15 transformational advisers: David Yeske and Elissa Buie

A bit of a statistical oddity: Two reknowned advisers who also happen to be husband-and-wife

Jun 14, 2013 @ 10:10 am

By Andrew Osterland

David Yeske is known in the advisory world for his efforts to bring scientific rigor to the financial planning process.

But it was his heart that won over Elissa Buie.

“He's one of the best brains in the business, but he lives with his heart first,” said Ms. Buie, who married Mr. Yeske in 2006 and formed the Yeske Buie advisory firm with him two years later.

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.

“David has one foot in academia and one foot in the practice world,” said Lance Ritchlin, director of practitioner knowledge and content at the FPA. “We've seen a lot of people in one area or the other, but both David and Elissa have bridged the gap between the two.”

The two advisers met while serving on the board of the Institute of Certified Financial Planners, a predecessor to the FPA, in the late 1990s, and both have continued to be active in various capacities at the FPA.

PHOTO GALLERY 15 transformational advisers

Ms. Buie, 52, is a former chairwoman of the FPA and serves as dean of the organization's residency program.

Mr. Yeske, 56, worked on the FPA's academic advisory council last year, and served as president and chairman of the organization in 2003 and 2004. During his presidency, the FPA spun off its broker-dealer division.

“It allowed us to focus on our mission to advance the financial planning profession,” Mr. Yeske said.

Beyond their involvement with the FPA, he and Ms. Buie have worked to identify and communicate best practices in the planning field. Both are committed to applying a more scientific approach to determining what constitutes good planning.

“There's a notion that financial planning is part art, part science. We crunch numbers, and yet we do things by the seat of our pants,” Mr. Yeske said.

“I think financial planning should be the artful application of the best available science,” he said. “If we're going to be a true profession, we need to gather data on what works and find the best possible evidence to inform our approaches to working with clients.”

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.

Explicit policies have two great advantages for advisers and their clients, Mr. Yeske said: They enable more rapid decision making in uncertain environments and they help keep clients committed to a course of action because they feel that they own the policy. Those advantages are all the more useful in today's volatile investing climate.

“In a chaotic environment, the best alternative for financial advisers and their clients is to draft compact statements that give guidance when conditions change rapidly,” Mr. Yeske said.

The policies can apply to everything from a client's withdrawal rates from retirement portfolios, to the use of debt to fund purchases, and to legacy and estate planning practices.

“It's difficult to get people to stick to their decisions,” Ms. Buie said. “The policies are a way to get them to stick to their guns without having to constantly revisit their financial plans.”

The simple idea has had a profound impact on the planning profession, said Kacy Gott, director of wealth management at Aspiriant LLC.

“Their policy-based financial planning ideas are some of the best academic additions to the profession in the last 20 years,” he said.

The couple's greatest contribution to the planning profession, however, may be their unflagging devotion to improving it, said Mr. Gott, who has served on the FPA board with Mr. Yeske.

“They are both so open to looking at what others are contributing to the profession and to furthering the science of financial planning,” Mr. Gott said. “They are great cheerleaders for the profession, encouraging us all to be better advisers.”

0
Comments

What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Upcoming Event

Sep 13

Conference

Women Adviser Summit - Denver

The InvestmentNews Women Adviser Summit, a one-day workshop now held in four cities due to popular demand, is uniquely designed for the sophisticated female adviser who wants to take her personal and professional self to the next level.... Learn more

Featured video

Events

I am a professional woman, not a woman professional.

How Bella Allaire's upbringing in the Soviet Union actually helped her rise to the top, and her wish for women everywhere.

Latest news & opinion

CFA Institute adding crypto, blockchain to curriculum

Subjects will be added to its Level I and II coursework for the first time next year.

Trump tax plan making dividend ETFs hot

Funds that are seeing inflows largely steer clear of sectors like utilities.

Wells Fargo Advisors continues to see a decline in brokers

Company also set aside $114 million over fees for rich clients.

Morningstar to replace funds in its managed portfolios with nine of its own

New sub-advised funds, offered exclusively through financial advisers, are intended to lower costs and provide 'greater flexibility.'

Average client assets top $2 million for first time

Charles Schwab's latest RIA Benchmarking Study reports organic growth is driving increased AUM and revenues.

X

Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.

X

Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print