The Balance Financial Review Board
Meet our Review Board members and learn more about our process
We know that finding trustworthy financial advice online can be difficult and confusing—the internet is full of unverified information and personal opinions masquerading as facts. In order to help you feel confident making money decisions, we prioritize publishing fact-checked articles that are up to date with industry developments and trends. To ensure we’re reaching that goal, we created the Financial Review Board, a group of professionals with wide-ranging expertise in the financial industry, from professors to certified financial planners. These experts comb over our content and work with our editorial team to make sure we’re giving you the best possible information, every time.
Who Is On The Board?
Our board boasts experts with 100+ years of combined financial experience and a range of specialties, like taxes, investing, debt, financial planning, and economics. We hand-picked these members based on their impressive credentials and ability to communicate sometimes difficult or dense concepts to a broad audience.
Somer G. Anderson, Ph.D., CPA, has been working in the accounting and finance industries for over 20 years as a financial statement auditor, a finance manager in a large healthcare organization, and a finance and accounting professor. She has a passion for increasing the financial literacy of American consumers and has published her related research in peer-reviewed publications such as the Journal of Financial Planning, Financial Services Review, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, and Family of Consumer Sciences Research Journal. Somer is an assistant professor in accounting and finance at Maryville University where her balance of industry experience, research, and service brings depth to her teaching and allows her to extrapolate teaching moments from real business events.
Anthony Battle is a financial planning expert, entrepreneur, dedicated life long learner and a recovering Wall Street professional. He has been working in the finance industry for 15+ years and is a fierce advocate for including financial literacy as a basic educational requirement in public education. Anthony is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. He has earned the Chartered Financial Consultant® designation for advanced financial planning, the Chartered Life Underwriter® designation for advanced insurance specialization, the Accredited Financial Counselor® for Financial Counseling and both the Retirement Income Certified Professional®, and Certified Retirement Counselor designations for advance retirement planning.
Michael Boyle is an experienced financial professional with more than 9 years working with financial planning, derivatives, equities, fixed income, project management, and analytics. Highlights from his career in the securities industry include implementing firm-wide technology migrations, conducting education for financial planners, becoming a subject matter expert on regulatory changes, and trading a variety of derivatives. Chartered Leadership Fellow at the American College of Financial Services, he coached and supervised financial planners on making suitable recommendations of complex financial products.
Thomas J. Brock is a Certified Financial Analyst and a Certified Public Accountant with more than two decades of experience in a variety of corporate and individual settings. In a corporate setting, he oversees a $4 billion insurance portfolio that includes $650 million in life insurance assets, facilitates investment risk assessments, formulates asset allocation recommendations, manages relationships with external advisors and money managers, and ensures compliance. In personal settings, Thomas has provided financial planning and investment management services to individuals. In those roles, he's offered retirement plans, investment policies, and in-depth education on asset classes, investment strategies, personal finance topics, insurance, and annuities.
JeFreda R. Brown is a financial consultant, educator, entrepreneur, and researcher. She has more than 20 years of professional finance experience across federal, nonprofit, corporate, and academic sectors. In addition to her experience across multiple sectors, she has served as a professor and facilitator for courses at Cornell University, University of Alabama Birmingham, and Indiana Wesleyan University. She has taught courses in corporate finance, personal finance, financial accounting, and managerial accounting, and she facilitates Cornell's Women's Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. JeFreda holds a doctorate in business administration from Walden University.
Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina. He holds an MBA from PACE University and completed his education in financial planning at NYU. Thomas has worked for Merrill Lynch and NMS Capital Advisors. In those positions, Thomas worked with individuals and companies to assess their financial situation and create a comprehensive plan to achieve their financial goals. Thomas currently owns his own advisory firm, Hilton Head Wealth Advisors. His daily client services include portfolio management and ongoing guidance on which financial strategies, insurance products, and savings vehicles are most appropriate based on individual client goals.
