Michael Lien Liang

Michael Lien Liangage 33

Co-founder, Liang & Quinley Wealth Management

Fast Facts

  • Favorite TV show growing up was "Knight Rider"
  • Teaches the CFP
  • Hates blood; loves numbers

When he was a boy, Michael Liang adopted his first name from his favorite television show, “Knight Rider,” starring David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, who rode around in his talking car, named KITT, fighting crime. His family immigrated to the United States from Taiwan when he was three years old. “I wanted to be Michael Knight,” he said.

His career goals changed a bit. He initially pursued a teaching career, but switched to financial planning. It took some convincing to get his parents on board. “Being Chinese, there were four options: doctor, lawyer, accountant and engineer,” he said.

“I’m not good with blood, but I always was good at math,” Mr. Liang said. “I enjoyed numbers and people and wanted to be a math teacher growing up. I really got into this business for an opportunity to teach. And I’ve also learned a lot about life working with clients. People in the range of 50 to 70 years old, they’re thinking about how to pass wealth down. Right now, I’m thinking what to build.”

Mr. Liang and his business partner Christopher Quinley started their firm in 2011. About half his firm’s clients are from China or Taiwan. A large part of his business is teaching how the transfer of wealth works in the United States.

“Many of our Asian clients are small-business owners,” he said. “They immigrated to America 20 or 30 years ago. A big question for many families is, how will they transfer money from this generation to their kids? Parents simply passed wealth down to kids. Our clients don’t understand what a trust is.”

And Mr. Liang also has found a niche in education. “Chris and I both teach CFP classes together at [University of California] Irvine. It’s the first course for the CFP. We’ve been doing that for two years.”

– Bruce Kelly


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