NYTimes: Market Turbulence Serves as Reminder to Tread Lightly

YeBu in the Mediaon October 16th, 2014No Comments

Tara Siegel Bernard ends her New York Times article with a reference to the Yeske Buie approach to weathering choppy markets:

Still unsure what to do? David Yeske, a financial planner in San Francisco, recently sent out a calming note to his clients explaining that downturns are an inevitable feature of the economy, but he offered another strategy. He offered some “fun and uplifting” distractions from the scary headlines, and he provided links to videos featuring a rendition of “Stand by Me,” and a flash mob.

Wall Street Station

Dave’s article on CNBC Digital: “Invest the Time to Find the Best Financial Advisor for You”

YeBu in the Mediaon October 9th, 2014No Comments


Dave’s article on how to choose the best financial advisor was published on CNBC Digital on October 1, 2014.

Proper financial planning has the power to transform your life by reducing worry and establishing a workable path to your goals and dreams, but you need the right person to be your partner in this process. So what are you to do when the complexity of your financial life finally drives you to seek some professional financial help?

He summarized the key points in facilitating the search:

  • Research – Get clarity about what you are looking for and what you expect to accomplish.
  • Focus – Filter your options by considering financial advisors with the appropriate credentials.
  • Interview – This is potentially the most important step in the process. Interview two to three candidates to determine the following:
    • Can the financial planner address your particular issues?
    • Does the financial planner work with people like you?
    • Do you feel comfortable interacting with this person?

Financial planning, involving some of the most important issues in your life, is a deeply personal service and requires a solid, trusting relationship. So take the proper time to find an advisor you are comfortable with and one you feel will help you achieve your financial goals.

Read the full article on CNBC Digital

Retirement Special: Planning for the New Old

YeBu in the Mediaon September 11th, 2014No Comments

Samantha Allen recently wrote an article with financial-planning.com that focused on the key questions and assumptions to consider when planning for retirement. She enlisted Dave’s advice among the group of planners featured in the article. Dave’s contributions are featured below or you can read the article in its entirety.


Some planners also argue that longevity fears are overblown, because minor adjustments to life expectancy wind up having relatively minimal impact on a spending or investing plan. “Once you are planning beyond 30 years, you don’t gain that much by shortening” the time horizon, says David Yeske, managing director of Yeske Buie, with offices in San Francisco and Vienna, Va.

Similarly, he adds, a fairly conservative estimate means that clients will still be safe with even longer life spans: “Once you plan for your money to last for 30 years, it’s likely going to last a lot longer.”


Yeske points out that the only way to have a high probability of success is to follow a plan that likely ensures you die with a lot of money — but for most clients, that’s not really a negative outcome.

Investors often have other goals, whether it is to live comfortably or leave money to their children or a charity, Yeske explains: “The ‘conservative’ path means they have enough money for their other goals.”


Yeske contends that one of the most important question advisors can ask is this: Are you a smoker? Because smoking can dramatically reduce one’s life expectancy, “it would be disingenuous” to put their life span assumption at age 100 and force them to spend accordingly, he adds.

Policy-Based Financial Planning

Financial Planning, YeBu in the Mediaon August 28th, 2014No Comments

Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and InvestingPolicy-based financial planning is a technique that Elissa and Dave have been developing since their first article on the topic appeared in The Journal of Financial Planning in 2006. The approach has received a lot of attention in the press lately, in no small part because of a book called Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing to which Elissa and Dave contributed a chapter on the topic of financial planning policies.

Financial Planning Magazine
Carol J. Clouse from Financial Planning Magazine wrote an article about client behavior that discussed policy-based financial planning (free registration required) as a system for developing compact decision rules that make it easier to take appropriate actions in a rapidly changing environment. Carol did a great job of capturing the essence, notwithstanding the article’s unfortunate title, “When Clients Behave Badly: What to Do,” which would, of course, never apply to Yeske Buie clients!

