Hi, I’m Valerie and I am a First in my family.

The First to go to college.
The First to break barriers at work.
The First to make more money than my parents ever did.


Are you a First?

Hi, I’m Valerie and I am a First in my family.

The First to go to college.
The First to break barriers at work.
The First to make more money than my parents ever did.

Are you a First?

I entered financial services in 2008 at ShoreBank, a community development bank. The past 10 years have been primarily at large wealth management firms, including AllianceBernstein, Merrill Lynch and TIAA, serving clients with $5-$10 million of net worth. Throughout my tenure, I’ve learned despite how much money we have, we all want the same basic things in life: to be happy, healthy and to spend time with the people we love.

What I noticed throughout my career was that generally no one looked like me, both on the advisor side AND the client side. Although money is a critical part of our livelihood, we don’t learn about this stuff in school and quality advice is only provided to those who have already achieved financial success.

I have a strong social justice bone. I believe the system is designed to widen the wealth gap. We place the blame on the individual and not the corporations or government that support financial exclusion.

Part of my mission is to break this cycle. To guide all the Firsts and act as a catalyst to feel secure about your own financial success. To create generational wealth. I have a huge focus on providing education and meeting people where they are in life for no shame, no judgement financial planning that will transform your life.

I entered financial services in 2008 at ShoreBank, a community development bank. The past 10 years have been primarily at large wealth management firms, including AllianceBernstein, Merrill Lynch and TIAA, serving clients with $5-$10 million of net worth. Throughout my tenure, I’ve learned despite how much money we have, we all want the same basic things in life: to be happy, healthy and to spend time with the people we love.

What I noticed throughout my career was that generally no one looked like me, both on the advisor side AND the client side. Although money is a critical part of our livelihood, we don’t learn about this stuff in school and quality advice is only provided to those who have already achieved financial success.

I have a strong social justice bone. I believe the system is designed to widen the wealth gap. We place the blame on the individual and not the corporations or government that support financial exclusion.

Part of my mission is to break this cycle. To guide all the Firsts and act as a catalyst to feel secure about your own financial success. To create generational wealth. I have a huge focus on providing education and meeting people where they are in life for no shame, no judgement financial planning that will transform your life.

Have you ever tried doing a photoshoot with a 3 year old?

The little one is Violet Esperanza and it took a lot of bribery to get this shot. My husband Dan is a Cubs fan and I’m a Sox fan but other than that, we get along! I’m born and raised in Chicago and despite the winters, this is our forever home. Family is everything to us and we live surrounded by my siblings and parents (Dan is a very patient man! Ha!).

I am a complete learning and podcast junkie. I love to read about personal finance, social justice and taxes in my downtime (I have a problem, I know). When I’m not raving about tax planning and Roth IRAs, we LOVE international travel. Travelling with a toddler is a slower pace but it hasn’t stopped us from seeing the world. At home, we love to visit museums, explore Chicago’s amazing architecture and spend time with friends and family. Daily dance parties are a must in our home.

Thanks for stopping by!

Have you ever tried doing a photoshoot with a 3 year old?

The little one is Violet Esperanza and it took a lot of bribery to get this shot. My husband Dan is a Cubs fan and I’m a Sox fan but other than that, we get along! I’m born and raised in Chicago and despite the winters, this is our forever home. Family is everything to us and we live surrounded by my siblings and parents (Dan is a very patient man! Ha!).

I am a complete learning and podcast junkie. I love to read about personal finance, social justice and taxes in my downtime (I have a problem, I know). When I’m not raving about tax planning and Roth IRAs, we LOVE international travel. Travelling with a toddler is a slower pace but it hasn’t stopped us from seeing the world. At home, we love to visit museums, explore Chicago’s amazing architecture and spend time with friends and family. Daily dance parties are a must in our home.

Thanks for stopping by!