Joanna Nowak

My Story

Change a Woman’s
Llife Forever

Who We Are

Joanna Nowak
Principal

Joanna Nowak is a fee-only independent Registered Investment Advisor and the Principal of MoneyWise Financial Advisors in Cupertino, California.

She has the following credentials:

  • Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with the State of California
  • Candidate for CFP® designation awarded by CFP Board of Standards 
  • Member of Financial Planning Association, actively serving on Programs Committee
  • Series 65 Licensee, Uniform Investment Adviser Law License
  • Certificant in Personal Financial Planning, UC Santa Cruz
  • MBA, Masters of Business Administration, Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business

My Story

I have always found money a fascinating subject. It’s such a powerful and central force in our lives, whether we have it or not. Yet like most people, I recognize that lasting values in life -- love, family, friendship, good health, fulfilling career, community involvement -- are not a function of how much money we have. In our lives we strive to seek balance between these two seemingly contradictory ideas.

Several experiences in my life set me on the course to pursue a career in financial planning. First, over the years, my female friends would come to me for financial advice. By virtue of my academic training and interest in investing and the psychology of money, they assumed I had answers to all finance-related questions. What I found intriguing was that, although those women were intelligent and successful professionals, they were overwhelmed, intimidated or resisted what they knew needed to be done to fix their financial affairs.

Second, years of expensive, sales-driven financial planning and investment advice from traditional financial services firms made us realize that working with commission-driven Wall Street brokerage houses was neither good for our wallet nor our soul. I vowed to look for a better model, which would be more affordable, more effective and a more personal way to manage finances.

Before becoming a financial planner, I worked in the field of management consulting, training, marketing and advertising. Also, over the years I have been involved in a number of non-profit organizations in the Bay Area.

In light of these two experiences, mid-life career change was easy - I knew that in my next act of life I wanted to devote my time and talents to working with people from all walks of life to empower them to take charge of their financial affairs. I wanted to offer objective and professional financial advice and charge a fair price for excellent service.

Change a Woman’s Life Forever

I am committed to a variety of non-profit causes, especially those that focus on financial literacy. MoneyWise contributes a percentage of the company’s revenues to charities that help lift women out of poverty: Kiva and Women for Women International

Both organizations provide women survivors of wars and other civil conflicts with resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. The organizations leverage the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions to alleviate poverty.

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