confidence which bleeds into all aspects of my life, and an even stronger bond with Will. Whenever there is an event or a fight on TV, it’s almost like date night for us! The sport brings us together in a way that feels like Living Big to us. We enjoy training together, spending time together, getting fit and healthy together, and gaining all of these new strengths together. It helps me become more aware of my actions and interactions with people and often reiterates the mindfulness training that weve done at our Yeske Buie retreats. Mixed Martial Arts has been a great addition to helping me, and Will, to Live Big®.

Summar and Will celebrating their marriage MMA style!

In addition to all of her martial arts training, Summar found time to become a Registered Paraplanner(R). Congratulations Summar!

Learn more about the requirements for becoming a Registered Paraplanner.

Ask Elissa and Dave

Firm News & Eventson July 17th, 20142 Comments

We are excited to introduce a new feature to our Digest called “Ask Elissa and Dave”. Interested in learning more about Dave or Elissa as financial planners or as avid travelers? Looking for some clarity on a financial planning topic, the markets, or your portfolio? Curious about Yeske Buie, how we operate, or our company culture?

Share your curiosity with Elissa and Dave and receive an answer to the questions you’ve always wanted to ask! Simply send your question to and stay tuned to future Digest posts for answers. Submissions will be anonymous and no question is off limits (answers may be, but you can ask whatever you want!). We look forward to hearing your questions!


Meet the Team – Lauren Grove

Firm News & Eventson July 17th, 2014No Comments

In your most recent current update, you talked about completing the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC and looking forward to running the Fit Foodie 5k. Have you always been interested in running or is running a new hobby of yours?

  • Growing up, I ran, but in the form of playing team sports like soccer and basketball. I started running as more of a hobby in college; I loved running through the gorgeous Virginia Tech campus. The first real race I ran was the 3.2 Run in Remembrance, held every year at Virginia Tech. My interest in half marathons and other races (including 5ks and obstacle races) spiked after graduation. I’ve really enjoyed seeking out and running in these races – I love having an upcoming race as a goal to work towards.

Lauren and her boyfriend, Daniel, at the Fit Foodie 5k.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of running?

  • Do I have to pick just one?! The health benefits are obviously one of the most rewarding aspects of running. In addition to the physical health benefits, running also provides me with a lot of mental health benefits. For me, running is a good way to meditate and clear my mind. Regardless of my mood or desire to go on a run that day, I always feel much better afterwards. Also, I enjoy having a hobby like running in common with friends and people I meet. It’s nice to have a friend to train with, to be able to hold one another accountable, and to celebrate finishing races together.

Lauren and Daniel overcoming obstacles at the Spartan Race.

What motivates you to run long distance events?

  • That’s easy! First and foremost, the feeling of accomplishment upon crossing the finish line of a race is something that motivates me to keep signing up for and running races of all kinds. I also love the race atmosphere: there’s just something about the excitement, the adrenaline, and the encouragement from both the participants and the crowd that is incredibly motivating for me.

Lauren at the half way point of the Nike Women’s Half Marathon.

Are you training for any upcoming marathons?

  • For the record, I don’t think I will EVER run a full marathon! Every time I cross the finish line of a half marathon I wonder how marathoners turn around and run it all over again!  However, I have signed up to run the Baltimore Half Marathon in October. I have not begun training yet but have started looking into 12-week training schedules to begin in the coming weeks. I’ve been periodically running when I have the time but most of my time is taken up by studying for the upcoming CFP® exam. Once the exam is done, I will focus on training for the half marathon.

Lauren is ready for any challenge thrown at her during the Spartan Race!

What is the CFP® Exam and how have you been preparing for it?

  • The CFP® Exam is one of three steps required to earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designation (in addition to the education requirement and the two year apprenticeship requirement). It is a 10 hour exam taken over two days. Personally, I have been using the Ken Zahn (Zahn, Inc.) study program which focuses on three to four months of pre-study materials, a four-day in-person live review course (which I attended two weekends ago), and post study materials given at the live review course.

That sounds like a lot of work! What inspires you to pursue becoming a Certified Financial Planner?

  • Not only is taking the exam part of my career path with Yeske Buie and the next logical step to becoming a CFP®, I think it’s also the best way to dive into this profession head first.  I acknowledge that I will always have more to learn about the financial planning profession (and that’s the beauty of it- it never gets boring), but the knowledge I’ve gained in my first year with Yeske Buie and through studying for the exam helps me to continue to grow in my role as an Associate Financial Planner. Every tidbit of information I’ve learned helps me to better serve our clients.

After months of dedicated studying, you deserve to celebrate your hard work! Do you have any plans to reward yourself?

  • Yes! Immediately after the exam I will be flying to Milwaukee to visit family that I haven’t spent time with in quite a while. We will be spending the majority of our long weekend at a nearby lake relaxing. I also have plans to attend the Darius Rucker concert the weekend after the exam. And of course, I will be going for a run; time to get the half marathon training started!

Give Big: Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation

Firm News & Eventson July 2nd, 2014No Comments

Over the weekend, the Virginia office volunteered at the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation adoption event in Alexandria, VA. The Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCFR) rescues abandoned or displaced dogs and cats from the threat of euthanasia in over-crowded shelters or other at-risk situations and places them for adoption into loving homes. All animals in the care of LDCRF are spayed or neutered and fully vaccinated prior to adoption and any special medical needs are addressed. Each weekend, an army of volunteers mobilizes to run ten adoption events in the Metro-DC area at PetSmart and PetCo stores. Each volunteer is given a dog to bond with for a few hours with the hopes of finding them a forever home. Our team spent time with eight different dogs, one of which found a home by the end of the day!

Loveit and Puppy

Lauren V. with a Great Pyrenees puppy. She might be small now but she will grow to be 70-100 pounds!

Summar and Hope

Summar bonding with Hope, a Collie/Sheppard blend who was very sweet and friendly.

Group Shot GOOD

Will, Lauren V., Summar, Cristin, Maegan, and Yusuf

Crisin and Yusuf

Cristin & Yusuf with Aunt Bee and Edgar

Cristin walking Bee

Cristin walking Aunt Bee around the store.

Yusuf and Edgar

Yusuf bonding with Edgar, a friendly Border Collie blend.

Summar and Will

Will and Summar with Jupiter and Hope.

Aunt Bee and Edgar

Aunt Bee and Edgar taking a break.

Elissa Receives GGU’s Distinguished Adjunct Professor Award

Firm News & Eventson July 2nd, 2014No Comments

On Friday, June 20, 2014 , Golden Gate University (GGU), hosted its annual Adjunct Faculty Recognition Event at the Delancey Street Restaurant in San Francisco.

“Every year, we honor our adjunct faculty for their dedication and commitment to educating our students. As practicing professionals, they bring their firsthand experiences and knowledge to the classroom, incorporating cutting-edge techniques from the business and legal communities.

Congratulations to the 2014 Distinguished Adjunct Professors:
Elissa Buie, Ageno School of Business
Anthony Kim, Braden School of Taxation
Kenneth Kurtz, School of Accounting
Lori Ostlund, PLUS Program
Chris Clark, Undergraduate Programs”

According to the Golden Gate University faculty guide, an appointment as Distinguished Adjunct Professor is granted to those…

“…individuals so accomplished that their association with GGU substantially enhances its standing as an institution of higher education, and/or individuals whose exemplary non-instructional service to GGU and outstanding performance as teachers over a substantial period of time compel this recognition. The rank is not intended as a means simply for acknowledging longevity of service or the satisfaction of normal performance expectations.”


See more photos on Golden Gate University’s Facebook page

“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