We help people build thoughtful, prosperous, impactful financial lives. We do it by helping clients clarify their life vision, make great financial decisions, attain financial security, and remain focused on the goals and values that will ultimately make them happier and the world better. You can read more about our specific financial planning, investment management, and teaching/consulting services.
We help comprehensive clients:
- articulate financial life visions, goals, and values,
- develop a financial plan that will support those values, including
- Retirement planning
- Investment planning
- Tax planning
- Charitable giving, social impact, investing in justice planning (recommended but optional)
- Spending well to align goals and maximize happiness (including cash management)
- Benefits decisionmaking
- Insurance and risk management education
- Real estate and real estate finance planning
- Business and career advice
- Education funding planning
- Support with estate planning
- Coordination with any other related professionals of your choosing
- create systems to automate the plan so it’s easy to stick with,
- meet 2-4 times (or more as needed) to evaluate how the plan is progressing and revise as goals or realities change,
- answer questions whenever they arise and help keep you on track with email support.
All this serves to help you achieve financial freedom so money supports you living a free, fulfilling life.
Serving comprehensive clients is our top priority so your scheduling needs are primary. When we have time, we also enjoy work with clients who need a shorter engagement to help get moving in the right direction.
If you want to live a full and fulfilling life, want someone who puts your best interests first, relies on evidence, understands the emotional and personal dimensions of money and decision-making, and is committed to helping you achieve great outcomes with money and in life, we might be the right firm for you. And if we aren’t, we’ll help you find a firm that is.
Most of our clients bring progressive values to our work together but some hire us just for our capability at tax-sensitive investment management. If you want to live a good life, be comfortable, give back to your community, and invest in family and friends we are likely to be a good fit.
We work with many clients who have inherited money and want to give some away. They often want to figure out how much and want help managing the rest so that their future is comfortable and they don’t need to worry.
We work with many retirees. Some built businesses and others were career civil servants. Some inherited. Regardless of what brought our clients to retirement, we help them steward their resources prudently, invest using evidence-based approaches, use tax planning to increase the amounts they have available for their lifestyles, charitable giving, and whatever other purposes they want.
The three advisors at Values Added Financial all spent much of our careers in public service. We live simple lives focused on family, friends, giving to our communities, working for justice, and doing work we feel good about. If we don’t think we can help, we’ll let you know and offer a referral to someone who can.
We use a sliding scale based on income, assets, and complexity. A typical fee for a household with $1 million or more of assets that we’re advising on is likely to be around 1% a year. That’s a similar fee to many other firms but we offer a better value to clients since we work much more closely with each of our clients and on a much larger range of topics than other firms typically do. High-quality financial advice is typically worth way more than it costs. We love that we add tremendous values to clients’ lives, both in ways that are easy to measure and in ways that aren’t. We aim to generate value for clients well in excess of fees charged.
Working with a trustworthy, capable advisor is well worth it for most people, since it substantially improves their outcomes, sometimes by large amounts (hundreds of thousands of dollars or more) over time–and that’s just the easily quantifiable value. You can read more about that in an excellent but approachable paper here.
We don’t have an asset minimum though our minimum fee for our comprehensive ongoing service ($2,500 per quarter) typically makes sense for people where we are advising on $1M or more or have significant complexity. When we have available bandwidth we often offer Financial Strategy Intensives which are 2-3-session sprints which cover a couple of prominent questions but aren’t intended to be comprehensive and don’t include implementation or ongoing support.
Donation to social justice causes/issues
Ari and Zach both donate 10%-20% of their incomes to justice causes on a range of issues. One example: Zach supports global health via Project Muso. Within three years of Project Muso deploying their model in Mali, child mortality dropped from 15% to 1.7%. We also donate to other organizations and focus on supporting environmental, feminist, race, LGBTQ+, and economic justice.
We mostly work with people who care about living socially responsible lives. What that means differs by person. Balancing career decisions, charitable giving approaches, socially responsible investing (SRI) strategies, and personal lifestyle is challenging to do in a serious way. Most advisors will just recommend a SRI fund and move on. This is a naive way to approach the topic and results in many clients ending up with overpriced investments that don’t deliver much, if any, social change. With us, you get a team of advisors who have significant experience in social change work, evaluating impact, and with shareholder activism. We bring a rare depth of experience to evaluating the differences between the approaches of different SRI firms and whether their change work really works. And it gets even more complicated since some don’t want to maximize social change but rather want to completely avoid certain industries regardless of cost.
No matter how you balance social issues, financial issues, and lifestyle, we are ready to bring our deep understanding of SRI and the related financial, spiritual/religious, and moral questions to your situation so we can figure out the best solution.
You probably haven’t seen this question in other advisors’ materials. It’s here because it’s an important part of what Values Added does.
We help scale financial education and empowerment in our area, giving free workshops locally.
We also work on policy and political fights to help improve financial regulation. For instance, Zach us the chair of Janeese Lewis George’s DC Council campaign. She is already a significant social justice leader in DC and will be even more so once she joins the DC Council. Ari is active as a policy advisor, continuing his work on issues like paid family leave, sick days for all, and fair scheduling. Bridget tutors students and helps support education in Capitol Hill, where she lives.
As discussed in the section on fees, we donate 10% of all profits to public health work.
Being a feminist is an important part of how we see the world. Thinking about the ways that patriarchy influences work life, family life, and financial life more broadly is essential to understanding those topics in a serious way.
It seems obvious to us that any progressive would be LGBTQ+friendly at a minimum but unfortunately, it isn’t universal and so we all still need to clarify. It’s been important to us to build a practice that is actively inclusive and supports clients with many family and relationship structures. We are honored to have many LGBTQ+ clients.
We are committed to inclusion, non-judgment, and ongoing learning so if you want to talk about a way we could support you and be more inclusive of any aspect of your identity, please let us know and we’d love to learn more so we can build a safe space together.