68. Blazing the Fee-Only Financial Planning Trail for Women with Dr. Karen C. Altfest, Ph.D., CFP®, Principal Advisor & Executive Vice President, Altfest Personal Wealth Management

We are so honored and excited to have the iconic Dr. Karen Altfest In the Suite! Karen is a Principal Adviser and executive vice president at Altfest Personal Wealth Management, a fee-only financial planning and investment management boutique firm in New York. Altfest Personal Wealth Management is a company she runs with her husband Lew and their son Andrew.  Her team manages over a billion dollars in client assets. 

Throughout her 30-year career, Karen has blazed a trail in fee-only financial planning for women. With a Ph.D. in history and CFP designation, Karen has written many scholarly articles and books on financial planning and investments and curated CFP programs at Manhattan’s New School and Pace University. 

Karen has carefully curated educational programs through her Women’s Financial Spa and Women’s Financial Salon programs.  She’s also created a special place within her office called “The Parlor” a private space for women to share their issues.  

Throughout the years, Karen has been the recipient of multiple awards. In 2019, Crain’s New York Business acknowledged Karen as a notable woman on Wall Street for the fourth time, and most recently, she was recognized as the Top Woman Wealth Advisor by Forbes for the third consecutive year!

Growing up in a family that believed in social work set a wonderful example for pursuing a better world. As the founding chairman of the New York Common Pantry, she provides hot meals, nutrition education, and case management services to hundreds of people annually!

One of the many gifts you’ll discover about Karen Altfest in this episode is her unrelenting dedication and commitment to women’s empowerment and making the world a better place. As a woman in finance, I am in awe of her achievements and inspired by her work. You will be too In The Suite. 

  • (03:20) Working with Family 
  • (06:41) Karen has a Ph.D. in History!
  • (09:25) Karen’s Journey to Finance 
  • (12:41) “We’re Behind in Financial Literacy”
  • (16:44) About the Financial Savvy Women Program
  • (22:37) Money is about Human Feelings
  • (24:53) Advice for Female Financial Advisors
  • (30:36) Why Stay Connected to your Alma Mater?
  • (34:00) Founder of The New York Common Pantry
  • (40:40) “Don’t Belittle Yourself!”
  • (44:00) Best way to get in touch with Karen
  • (44:50) Karen’s Book Recommendation


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