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Building a Bridge

to a better tomorrow

Halpern Financial's team of incredibly smart people is dedicated to your best interests
as you navigate the path towards wealth. 

Find Out What It's Like to Be a Client 


Charting a path to tomorrow's goals

We take pride in helping our clients bridge the gap from where they stand today to reach their financial goals of tomorrow. The first step of that journey is listening to your financial goals and concerns. While everyone’s destination is different, we have the expertise and tools to chart an individualized path to achieve your goals.

Our specialty is providing unbiased advice for the large and small financial decisions faced by high net worth individuals and families. Our clients benefit from the sum of our team’s talents in financial consulting, portfolio management, and personal finance education over a lifetime, from optimizing retirement saving to creating a legacy for generations to come.

A true fiduciary

Halpern Financial acts as a fiduciary, which means putting our clients’ best interest first. And that’s why we are:

Fee-Only:

We don’t get paid to sell you products, period. We get paid to give you advice and manage your portfolio. We charge on a “fee-only” basis (a percentage of assets managed).


Independent:

We have no affiliation with any bank, broker, or insurer, and we avoid all conflicts of interest.

Transparent:

You wouldn’t hire any other professional without understanding what you get in exchange for the cost, so why should financial advice be different? 

A Registered Investment Advisor:

Subject to regulatory standards set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Institutional Quality:

Because we use Fidelity’s institutional platform, we are able to offer our clients many funds and cost savings that are not available to retail investors.


Great Listeners and Explainers:

Our clients share their financial hopes, dreams, and fears with us. They trust us not only to handle the financial complexities of their lives, but also to explain every step of the way in absolutely transparent terms. This trust is what keeps Halpern Financial clients members of our family for the long term.

Recognized for wealth management expertise

Halpern Financial has highly credentialed professionals, our fee-only business model puts clients first, and we adhere to stringent practice management and ethics guidelines. We're members of NAPFA, FPA, IARFC and we have multiple CFP professionals on staff.

But what does the alphabet soup  really mean for you?


   


National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

As a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor, we adhere to the industry's most demanding practice requirements and meet NAPFA's (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) rigorous standards. 

Fee Only Network

Halpern Financial is "fee only," which means we are paid only by our clients--not by any bank, broker, or insurer to sell their products. This avoids conflicts of interest and is in line with our fiduciary duty to provide advice in the best interest of the client.

Certified Financial Planner (TM)

The Halpern Financial staff includes three Certified Financial Planner (TM) professionals who have completed coursework, passed the CFP exam, and fulfilled the 4000-hour experience requirement in creating financial plans. They also adhere to the CFP code of ethics and engage in continuing education each year.

Financial Planning Association

Halpern Financial is a member of the Financial Planning Association, an industry organization that provides networking and continuing education for financial professionals.

IARFC Ethics Approved

The International Association of Registered Financial Consultants awards the "Ethics Approved" recognition to members who have a clean ethics record free of customer disputes, regulatory events and/or criminal misdemeanors or felonies.

Washingtonian and Northern Virginia Magazine Top Advisor

Each year we have been selected by a vote of our peers as one of the premier financial advisors in the Washington, D.C. region.


Read Halpern Financial insights in...

Halpern Financial regularly contributes our investment and financial planning expertise to publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Bloomberg. And many more...

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Our Approach to Wealth Management

Becoming a client

We believe clients deserve a long-term advisory relationship based on integrity and trust, which fosters open communication, encourages candid advice and promotes innovative strategies. We embrace our role as listeners to best understand what is important to you.

Getting Started

Discovery - Our complimentary discovery meeting will center on learning about your financial needs and goals, while giving you the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the values, philosophy, and capabilities of Halpern Financial.

Wealth Profile - After your discovery meeting, we continue the data gathering process using the Wealth Profile. This provides an overview of your current financial situation, helping us become more aware of your concerns and objectives, and organize and prioritize your goals.

Review and Recommendation (R&R) - Incorporating information from the discovery meeting and the Wealth Profile, we will develop a comprehensive Review and Recommendation report. This report provides a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of your current financial situation and presents strategies to help reach your financial goals and objectives.

