Yeske Buie’s Staff Retreat: Storytelling, Visioning, and Focusing

Firm News & Eventson December 1st, 2016No Comments

Just before the Thanksgiving Holiday, the entire Yeske Buie team came together in San Francisco for an inspiring staff retreat. While the retreat serves as a great opportunity to step away from the day to day office routine, the team spends each day working on various exercises related to personal, professional, and company growth. The themes of this year’s retreat included storytelling, focusing on “just one thing”, and visioning for the firm.

The word cloud pictured here summarizes the most common words expressed by the team as they reflected on the staff retreat. The larger the word, the more times it was shared in our reflections.

The word cloud pictured here summarizes the most common words expressed by the team as they reflected on the staff retreat. The larger the word, the more times it was shared in our reflections.

To practice storytelling, the team was challenged to share a personal story related to their favorite quote, as well as a story about Yeske Buie that reflects our values and worldviews. The exercise produced stories that were vulnerable, powerful, and inspiring. Several team members felt that this was the most impactful exercise of the retreat. Camille shared, “I loved our work on story telling!  Not only did it give me the opportunity to sharpen my skills, but it created the space for us to connect and understand each other on a deeper level.” Similarly, Cristin echoed, “I really enjoyed the practicing of our story telling muscles. It is something that translates into all aspects of our lives.”

Following these exercises, the team focused on Gary Keller’s idea of just one thing and how this concept translates into our day-to-day work for our Clients. To begin practicing this idea, the team was asked to identify one thing they could do in their lives that would make everything else easier or unnecessary. Once identified, the team had a discussion to brainstorm how we could think, plan, and do each “thing”. The result for many team members was actionable steps towards changing a behavior that will make their lives easier. After the retreat, Mila shared her excitement in implementing this training stating, “This is not just a tool that I can use to better my productivity within Yeske Buie, but is a tool that I can actually apply to every aspect of life.” Zach also appreciated how, “Our focus on ‘one thing’ training helped us determine the best way to tackle lofty goals, one step at time. We did these exercises for both personal and professional goals, and I think we all left with some new ideas on how to best achieve them.” Also citing this exercise as the most impactful for her, Lauren G. shared how she is acting on her one thing: “It’s amazing how powerful one small change today can be. For example, my ‘Just One Thing’ would be if I could get out of bed at my very first alarm early in the morning. When I do that, I’m extremely more likely to get my workout in, which leads to a day of being alert and paying attention and a day full of healthier choices.”

The final exercises of the retreat focused on visioning short-term and long-term goals at Yeske Buie and 2017 initiatives we can pursue to help the team grow individually and collectively towards these goals. New Financial Planning Resident, Ryan, identified these exercises as his favorite, sharing “My biggest take away is being given the opportunity to have a direct impact on the internal development of Yeske Buie. That is not something you see at other companies and is just another reason why I enjoy working here!” Likewise, Victoria recognized that these exercises give her, “a clearer understanding of Dave and Elissa’s vision for the firm moving forward to the next decade and beyond.”

For others on the team, the most significant takeaways and appreciations for the retreat were “side effects” of the exercises themselves. Lauren V. noted, “My favorite part of the retreat was the team building that occurred as a result of the vulnerability, commitment, enthusiasm, and open-mindedness that every member of the team brought with them to the retreat.” With similar sentiments, Yusuf shared, “While the work to strengthen our team never ends, it was refreshing and encouraging to hear several members of the team appreciating how much they’ve learned from other members, irrespective of seniority or specialization.” Finally, two additional appreciations share how the retreat benefited staff members personally. Russell shared that, “Retreat is always a great opportunity to reorient myself and stay grounded,” while Dorothy said, “This past retreat felt special because of some of the personal challenges that I’ve been experiencing. Being part of the Yeske Buie family really provided a lot of emotional support.”

We hope you  enjoy the following photos from our week together!

The team kicked off the retreat with reflective song, a rejuvenating meditation, and a story telling exercise featuring our favorite quotes.

The team kicked off the retreat with reflective song, a rejuvenating meditation, and a story telling exercise featuring our favorite quotes.

After completing an exercise to determine our personal “One Thing” we could do that would make everything else easier, the team worked to identify “One Thing” we could do internally at Yeske Buie that would make everything else easier. We began this process by participating in a Knowledge Café exercise where we sat one-on-one which nearly every team member to brainstorm our ides.

After completing an exercise to determine our personal “One Thing” we could do that would make everything else easier, the team worked to identify “One Thing” we could do internally at Yeske Buie that would make everything else easier. We began this process by participating in a Knowledge Café exercise where we sat one-on-one which nearly every team member to brainstorm our ides.

The Knowledge Café exercise lead the team to a stimulating discussion about initiatives we can work on next year for overall company and individual development.

The Knowledge Café exercise lead the team to a stimulating discussion about initiatives we can work on next year for overall company and individual development.

To compliment the challenging retreat work, Elissa and Dave generously treated the staff to a delicious dinner and a stunning show…

To complement the challenging retreat work, Elissa and Dave generously treated the staff to a delicious dinner and a stunning show…

The entire team enjoyed a brilliant showing of the award-winning musical The Lion King at the Orpheum Theatre!

