OUR MISSION STATEMENT
We are a skilled and experienced family team that understands and serves the unique needs and dynamics of affluent families
We are a skilled and experienced family team that understands and serves the unique needs and dynamics of affluent families
We are a skilled and experienced family team serving the specialized needs and concerns of affluent families. We work with intelligent and thoughtful people who are looking for investment guidance from a highly capable and compassionate team with considerable knowledge and experience. Whether your wealth is accumulated or inherited, we can address your family’s unique dynamics, values and priorities with powerful, customized solutions.
We feel our substantial industry credentials and applied knowledge of behavioral finance give us an added advantage. Not only do our designations represent our dedication to continually evolving, but they provide us with deeper and broader insights. We don’t make assumptions. When we sit down together to talk, we aim to get to the heart of what’s truly important in your life. We focus on the well-being of your entire family, knowing that every decision we make together may impact many people. In this capacity, our skills extend beyond investments and portfolio management to help you think through financial decisions in the context of:
As a family team, we value loyalty to each other, to our firm and, most of all, to our clients. Our deep market understanding, broad experience and applied knowledge of behavioral finance help us to steer our clients through the constantly changing financial landscape. We work to address your family’s long term objectives while also anticipating the minutiae of your financial needs on a day-to-day basis. By helping you to simplify where it’s sensible and to manage effectively where life is complex, we support you and your family members to live as you choose.
Most often, the people we serve find us for the first time when they’re in the middle of an important life transition, such as a birth, death, career shift, health issue, or the beginning or end of a relationship. Sometimes we discuss the impacts of transitions that are more internal, such as a change in perspective or a shift in priorities. Many financial advisors view these major life events solely from a financial point of view. We’re different. We see lives, not account statements. Specifically, we understand that navigating through times of change involves much more than a series of financial transactions. We meet you where you are and help you feel empowered and able to take your next steps with confidence.
But, we prefer not to wait until change happens to have those conversations. Our proactive approach means that we can help you:
o Shape the direction of your career and compensation
o Implement plans for your children’s or grandchildren’s educational needs
o Begin to outline your next job move
o Contemplate the provisions of your will
o Understand and negotiate compensation packages
o Prepare for important financial conversations in a family or work setting by supplying you with good questions and talking points
o Think through the geography of your retirement years
o Consider your next housing needs
o Ensure your most valuable assets are properly covered in the case of severe weather conditions or any damage
o Move towards resolution of conflicting goals with confidence
Often, preparing for those major life events require advice from more than one advisor. As a team, we have worked seamlessly with our clients’ attorneys, CPAs and other advisors for many years. We draw on our decades of experience advising families and business owners to provide perspective and solve problems that may seem unusual or unique. At the core, we understand how to integrate financial planning with issues of tax, trust, philanthropic, retirement, education and estate planning needs.
On December 10, 2017 Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for his work in the field of behavior finance. Although the concept of behavior finance may seem new to many people, our team has been studying the field for many years.
In short, behavioral finance focuses on how and why emotions influence a person’s financial decision making. It shows how human it is to make irrational decisions. When investors’ emotions lead them, they can make predictable errors, such as:
Over-focusing on the recent past and extrapolating those events into the future
Being too comfortable with what they already own vs exploring what else might be possible
Fixating on market risk, rather than on other kinds of risk
Having a significant aversion to loss of any kind.
Overconfidence can occur when people invest in the stock of a company where they have some kind of personal connection. This can lead to too little diversification because of an emotional tendency to invest too much in something with which one is familiar. Similarly, people become emotionally attached to current trends and fail to notice warning signs before it’s too late. And, in general, people tend to be more optimistic when markets go up and more pessimistic when markets go down.
As Financial Advisors, we pay attention to the invisible design choices steering our clients’ decision-making. We regularly observe that intense emotions can override our clients’ rational analysis. We notice when our clients are more distressed by perceived losses than they are pleased by actual gains. We note that the best investment choices often feel counter-intuitive or simply wrong to many of our clients, particularly to those who haven’t been with us for very long. Applying our knowledge of behavioral finance, we help our clients succeed with a rational investment strategy that focuses on their true wants and needs.
Kathy Weber Named to Forbes Magazine's "Top 200 Women Financial Advisors" in 2017
Kathy Weber named to Barron's Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in the US and Top 25 in Washington in 2016
Kathy Weber named to Barron's prestigious list of Top 100 Women Financial Advisors in 2015
Credentials matter. They indicate a deep level of knowledge, as well as a dedication to ongoing learning and advanced training, and a commitment to finding the very best solutions.
CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™). Both Kathy Weber and Jim Russo earned the CFP® certification mark after undergoing a rigorous accreditation process. Although many professionals may call themselves “financial planners,” only those who have fulfilled the rigorous requirements of the CFP Board can display the CFP® mark. It indicates in-depth knowledge of issues such as the financial planning process, tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. It also means we have a fluency and ease when talking with your other outside advisors, such as your CPA and attorney.
