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Karen Altfest

author Image Karen C. Altfest, Ph.D., CFP, is a principal advisor and executive vice president of client relations at Altfest Personal Wealth Management, a fee-only financial planning and investment management firm founded in 1983 and based in New York City.


Articles by this Author

Books: "Keeping Clients for Life," "Lew Altfest Answers Almost All Your Questions About Money," (with Lewis Altfest)

Biography:

Karen Altfest, Ph.D., is a principal advisor and executive vice president of client relations at Altfest Personal Wealth Management. She helps many of the firm’s clients on a variety of investment and financial planning issues.

Altfest is frequently a speaker on the subject of women and money and conducts educational seminars for recent widows and people looking to retire. She is often interviewed by the national media and wrote a monthly Financial Question and Answer column for All You magazine. Altfest’s most recent book, "Keeping Clients for Life," was published by John Wiley & Sons in 2001. An earlier book, "Lew Altfest Answers Almost All Your Questions About Money," which she co-wrote, was published by McGraw-Hill and was named one of the best financial planning books by Money magazine.

In 2014, The Financial Times named Altfest one of the "Top 100 Women Financial Advisors" in the United States. In 2013, Financial Planning magazine honored Altfest in a cover story with the Lifetime Achievement Influencer Award, as an adviser who over the course of her career, has empowered women and pushed the financial planning industry to higher levels. Wealth Manager named Altfest one of the "50 Distinguished Women in Wealth Management" in 2008 and 2009.

Altfest received her Ph.D. in history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also holds M.A. and B.A. degrees from Hunter College, is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, and holds the CFP designation. She is a member of the Financial Women’s Association and is on the board of directors of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan. Altfest is co-chair of the Alumni Professional Development Task Force of the Graduate Center of CUNY, serves on the CUNY Graduate Center Foundation Board, sits on McGill’s Alumni Board of New York, and is a founder and former chair of the New York Common Pantry.

Articles by this Author


  1. Financial Planning »

    12 Guidelines for Widows, and Suggestions for Husbands

    Suggestions on how to avoid common mistakes and gain control of finances following (and even before) the death of a spouse.

    October 2016 | Journal

  2. Financial Planning »

    Life After a Loss: 6 Smart Steps for Coping With Widowhood

    Guidance on which steps should be taken within few months of a spouse’s passing and which steps can and should be postponed.

    July 2016 | Journal

  3. Surviving a Loss: Smart Steps for Coping With Widowhood image

    Features »

    Surviving a Loss: Smart Steps for Coping With Widowhood

    If you have recently lost your spouse, you are confronting many changes. Because financial planning at this stage involves both a person's emotional state and financial state, many widows are pushed to make unwise decisions, or to make changes before they are ready. Smart steps for widows to take when the time is right.

    August 2009 | Journal

  4. Portfolio Strategies »

    Due Diligence: 10 Steps to Avoiding Ponzi Schemes and Financial Fraud

    The uncovering of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, and the fraud committed by several other financial hucksters, highlights the importance of asking the right questions before selecting an advisor or participating in an investment. Ten questions to ask, and red flag warning signs of the potential for trouble.

    April 2009 | Journal

  5. Portfolio Makeover »

    A Full Financial Planning Plate: Kids, Parents and Retirement

    A couple in the "sandwich generation" faces financial concerns ranging from aging parents, children not yet in their teens, and their own financial support when they retire. A financial planner gives advice on juggling these concerns.

    October 2003 | Journal

  6. Retirement Planning »

    Surviving A Loss: Smart Steps for Coping With Widowhood

    If you have recently lost your spouse, you are confronting many changes. Because financial planning at this stage involves both a person's emotional state and financial state, many widows are pushed to make unwise decisions, or to make changes before they are ready. Smart steps for widows to take when the time is right.

    | Evergreen