The entire team enjoyed a brilliant showing of the award-winning musical The Lion King at the Orpheum Theater!

Following the staff retreat, the team returned to the office for our Client Open House. Pictured here are Camille Bouvet, Russell Kroeger, and Yusuf Abugideiri just before the event began.

Following the staff retreat, the team returned to the office for our Client Open House. Pictured here are Camille Bouvet, Russell Kroeger, and Yusuf Abugideiri just before the event began.

This year’s event included appetizers from Chef Sean Andrade, several of Elissa and Dave’s favorite wines, live music by Bay Area Strings, and a collection of some of our Where in the World is the Live Big Glass? photos. The event was enjoyable for all and was a great way to end a successful staff retreat.

This year’s event included appetizers from Chef Sean Andrade, several of Elissa and Dave’s favorite wines, live music by Bay Area Strings, and a collection of some of our Where in the World is the Live Big Glass? photos. The event was enjoyable for all and was a great way to end a successful staff retreat.

An Accomplishment Deserving Acknowledgment

Firm News & Eventson December 1st, 2016No Comments

Bennedsen_9665Yeske Buie would like to recognize Zachary Bennedsen, Financial Planning Resident in our San Francisco office, for his recent success in passing the CFP® Exam! Zach dedicated hundreds of hours to studying for the exam, beginning his preparation in August and supplementing his book work with an intensive live review course in October. After having some time to reflect on his success, Zach said, “It feels great to have the weight of studying off my shoulders, and I am excited to have reached this milestone”.

This milestone is one of three requirements needed to earn the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM designation. Zach fulfilled the education requirement this past May when he graduated from Virginia Tech’s CFP® Certification Education Track. With both of these requirements behind him, Zach will be focusing on the final experience requirement where he must obtain two years of supervised professional experience related to the financial planning process. As a Financial Planning Resident, Zach will fulfill this requirement by working 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. Upon his graduation from our Financial Planning Resident Program, Zach will have the experience necessary to qualify to be a CFP® Licensee. In the meantime, Zach says, “After a quick victory lap, I hope to devote some of my newfound free time to other professional pursuits, as there is always more to learn.”

Learn more about what it takes to earn the CFP® Certification.

Congratulations, Lauren and Eli!

Firm News & Eventson November 3rd, 2016No Comments

lauren-and-eli-2Lauren Vitt and her high school sweetheart, Eli Mireles, were married on Saturday, October 29th in their hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With family and friends from around the county including several members of the Yeske Buie team, Lauren and Eli enjoyed a beautiful ceremony and a fun-filled reception as they celebrated their first day as husband and wife. The reception was held at the National Aviary in downtown Pittsburgh which meant that in addition to the typical wedding traditions, Lauren and Eli had over 150 species of birds entertaining their guests! We hope you enjoy the following pictures of the joyful newlyweds and their unique, avian guest.

Lauren and Eli walk through a bubble celebration as they're officially announced as husband and wife.

Lauren and Eli walk through a bubble celebration as they’re officially announced as husband and wife.

Lauren, Eli, and their Bridal Party celebrate the marriage in downtown Pittsburgh.

Lauren, Eli, and their Bridal Party celebrate the marriage in downtown Pittsburgh.

Lauren and Eli had an unusual wedding guest - a penguin named Goldie! As Pittsburgh Penguin fans, the couple felt Goldie was the perfect addition.

Lauren and Eli had an unusual wedding guest – a penguin named Goldie! As Pittsburgh Penguin fans, the couple felt Goldie was the perfect addition.

Lauren and Eli enjoy their first dance under the Atrium at the National Aviary.

Lauren and Eli enjoy their first dance under the Atrium at the National Aviary.

Lauren and Eli cut into their delicious cake - while Goldie had already left the party, two penguin cake toppers greeted the couple, instead.

Lauren and Eli cut into their delicious cake – while Goldie had already left the party, two penguin cake toppers greeted the couple, instead.

Lauren and Eli were so grateful to have her Yeske Buie team members celebrate with them.

Lauren and Eli were so grateful to have her Yeske Buie team members celebrate with them.

Everyone at the party, young and old, enjoyed dancing throughout the night.

Everyone at the party, young and old, enjoyed dancing throughout the night.

To her great surprise, Lauren returned to the office to find a wonderfully decorated space; the incredible support of the Yeske Buie team put a huge smile on her face!

To her great surprise, Lauren returned to the office to find a wonderfully decorated space; the incredible support of the Yeske Buie team put a huge smile on her face!

Yeske Buie Fall 2016 Open House in San Francisco

Firm News & Eventson October 19th, 2016No Comments
Yeske Buie Fall 2016 Open House in our San Francisco Office

TYPEDate: Thursday, November 17th

Time: 4:30 – 6:30pmTYPE

Please send your RSVP to Cristin@YeBu.com.

