Jennifer Cray, CFP®, MBA
Growing up in a family of teachers and writers isn’t the usual recipe for becoming a financial planner. But while studying journalism in college, I came across a magazine article that explained the miracle of compound interest. The article had an illustration of a young woman sitting on a big nest egg, compared with an older gentleman sitting on a smaller nest egg. She started saving early, at just $100 a month. He started saving much later, at $1,000 a month. Here’s the miracle part: She will retire with more money.
The notion that small actions can make a huge difference to our financial health captured my imagination. I went on to pursue a career in newspaper editing, and later the Internet industry. But all the while my fascination with personal finance grew into a passion to help other people with their finances.
Now as a partner at Investor’s Capital Management, I specialize in helping working individuals and families. Most grew up middle class and have worked hard to take care of themselves, their families and their communities. Now they find themselves with money, yet have no desire for the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. They’re basically the same people they were when they were young, cash was tight, and they slept on futons and ate cup of noodles.
Today they’re smart, busy professionals who want to be in control of their financial lives but don’t have the time to keep up with all of the complexities. My mission is to guide my clients through their financial responsibilities while pulling together their finances into an organized plan for the future. And I make sure we’re having fun along the way.
Background and Qualifications
Prior to joining ICM, I worked at E*TRADE Securities as a senior product manager, creating online stock and option trading tools. I hold a B.A. degree in Print Journalism and a Master’s of Business Administration degree, both from the University of Southern California. I received my certificate in Personal Financial Planning from UC Santa Cruz Extension. I am also a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass.
I am a Certified Financial Planner™ professional (CFP®) and a member of:
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), a nationwide association of independent, fee-only financial planners
- Silicon Valley Chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA)
- Board of Directors for Palo Alto-based Financial Planning Forum (2007-2010)
- FPA Norcal Conference organizing committee (2004-2011)
My husband, who is a high-school English teacher, and I live in Palo Alto. We have two daughters, one in high school and one in college.
CFP, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and CFP with flame logo are marks owned by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.