Amilcar Chavarria is a fintech and blockchain entrepreneur with over a decade of experience launching companies. He currently teaches cryptocurrency and fintech at major universities like Cornell, Wharton, and MIT; and advises governments, financial institutions, regulators, and startups. He’s also held management roles at Goldman Sachs and BlackRock. As the founder of FinTech School and instructor at various universities, Amilcar has trained over 20,000 students in his academic career in topics related to finTech, blockchain, cryptocurrency, entrepreneurship, and Innovation.
Marguerita M. Cheng is the Chief Executive Officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth. Prior to co-founding Blue Ocean Global Wealth, Marguerita was a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial and an Analyst and Editor at Towa Securities in Tokyo, Japan. Marguerita is a spokesperson for the AARP Financial Freedom Campaign and a regular columnist for Kiplinger. She is a CFP® professional, a Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM, a Retirement Income Certified Professional®, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.
Marguerita studied at Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, and earned her B.S. in Finance and her B.A. in East Asian Language and Japanese Literature from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a recipient of the Ameriprise Financial Presidential Award for Quality of Advice and the prestigious Japanese Monbukagakusho Scholarship.
Caitlin Clarke is a Commercial Litigation Attorney licensed in multiple state and federal jurisdictions. She is currently based out of Florida. Caitlin provides counsel to clients on a broad range of matters, including financial risk evaluation and management, contract review and negotiation, conflict resolution, as well as provides clients with guidance on federal compliance guidelines including OFCCP, OSHA, CCOHS, FTC, Interstate Commerce, ERISA guidelines, Stark law, and federal anti-kickback regulations.
Doretha Clemon, Ph.D., MBA, PMP, has been a corporate IT executive and professor for 34 years. She is a Real Estate Investor and principal at Bruised Reed Housing Real Estate Trust, a State of Connecticut Home Improvement License holder. She advises on real estate wealth building for retirement, home buying, consumer debt, credit repair, HUD/FHA, VA and USDA mortgage funding programs with down payment assistance and tax savings on properties in HUD opportunity zones and enterprise zones. Certified by the State of California to teach Accounting and Finance, she is an adjunct professor at Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, Maryville University and Indiana Wesleyan University.
Amy Drury is an accomplished financial educator with nearly two decades of experience teaching training financial professionals in accounting, business management, analysis, financial modeling, and asset management. Her clients include Wall Street firms and educational institutions: JP Morgan, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Columbia University, Tulane University, and Wake Forest University. Some of the topics that Amy has taught include accounting, financial modeling, valuation techniques, IRFS accounting, merger modeling, and financial analysis. In addition to teaching clients through classes and workshops, Amy has been a contributing writer for multiple publications, online learning curricula, and accounting and investment banking textbooks.
Eric is an Independent Insurance Broker, licensed in Life, Health, Property & Casualty insurance. His time is spent helping his client base prepare for the unexpected. His background in tax accounting has served as a solid base supporting his current book of business. Eric primarily services the NJ area, though he is licensed in several other states. Eric is passionate about financial education, entrepreneurship, and balancing a healthy mindset toward business. He has been working as a business professional for more than 13 years, whether that be in accounting or insurance. He is committed to understanding the needs of his clients, while educating them so they are able to understand the products that will protect them when needed most. Eric's specialities include life insurance, business insurance, and home insurance.
Akhilesh Ganti is a commodity trading advisor (CTA) with more than 25 years of experience in trading, with a focus on commodities. He has more than a decade of experience trading on the forex market, serving as a senior risk manager, proprietary trader, and CTA at three firms, respectively.
In those roles, he managed risk across multiple platforms, ran hedging operations, provided market-making in all major currencies, and, in his current position at ArctosFX, is responsible for all trading decisions.
Akhilesh graduated from Mississippi State University with a Master of Business Administration in finance.