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Appetizers and Sweet Treats from Chef Sean

Chef Sean Andrade is the Executive Chef and owner of AWG Private Chefs. Chef Sean and his partner are two of seven Certified Master Chefs in California, and two of 170 Certified Master Chefs in the world! Together, the chefs at AWG have cooked for Fortune 500 executives, heads of state both foreign and domestic, celebrities including Food Network Star Tyler Florence, and their community. Their team of chefs have over 100 years of experience in the industry and are dedicated to providing the highest quality experience for all of their clients. Chef Sean will be preparing the following menu for our Open House event:

  • Ahi Tuna Poke Mini Martinis: Marinated Ahi Tuna, scallions, sesame oil, soy sauce, sweet Maui onion, sesame seeds, sriracha, served in a mini martini glass
  • Mini Crab Louie: Jumbo lump crab, organic seasonal vegetables, tossed in a light vinaigrette
  • Fire Roasted Pepper Humus Cup: Fire roasted red pepper humus, crudite for dipping in hummus
  • Thai Style Chicken Satay: Free range chicken, roasted, drizzled with a spicy peanut sauce
  • Cucumber “Chips” with Herbed Chevre: Organic cucumber tomato, herbed goat cheese, aged balsamic drizzle
  • Vietnamese Shrimp Fresh Rolls: Shrimp, cucumber, red bell pepper, mint, cilantro, rice noodles, wrapped in rice paper, sweet & spicy dipping sauce
  • Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bites: Dark chocolate cheesecake, graham cracker crust, drizzled with salted caramel
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Entertainment by Bay Area Strings


musicians-at-client-event-copyJen Mathers, Bay Area Strings manager, is a cellist and pianist who has played in orchestras and chamber music ensembles for over 20 years, including at the Kennedy Center. She is currently principal cellist for Symphony Parassus in San Francisco and the Solano Symphony, and has performed professionally with many other orchestras such as the Napa Valley Symphony, Livermore Valley Opera, Berkely Community Chorus & Orchestra, Viva la Musica, and Bay Area Classical Harmonies. Check out their website for audio samples and more!

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Yeske Buie Souvenir

WWLBG - COMPRESSEDOur Live Big glasses have become quite popular as they continue to travel around the country and around the world as part of our  “Where in the World is the Live Big Glass?” campaign. We have received over fifty photos of individuals living big with the Live Big glass in hand; some have taken the glass to far away lands and some have been enjoying the glass at home highlighting their personal hobbies and interests. At our Open House, we will have the Live Big glasses on hand for attendees to take home which we hope you will use to add to our gallery of those enjoying their glasses.

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Featured Wines from Elissa and Dave’s Favorite Wineries

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Iron Horse Wedding CuvéeIron Horse Classic Vintage BrutIron Horse Russian Cuvee Iron Horse Ocean ReserveIron Horse Wedding Cuvée – Iron Horse is best known for this cuvée. Fresh and festive, this bubbly is built for a party!

Iron Horse Russian Cuvée – This cuvée was first produced for the historic Reagan Gorbachev Summit Meetings, ending the Cold War. This is the richest of Iron Horse’s Sparklings and has been served at the White House for five consecutive Presidential Commemorates.

Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut – The Classic Vintage Brut is a traditional blend of estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, aged four plus years en tirage. Perfectly named, it is both classic and vintage in every sense of the word; a sleek and impeccably focused bubbly, that offers a crisp, laser like finish.

Iron Horse Ocean Reserve – This cuvée was created to celebrate the 125th anniversary of National Geographic and $4 from the sale of each bottle will be donated to create marine protected areas and reduce overfishing around the world.

Iron Horse UnOaked Chardonnay – With no oak, this Chardonnay stars pure pineapple, orange, green apple, lime, and tropical fruit flavors, brightened with crisp acidity. This wine is a beautiful, pure expression of Green Valley, where Iron Horse is located, in the coolest, foggiest reach of the Russian River Valley.

DeLoach Forgotten Vines Zinfandel – San Francisco firefighter Cecil DeLoach spearheaded Pinot Noir wine growing in the Russian River Valley in the early 1970s. After the Boisset Family from Burgundy, France assumed ownership in the early 2000s, they have since enhanced the health of the land and the quality of the wine by incorporating eco-friendly farming practices through Biodynamic winemaking. The Forgotten Vines blend is comprised of several exemplary mature vineyards first planted in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the warmer reaches of the region.

Merry Edwards Sauvignon BlacMerry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot NoirDeLoach Forgotten Vines ZinfandelIron Horse Unoaked Chardonnay (2)Merry Edwards Russian River Valley Pinot Noir – It’s been said that in many ways, Merry Edwards is like her wines – complex, balanced, and memorable. An intricate blend of artistic vision, scientific training, spirit and grace, she leaves a lasting impression. This wine combines grapes from six different vineyards located across the range of Russian River Valley.

Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc – In the glass, the wine is mouthwatering, showing off floral notes of jasmine, orange blossoms and lemon verbena. This delicate perfume is complemented by rich citrus tones of lime zest, tangerine and mandarin orange. White peach and ripe pear along with tropical accents of pineapple, lycheé and guava round out the aromatic profile. A hint of minerality, along with a bit of exotic barrel spice — cumin and coriander — add even more intrigue.