Working together

Engagement and Establishment - Upon engaging Halpern Financial as your advisor we will begin establishing accounts and initiating the transfer process. During the establishment process we keep you informed of progress through proactive communication making it a simplified and seamless experience.

Portfolio Development Report - During the establishment process we prepare a Portfolio Development Report. This report details your customized target portfolio allocation based on your objectives and risk propensity and includes specific steps to reach your target portfolio. We use a number of techniques to ensure your portfolio is implemented prudently, including "in-kind" transfers, value-based dollar-cost-averaging and downside protection measures.

Monitor and Review - By its definition wealth management is an ever-changing process and the approach needs to be flexible to adapt to life events, changes in the markets and economy, as well as new regulatory legislation. In addition to regular portfolio rebalancing and performance reviews, we believe it is essential to regularly assess progress towards your goals and objectives.


Save more, spend less. It sounds simple, and it is. But it’s not easy. Halpern Financial can help you build wealth by optimizing your saving and spending at every level—from running a cash flow analysis of your monthly household spending to finding cost-efficient and tax-efficient investments. All of this keeps more in your pocket to grow and compound over time!

Investment Philosophy

Our investment selection strategy is informed by economist Eugene Fama’s Nobel Prize-award-winning research on Modern Portfolio Theory and efficient markets. This helps us to find the optimal balance asset mix for each client’s needs, balancing potential risk and returns.

Focus

More broadly, our philosophy is to focus on the factors that are within our control (as opposed to trying to predict the fickle moves of the market). These [content missing?]

Regular rebalancing

Rebalancing is the only way to improve your probability of consistently buying low and selling high. However, it feels very counterintuitive to buy “losers” and sell “winners,” so very few individual investors actually do rebalance.

Tax efficiency

Our portfolios for tax-deferred and after-tax accounts are designed to ensure that various investments are in the correct type of account to limit taxes. In addition to the broad portfolio design, we take tax efficiency into account on a variety of levels, taking specific investments, cash flow needs, and the individual’s tax situation into account with every move we make within the portfolios. This includes holding the right securities in the right type of accounts, and monitoring the tax implications of gains against losses.

Low institutional costs

The funds and ETFs we select for our portfolios have extremely low expense ratios, which keeps more money “in your pocket” to grow through the power of compounding. Because of our size and institutional access, we are also able to trade free of cost, and we only use products free from commissions and other hidden fees.

Transparency

Regular performance reporting, independent 3rd party custodians, and no hidden fees


Please review Important Disclosure Information set forth in the last section of this web site.

FAQs

 Q: Why is Halpern Financial Fee-Only and Independent?
Q: What is an Registered Investment Advisor? 

A: A Registered Investment Advisor is any person that meets the definition of Investment Advisor under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and is registered with either their state or the SEC. In general a Registered Investment Advisor with more than $100 million under management must register with the SEC, and those managing less than $110 million may register at the state level. 

Q: What is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor?

A: It indicates that a financial planner adheres to the industry's most demanding practice requirements, including Fee-Only compensation, and meets NAPFA's rigorous standards. Click here to learn more. 

Q: Does Halpern Financial accept commissions, referral fees or other hidden forms of compensation? 

A: Absolutely not. Our sole compensation is management fees paid directly to Halpern Financial from our clients. 

Q: Why is a Fiduciary Oath important? 

A: Halpern Financial believes in the concept that an advisor should always act in good faith and in the best interest of each client. As such, we all abide by a Fiduciary Oath and disclose any potential conflicts of interest to our clients. We strive to build relationships based on integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism, and diligence. 

Q: How does Halpern Financial provide transparency in its business practices?

A: We subject to regulations set forth by the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission. Client assets are held at an independent third-party custodian. We avoid conflicts of interests by not accepting commissions or referral fees. We report performance on a quarterly basis, inclusive of any fees. 

Q: Who is a typical client? 

A: Halpern Financial has relationships with a wide range of clients, including professionals and business executives, small business owners, widows, individuals, families, retirees, and those with sudden wealth via an inheritance. We best serve clients looking for exceptional client service and that value a long-term partnership. 

Q: Do you have a minimum portfolio size? 

A: Our current minimum portfolio size is $1,000,000. However, minimum asset levels are not always imposed and we have a list of growing clients. If you have unique circumstances that you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to give us a call. 

