ProsperiTea Planning


Thanksgiving Family Money Letter 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s my annual newsletter filled with tips to talk about with your family over the Thanksgiving table, because money is probably the least stressful topic, right? There are four sections to the newsletter – feel free to skip around between General updates, Tax Tips, Tea T.I.M.E. (Investing news), and Financial Planning Tips. #1: Updates!Tea & Taxes continues to wind down as I make room for more people and more services in ProsperiTea Planning. What […]


Tax Alpha

No investment advisor can honestly tell you that they can use their expertise to make you an additional 10% return on your investments. However, I can honestly say that I can, in many instances, save you 10% of your investments through good tax planning to get taxes paid on qualified money at the lowest possible bracket. You don’t want to leave a tip to the IRS! How, you ask? I’ve got a lot of strategies. […]


Are you ready for ProsperiTea?

Who should hire me? Meet four people, all amalgams, of people who are happy they did. Awesome Elder Alex is retired and wants to be off living a fun life. Alex wants a trustworthy person to do the money stuff, including designing a cash flow strategy, and keeping funds invested prudently. Wendy works as a retirement concierge, being the financial person on their team. Financially Free (or Retired Now) Fran doesn’t want financial planning, Fran […]


Why use my Custodian?

There is an enormous difference between working on individual retail accounts and working with the tools a professional custodian gives me. Benefits to you include: Better access to institutional-class funds. Because of my fiduciary business model and professional credentials, I’m authorized to use DFA funds (Dimensional Fund Advisors). I can only access them through my professional custodian, though. These are generally acknowledged to be as good as (or better) than Vanguard funds. No-load access to otherwise-loaded mutual […]


The Human Finance Project

A funny thing happened at the NAPFA conference in Phoenix this year. TD Ameritrade is doing a series of short films to promote the Registered Investment Advisor model (as opposed to the sales rep model) for investment advising. They asked if I’d come be interviewed. As is the norm with these things, fifteen minutes got edited down to a minute or two. I can’t say I am thrilled with the way I come across – […]


What to Look For in a Financial Professional

Financial services is a young profession and there’s a lot of squabbling going on with regard to what designations are best. There are 100x as many salesmen out there as financial professionals, though, and a bunch of the designations were designed to give them credibility. Quite a lot of the credentials people have can be obtained with a week-end cram course. For tax prep the professionals are CPAs or lawyers, but you have to confirm […]


In case of death…

Ever wonder what happens to you, as a client, when your financial advisor dies? Even though I am barely 50 as I write this, I actually have given this a lot of thought. Here are the things I’ve done to make sure my clients are taken care of in case I am suddenly unable to. (I used to say “hit by a bus”, but a bus driver once vented to me about how much he […]


Upcoming conferences I’ll be at in 2016

Do you have any financial planning or investment advising questions bugging you? I’ve got two different conferences coming up and want to make sure I use that time wisely by paying attention to what my clients want me to learn. Related to this, heads up that I’m going to be out of town. The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors conference is in Phoenix May 17th through May 20th. NAPFA is the association of fee-only […]


Scheduling Notes for 2016

August 3, 2016   I’m on the road a lot when it’s not tax season for two reasons: continuing education and family vacations.  In 2016 I’m scheduled to go to: National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Conference in Phoenix May 17th to 20th (completed) Alliance of Comprehensive Planners training in Denver June 6th to 9th (completed) Dimensional Fund Advisors training in Charlotte Sept 27 and 28 Alliance of Comprehensive Planners Annual Conference in Seattle […]


Did you know that I am more than just a CPA doing a tax prep service?

April 25, 2016 As a Certified Financial Planner™professional, and as someone registered in Massachusetts as an Investment Advisor, I work as a fiduciary comprehensive financial planner for a group of clients who have me on an annual flat-fee retainer as their “financial concierge”. This service includes: retirement planning, estate planning, strategizing for financial aid, investment advising and management, setting up (or rebalancing) your overall asset allocation for your investments, tax planning and preparation, and advising […]


Legal disclosures

Important Consumer Information All written content on this site is for informational purposes, only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP®, either acting as Firm Principal for Tea & Taxes Company or doing business as ProsperiTea Planning. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representation is made as to its accuracy or completeness. All information and ideas should be discussed in detail with your individual advisor prior to implementation. Fee-only […]


Thanksgiving Family Money Letter – 2015

  Happy Thanksgiving! The biggest payoff comes from being good at things that are absolutely under our control. That’s the lesson I’ve learned studying economics, finance, and investment theory. That includes saving for goals, being a judicious consumer, and maintaining your relationships, your health, and your emotional wellness. One of my new gurus, Bert Whitehead, wrote a book called Why Smart People Do Stupid Things with Money: Overcoming Financial Dysfunction. He says not to put too […]


The retainer-based financial planning model

A fee-only fiduciary certified financial planner is someone who is a financial professional. “Fiduciary” means “putting your interests ahead of my own. Not equal to, but ahead. I have to act as a trustworthy agent for you. It’s the professional standard that you should insist on, but most people never even realize there’s that option. There are over 600,000 broker/dealers in the United States and about 2,500 members of the National Association of Personal Financial Planners (the […]


Alliance of Comprehensive Planners

It’s been hard to find my path as a fiduciary, fee-only financial professional.  There are so many sales agents out there that people automatically think I’m just another one.  How can they tell, when financial credentials are so thick on the ground?  I’ve heard some really ridiculous ones.  But a fee-only financial planner who belongs to NAPFA is like the difference between a doctor and a pharmacist.  A doctor has a broad range of training […]


What to bring to your first appointment with Wendy Marsden, CPA, CFP®

You’ve just signed up for a consultation with a financial professional.  What do you need to bring? It depends a bit on what you’re hoping to get out of the meeting.  Let’s break it into three cases and you can skip to the section you think fits your situation: Financial planning Tax planning Investment advising Financial planning (which may include investment advising, but see that below) The first thing you need to bring is your problem. What is […]