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Meet the Team: Ryan Klemm

Firm News & Eventson October 19th, 2016No Comments

Klemm_9696Yeske Buie is pleased to have Ryan Klemm join our team as a Financial Planning Resident. Ryan began his three-year residency with us in July, embracing Yeske Buie’s boot camp training first in Virginia and then in San Francisco. Born and raised in the DC Metro area, Ryan is settling in well to our Vienna, Virginia office. Ryan earned an honors B.S. in Finance, cum laude, in Virginia Tech’s CFP® Certification Education Track. He was an active member of Virginia Tech’s FPA® student chapter and spent his final two collegiate summers in financial planning internships where he deepened his understanding of the financial planning profession in preparation for his career. To help you learn more about Ryan, we offer Meet the Team: Ryan Klemm where he shares insights into his time at Yeske Buie thus far and some goals he has as a Financial Planning Resident.

In your role as Financial Planning Resident, how do you assist Yeske Buie’s Clients? What has been your favorite project at Yeske Buie thus far?

As a Financial Planning Resident, I assist the Financial Planning team by catering to any request and needs that arise for our Clients. I also provide any support needed by my fellow Yeske Buie teammates to allow us to provide the best service to our Clients. My favorite project that I have worked on thus far has been tax projections for Clients. It is fun and systematic to create projections based on historical data; it is like piecing together all the different pieces of a puzzle and figuring out how they work together to provide an accurate projection. I find it very interesting.

As a Financial Planning Resident, what impact do you hope to have on our Clients and our work? What unique strengths do you add to the team?

2I hope to leave the impact that, although I am a “temporary” resident, I am fully committed to Yeske Buie’s Clients and staff and I developed meaningful relationships and provided exceptional work. It is my desire to escalate the standard to which future residents will hold themselves. I believe I add a driven work ethic in combination with a creative approach to strategy that allows my outputs to achieve the quality that our Clients deserve.

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

I want to use my time at Yeske Buie to absorb all that I can from the people within the profession who are held in high regard to allow me to have the tools to provide advice to Clients for both financial and personal needs. I hope that my time allows me to take the skill sets I’ve learned through school and previous experiences to elevate my overall knowledge and application of financial planning. Lastly, I want to continue building upon the Residency Program by adding input and value in ways that will benefit those who come after me.

What Yeske Buie worldview aligns with you most and why?

3I would say the Yeske Buie worldview that aligns with me most currently is, Learn Big. Even with past experiences to lean upon, every day is a new learning opportunity and I try to take advantage of that. I am currently learning about the foundations of Yeske Buie, how to be an exceptional Financial Planning Resident, how to go above and beyond to serve our Clients and how to actually live in the real world. As every new learning opportunity presents itself, a new experience follows and it has allowed me to grow into my role at Yeske Buie as well as my role in my individual life.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?

I am an avid follower of all DC sport and with every team currently playing, a large portion of my time includes watching and going to their sporting events with friends and family. I thoroughly enjoy being outside and exploring the different areas surrounding me and am constantly traveling to see what is out there through activities such as hiking, boating and camping. I enjoy maintaining a healthy lifestyle and am currently focusing on running race events with my mom. Reading has always been an outside interest of mine and I am in the process of checking off my ever-increasing list of books to read.

What is one of your Live Big goals?1

 I want to see all 7 “new wonders of the world” as well as the Great Pyramid of Giza being the sole remaining “old wonders of the world” and am currently sitting at one! (The colosseum). The existence of this goal will also achieve my goal of increased world travel and exposure to the many cultures in existence across our planet. I find it fascinating to have these structures still in existence and learning about the significance of each one.

Meet the Team: Zach Bennedsen

Firm News & Eventson September 21st, 2016No Comments

Bennedsen_9665Yeske Buie is pleased to have Zach Bennedsen join our team as a Financial Planning Resident. Zach started with the team in July and has been going through Yeske Buie’s intensive training program nicknamed, Boot Camp. The emphasis on hard work is nothing new to Zach who was an active student at Virginia Tech. Zach graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Finance where he completed the CFP® Certification Education Track and also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. He served as Vice President of the University’s FPA Chapter in his senior year and was a member of the Spanish Honor Society. Prior to Yeske Buie, Zach served as an intern at SageBroadview Financial Planning in Morristown, New Jersey. His brief stay affirmed his love for financial planning and assured him he had found the right profession. He is captivated by the unique blend of personal skills and technical knowledge that financial planning requires. In this edition of Meet the Team, Zach shares moments from his time at Yeske Buie thus far as well as some goals he has as a Financial Planning Resident.

In your role as Financial Planning Resident, how do you assist Yeske Buie’s Clients?

As a Financial Planning Resident at Yeske Buie, my main role is to act as support for the rest of the Financial Planning team. I help create many of the reports that Clients see on their private pages, take notes during meetings, and generally help the team ensure the Client’s financial planning needs are met.

