About Us



Wendy Marsden

Wendy Marsden, CPA  CFP® RIA, MSA started doing taxes for fun 1992. Licensed as a CPA in 2000, she opened Tea & Taxes as a CPA tax practice from a home office while she raised her young children. She developed a reputation as a compassionate and thorough tax accountant who looked at the whole financial picture, often offering financial advising to her people as well as tax preparation. Although she joined NAPFA in 2012, she didn’t add stand-alone comprehensive financial planning services to her tax practice until 2014. Here’s a video where she talks about her slow transition to financial planner.

A registered investment advisor in Massachusetts since 2016, she started using the name ProsperiTea Planning for the investment advisory practice. This completed the journey to becoming a deeply integrated holistic financial advisor. She combines tax planning and preparation, comprehensive planning, and investment advising into one service offered under an annual retainer to a few dozen people.

Ms. Marsden’s graduate degree is from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass/Amherst. She participated in their prestigious two-year MBA program, but took all her electives in Accounting and graduated with the Masters of Science in Accounting rather than the Masters of Business Administration. She continued her education with independent coursework in financial planning.

Honors included graduating first in her class with her MS in Accounting, passing both the CPA and CFP® exams on the first sitting, and winning the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement. Her bachelor’s degree is in Physics

& Astronomy, with a minor in Computer Science, from Mount Holyoke College, class of ’86. She is a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. You can also find Wendy Marsden on LinkedIn.


Photograph of Sam Plotkin

Samuel Plotkin

Full time dad and financial planner. Part time sailor, mountain biker, disc golfer, and cook. Helping people navigate their finances and grow their wealth is what makes financial planning such a rewarding profession. Here’s a video of him talking about market outlooks in early 2024.

Sam co-founded Clarity Wealth Management, LLC before ultimately merging his book of business into ProsperiTea Planning. Sam spent over a dozen years working at three large asset managers in Boston: Putnam Investments, Eaton Vance Management, and Wellington Management. There, he practiced long-term investing and gained experience in both the public and private equity markets. Sam is also a real estate investor and has helped advise small businesses to successfully launch.

Sam graduated Magna Cum Laude from the UMass, Isenberg School of Management with a BBA in finance and received the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2013, which is widely considered to be the marquis designation available in the investing world.

Sam lives in Greenfield Massachusetts with his family and serves on the Board of Directors of the Greenfield Center School and the Investment Committee of Temple Israel, Greenfield.


Group photo of staff




Gary Marsden, Para-planner

Sara Helm-Wallace

Other members of the firm include virtual para-planner Gary Marsden, operations assistant and incoming para-planner Sara Helm-Wallace, and executive assistant Ann Childs.

We also have River, our wonderful office dog. If you are uncomfortable with dogs, please let us know and we will put her in her crate before you come.

River the ProsperiTea Planning dog

River the ProsperiTea Planning dog

Tea & Taxes Company dba ProsperiTea Planning is a member of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, and the Franklin County Community Development Corporation. Wendy Marsden, CPA CFP® RIA, is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners, and the Financial Planning Association.

We are a Green Business and strive to reduce our carbon footprint. We use a paperless filing system, and your copies will be printed double-sided. Virtual meetings cut down on commuting costs. In addition, we do a carbon offset each year.

Monhegan Rock Garden by Robert Grant

Monhegan Rock Garden
by Robert Grant

What do the credentials mean?

RIA stands for Registered Investment Advisor. Wendy is registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division as a person credentialed to give investment advice in Massachusetts.

CFP® stands for Certified Financial Planner™, a designation signifying a thorough educational background and passing a comprehensive two-day exam. Ms. Marsden passed the CFP® exam on her first try in 2013. There are 30 hours of continuing education required each year for CFP® certificants. The CFP Board requires the use of trademark symbols to protect the integrity of the marks.

What does the power of trust mean to you?
Read on about NAPFA and what sets us apart.

NAPFA - The Power of Trust

CFA: The CFA Program is a graduate-level self-study program that combines a broad-based curriculum of investment principles with professional conduct requirements. It is designed to prepare charter holders for a wide range of investment specialties that apply in every market all over the world.

Chartered Financial Analysts designation is awarded by the CFA Institute. To earn a CFA charter, applicants must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution or have equivalent educational or work experience. 
  • Successfully pass all three exam levels of the CFA Program using an assigned curriculum.
  • Have 48 months of acceptable professional work experience in the investment decision-making process. 
  • Fulfill society requirements, which vary by society. Unless you are upgrading from affiliate membership, all societies require two sponsor statements as part of each application; these are submitted online by your sponsors. 
  • Agree to adhere to and sign the Member’s Agreement, a Professional Conduct Statement, and any additional documentation requested by CFA Institute.

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountant. Massachusetts, where Ms. Marsden is licensed, required passing the grueling, two-day uniform CPA exam. The vast majority of candidates do not pass on their first try, but Ms. Marsden did (without using a prep course!). Massachusetts also requires that several years of an apprenticeship must be served with another CPA. CPAs have 40 hours a year of continuing education requirements — which Ms. Marsden routinely exceeds!

PFS stands for Personal Financial Specialist, a designation given to a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) who meets the financial planning requirements established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), which Wendy was awarded but no longer maintains as the CFP® credential duplicates it.

Your doctor is certified. Your lawyer is certified.
Is your accountant certified?

If your accountant isn’t a Certified Public Accountant,
think twice about where you are getting your advice.
Who do you want handling your financial and business matters?
If your accountant isn’t a CPA, it’s time to seek professional help.

CPA - Never Underestimate The Value