Carol opens her article with a humorous example of how our natural propensities can be channeled by a simple policy:

You know that friend who always arrives 15 minutes late, so you tell him the movie starts at 7:15 when it really starts at 7:30?

Advisors who use a strategy they call policy-based financial planning do something like that. A good advisor knows that, while you cannot change human nature, you can use a client’s habits and behavioral biases to craft a financial plan that works for him.


A good policy should return an unambiguous answer for clients even if circumstances change, so it should be structured around percentages and other adaptable targets. For example, a young client (or a client’s adult child) who needs a strategy for saving might have a four-part policy that sounds something like this:

  • I will save the first 10% of every paycheck.
  • All of that will go into my emergency fund until I amass three months’ wages.
  • After that, the savings will go into a retirement vehicle up to the maximum contribution.
  • Any remaining savings will go to a supplemental retirement account.

Yeske’s observations on policy-based financial planning are among the insights he has developed with his wife and business partner, Elissa Buie. They appear in a recent book, Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing, by H. Kent Baker and Victor Ricciardi.

At more than 600 pages, the book has 30 chapters written by investment professionals and academics. “The majority of the content focuses on the decision-making process of the individual investor,” says Ricciardi, a finance professor at Goucher College in Baltimore.

The book tackles a wide array of subjects, including the effects of religion on investment decisions; the neuroscience of financial decision-making; post-crisis investor behavior; and the real world of trader psychology.

Investment Advisor Magazine 

Bob Clark wrote a review in Investment Advisor Magazine saying that while the 30 articles in the book were fascinating from an intellectual standpoint, he singled out the policy-based financial planning chapter as particularly useful for practitioners in their work with financial planning clients.

Finally, one of the dynamic duos of the financial planning world, veteran planners Yeske and Buie, wrote: “Practitioners not only need an understanding [of behavioral finance concepts] but also practical tools. Policy-based financial planning is one such tool, offering a framework and approach that allows practitioners to craft decision rules that can keep clients committed to a consistent course of action.”

Based on their 2011 paper, Yeske and Buie provided a six-step process for creating effective financial planning policies for each client:

  1. Engage in the discovery process in which the financial planner learns about the client’s personal history, values, beliefs, goals and resources.
  2. Identify planning areas and best practices required by this client.
  3. Combine goals with best practices to create a proposed policy.
  4. Test the policy: Is this a good policy?
  5. Test-drive the policy with the client and listen to their feedback.
  6. Conduct periodic reviews and updates checking for changing circumstances.

The couple concluded: “Financial planning policies are structured decision rules that can act as a touchstone for both clients and their advisors and allow for rapid decision making in the face of a changing environment.”

While Yeske Buie has found Policy-Based Financial Planning to be very helpful in developing policies for risk management & insurance, investments, charitable giving, and when and how to refinance, financial planning policies can also be extremely helpful in the work we do with the adult children of existing clients, some of whom are just launching themselves in their career. In most cases, these young people will experience many significant changes in a relatively short period of time, including multiple job changes, significant changes in pay or benefits, and multiple living arrangements, from shared apartments to buying homes. Policies can help them deal with all of these changes without requiring them to “reinvent the wheel” with every move.

In conclusion, policy-based financial offers a framework and approach that allows practitioners to craft decision rules that can keep clients committed to a consistent course of action in a seemingly chaotic and unpredictable world.

Dave on CNBC’s Power Lunch

YeBu in the Mediaon August 28th, 2014No Comments

On Tuesday, August 19, Dave Yeske was featured on CNBC’s Power Lunch to discuss what small business owners need to do to prepare for retirement. The discussion stemmed from a recent survey conducted by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and CNBC.

Lori Ioannou, senior editor, summarized the study and interview on Power Lunch in her article (snippets below) on CNBC.com.