What has been the most impactful project you’ve accomplished or worked on thus far?

zach-enjoys-a-hike-in-southwestern-virginiaWith the departure of Jen Hicks, the addition of two new residents, and Lauren Grove’s move to the San Francisco office, Yeske Buie had to shuffle a lot of responsibilities around in the past few months. I worked on a project that helped us efficiently reassign this work based on the newest iteration of our team so we can be efficient in serving our Clients. We initially thought this project would take more than a week to complete, but I was able to manipulate excel in such a way that the whole project took a fraction of the time expected. I was particularly proud of my work on this project, as no one else on the team had come up with the idea I used to streamline our process. In the future, I hope to find more opportunities to make Yeske Buie more efficient in serving our Clients.

What aspect of Financial Planning intrigues you the most and why?

For me, it’s the blend of technical skills and interpersonal skills that are required to be a great Financial Planner. You need to be a problem solver while never forgetting that those problems belong to actual people. Being able to address both sides of this coin is what really intrigues me about the profession. At Yeske Buie, I think we do a great job at being aware of this. When you combine an emphasis on Evidence Based Financial Planning® with a worldview like Client Big, you are naturally and elegantly mixing the technical with the interpersonal.

What is your first memory of Financial Planning?

zach-and-his-parents-celebrate-his-graduation-from-virginia-techWhat first comes to mind is a Money Quotient exercise I recently completed, which asked about my first money memory. When I was around eight years old, I began saving for an electric guitar. After a couple months of saving, I grew impatient and decided to buy a different, cheaper guitar. This guitar turned out to be of . . . subpar quality, to put it nicely. I had to start saving all over again, and eventually purchased the guitar I had originally wanted. Through this experience I learned the value of saving towards your goals. That value doesn’t really change whether the thing you’re saving for is a guitar or your retirement nest egg. It’s all about forgoing present consumption for future reward.

What Yeske Buie worldview aligns with you most and why?

Currently, I have to go with Learn Big. Right now in my new role as a Financial Planning Resident at Yeske Buie, I am in a constant state of learning. Between training sessions, studying for the CFP® Exam, and adjusting to life in a new city, I’m being hit with information on all fronts. Not a day goes by where I don’t leave the office with a little more knowledge than I came in with.

What impact do you hope to make at Yeske Buie and in the Financial Planning profession?

zach-at-lake-geneva-switzerland-during-his-study-abroadI hope to graduate from Yeske Buie and leave behind a well-established Residency Program. While the program already has a strong base, it is still growing and changing. I am excited about the opportunity to help shape the program for future residents. In particular, I am excited about helping the next batch of residents grow. Russell, Cody, and Camille have been amazing resources thus far, and I hope to pay forward all of their help. As for myself as a professional, I hope that my time here prepares me for my next steps as a Financial Planner – whatever those might be!  

What is one of your Live Big® goals?

Like many of the other members of the Yeske Buie staff, I absolutely love to travel. One of my Live Big goals is to visit every continent, save Antarctica. So far, I’m only at two (North America and Europe) but I’m hoping to travel to Chile or Argentina in the next couple of years. Additionally, I’d love to take a road trip across the United States, as there is so much of our country that I have yet to see.

Meet the Team: Mila Lavoie

Firm News & Eventson September 8th, 2016No Comments

Lavoie_9724Mila Lavoie joined the Yeske Buie team at the end of June as Project Administrator in our San Francisco office. As Project Administrator, Mila oversees a variety of internal projects and provides support to our growing team in pursuit of our goals. Prior to joining Yeske Buie, Mila worked for Standard Pacific Capital LLC as a Research Assistant to multiple investment analysts. Mila is passionate about being her best self at work every day to provide exquisite service to our team and our Clients. In this edition of Meet the Team, Mila shares the unique strengths she adds to the team and how she has connected with the Yeske Buie culture in her first few months with the team.

In your role as Project Administrator, how do you assist Yeske Buie’s Clients?

As Project Administrator, I assist our Clients on the backend by making sure things in the firm run smoothly. One project I enjoy helping with is managing our ticket program. I help to ensure everyone who wants to go to a game gets to and that the tickets are received on time. I also help greet Clients and make sure they feel comfortable in the office. If a Client calls in, I help answer their question to the best of my ability or help direct them to someone who can answer their question. I also support Elissa and Dave in making sure they have all of the tools they need so that they may assist our Clients on the financial side of things.

What would you say are some of your biggest strengths in your role as Project Administrator?

I would say that my organization and the way that I choose to tackle things is one of my biggest strengths. My previous job was at a hedge fund company which is a very fast paced industry as you’re always racing the market. From this, I learned to have the mentality to work efficiently so no one is waiting for you. Also from my background in being a dancer, I want to be my best all the time. As a dancer, you never think, “no, I’ll wait to practice”. Rather, you are constantly improving to be your best. This is a mentality that I bring to Yeske Buie which encourages me to get my work done to the best of my ability.