Q: How are fees determined?

A: Fees include a one-time establishment fee and quarterly advisory fees based on the level of assets under Halpern Financial's direct management. Advisory fees range up to 1.20% per year, billed quarterly in arrears. The overwhelming majority of mutual funds we use are traded free of charge. Fidelity assesses a transaction fee ($8.00 per trade for most accounts) for the purchase and sale of individual stocks and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). 

Q: How much does it cost to hold initial discovery meetings with your firm? 

A: There is no cost for our initial discovery meetings. This meeting gives us the opportunity to get to know one another. We seek a mutual agreement before we begin assessing any fee. 

Q: Once we start working together, whom will I be working directly with? 

A: Using a team approach you will have access to the expertise of all of Halpern Financial's professionals. The reputation of the Halpern Financial team, the breadth and depth of our experience will provide you with sound and unbiased advice. 

Q: Do you conduct trades and custody my assets for me? 

A: While we serve as an Authorized Advisor to execute transactions on your behalf, you remain in control of your assets. Accounts are held in your name through the institutional platform of Fidelity Investments, an independent third party custodian. 

Q: As a client of Halpern Financial what type of account access do I have? 

A: In addition to quarterly investment reviews and regular performance reporting, clients can access their accounts on the Halpern Financial website 24 hours a day. 

Q: How do you work with other professionals, like my CPA and attorney? 

A: We believe clients are best served when their advisors use a coordinated team approach, benefiting from the expertise each professional provides. Privacy comes first, so after receiving your approval we encourage sharing of information and when appropriate, joint meetings with your key advisors. If you do not have an established relationship we will be happy to refer you to a trusted source to address your needs. 

Q: What questions should I ask when selecting an advisor?

A: We suggest reviewing the Pursuit of a Financial Advisor Field Guide, provided by the NAPFA, a non-profit organization for fee-only advisors dedicated to advancing the profession of financial planning. 

Q: How do I get started? 

A: Please contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation. During this consultation we will take time to understand your goals and objectives and explain our investment methodology and philosophy on wealth management.


Please review Important Disclosure Information set forth in the last section of this web site.

Our Services


When you think of wealth management, investments come to mind--but that is just part of what we do for our clients.

Look at a Sample Client Service Calendar

Halpern Financial provides advice on a variety of financial issues throughout the phases of wealth accumulation, wealth distribution and wealth preservation.

Retirement Planning

  • Retirement Projections
  • Retirement Income Planning
  • Qualified and Non-Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Required Minimum Distributions Monitoring

Investment Planning

  • Portfolio Design and Implementation 
  • After-Tax Investment Planning 
  • Pre-Tax Investment Planning 
  • Real Estate 

Cash Flow Planning

  • Budgeting
  • Cash Reserve Strategies
  • Debt Repayment Schedules
  • Buy vs. Lease Dilemmas
  • Mortgage Analysis

College Planning

  • College Projections
  • College Savings and 529 Plans 

Tax Planning

  • Tax Efficient Portfolio Design 
  • Coordination with Tax Professionals 

Estate Planning

  • Estate Planning Fundamentals 
  • Coordination with Estate Planning Attorney 
  • Multi-Generational Wealth Transfer

Charitable Planning

  • Donor-Advised Funds
  • Private Foundations

Risk Management

  • Review and Analysis of Insurance Needs

Bridging the gap

between education and action.

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Quarterly Market Review and Investment Review

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Our Team

We’re a small business with big-firm capacity. 

The team at Halpern Financial is unusual, and that's a good thing. Our portfolio manager focuses on the portfolio. Our financial planners focus on planning. Our advisors focus on advising clients. Our writer focuses on making our recommendations easy to understand, and our client service staff provides white-glove service every step of the way. It sounds obvious, but it’s not how many of our competitors are structured. We’re a team of experts, not generalists—and our clients like it that way.

Get to know us

Ted S. Halpern Photo

Ted S. Halpern

President
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Ted S. Halpern Photo

Ted S. Halpern

As Founder and President of Halpern Financial Inc., Ted is directly involved in developing and implementing wealth management strategies for affluent families and closely held businesses. He serves as Director of the firm's Investment Research Team and oversees the asset allocation process. Ted believes in educating our clients toward a logical path of wealth accumulation. Since establishing Halpern Financial in 1991 he has drawn his inspiration from motivating clients to achieve their financial goals.

