Zach Teutsch has lived in Petworth for a long time, and has focused his career on helping people make good financial decisions. To help him realize that in a more direct, personal way, Zach recently left his job at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to start his own financial advisory company called Values Added Financial.
You might not know Zach, but if you live in Petworth, you've benefited from his work in the community. While he's always been active in the neighborhood, in the past few years he's stepped up to volunteer for the Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C, where he is now the Chair. If you take a bus along 14th Street (or wish you could take an Express bus there), then you should know it was Zach who pushed the hardest and loudest to finally get DC to fund the upcoming Express line. He's also an advocate for affordable housing in our neighborhood and city, helped Petworth News get the spray parks hours extended for kids and families as well as ensure the kids' pool at Upshur stays open. He's motivated by helping others.
And while Zach is a committed neighbor, dedicated to social change and civil rights, with his latest venture he's also someone worthy to look to for financial planning that keeps positive values in mind. I think his new business is worth sharing with the neighborhood.
As he writes on his new Values Added Financial website, "It is rare to find someone who can help with financial topics who is also committed to feminism, economic equality, and other areas of justice and social change. If you happen to share these values or have other closely held ones, it is important to find someone who understands them and can help you apply them to these topics."
Zach says he the first financial advisor/investment manager with an office in Petworth, not surprising for someone who is so dedicated to the neighborhood.
So what does a financial advisor/investment manager do?
"Good financial advisors, sometimes called planners, serve as trusted advisors to help clients make smart choices about money – choices that lead to peace of mind and financial independence," Zach said. "Investment managers help implement good decisions though assisting clients in managing their invested assets. I do both, help clients make good decision and then, for clients who want help, help them implement those decisions so they rest easy and don't have to worry about whether their portfolio is as it should be."
"Our community is full of people who need help thinking through financial issues small and large. Until now they've had to leave the neighborhood and go to someone who may not be as natural a fit as the kind of person who is a part of the same community we all are. I set up an office right here in the neighborhood, on Shepherd Street."
What sets Zach apart from other financial advisors is his focus on public service, and bringing his personal values to his work. "I am evidence-based in my approach and focus on using the best research to achieve above average results," Zach said. "I am transparent, committed to putting clients first (I’m a fiduciary), and don’t take any kickbacks or commissions. I also focus on understanding people’s goals and their relationship to money and feelings about it since those are essential to helping them succeed and be happy in their financial lives. I also work comprehensively and help coordinate my work (setting goals/priorities, financial planning, investment management, tax planning, etc) with other related areas (estate planning, insurance, etc) so that nothing falls through the cracks."
What sorts of people do you help?
"My clients typically have steady incomes and are trying to figure out how to use that money wisely. I often work with folks as their lives have become more complex (career milestones, kid(s), real-estate decisions, etc). Often they have done pretty well at making life and financial decisions historically but over time, as they have had less time, their needs have grown, the stakes have gotten higher, and finding someone who can help them navigate their financial lives has become a necessity. I currently work with clients from many backgrounds and in many professions. I work with lawyers, journalists, policy/politics workers, startup folks, designers, computer engineers, social entrepreneurs, physicians, nurses, organizers, clergy, and lots more."
If this sounds like the type of financial guidance you'd be interested in, you should connect with Zach. You can Like his new Facebook page to stay up to date with free, relevant content. If you're thinking about becoming a client, Zach says he's happy to explore ideas with you and see if it’s a good fit.
"Our first meeting would be a free consult where we will explore your situation and how I might be able to help. Our second meeting would also be free (and no obligation) and from there, we’d decide if it was a good fit."
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I just believe in this guy. He's an awesome neighbor and someone dedicated to social and civil rights. ~ Drew