What has surprised you most about working with Yeske Buie?

ml-interview_ml-and-casee-jones-on-a-hike-behind-our-houseIn my first few months at Yeske Buie, the training and the communication at the firm have surprised me the most – and both of those I am in love with! The training is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been and it is similar to teaching ballet to a student: instead of a syllabus, there is a schedule and there is no waste of time because everything has been laid out perfectly. I’ve also loved how everyone has been so available. Also, the communication that goes on internally between employees and externally to Clients is really important. I like that the firm has an open line of communication regarding what I can do better and what I’m doing well. I had what I thought was good communication prior to joining the team and coming to Yeske Buie, I realize this is what communication should be. I love that the team works on communication intentionally and it happened to be something I was trying to work on actively in my personal life. Both the training and the communication give me the tools to be successful in the office, but they can also be applied at home, as well.

What do you think those outside of Yeske Buie should know about the firm?

I feel that people outside of Yeske Buie should know about how serious we are about the way that we take care of our Clients and the way that we serve them. We value having a genuine relationship with our Clients and I feel that makes the Client feel very special. We emphasize the little things that remind Clients how much we know about them or want to know about them. We approach our work in a way that’s not just giving a Client financial advice, but rather we have a relationship. And our goal is for our Client to think they’re not just paying us to do something for them but we hope they know we care about them. Similarly, the relationships between individuals in the firm are just as meaningful as the relationships with our Clients. Overall, we place a lot of value on genuine relationships in the firm.

What Yeske Buie worldview resonates with you most and why?

ml-interview_ml-and-casee-jones-under-santa-monica-pierHonestly, they all resonate with me because I think they’re all great things to live by. I feel that learning is important, servicing our Clients and anyone you care about is important, and Being Big and being the best version of yourself is important. The one worldview I strive towards aligning with more is Live Big. Being a young adult in the Bay Area, everything is quite expensive and the work environment is go-go-go which means there’s not as much time to Live Big and achieve my personal goals like traveling and remodeling. As I strive towards living big, I have a “vision board” in my head that includes being a mom, travelling and getting around South America and Europe, and more! I love that Yeske Buie encourages people to Live Big and I hope to embody that and achieve my goals.

What is one of your Live Big® goals?

My primary Live Big® goal is to travel. I traveled a lot across the United States and Canada for dance which was fun, but when you’re dancing, you’re also working 12 hours a day so you don’t have time to spend touring the cities. Internationally, I want to travel up and down both coasts of South America to experience all of the different cultures, the food, and learn about the way people live. And eventually, I hope to travel over to Europe – I don’t have a specific list of countries I want to see, I just want to see all of them!

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?

When I’m not working, I love being outdoors and outside of the city of San Francisco. My favorite place to go is the beach – this summer alone I’ve gone 15-20 times and you can always find me in the water no matter if it’s cold or hot. I also love spending time with my dog, Casee Jones, who’s always with me. Recently, I’ve enjoyed being inside and working on a remodel for the in-law unit at my home which has taken a lot more time than I expected! For the past month, I’ve spent more time inside with paint chips and trips to Home Depot and Ikea than outside. In your head, you plan to do one section and complete it quickly but it’s much more than that. However, the work is absolutely worth it because you make your space feel like your home.

My Voice is My Password

Firm News & Eventson August 23rd, 2016No Comments

Written By: Lauren Vitt, RP®

Password SecuritySchwab has recently introduced a new voice ID service to verify your identity when using Schwab’s automated phone service or speaking with a Schwab financial professional. Replacing PINs and personal questions, the new service uses your voice as a secure password to direct you to an agent. Just like your fingerprint, your voice has unique characteristics including sound, pattern, pitch, rhythm, accent, and more. As a result, it is nearly impossible to replicate someone’s voice, making voice ID a very secure method of personal identification.

The digital phrase to identify yourself is simple: “At Schwab, my voice is my password”. Should you choose to enroll your accounts, Schwab will store a digital recording of your voice using their exclusive software. The software reviews dozens of voice characteristics to accurately identify yourself – even if you have a cold! – and will only work with Schwab’s system. In the rare event that you ran into problems with the voice ID service, Schwab can always authenticate you with other security methods.

To enroll your accounts with Schwab’s voice ID service, simply follow the four easy steps below.

  1. Call 800-515-2157 to begin the process.
  2. You will be asked to repeat the phrase “At Schwab, my voice is my password” several times with the automated phone system.
  3. After recording, you will speak with a Schwab financial professional to verify your identity.
  4. Upon completion of the call, activate your voice ID on schwab.com/voiceID

As always, the Yeske Buie team is always available to answer questions or assist in any way possible; please don’t hesitate to contact us!

The Best of Far West

Financial Planning, Firm News & Eventson August 23rd, 2016No Comments

Written By: Zach Bennedsen and Ryan Klemm

As has become an annual event, the Yeske Buie Financial Planning Team (Dave Yeske, Elissa Buie, Yusuf AbugideiriJennifer Hicks, Lauren Grove, Russell Kroeger, Camille Bouvet, Cody Daniels, Zach Bennedsen, and Ryan Klemm) once again attended the Far West Roundup in Santa Cruz, California. At Far West Roundup, some of the brightest minds in the profession meet up on the campus of UC Santa Cruz every year to discuss any and all topics related to financial planning. 

