Born and raised in Bisbee, Arizona, Bert started in the financial industry at age eleven, as a ‘Board Boy’ for the local E.F. Hutton agency. After obtaining his MBA in Finance at the University of Arizona in 1967, and then completing his Juris Doctor at the Detroit College of Law in 1972, Bert went on to become a pioneer in the Fee-Only Financial Planning Industry.
After receiving his law degree, Bert started practicing as a tax attorney and fee-only financial planner serving primarily executives, professionals, and small business owners. His practice grew by referrals, spurred by his refusal to take on any client unless he could save them more money than he charged them, a stand he still takes today.
Armed with the philosophy that financial planning isn’t an event, but a life-long process, Bert set out to perfect his ideal by creating a financial planning firm, Cambridge Connection, Inc. Bert’s philosophy is based on the belief that fee-only compensation and a fiduciary relationship are vital components of the goal to place the interests of the client above all others.
For over 40 years, Cambridge Connection provided comprehensive, fee-only financial advising to people in every stage of the financial life cycle. Along with fellow advisors and a staff of paraplanners, the firm offered services such as goal setting, tax planning & preparation, insurance review, asset allocation, education financing, estate planning, portfolio management, investment counseling, and wealth management. With clients throughout the United States, plus the ability to meet virtually with clients around the world, Cambridge Connection grew to become a leading fee-only firm catering to diverse clientele. The firm was succeeded by staff and continues to grow.
In 1983 fee-only financial planning practitioners coalesced into an organization, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), with Bert as one of the pioneer members. In 1995 Bert again utilized his decades of experience to form another new organization, now known as the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP), to train financial advisors on a national basis in the Cambridge approach to holistic fee-only financial planning. ACP has become a notable force in the financial industry with hundreds of advisors having been trained in the ACP/Cambridge System.
Bert’s innovations in the financial industry have led to many accolades and honors on his behalf. He has been selected by Worth Magazine as one of the 100 best personal financial advisors in the US for many years. He has been featured on over 100 talk radio shows, Fox Money Line, and the cable series ‘Focus on Investments’. His insightful advice has been quoted and featured in: the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Detroit News, Money Magazine, Worth Magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, Investment Advisor magazine, Research Magazine, Financial Planning magazine, Investment News, NAPFA Advisor magazine, Financial Planning Journal, and many others. Furthermore, Bert’s book, Why Smart People Do Stupid Things with Money: Overcoming Financial Dysfunction (5th ed.), describes his unique approach to achieve financial freedom using Functional Asset Allocation, a simple, sensible strategy for the wise investor. Bert also acted as both the writer and presenter for the PBS Special based on his book which aired nationally from 2007 to 2009.
Bert simplifies and brings the basics of financial planning to all, not just the wealthy and elite. Bert’s real-life solutions to clients’ problems, his reputation as a leading authority and tireless proponent of ethical financial planning, as well as his valuable work as a coach, continues to have a major impact on the financial world.