Jim oversees both the financial planning and investment management divisions for the firm.
After working in the financial services industry for several years, Jim was inspired to start his own Fee-Only firm in 1991 in order to eliminate conflicts of interests with his clients. Since that time, he has been named on numerous occasions by Robb Report Worth Magazine as one of the top Wealth Advisors in the United States.
Jim holds a BA in Psychology from Point Loma Nazarene University and also holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. He is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
In his free time he enjoys cycling, reading, coaching youth basketball, traveling, and spending time with his wife, family and friends.
Chris joined Financial Alternatives in 2002, and is a partner, helping to oversee the financial planning and investment management divisions of the firm.
He wanted to be a financial advisor from a young age, but was deterred by the major conflicts of interest present in the industry. Upon learning that he could serve clients on a commission-free, Fee-Only fiduciary basis, he enthusiastically started his career in 1998.
Chris holds a BS in Finance from San Diego State University, as well as the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Chartered Financial Analyst® designations. He is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the CFA Society of San Diego, and the San Diego Estate Planning Council.
He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports and world travel, as well as simply enjoying local treasures like Balboa Park and our beaches with his wife, two young kids, and an ever-hungry beagle.
Ellen is a lead advisor for many of the firm’s clients and has a special focus on financial planning.
Ellen has an MSBA degree in Financial and Tax Planning from San Diego State University and she holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
Upon graduation from SDSU, Ellen worked as an intern at Financial Alternatives, Inc. She then worked for another fee-only advisory firm in San Diego for two years before returning to Financial Alternatives, Inc. in 2010.
Ellen was born and raised in Taiwan and she speaks five languages: English, Mandarin, Japanese, Cantonese, and Taiwanese. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys tennis, swimming, travel, photography, and spending quality time with her husband, family, and friends.
Mary Rose is a Marketing and Operations Specialist at Financial Alternatives.
She held marketing and management positions with several large financial firms in Boston, Houston, and Los Angeles before settling in San Diego. After taking a sabbatical to raise her now-adult children, she returned to the financial services industry.
Mary Rose graduated from Boston University School of Management with a BSBA in Economics and Marketing.
She enjoys spending time with friends and family, hiking, biking and learning to play bridge.
Thao is an Associate Advisor and Operations Manager at Financial Alternatives.
Thao’s interest in wealth management started when she faced the choice of either quickly becoming financially independent to finish her bachelor’s degree, or returning to her home country of Vietnam. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 2012 with a BS in Finance, she moved to California and began her career with a well-respected firm based in San Francisco.
She joined our team in 2015, and serves as an intermediary between our lead advisors, operations team, and third party service vendors. She assists Jim, Chris, and Ellen with managing client relationships, preparing financial plans, formulating and implementing advice. She’s also responsible for many day-to-day operations like managing account transactions and generating performance reports.
Thao is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking, surfing, hula dancing, hiking, snowboarding and travelling.
Yasbeth Salgado is an Operations Associate at Financial Alternatives, and joined the firm in 2018.
Yasbeth worked in the operations department of another San Diego based financial firm for many years before joining Financial Alternatives. She brings a nineteen-year track record of administrative and operations experience. Yasbeth works directly with clients to open and maintain their accounts, and also assists with special projects and database management.
Outside the office, you will find Yasbeth attending her children’s band concerts, enjoying romantic movies and novels, and spending quality time with her family.
Sara is an executive assistant at Financial Alternatives and the newest member to our team - joining us in 2019. In addition to assisting our advisors, she works directly with clients to schedule appointments and ensure we have sufficient information for effective meetings.
She held administrative assistant positions for a variety of industries including entertainment, communications and various entrepreneurs before becoming an executive assistant for financial planning firms.
In her free time she enjoys seeing live music, participating in physical fitness including dance, hot yoga, and boot camp style workouts. She’s also involved with volunteering at the local community center.