Neglecting a personal financial investment strategy and just plowing money into a business is fraught with risk. “It means the only way to fund retirement is to sell and cash out,” explained David Yeske, a principal in Yeske Buie, a financial advisory firm with offices in San Francisco and Vienna, Virgina. “There is always uncertainty on how successful the owner will be in finding a buyer at the right price. If he or she dies before this is accomplished, all can be lost.”

Financial advisors who participated in the CNBC/FPA survey pointed to three key initiatives small-business owners and their financial planners should follow in order to secure their financial future.

1. Diversify. Work to reduce dependence on the eventual sale of the business to fund retirement. Instead, strike a balance between reinvesting all profits in business expansion and diverting some funds to other investment assets.

2. Prepare for the worst. Protect your family and your business assets by buying insurance that covers the business owner’s disability or premature death.

3. Plan for succession. The time for a business owner to start developing a succession plan or exit strategy is from the first day the firm is launched. That’s because a well-designed strategy—including grooming the right individuals for succession—may take years or decades to implement.

The good news is, there is usually a fallout benefit. As Yeske pointed out, “Having a smart exit strategy boosts the odds of a small business’s long-term success, since it guides the founder on how the business should be properly structured and managed on a day-to-day basis.”

Dave in the Chicago Tribune – ‘Getting personal with your financial expert can pay off’

YeBu in the Mediaon February 28th, 2014No Comments

Dave was recently quoted in the Chicago Tribune, where writer Janet Kidd Stewart tells readers how ‘Getting personal with your financial expert can pay off.’  Stewart suggests that clients get more for their money if their financial adviser has conversations with them and plans for those things that matter most to them, including the lifestyle they want now and in the future. Many financial service firms are increasing their efforts to address these important planning areas with clients. So how do you balance the values/lifestyle discussion with the numbers? Dave tells Stewart that it requires more than just a good relationship:

How do you ensure you’re actually getting something other than a new best friend out of these more intimate conversations?

Always look for metrics, said Dave Yeske, a financial planner with Yeske Buie, a firm with offices in San Francisco and Vienna, Va.

For retired clients, for example, Yeske advocates long discussions about matching lifestyle needs with the realities of a nest egg’s size. Once a spending level is agreed on, he sets strict guidelines on sticking with the plan.

If investments underperform, spending is automatically cut back according to a formula. If they outperform, clients get a bonus for the next year.

Yeske said the system greatly reduces client anxieties about market volatility because they see the original parameters as guidelines that they set based on their own goals.

“You can’t just talk the talk about having more personal relationships,” he said. “Advisers will do their best work if they can go deep with clients, but they can’t just pander. They actually need to bring in financial planning rigor with well-crafted strategies.”

Read the full article 

Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing

Firm News & Events, YeBu in the Mediaon February 13th, 2014No Comments

investor_behavior_book_cover_pageWhy do investors behave as they do? That is the question posed and answered by the book “Investor Behavior: The Psychology of Financial Planning and Investing,” edited by H. Kent Baker and Victor Ricciardi and published by Wiley Finance.

This 30-chapter book (available from Amazon) covers the major principles of investor psychology and how personality, emotions, financial planning strategies, and the behavioral underpinnings of various trading and investment topics play into how clients make decisions.

Dr. Dave Yeske, CFP® and Elissa Buie, CFP® Managing Director and CEO of Yeske Buie, respectively, were part of the dynamic team of academics and experienced practitioners who contributed to the body of knowledge in “Investor Behavior.” Their contribution, “Policy-Based Financial Planning: Decision Rules for a Changing World,” places Policy-Based Financial Planning squarely within the context of behavioral finance and “choice architecture.” They describe the concept as follows:

“Although the field of behavioral finance helps to provide a deeper understanding of the cognitive biases present when individuals make financial decisions, practitioners need not only understanding but also practical tools. Policy-based financial planning is one such tool, offering a framework and approach that allows practitioners to craft decision rules that can keep clients committed to a consistent course of action in a seemingly chaotic and unpredictable world. . . . These comprehensive yet compact decision rules serve as a touchstone for both client and advisor, providing clear guidance in the face of rapidly changing external circumstances. In their ideal form, financial planning policies are both broad enough to encompass virtually any external change and specific enough to return clear answers as to appropriate action.”

