My interest in financial planning began over 25 years ago and was the driver for my study of finance at USC. In the beginning of my career, I worked at a large financial services company and saw an example of what financial planning should not be. At first, I was excited to be employed within a field that I felt passionately about, but I was quickly disappointed to see that the financial planning process was being used as a tool for selling expensive products. This experience led me to change my career path away from financial planning and toward being a financial analyst.
Over the next several years I worked as a financial and business analyst for technology companies in Silicon Valley. I returned to my financial planning career after I discovered the existence of fee-only financial planning. Fee-only financial planners are compensated directly by their clients and not via commissions or other forms of payment from brokerage and insurance companies. Fee-only financial planning removes the conflicts of interest that cause an advisor to recommend expensive insurance products that a client does not need or mutual funds with large upfront expenses.
I founded Whalen Financial Planning as a fee-only firm because I do not want the inherent conflicts that come from receiving commissions. With me, you will not find a flashy smooth talker. My talent is with my analytical skills and I am driven to share my knowledge and experience with others.
Aside from a few years in Silicon Valley, I have lived in Southern California my entire life. I enjoy cooking and spending time with my wife and our two children. I am a second generation USC graduate and my wife is a second generation UCLA graduate. For the sake of family harmony we generally avoid watching or talking about college sports.