2016-08-13 FWR Group (002)For the seventh time, Dave Yeske served as sheriff for the weekend. Normally, the sheriff is charged with opening up the conference by posing a question to all attendees. However, this duty had to be passed off due to some unfortunate automotive problems. Not to be slowed down, Dave communicated his question to the attendees remotely (aren’t cell phones great?) and the rest of us tried to tackle the question of how to get millennials involved in the planning profession. While the sheriff’s question resonated with the attendees throughout the weekend, the individual sessions covered a variety of topics and the learnings will remain for months to come. Below we share a summary of these sessions and the team’s thoughts on their practical applications.

Things My Mother (Nor Anyone Else) Never Told Me About Estate Planning – by Ray Sheffield

Ray SheffieldRay provided insight into the extremely complicated process known as estate planning. He explored alternatives to trust structure that will ultimately simplify the trust itself while being very     beneficial to the Client. He touched on strategies that advisors currently use that have become outdated, and substituted options to provide value. The Yeske Buie financial planning team found Ray’s educational presentation very informative as we are constantly striving to add the most value to our Clients’ estate planning. Ryan Klemm provided a statement regarding what he took away from the presentation: “I think educational presentations like this are extremely important to the thoroughness of continuing education, especially with offices on opposite coasts, in determining the best planning strategies that can add value to Clients no matter where they reside.”

Whoever says he knows all that one needs to know about ____ in China is either a fool or a liar – by Tim Kochis

2016-08-12 FWR Tim KochisDid you know that China has more CFP® Certificants than any other country in the world? Or that the household savings rate in China (about 50%) blows away the savings rate in the United States? If you didn’t, you’re certainly not alone. Tim Kochis’ presentation on China’s financial future and past opened eyes for everyone in the room. The owner of one such set of eyes was Yusuf Abugideiri, who said, “It was refreshing to listen to Tim’s description of China’s history and see how he used that to frame the discussion about what to expect from the Chinese economy over the next decade or two. His perspective, as someone who has traveled to the country over 30 times in his life, was insightful and helped me reframe my understanding of how their economy is evolving.”

CFPB: An In-Depth Look at Advocacy, Services and Resources – by Pam McClelland

Pam McCellandPam’s presentation stressed the importance of financial protection in today’s reliance on technology as well as the education that advisors are able to provide to enhance their Clients’ safety. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s focus is to establish an easy and effective way to report fraud or other deceptive financial acts that occur in the Client’s life and to provide action to resolve the issue and make sure steps have been implemented for it not to happen again. The CFPB achieves action through the process of empowerment, enforcement and education. Pam shared in-depth diagrams to show the different bureaus and advocacy organizations that work tirelessly to fight against financial breach and informed us of the framework that acts as a regulatory piece to the industry itself. Jennifer Hicks provided a comment on what the presentation meant to her: “While I enjoyed all the sessions at Far West Roundup, Pam McClelland’s session about the Consumer Federal Protection Bureau was one of my most favorite. She explained the tools, resources and initiatives that the CFPB is pursuing, which was not only inspiring, but also relevant to the work I have done for Financial Planning Days.”

Become a Superhuman Financial Planner: Strengthen Your ESP and Fight off Your Personal Kryptonite – by Amy Mullen

2016-08-12 FWR Amy MullenDuring Amy Mullen’s presentation, she discussed our ability to frame financial decisions and clear the path for Clients to move forward confidently. She addressed the value of understanding, from the Client’s perspective, the questions “where are you now? Where do you want to be? And what are you willing to do to get there?” – knowing that trade-offs are inherent in every actionable decision. Variations of this quote float around, but it was especially powerful for our team during this Far West Roundup because it represented a challenge for our individual and professional development as we aspire to add value to our Clients and the financial planning profession. It presents the question, as a financial planner, how are we able to add value at this time? What contribution do we wish to make in the future? And what effort is necessary to achieve that dream? Financial Planning Team member, Russell Kroeger, provided a truly representative quote when sharing, “Opportunities like Roundup are always empowering and provide experiences that help our team personify our BIGS (worldviews).

Life Insurance as an Asset Class? – by Richard Weber

Dick WeberEver wonder how your life insurance agent comes up with a price for your policies? No? Well that’s ok, because Dick Weber is wondering for you. As an insurance fiduciary, Dick helps Clients find the best insurance solutions for their goals, and makes no commission in the process. Very astutely, Dick pointed out that when a Client cannot otherwise differentiate value in a product, he or she defaults to making a choice based on price. Dick shared his insights into how someone can evaluate the details of their insurance policy, and walk away feeling good about their choice.

Planning for Cross Border Families –The U.S. Doesn’t Always Play Nice! – by Andrew Fisher

2016-08-13 FWR Andrew FisherIt has never been easier to live a global life, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually easy. Particularly difficult is the prospect of managing your financial life across multiple countries. From taxes to retirement accounts to real estate, having border-spanning financial obligations is the reality for many. Andrew Fisher eloquently described some of the challenges this entails, and offered up solutions that he employs. Andrew warned that attendees might leave the session with more questions than they had when they started, and this was certainly the case for many. However, the questions spawned allowed advisors to have more intelligent conversations about the unique situations that cross border families face.

