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Michael Branham, CFP®

Partner/Sr. Financial Planner

Alaska
Twin Cities

My ultimate responsibility as a financial planner is to serve my clients and help them achieve their personal and financial goals. As a result, I am committed to the comprehensive financial planning approach, and understand that each facet of a client’s financial life has an impact on the others. I help people navigate the transitions of life, aid GenX professionals and GenX families in preparing for the future, and work extensively with clients to develop income plans for their retirement years.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you have imagined.” [Henry David Thoreau]

Outwardly, my “career highlight” is serving and leading my profession as President of the Financial Planning Association (FPA). That said, the satisfaction we planners get in helping our clients achieve their financial goals, and in guiding them through life’s ebbs and flows, is more important than any personal accolades. I have the opportunity to help people achieve all that life has to offer, which assures us of incredible variety in our work and in our relationships.

When I am not working I strive to live a life of health and happiness, and learn to take life as it comes. You will typically find me on my off days attending, along with my wife, the various sports and activities in which my children participate. I also enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, canoeing, and other outdoor endeavors.

Credentials

Affiliations: Fee-Only Planning

Areas of Expertise: Retirement accumulation and income solution strategies, transition planning, annual tax planning

Memberships: Financial Planning Association (FPA), National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

  • Served as President of FPA, the youngest in FPA’s history, in 2013.
  • Served as Chair of FPA’s Advocacy Committee in 2015.
  • Served as Chairman of FPA’s Board of Directors in 2014.
  • Served as FPA President-Elect, and a member of FPA’s executive Committee in 2012.
  • Elected to the FPA Board of Directors, to serve the 24,000 members of the organization, for three-year term beginning in 2009 (2009-2011).
  • Served in executive leadership for NexGen, FPA’s community for financial planners under the age of 36 years old, as President (2007) and Chair (2008).
  • Served on the FPA of MN Board of Directors as Director- Membership Services (2008).
  • Served on the FPA of MN Board of Directors as Director- Career Development (2006-2007).
  • Served as a member of the FPA of MN Government Relations Committee (2001-2003).
  • Has personally advocated in Washington D.C. on behalf of FPA (in Congress, the executive branch, and at the Department of Labor) to ensure that clients can expect a Fiduciary Standard of Care when working with a financial planner, financial advisor, or any financial professional where advice is given.
  • Has been quoted in numerous consumer and trade publications over his 16 year career, including the Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch, The Journal of Financial Planning, Money Magazine, and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, to name a few.

What inspires me:
Hard working, dedicated people overcoming the odds to succeed.

Most effective saving tip:
Begin as early as possible, save systematically and be mindful of the long-term.

My investment philosophy in action:
Keep the big picture in mind, and avoid focusing on the short-term noise! Why you are investing is ultimately more important than any given year’s return.

My greatest extravagance (under $100):
Coffee, I guess. I am a relatively new coffee drinker who somehow justifies spending $5 on 16 oz. of caffeine.

In my spare time:

I watch a lot of hockey and Lacrosse; I try to be active and outside.

My personal heroes:
My parents…for instilling in me the work ethic and drive to allow whatever successes I have in life…..and for having the fortitude to raise my two brothers and me–which could not have been easy.

232 Years
Combined
Experience

Wisdom

We learn and teach continuously

1998
Year
Established

Responsibility

We hold ourselves accountable for pursuing the highest standards

50
Year Vision

Forward Looking

We make decisions with future generations in mind

10+ Years
Avg. Client
Relationship

Collaboration

We build powerful relationships by working towards common goals

100 Percent
Independent

Objectivity

We listen and keep an open mind

100 Percent
Fee-Only

Fiduciary

We work directly for our clients and put client’s interests first

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