Ms. Buie and Dr. Yeske have been writing and speaking on the topic of Policy-Based Financial Planning since 2006, when their article “Policy-Based Financial Planning Provides Touchstone in a Turbulent World,” was published in The Journal of Financial Planning. The Journal also published their most recent collaboration, “Evidence-Based Financial Planning: To Learn. . . Like a CFP®,” which appeared in the November 2011 issue.

Dave Quoted in CNBC – Stocks Still Tops, Advisor Survey Finds

YeBu in the Mediaon January 29th, 2014No Comments

CNBC_logoWhen it comes to assessing where to put money to work in 2014, Andrew Osterland of CNBC reports that advisors are largely in agreement: tilt towards stocks. Of the 1,449 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals surveyed by CNBC/Financial Planning Association, 87% were bullish on stocks, particularly when the investment strategy is long-term. In addition to the stock tilt, advisors are shifting towards greater international exposure. In the report, 81% of advisors reported that they planned to talk to their clients about increasing their allocations to international stocks with about a 51/49 split between emerging markets and Europe.

“Notwithstanding the boom and bust cycles in emerging markets, there’s every reason to believe that they’ll continue to be among the fastest-growing markets in the world,” [David] Yeske said. “There’s a wide range of advisors and financial planners who see the virtue of building global portfolios.”

This doesn’t mean, however, that advisors aren’t recommending bonds.

“Bonds can be a stable reserve of value, or they can be as volatile as stock,” said David Yeske, co-founder of advisory firm Yeske Buie Inc. “I think a lot of advisors are shifting their bond allocations to shorter maturities and higher credit quality.”

Yeske, who participated in the survey, said that 100 percent of his fixed-income portfolio currently has a duration of less than a year and an average credit rating of single A.

A topic that continues to be hotly debated is whether to employ tactical asset allocation, which is a strategy to move large amounts of assets into one asset class or another to produce greater return. So far, the general consensus is that it is a best practice to rebalance funds back to their target.

Yeske, for one, has been selling large-cap and small-cap U.S. stocks and buying global real estate, emerging-market stocks and even bonds over the last six months.

He said that many of his clients are still traumatized by the financial crisis of 2008 and want to get out of the U.S. market after the recent run-up.

“I agree, but we do it according to plan,” he said. “It’s all about rebalancing.”

Read more of Osterland’s article.

15 Transformational Advisers: David Yeske and Elissa Buie

Articles of Interest, YeBu in the Mediaon June 20th, 2013No Comments

Elissa and Dave were featured in InvestmentNews‘ 15th anniversary edition special feature of the top 15 transformational advisers.  The feature, written by Andrew Osterland, highlights Elissa and Dave’s relationship and their extensive contributions to the financial planning profession, focusing especially on their work in the areas of “policy-based financial planning” and the introduction to greater scientific rigor to the profession’s body of knowledge.


Osterland notes Elissa and Dave’s longtime commitment to improving practice through research and teaching.

The two financial advisers, whose firm has offices in Vienna, Va., and San Francisco, are well-known in the financial planning profession for their work at the industry’s major trade group — the Financial Planning Association — as well as their roles as educators at Golden Gate University and their contributions to the academic literature of the financial advice field.

Also noted in the article was the work Elissa and Dave have done to develop the concept of “Policy-Based Financial Planning,” which involves the development of compact decision rules that can guide clients who must make decisions in the face of a rapidly changing environment.

Mr. Yeske’s and Ms. Buie’s most important contribution to the academic literature was a paper published in the Journal of Financial Planning that they co-authored in 2006 on policy-based planning. In it, they argued that just as advisers use investment policies in managing assets, they also should draft policies to guide their planning with clients.