Douglas Heller is a nationally recognized and frequently cited insurance expert. During more than two decades of work on public policy and regulatory matters related to insurance, he has advised consumer rights organizations, led regulatory challenges to insurance company rates and practices, served as a consulting expert in litigation, and authored numerous reports about the insurance industry. His work has saved policyholders billions of dollars on insurance premiums and helped curb unfair insurance pricing practices. He also serves as a member of the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance, as an appointed member of the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (CAARP) Advisory Committee, and as a member of the executive committee of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud.
Ebony Howard is a certified public accountant and a credentialed tax expert with Intuit. Her impressive resume includes accounting positions at health care, banking, and accounting firms. In addition to her work with companies, Ebony's role as a QuickBooks ProAdvisor allows her to help individuals work through their tax returns. In the past, Ebony served as a tax preparer for the IRS' Voluntary Income Tax Assitance program.
Peggy James is a CPA with over nine years of experience in accounting and finance, including corporate and nonprofit environments. She has a wide variety of experience that includes budgeting, journal entries, bank reconciliations, expense management, human resources, and payroll. She has also conducted personal finance training for several hundred undergraduate college students and over one hundred faculty and staff. She most recently worked at Duke University and is the owner of Peggy James, CPA, PLLC, serving small businesses, nonprofits, solopreneurs, freelancers, and individuals.
Robert Kelly has an illustrious career as a business executive, economics expert, and investment expert. He has held executive positions at energy businesses for more than three decades. He is an executive professor of finance at the Texas A&M Mays Business School, and serves as an adjunct energy economics instructor of economics at the University of Houston and Rice University. Robert's investment experience includes roles as a lead or co-lead on more than a dozen projects in which he has raised more than $4.5 billion from investors and commercial banks.
Khadija Khartit holds FINRA 7, 63, and 66 licenses and is an accomplished consultant, executive, and entrepreneur with deep expertise in banking, corporate finance, investing, credit cards, and general business matters. She is a strategy consultant and M&A advisor at fintech KoreFusion, and serves as investment officer at Aghaz Investments. Additionally, she teaches fintech and entrepreneurship at Cornell University and Brandeis University. Khadija is a Fulbright scholar and holds master's degrees in finance and business administration.
David is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and an expert in the fields of corporate financial accounting, individual & corporate tax strategy, and financial statement preparation and analysis. During his 6+ year career, David has assisted complex multimedia, manufacturing, rental & realty, and digital marketing companies in the development and management of their budgeting, accounting, finance, and tax strategies to ensure the financial growth and operational success of the businesses. He has also worked with thousands of individual, corporate, nonprofit, and trust and estate clients in the planning, preparation, and execution of tax strategies designed to minimize tax burden and increase wealth retention. David has assisted numerous individuals with retirement planning and long-term investing strategies to preserve and grow wealth.
Julius Mansa is a CFO consultant, finance professor, and U.S. Department of State Fulbright research awardee in the field of financial technology with over 15 years of experience in financial and operations management. Julius' business experience is dynamic and includes leading the finance, operations , and management teams of companies in multiple industries which include real estate, logistics, financial services, and non-profit organizations. As an academic, Julius spends his time lecturing on topics in accounting and corporate finance. Outside of academia, Julius is the Managing Partner and lead CFO consultant of MaxPoint Advisors, which is a financial business partner for medium-sized companies that need strategic and senior-level advisory services on how to grow their companies and become more profitable.
Katie Miller is a consumer financial services industry expert. She worked for almost two decades as an executive, leading multi-billion dollar mortgage, credit card, and savings portfolios with operations worldwide and a unique focus on the consumer. She spent several years developing new credit card rewards products before rewards were the standard in credit cards. Her mortgage expertise was honed post-2008 crisis as she implemented the significant changes resulting from Dodd-Frank required regulations. She managed an operational and strategic team handling savings, checking, IRA, CD and trust products and is passionate about financial education and ensuring that every person understands their financial options. She finished her diverse and dynamic corporate career by leading the implementation of a corporate cloud data repository, data governance, data privacy, and AI solution, revolutionizing consumer insight opportunities.
