Building a Family Practice Over 40 Years
Lewis and Karen Altfest of Altfest Personal Wealth Management
The story of New York City-based Altfest Personal Wealth Management is unusual, if not unique, in the annals of early Fee-Only firms.
Soon after Lewis Altfest launched his advisory business in 1983, his wife, Karen, marched through the door and declared that she would take a significant role as well. They have led the firm ever since. “We complement each other,” says Lew, the firm’s CEO and holder of a Ph.D. in investment analysis, as well as the CFA®, CFP®, CPA®, and PFS® credentials. “I’m more analytical, and she’s more social.”
With both parents as principals, the business was family dinner table conversation to the extent that their son Andrew is now president and will continue to run Altfest Personal Wealth Management when Karen and Lew retire. “In our family, there was no separation of talking business and pleasure,” says Karen, executive vice president, who also holds a Ph.D.
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