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Pasadena Financial Planner

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The Pasadena Financial Planner (Larry Russell) is an experienced business executive with a background in corporate business management, technology start-ups, financial modeling, investment management, economics, statistics, taxation, and accounting. This article provides the biography of the Pasadena Financial Planner and explains how his expertise in comprehensive financial planning and investment management has developed over his career.

The Analytical Education of the Pasadena Financial Planner

The Pasadena Financial Planner is me, Larry Russell. I grew up in a rather small town in the Midwest. I was 6’ 6” tall by age 16, and my pants were always too short. In 1970, I left for college on a Greyhound bus with one box and two suitcases. I arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts to study at MIT.

As a child growing up in the America’s endless rural heartland in the 1950s and 60s, I lacked a genuine appreciation for the word “metropolitan.” I did not realize that the edge of one “town” near Boston was not a field or pasture, but just another crowded suburb. A modern Paul Revere would have been stuck in traffic all the way to Lexington and Concord. And, the British Army would have been way back in that traffic jam.

At freshmen orientation in MIT’s old gymnasium, various university dignitaries welcomed the incoming freshmen. One gentleman gave us the “look-to-your-left-look-to-your-right-one-of-you-won’t-be-here-in-four-years” speech. I got the point and decided that I would still be there in four years, and I was. While MIT’s core science and math curriculum was a required rite of passage that I still value over three decades later, I found studying human behavior to be much more interesting.

I studied politics and economics and picked up a BS from MIT and later an MA from Brandeis University. After Brandeis, I embarked upon a career in social science research. First, I conducted survey research and performed statistical analyses of corporate employee benefit programs at the private, non-profit National Manpower Institute in Washington, D.C. Then, I moved to Northern California to join the Institute for the Future, a think tank in Menlo Park that built automated economic, demographic, and technological models to explore scenarios about the future.

An early understanding of the strengths and limitations of future-oriented financial planning tools

The Institute for the Future provided opportunities for me to apply my econometric, statistical, and political education to supposedly predictive, automated modeling projects. We used sophisticated projection methods to develop long range planning scenarios for Fortune 100 clients that incorporated financial, econometric, demographic, and technological factors.

Through my work experience at the Institute for the Future, I became convinced that the future is fundamentally unpredictable from the standpoint of forecasting reliably any specifics about the future. I came to realize through experience that the quality and comprehensiveness of any analytical projection model and its associated data will significantly affect the forecasting model’s usefulness in developing insights about what might happen in the future.

I also learned to appreciate the value of comprehensive and automated scenario planning. While any specifics about the future cannot be predicted reliably, computer modeling permits the evaluation of a range of internally consistent future projection scenarios. (And, when it comes to planning your personal lifetime finances, such a rigorous projection modeling approach is a heck of a lot better than relying upon uninformed, random guessing!)

While I did not expect my experience at the Institute for the Future to be useful 30 years later, the insights I gained have strongly shaped my approach to delivering comprehensive personal financial planning and investment services to clients. During the past several years, I designed and developed VeriPlan, which is a comprehensive, automated personal lifecycle financial planning application.

I use VeriPlan with clients who want to develop a comprehensive picture of their financial affairs projected across their lifetimes. In addition, for do-it-yourselfers, I have also made VeriPlan available for licensing through one of my other websites, Financial Planning Software. Individuals can buy a copy of VeriPlan for a very modest fee and do their own lifecyle personal financial planning, if the have the time and energy it takes to enter their data and do their own planning.

In designing VeriPlan, I knew that this Financial Software Tool must enable detailed modeling and rapid development of lifecycle scenarios in a highly personalized financial context. Over the last several decades, computer resources have vastly increased. The average PC today can handle the intensive computational demands of VeriPlan and still produce results instantly after any change is made to a family’s financial projection model. Thirty years ago you had to line up with all the other nerds to use some hulking room-sized computer in a distant building. You had only one chance to run your program correctly, before you went to the back of the line to restart the cycle.

Most days that I worked at the Institute for the Future, I peddled my bicycle across the Stanford University campus and huffed and puffed up Sand Hill Road. The Institute for the Future was nestled in the foothills along with all the venture capital firms that made Sand Hill Road famous.

My commute became much easier when I stopped halfway to attend Stanford Business School starting in 1980. At Stanford Business School, I developed expertise in business management and increased my knowledge of economics, finance, and investments.

Continue to Part 2 of this biography: Pasadena California Financial Planner >>>

Pasadena Financial Planning


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

(Regarding how I am compensated, I provide financial planning services only on a fixed fee or hourly fee for service basis, and only under a contract agreed upon with you. You do not have to pay any form of asset fee. Furthermore, in the interest of avoiding any conflict-of-interest, I do not accept commissions or compensation of any kind from the financial services industry.)

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Financial Planner in Pasadena California

Serving clients throughout the greater Pasadena, California area including these cities: Altadena, Glendale, La Canada, Pasadena, Pomona, Rancho La Tuna Canyon, San Gabriel, San Marino, South Pasadena, Sunland, and Tujunga.


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