Cierra is the Founder and CEO of Murry Consulting which provides banking compliance, credit risk management, and loan review services to various financial institutions. She has expertise in reviewing securities-based, premium financing, asset-based, cash flow, small business, middle market, corporate, and institutional transactions. In addition, she provides loan signing services ensuring borrowers have completed their loan documentation properly. She also serves as a FINRA non-public arbitrator resolving securities-related disputes that involve investors and brokerage firms.
Charles is a nationally recognized capital markets specialist and educator who has spent the last three decades developing in-depth training programs for burgeoning financial professionals. He has spent over three decades as a financial educator, where he developed specialized classes for investors, traders, IT executives, legal/compliance officers, and various types of specialized operations groups. These classes have included topics concerning the real-world issues revolving every day in the worlds of equities, fixed income and derivatives, as well as discussing and dissecting economics, market intelligence, and the ever-changing effects that technology has in those markets.
Troy Prince has more than two decades of experience in technical analysis, investing, and trading. His prolific career includes tenures as a trader at Barclays, RBC, and Wells Fargo. Troy has founded a variety of investment-focused firms, including Hoang Tu Investment Company and Prometheus Capital Managers, LLC. He is the founder and CEO of Wall Street Bound, an education and training nonprofit that helps inner-city youth gain front-office intern positions on Wall Street.
Erika Rasure is an Assistant Professor of Business and Finance at Maryville University. She is an expert in personal financial planning and practices as a financial therapist. She has spent the past six years teaching and has included FinTech in personal finance courses and curriculum since 2017, including cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Globally-recognized as a leading cryptocurrency subject matter expert and educator, she helped create a FinTech curriculum track within the Management and Information Systems degree plan at Maryville University, where she developed and teaches the Digital Assets course.
Brandon is a financial planner, wealth manager, and assistant professor of finance with a wide breadth of knowledge about taxes, retirement, and financial planning. Brandon is a Certified Financial Planner, Retirement Income Certified Professional, Enrolled Agent, and an assistant professor of finance at East Texas Baptist University. He earned a doctorate in finance from Hampton University. Brandon owns his own financial and retirement planning firm, through which he applies his expertise to daily conversations about investing, taxes, and financial planning.
Charlene Rhinehart is a certified public accountant, Chair of the Illinois CPA Society Individual Tax Committee, one of Practice Ignitions Top 50 Women in Accounting, and an accomplished speaker and author. In addition to her accounting experience, Charlene has a real estate license and is the founder of Wealth Women Daily, a website that provides actionable advice to help women start investing. Charlene has a degree in accounting and finance from DePaul University.
Pamela Rodriguez is a Certified Financial Planner®, Series 7 and 66 license holder, with 10 years of experience in Financial Planning and Retirement Planning. She is the founder and CEO of Fulfilled Finances LLC, the Social Security Presenter for AARP, the Treasurer for the Financial Planning Association of NorCal. Through Fulfilled Finances, she currently serves about 60 families, individuals and businesses. She is currently enrolled in the CIMA® program at the University of Chicago Booth Business School. Through her participation with the Association of Financial Educators, she is able to help hundreds of employees understand difficult topics and feel confident about their personal finances and retirement.
Tyrone is the founder of financial services company 401, CEO at Onramp Invest, and is a member of the board of advisors at Reality Shares, Inc. He is an investment advisor with more than a decade of experience in investing and financial services.
As a speaker, Tyrone has had the chance to address employees at Etsy, Spotify, Uber, and Wyndham as well as students at Columbia, York College, Seton Hall, and Montclair State University.
Andrew T. Schmidt is a Compliance professional with 20 years experience in the financial services industry. He holds an MBA from DePaul University and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Professional. Andrew has led the US-based compliance efforts for some of the world’s largest and most prestigious banks and enjoys a reputation as a strong leader and subject matter expert. At any given moment, he may be drafting account disclosures, ensuring mortgage loans are properly documented, or reviewing portfolio investment strategies to give confidence and security to both management and clients alike.