From Personality to Saving Behavior: Bridging the Savings Gap – by Sarah Asebedo

Sarah AsebedoIt was great to see Sarah present at Far West Roundup, as she was a professor for a few of our Residents! Sarah explored the discussion between the association of personality and the financial habits that an individual exhibits. As the title of the presentation states, she “bridged the gap” between emotion and money. The main take-away from the presentation was the importance of how an advisor, using a Client’s connection between emotion and money, can utilize their strengths as well as recognize their weaknesses and in return provide an opportunity for growth. Sarah is breaking into “uncharted waters” with her research and it was very rewarding to see the impact that positive psychology and behavioral traits can have on a Client’s financial well-being. Camille Bouvet found the presentation exceptionally interesting and provided a thought: “Not only was her research eye-opening and applicable to everyone saving for retirement, but as my former college professor, Dr. Asebedo inspired me to continue pushing the envelope and seeking out research opportunities in the evolving financial planning field.”

Financial Planning in the Midst of Divorce – by Mark Prendergast

2016-08-13 FWR Mark PrendergastMark’s presentation stressed the importance of a financial advisor’s role during the divorce process. He explained the thoroughness needed to allow Clients to focus on the emotional situation at hand, knowing that the stress of finances are being taken care of. This is a situation where the relationship that exists between an advisor and their Client is tested and Mark provided advice on how advisors can lessen some of the burden that is inherent through a divorce. Through an interactive discussion with the conference attendees, Mark stressed the importance that an advisor has the ability to add value to both husband and wife without a conflict of interest and how to do so. Mark has created a niche in the financial planning industry through specializing in divorce planning and each team member walked away with valuable information.

Cultural Intelligence: Different Values & Behaviors in Financial Planning – by Stephanie Lee

Stephanie LeeAfter multiple sessions that nodded towards the global nature of our profession, Stephanie addressed that nature head on. In a light-hearted but very informative session, Stephanie spoke on some of the differences that make every culture so unique and wonderful. The thorn to this rose is that when we interact with someone from another culture, we may not be effective communicators. Worse yet, we may say or do something that is unintentionally offensive! Stephanie shared communicative idiosyncrasies from around the globe, highlighting some of the cross-cultural faux pas one should try to avoid. Cody Daniels succinctly summed up how this presentation tied into financial planning, stating “As a financial planner you have the opportunity to work with Clients of various backgrounds and cultures. . . . This presentation was interesting to me because it helped me understand in better detail the “cultural themes” that every community has. Knowing these themes allows advisors to better communicate with their Clients and implement the financial plan.”

While the team has since returned to their respective offices, the knowledge gained during our weekend in Santa Cruz will remain. We look forward to using some of the ideas discussed to help better serve all of our Clients.

Welcome Aboard!

Firm News & Eventson July 14th, 2016No Comments

Written By: Lauren Vitt, RP®

2016-07-14 ML ZB RY Welcome Aboard 1Yeske Buie is excited to welcome three new additions to our team – Mila Lavoie, Zach Bennedsen, and Ryan Klemm! Mila Lavoie will be working in our San Francisco office as Project Administrator, helping with daily office operations as well as ad hoc internal projects to support her colleagues and the firm. Zach Bennedsen and Ryan Klemm join us as our third class of Financial Planning Residents and will work in our San Francisco and Vienna offices, respectively. Our Financial Planning Resident Program, fashioned after a Medical Residency at a teaching hospital, is designed to help leverage our Financial Planning team and to contribute to the pipeline of new planners entering the financial planning profession.

While the new team members have worked at the firm for only two weeks, they have fully embraced Yeske Buie’s worldviews and culture and are enthusiastic for all that is to come. Zach shared that during his time as a Financial Planning Resident, he is most looking forward to Learning Big! Zach says, “One of Yeske Buie’s values is Learn Big, and I’m looking forward to doing just that. What I’m most excited for is the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in the financial planning profession. Elissa, Dave, and the rest of the team are incredible resources, and I plan on soaking up as much knowledge as I can.” Similarly, Ryan is looking forward to embracing both our Learn Big and Client Big values. He shares, “I am looking forward to developing meaningful relationships with the Clients of Yeske Buie, while at the same time, being able to learn about the logistics of how a Financial Planning firm runs its daily operations. I am also very excited that this opportunity gives me the chance to absorb the wealth of knowledge and experience that each employee at Yeske Buie exemplifies.”

As a member of the operations and support team, Mila is focusing on Yeske Buie’s Be Big worldview to help contribute to the living system of the firm. Mila shares, “I believe the biggest strength that I will bring to the Yeske Buie team is my diverse employment background. I started in the arts, first as a professional ballet dancer and then as a ballet teacher, and then made the transition into the finance world as a research assistant at a hedge fund company. These experiences will help me as I work to keep things running smoothly on the support side of Yeske Buie. I am looking forward to supporting the entire team in making our Client’s experience the best it can be!”

Be sure to stay tuned to future Digest posts to learn more about our new team members in upcoming Meet the Team features!


“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