Pasadena Financial Planner -- Pasadena, California | Pasadena Financial Planner Background

Pasadena Financial Planner Background

Comprehensive financial planning advice informed by extensive business experience

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Receiving my Stanford MBA in 1982, I moved a few miles south to begin my corporate career in Silicon Valley. For most of my twenty-five plus years after Stanford, I have managed strategic business and corporate initiatives for technology companies. Analytically oriented management positions in these corporations sharpened my financial and business judgment. I first joined Hewlett-Packard’s computer systems division, where I led business development and marketing initiatives. After seven years at HP, I was Director of Product Marketing at IntelliCorp, an AI software company, and then I moved on to Sun Microsystems.

At Sun Microsystems from 1991 to 1999, I acquired rights for Sun to numerous product lines from independent technology companies via negotiated licensing arrangements. As Director of Corporate Development during my last four years at Sun, I oversaw merger and acquisition projects and evaluated innumerable external investment proposals that were made to Sun’s executive committee members.

Bitten by the startup bug in 1999, I co-founded Codexa Corporation in Altadena, California. Codexa provided advanced information services to Wall Street securities industry professionals. My co-founder and MIT roommate, Dave Leinweber, had been managing about $6 billion of institutional equity with highly quantitative methods at First Quadrant in Pasadena. Look here for chapter summaries of his recent book, Nerds on Wall Street, published by Wiley. Most individual investors do not have a clue about the techology behind Wall Street professional trading — if they did, then some of them might not do all the silly stock trading, options trading, currency trading, day trading, etc. that they do to fritter away foolishly some of their hard-earned assets, while wasting their valuable time.

Solving the Internet on-line trading and investment management information challenge

Dave believed that the flood of financial information across the web had greatly changed the nature of the securities markets. Together, we founded Codexa Corporation and set out to develop a technological solution to gain some control of this information explosion. Our primary objective was to harvest, filter, and display semantic trading and investment management information on traders’ workstations in real-time.

We developed Codexa’s information service provider business plan, hired the management team, and raised an $8M Series A venture round. The company secured $2M in initial revenues from major Wall Street investment and trading clients. As Codexa’s EVP and CFO, I managed the finance, business development, accounting, human resources, legal, and real estate functions. Then, the stock market collapsed and our paying Wall Street clients simply evaporated. It did not matter that we succeeded in developing a robust and extensible technology. The clients who had been supporting our early technology development efforts disappeared as Wall Street’s revenues collapsed and tens of thousands of people in the securities industry lost their jobs.

Our business stradded both the faltering financial securities industry and the plummeting high technology industry. When these industries collapsed, so did Codexa. We had to let fifty very skilled software technology people go. Subsequently, I had the privilege to learn about the corporate bankruptcy process, which had never been high on my list of career interests. Except for a subsequent six-month consulting arrangement as the interim president of a Caltech startup during its formation, very little new was happening in the technology economy after the crash in Southern California. Therefore, I retired at the ripe middle age of 50, just as I was receiving my first solicitations in the mail from AARP.

With the dot com stock market collapse, the high tech industry in the U.S. lost roughly 225,000 positions and the securities industry lost approximately 75,000 positions. It was financially devastating for many affected families, and even those who remained employed found a very significant deterioration in the quality of work life and a great increase in stress.

While the economic fallout from the market crash could have been a lot worse to the broader economy, it was and still is devastating to many in the high tech industry. (And, you could easily perceive that historically low, post-dot-com-crash interest rates coupled with good old greed and lax regulation of mortgage brokers, resellers, and derivatives hucksters have lead us to the broader real estate and credit crisis of 2007/8/9 and counting — just a delayed reaction to the false “cure” for the dot com crash.)

I quickly concluded that the dot com economic downturn was so severe from a new employment opportunities standpoint, that it is not even worth looking. I decided to wait it out. This was a great blessing in disguise, that I did not recognize at the time.

Comprehensive financial planning advice based upon objective financial research

As an involuntarily retired 50-year-old, I still had the start-up bug. Instead of heading for the golf course, I decided to do some in depth investment research and to catch up on new developments since I studied finance at Stanford.

I started Lawrence Russell and Company, and I began to publish The Skilled Investor. I wrote and published hundreds of objective personal financial planning and investment articles on the Internet. I now have a family of free and objective financial information websites written entirely by myself that help to meet the informational needs of individuals around the world who are managing their own financial and investment affairs.

My firm also became a Registered Investment Adviser in the state of California (Certificate #133101). I passed the Series 65 “Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination” administered for the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). I hung out my virtual shingle.

I designed and developed VeriPlan, which I dubbed “Your Personal Financial Lifecycle Planner.” I did an indepth, multi-year study of the scientific finance and investment literature to find out what personal financial planning and investing strategies and tactics really do and do not work.

In short, I am having tremendous fun developing financial planning software, writing financial planning articles, and offering comprehensive financial planning services to families in the Greater Pasadena California, West Los Angeles, Gendale, and San Gabriel Valley areas of Southern California.


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Pasadena California Financial Planner


Larry Russell, Managing Director

MBA – Stanford University, MA – Brandeis University, and BS – M.I.T.

Lawrence Russell and Company Pasadena, California 91103

(626) 399-9579

A California Registered Investment Adviser — Certificate 133101


A truly independent financial planner and fee only investment advisor

(Concerning my compensation, I perform services only on a fixed fee or hourly fee for services basis, and only under a contract that we agree upon. I do not charge any form of asset fee. Furthermore, to avoid any conflict-of-interest, I do not accept commissions or compensation of any type from the financial services industry.)

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