Ari Weisbard, CFP®
Why did you decide to become a financial advisor?
I really love connecting with people about the big questions in their lives that deeply matter–to listen, add some counsel, and be a thought partner. It brings me joy to know I have helped lift a weight from someone’s life, that I’ve reduced the anxiety they were feeling about money. Sometimes clients can make key life choices that they thought they couldn’t afford to make, but our work together makes possible. For some clients, it’s changing careers to something that pays less but has more impact. For others, it might be realizing they actually can give more money away to causes that matter to them.
What’s one of your favorite things you’ve helped a client change in their life?
One of my favorite clients came to me overwhelmed by his work and burnt out. He’s a business owner. We helped him realize that the work could be more sustainable and joyful and that he could be a lot choosier. Through our planning work, he identified the clients and projects that felt most meaningful and impactful to him–the ones that really matched the skills that he loved to apply. He got to start saying “no” to a whole lot of other projects that he had been taking just to make money, but were burning him out with stress. Instead of doing work he didn’t care for so he could retire sooner, he got to be happier and have more impact while working. Not only is he still on track to retire comfortably, now he is enjoying the rest of his working life.
What experiences do you bring to your work helping clients
I am a lawyer and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. There are many specific areas where that technical knowledge helps clients. But I think the thing that makes it most helpful is the experience I have trying to make change in the world while living a balanced life. I’ve worked for nonprofits. I’ve worked for elected officials. I’ve worked for unions. I’ve worked in government. In all of those roles, I figured out how to have a meaningful career that made a difference in people’s lives, but also not work a million hours. In many cases, I figured out 80% schedules. I love helping clients (and my friends and family) think about what they value and spend their limited time on this planet in a way that aligns with that.
What has been one of your most meaningful experiences working for change?
I think my most meaningful experiences making change have been around workplace justice. In college, I was in a three-week sit-in trying to get a living wage passed for Harvard’s janitors, cleaning workers, and dining hall workers. Years later when I got to DC and started working on local policy here, I worked with a workers center and managed to pass laws requiring paid sick days, preventing wage theft, raising unemployment benefits, and setting up one of the best Paid Family Leave programs in the country. We spend so many of our waking hours at work. When someone who spends their whole life helping business succeed can’t afford the basics for their family, it just seems so unfair. Getting to use my legal skills to design good policies, but then working with organizers to get workers involved telling their stories and sharing what their lives are like in order to win those campaigns was really breathtaking.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional
CFP Board of Standards
JD,Yale Law School
AB, Harvard University
Examples of Ari in the press
See In The Press for more articles where Ari and other Values Added colleagues were featured