Find out their most important contributions to academic literature and to the planning profession

FPA NorCal Attendees Raise Over $650,000 to Support Pro-Bono Financial Planning

Firm News & Events, YeBu in the Mediaon June 12th, 2013No Comments

Eric and Elissa at 2013 NorCal - Email Large w Spacing

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, JUNE 13, 2013 – The campaign to support the delivery of financial planning to the underserved was organized by the northern California chapters of the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) along with TD Ameritrade on behalf of the Foundation for Financial Planning.

This achievement took place at FPA’s 41st Annual NorCal Conference held in San Francisco, CA on May 28-29, 2013. The conference is a regional event for the northern California area that also attracts many of the most influential financial planners from across the nation.

Chair of the Foundation, Elissa Buie, CFP® of Yeske Buie, took to the stage on the first day of the conference to address the nearly 500 attendees. She highlighted the Foundation’s mission to help people take control of their financial lives by connecting the financial planning community with those in need, and shared TD Ameritrade’s generous commitment to match pledges to the Foundation dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million. In her comments, Buie noted the role of pro-bono service in the financial planning profession.

“As financial planners, we know the power of financial planning. It changes peoples’ lives. But not everyone has access. One of the hallmarks of any true profession is a commitment to public service and the delivery of pro-bono aid to those in need. Members of FPA’s Northern California chapters have long exemplified that spirit with exceptional generosity in their commitment of both time and money to help the less fortunate. The Foundation is the only organization devoted solely to supporting the delivery of pro-bono financial planning. We have a track record of success that has impacted millions. And those in this room know that pro-bono financial planning enriches the lives of all those involved, from recipients to volunteers to donors.”

Eric Flett of Concentric Wealth Management emphasized the need for the community to be a part of the Foundation’s mission by volunteering their time and/or their financial resources.

“While many advisors and clients have rebounded from the economic downturn, many people still need financial advice, including, for example, those who are out of work, who have mortgages under water, who have excessive credit card debt, and who just can’t make ends meet. The Foundation is helping reach those people most in need.”

By the end of the conference, attendees had pledged $327,565, which, when combined with TD Ameritrade’s matching offer, brought the total dollars raised to $655,130. Among the most generous donors was Ken Coit, whose substantial pledge over the next five years will bring his lifetime donation to the Foundation to more than $500,000.

The financial planning teams at Gemmer Asset Management and Yeske Buie® both made new pledges to the Foundation during the conference, with both companies promising to match employee pledges dollar-for-dollar. In making the commitment to match employee contributions, Dave Yeske, CFP® expressed the hope that financial planning firms across the country would similarly commit to multiplying the impact of their employees’ commitments to the Foundation, “as business owners, we’ve all benefited tremendously from the emergence of financial planning as a true profession, this is our chance to give back in gratitude for all the gifts we’ve received therefrom.”

Visit the Foundation’s website and click on the green “Pledge Now” button for information on how you can contribute to making a difference in the financial lives of others. The next $200,000 of new pledges over $1,000 will be doubled using the remaining TD Ameritrade match.

About the Foundation for Financial Planning
The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to support the delivery of pro-bono financial planning services to those in need. Governed by a volunteer board of financial planning and industry leaders, the Foundation has awarded grants, provided volunteers, and contributed financial services to organizations such as Wounded Warriors, the American Red Cross (Southern Arizona), Girls, Inc., Operation HomeFront, and the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, among many others.

In a recently announced partnership, the Foundation has taken over the administration of the Financial Planning Association’s pro-bono activities and will manage the day-to-day logistics within the FPA® community. In combining the financial and administrative support of the Foundation with the energetic pro-bono efforts of FPA chapters across the country, FPA and the Foundation hope to show how such partnerships can enhance the pro-bono efforts of any segment of the financial planning community with a commitment to serving the public.

“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