Ted holds a degree in Finance from the University of Maryland. He is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor, a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor, an Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS), a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC), an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA) and a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC). He is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

Ted is a dedicated husband and father. He and his wife Bethe live in Leesburg with their twins Jack and Lauren and their dog Einstein.

Media Mentions:

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Melissa G. Sotudeh, CFP®

Wealth Advisor
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Melissa G. Sotudeh, CFP®

As Wealth Advisor for Halpern Financial, Inc., Melissa works one on one with clients to determine short and long term goals, and applies her knowledge and expertise to develop retirement, investment, tax management and estate planning strategies. 

Melissa has a special passion for college planning since her two children went through the college search process, and now presents her “Late Stage College Funding” talk to D.C.-area parents several times a year in conjunction with a college admissions counselor. She has written several articles about college funding based on her own family’s experiences and her experience as a wealth advisor, and is the author of Find Your Financial Safety School, a choose-your-own-adventure ebook.

Melissa received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Texas in Austin in 1987, and her Master of Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, Arizona in 1990. 

Melissa has over twenty years of experience in a variety of business and community service activities.  She began her career at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and then went on to serve as a Management Analyst and International Market Development Specialist in the Office of the Executive Director at The US Securities and Exchange Commission for five years.   

In 2009, Melissa received the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation from the CFP Board of Standards. The CFP® designation is a mark of distinction for the individuals who have met the education, examination, experience and ethics standards established by the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards (CFP Board). Additionally, Melissa is an Investment Advisor Representative with Halpern Financial, Inc.

Melissa serves on the Exam Committee for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), contributing to the development of examination questions for the CFP® Certification Examination. She has promoted financial literacy in the region through one-on-one counseling with Capitol Hill staffers and her leadership role on the steering committee for the Metro Washington Financial Planning Day 2011 and 2013. This is the third year that she serves the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Association of the National Capital Area. Melissa lives in Bethesda with her husband and two children.  She is an avid runner and in 2017, she completed the Boston Marathon.

Media Mentions:

Media Appearances:

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Kirsty Peev, CFP®

Portfolio Manager
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Kirsty Peev, CFP®

As Portfolio Manager for Halpern Financial Inc., Kirsty is primarily responsible for the design and application of investment strategies in client portfolios including the ongoing analysis of securities. She monitors balances, news, cost basis, activity and performance of portfolio holdings. She keeps clients in touch with their investments and how their portfolio responds to market movements.  Kirsty is responsible for a broad array of customized portfolio strategies including the concepts of asset allocation, portfolio optimization, cash flow, tax efficiency and retirement planning. Kirsty is a member of the firms Investment Research Team.  

Kirsty joined Halpern Financial, Inc. in 2002, motivated by Ted's vision of the challenges and opportunities of working with an independent advisory firm.

Kirsty is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, with a Bachelors Degree with Honors in Education from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Kirsty is also a Registered Investment Advisor Representative and is certified as a Registered Financial Paraplanner through the College for Financial Planning.  She lives in Virginia with her husband and sons. 


Media Mentions:

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Jennifer Davis, CFP®, EA Photo

Jennifer Davis, CFP®, EA

Planning Consultant
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Jennifer Davis, CFP®, EA

As a Planning Consultant for Halpern Financial Inc., Jennifer is primarily responsible for retirement projections, research and analysis.  

Motivated by her commitment to giving honest, transparent and sound guidance, Jennifer joined the Planning Team at Halpern Financial, Inc. in 2015. Jennifer values the relationships developed with clients as she helps them meet life’s goals.

She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and holds an Enrolled Agent tax designation. She graduated with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Philosophy from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Her interests include being active, reading, and exploring the great outdoors with her family and friends. She also likes to compete in triathlons, which sometimes take her all over the world!

She lives in Maryland with her fiancé and two cats.  

Media Mentions:

 "13 Money Mistakes That Are Keeping You in Debt." SELF. 

Filing Early for Social Security: When it Makes Sense”, Investopedia


Read all of Jennifer Davis' media mentions!