CIMA® (Certified Investment Management Analyst®). Kathy Weber holds this designation after completing a course of study at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The CIMA® certification is designed specifically for financial professionals who serve as advanced investment consultants to high net worth families and institutional investors.
Certificate in Behavioral Finance. Kathy Weber earned this IMCA certificate through coursework completed at The Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University. Her keen interest in understanding how and why emotions influence investors and financial markets spurs her to stay up to date on the newest research in this field.
Kathleen L. Weber, CFP®, CIMA®
Executive Director - Wealth Management
Senior Investment Management Consultant
Financial Planning Specialist
For more than 30 years, I have focused on helping people navigate change in financially sustainable ways. I am skilled in crafting holistic, comprehensive wealth management strategies that anticipate and address life’s transitions, whether it’s gaining or losing a partner, providing for a child or ailing family member, or starting or ending a successful career. As a professional CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®), I understand how to effectively put financial planning principles into practice for real people. My depth of experience helps give me foresight into risks and opportunities, not only in the markets, but also in my clients’ lives.
I am honored to have earned recognition on Barron’s prestigious list of Top 100 Women Financial Advisors every year from 2007 to 2015. I have also has been named to Barron’s Top 1000 Financial Advisors in the US and Top 25 in Washington from 2009 to 2016. In 2017, I was named to Forbes Magazine's inaugural Top 200 Women Financial Advisors.
I joined Morgan Stanley* in 1982 after earning my B.A. in art history from the University of Washington. I also hold a Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®) after studying at Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. During the course of my career, I have guided clients through the dotcom bust, the Great Recession and multiple bear markets, which have provided me with context, perspective and a deep understanding of how people perceive and tolerate risk.
I have deep roots in Washington and my family has lived in the state for four generations. From age seven, my grandmother taught me how stock dividends could provide for retirement adventures and financial security. These early family stories contributed to my conviction that successful investing can impact the course of one’s life.
My husband and I have four children and a growing number of grandchildren. Outside of work, I am passionate about backyard gardening, collecting African art and taking frequent walks with our golden retriever. As a member of the Washington Women’s Foundation, a non-profit organization comprised of women who pool their resources and skills to make large, high-impact grants, I have learned a lot about practicing effective philanthropy. I also helped found the first microenterprise development organization in Washington state, after working with Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus on approaches to economic empowerment for low-income people, especially women.
Contact me: Kathleen.L.Weber@morganstanley.com
Securities Agent: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TX, WA; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative; Managed Futures
James P. Russo, CFP®
Senior Investment Management Consultant
My natural curiosity for the economy and global markets provides focus for me to understand investments and shape client portfolios in the context of their full financial picture. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) practitioner, I bring a deep understanding of the importance and value of financial planning to every conversation. With each interaction, I engage clients and their families in conversations about all aspects of their life that may impact their finances. My advanced study of estate planning, taxes, insurance, retirement income and investments leads to broad perspective on strategies which I work diligently to effectively implement for each client.
I joined Morgan Stanley in 2006 and held several management roles at the Firm’s corporate headquarters in New York before becoming a partner in the Weber Russo Group. Later, I followed my fiancée to her hometown of Kirkland to join Kathy on the team. My passion to contribute to the success of others drives me to listen well and bring all of my knowledge and insight to every client conversation. My broad understanding of the markets also enables me to explain complex principles in terms that are easy to understand.
I was introduced to the importance of saving and investing at a young age, when I would join my parents at the kitchen table during meetings with their stockbroker. In grade school, I even created my own mock portfolios and compared the returns to my parents’ account. I went on to earn my Bachelor of Science degree in finance from the State University of New York at Oswego. I also hold a Grande Diplome in Classic Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute in New York City.
My wife and I have live in Kirkland, with an adjoining backyard to my mother-in-law and business partner, Kathy Weber. We have two dogs and two young children.
Contact me: James.Russo@morganstanley.com
BM/Supervisor; Securities Agent: AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, HI, ID, KS, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TX, WA; General Securities Representative; Investment Advisor Representative; Managed Futures
Irena is responsible for administrating and executing our team’s recommendations, from establishing accounts and cashiering to scheduling transfers and providing online help to our clients. Our clients rely on her for quick, efficient assistance with professional service and a positive attitude. As the oldest girl of nine children growing up, she has enjoyed the role of using her skills and talents to serve the group’s needs from an early age.
Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2008, Irena worked at another financial firm.
Irena grew up in Lithuania and moved to the U.S. when she was 13 years old. She has an active church life and, in her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family, friends and Peanut, her beloved bichon frise.
Working closely with you to guide your wealth and investments through the most challenging market cycles.
Partnering with you on key aspects of your business such as ownership, liquidity and developing opportunities.
Thought Leadership for our ultra high net worth clients, which contains thought-provoking articles, authored by leading experts from Morgan Stanley Family Office Resources.
Creating customized financial strategies for the challenges that today's families face.
Working with you to understand your life goals and develop a truly personalized wealth strategy. Today and for the years to come.
Making sure your philanthropic dollars are managed with the same best-in-class service as the rest of your wealth.
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