Goodbye, financial services _!!smokescreen.!!_
Hello, EmberHouse – personal, passionate, plainspoken financial planning.
We believe in wealth management with honesty, responsiveness,
and a serious lack of dread, shame, and gobbledygook.
Our founder’s _!!story!!_
“Money is inextricably linked to our lives;
you can’t escape it.
And money is always about more than just money.”
Lisa Dieter, CFP®, is rather a rare bird in the world of finance. Naturally analytical, she’s passionate about math and revels in intellectual challenge. She’s got a favorite irrational number. But she’s also strongly intuitive, insightful, and a true people-person. She needs more than numbers to find her work fulfilling – she needs to help others. Which is how Lisa came to see that her industry is broken.
“The whole financial-services model is broken,” she asserts. “How services are delivered is unhelpful, and even with well-intentioned advisors, the focus is wrong. Financial planners tend to be people who love to tell other people what to do. I tried that, and found it ineffective.”
What Lisa found really worked was engaging with empathy – not enforcing values onto her clients, but helping clients clarify their own values and use their money accordingly. This approach of meeting people where they are financially, including their emotions and psychology around money, led Lisa to found EmberHouse.
“My whole career has been leading up to this concept,” she affirms. “At EmberHouse, our focus is on helping people become the best version of themselves, and eliminating any anxiety, stress or fear they might have around money issues. Everything we do goes through that filter – if what we’re doing doesn’t eradicate anxiety, stress or fear around money, or it doesn’t help the client live their best life, then we don’t bother.”
A key component of our practice is helping clients define and act on their core values -- here are ours:
Tell the truth, but kindly
We are understanding, but direct. We tell it like it is, no sugarcoating necessary. We believe in collaboration, communication and heartfelt honesty.
Ensure a proper fit
We want to make a tangible, sustainable change in our clients’ lives. If you’re not a good fit for our services, we’ll tell you.
Speak the client’s language
We can’t understand you if you can’t understand us. All communication is considered from the perspective of “Will this make sense to the client?”
Stay in our lane
Anyone who says they know it all, knows nothing. Our talents are diverse, but we lean on trusted partners when clients need something outside of our area of expertise.
Honor the client and their values
We treat every client like we would our mom. In fact, our moms are clients. We never judge. If you don’t feel safe, confident and heard -- we aren’t doing our jobs.
a _!!physicist!!_, and
an _!!accountant!!_ who don’t believe numbers
are all there is.
Numbers are our specialty. But our superpower is aligning
the right numbers and behaviors for your financial success.
Wealth Advisor, Father, Passionate People-Watcher
Brian has worn just about every hat that exists in the financial services world. He has worked as a CPA, Finance Officer, Broker, Trader and now spins his expertise into solutions as a personal Wealth Advisor. He also holds a certificate in Horticulture from the Royal Horticulture Society, London, so you might say he has a passion for encouraging and empowering growth.
His years of experience on the business, bank and client side of finance make him an exceptional financial map maker -- pinpointing exactly where a client is, where they want to be and helping them forge the smoothest path.
Brian believes that money is there to give oneself the time and freedom to pursue happiness. For him, that happiness is manifest when he watches his sons play competitive soccer, learn tae kwon do and perform onstage with their jazz ensemble or theatre group.
In his free time, Brian serves as co-Chair of the Financial Planning Forum for the Illinois CPA Society. In his less math-related free time, Brian enjoys studying Chen Tai Chi, kayaking and perfecting his ramen recipe.
Founder, Wealth Advisor, Unabashed Nerd
Lisa’s reputation as an advocate and ally started in preschool, when she received top marks in “helping others”. She embraced her calling, spending much of her adult life exploring the mind-body connection, and helping people manage and even conquer their finances.
Lisa is a fully registered nerd and loved every part of school, even paying off her college debt, but math was always her favorite subject. To wit, she has a favorite irrational number. It is no surprise that she has found a happy home in financial services: a career that combines her love of helping others and solving complex problems.
Prior to founding EmberHouse, Lisa worked as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, Mesirow Financial and JPMorgan Chase. Throughout fifteen years of experience in financial services, she has had tens of thousands of opportunities to observe, guide and learn from clients and their money habits. From the way a client spends their paycheck to the way they plan for retirement, Lisa sees a story in every behavior, and is eager to give those stories a happy ending.
In her free time, she likes to read, eat yummy food with friends and drink white Burgundy. She is mildly obsessed with longevity and health, and will try pretty much any spa treatment once - the working title of her Great American Novel is Friends and Enemas.
Operations Manager, Resident Tech Wiz, Office Punster
Always game for a new challenge, Matt has never given much weight to traditional paths or what “most” people are doing. As a teenager, when most of his peers were blowing their allowance on pizza and Nintendo games, Matt invested his bar mitzvah gift money and was already buying stocks and cashing dividend checks.
Matt went on to combine two unlikely majors, studying business and physics in college, and diversified his portfolio of skills even further when he taught himself software engineering and web development.
Professionally, Matt has focused on bridging the gap between technology, business and finance to build businesses and help them thrive. For example, as operations director at a small software shop, he helped the firm develop, scale and ultimately sell an electronic payments product.
First and foremost, Matt is a builder -- of wealth, of skills, of software, of web apps, of businesses, of his extensive bourbon collection, of EmberHouse.