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Milena Nilsen

Planning Consultant
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Milena Nilsen

As a Planning Consultant for Halpern Financial, Milena provides expert research for Halpern Financial client deliverables. She performs projections for clients’ financial goals, including cash management, college funding and retirement planning. For Milena, the most rewarding aspects of her work are giving quality advice that she uses in her own life and teaching clients about areas of their finances that they never realized could have such a life-changing impact on their goals.

Milena joined Halpern Financial in April 2007 with a degree in Economics from George Mason University. She is certified as a Registered Financial Paraplanner, and holds a Certified Income Specialist designation through the Institute of Business and Finance. 

Milena resides in Virginia with her husband Darren and their children.


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Jennifer Wood

Office Manager
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Jennifer Wood

As Office Manager for Halpern Financial Inc., Jennifer is responsible for all aspects of client care and service, including establishing new client accounts, transferring assets and reconciling portfolios in the firm's portfolio management software. She is in frequent contact with clients to ensure that customer care with Halpern Financial, Inc. is of the highest standard. Jennifer ensures that the firm is always up to date with industry standards and frequently monitors new financial technology to optimize the performance of the back office.

Jennifer has been a part the Halpern Financial team since September 1999, motivated by the opportunities of working for an independent advisory firm. She is certified as a Registered Financial Paraplanner through the College for Financial Planning and if ever in need, Jennifer is a Notary Public. 

A native of the Washington Metropolitan area, Jennifer resides in Rockville with her husband Brandon and their daughter Lily. She enjoys the culture, diversity and opportunities the area has to offer. Jennifer is committed to an exceptional quality of life as well as valuing her family and friends. 


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Lindsie James

Operations Administrator
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Lindsie James

Lindsie James joined Halpern Financial in 2016 as the Operations Administrator.  Lindsie ensures the firm's delivery of exceptional client service by providing critical knowledge and operational support to the team. She has brought with her a wealth of administrative and operations experience from her eight years as a patent prosecution legal assistant. She takes pride in a job well done, from the smallest of tasks to large-scale projects. She earned her B.S. in Business Marketing from Davis & Elkins College, as well as a Paralegal Certification from Boston University. Lindsie is also a Notary Public to facilitate document signatures in our Virginia office.

Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Lindsie now lives in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband and son. She enjoys being outside, staying active, and traveling back to Ocean City, Maryland whenever she has the chance!


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Susan Grimail

Client Administrator
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Susan Grimail

As Client Administrator for Halpern Financial Inc., Susan enjoys being the starting point of contact with our clients. Her responsibilities include a number of administrative duties, as well as coordination of internal communications and email correspondence. She personally greets all visitors to our office and is an integral part of maintaining the total client experience at Halpern Financial, Inc. 

Susan resides in Maryland with her husband Michael and son Ryan.


 
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Carla LaFleur

Communications and Public Relations Coordinator
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Carla LaFleur

Carla LaFleur joined Halpern Financial in 2015 as the Communications and PR Coordinator. She is passionate about helping people understand financial topics, whether she’s composing client documents with “an audience of one,” or writing educational articles for the public.

Carla holds a B.A. in English and a minor in Spanish from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is fluent in Spanish, and her background as an editor of investment newsletters and freelance writer has given her the skills to translate complex ideas into language that is easily understood. She also assists with research tasks internally.

A lifelong equestrian, Carla spends her free time riding the trails of rural Montgomery County and volunteering with Pony Club. She lives in Gaithersburg with her husband Byron, two cats and a dog.

Media Mentions:

Making Connections: How to Create and Cultivate Your Personal Network.” Goodcall.

"Books & Blogs" column. NAPFA Advisor Magazine, May 2016 & July 2016.

"How I Tricked an Advisory Firm Into Hiring a Writer." FinCon Connection Magazine, 2015.


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Building a bridge

for a better tomorrow

Contact us

Phone

240-268-1000

Toll Free Number

877-268-1200

Email

info@halpernfinancial.com

Fax

(240) 449-8818

Follow Us on LinkedIn!

Virginia Office:

20365 Exchange Street,
Suite 200
Ashburn, VA 20147

Maryland Office:

401 North Washington Street, Suite 330
Rockville, MD 20850

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