Gordon Scott has been an active investor and has provided education to individual traders and investors for over 20 years. He is a licensed broker, an active trader, and proprietary day trader. He was the managing director for the Chartered Market Technician (CMT)® program offered by the CMT Association.
Gordon had an additional seven years of experience as a trading coach at Beacon Learning Group. Gordon's career also includes 10-years with International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), where he developed instructional materials and business process refinement. He also was an Adjunct Instructor at Brigham Young University–Organizational Strategy and Leadership department.
Michelle P. Scott is a New York attorney with extensive experience and expertise in taxation, corporate governance, financial and nonprofit law, and federal and state government relations. She has practiced tax law with private law firms in Washington, D.C. and New York City and served as legislation counsel for the Joint Committee on Taxation of the U.S. Congress. For almost two decades, she was Vice President andCorporate Counsel of an international financial services firm, responsible for significant investment transactions and tax planning. She also has served as General Counsel of operating nonprofits engaged in conservation, healthcare and insurance research, and international development, and has written and lectured extensively.
Samantha Silberstein is a Financial Consultant and Financial Literacy Coach. She is a Certified Financial Planner currently based out of Northern California. She provides financial education and advice through 1:1 sessions, customized workshops and personalized webinars. Her day to day is filled with 1-on-1 conversations about 401ks/403bs, ERISA guidelines, IRAs, student loans, tracking spending, creating budgets, debt repayment strategies, pretax/Roth contributions/savings, and other non-retirement saving options/vehicles.
Andy Smith is a self-employed consultant, Certified Financial Planner (CFP), licensed realtor and “pracademic” (combining practical experience and the ability to teach those concepts). He has 35+ years of diverse experience across federal, corporate and academic sectors; and is an expert on personal finance and investing, corporate finance and real estate. After advancing through the ranks from analyst to CFO, Andy shifted gears to academia and working with students and clients one-on-one. At heart he is an educator, and enjoys assisting clients in meeting their financial goals, no matter how large or small their resources.
Chip Stapleton is a Series 7 and Series 66 license holder, passed the CFA Level 1 exam, and is a CFA Level 2 candidate. He, and holds a life, accident, and health insurance license in Indiana. He has eight years' experience in finance, from financial planning and wealth management to corporate finance and financial planning and analysis. He has experience with case design, product knowledge, investment analysis, investment recommendation, portfolio construction, asset management, financial statement analysis, business planning, and business exit strategies.
Lea Uradu, J.D. is graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, a Maryland State Registered Tax Preparer, State Certified Notary Public, Certified VITA Tax Preparer, IRS Annual Filing Season Program Participant, Tax Writer and Founder of L.A.W. Tax Resolution Services. Lea has worked with hundreds of federal individual tax clients and expat tax clients. Lea is also a contributing member (weekly) of Millionacres, where she writes about tax law as it relates to real estate.
Natalya Yashina is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over 12 years of experience in accounting including public accounting, financial reporting, and accounting policies. She is a member of the Virginia CPA Society Accounting and Advisory Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Virginia CPA Society Educational Foundation. In addition to her accounting experience, Natalya holds a disciplined agile scrum master (DASM) certification. She is the founder and CEO of Capital Accounting Advisory, LLC, an accounting advisory firm that offers technical accounting, project management, and training services and solutions.
How Does The Review Board Work?
Each article is written by an expert in their respective financial field, often certified professionals like CPAs and CFPs. Then, we assign the article to the best-suited Review Board member, based on their expertise. From there, our board members read each article thoroughly, evaluating it for accuracy and relevancy, and pass it back to the editorial team to make any necessary adjustments. Finally, the article receives an official stamp indicating it has been reviewed by a member of our Financial Review Board. Our Review Board members’ extensive training and experience, paired with our editorial know-how, give you the best answers to your money questions.
How Do I Know If An Article Was Reviewed?
You may notice a check mark appear at the top of some articles. The check mark signifies that a board member has reviewed the article, taking special care to confirm that the information presented is both accurate and up-to-date.
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