Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 19

Cindy Golub and Laurie Girsky, Certified Financial Planners, G Squared Advisory

might talk about with the planners at G Squared. As Golub notes, “The CFP exam has four parts, and only one of them is investments.” They consider the financial plan itself to be paramount. Investing serves the bigger financial-planning picture, so they spend a good deal of time discussing budgeting, debtmanagement, and wealth-building strategies. “We’re not just doing a portfolio,” Golub says. “We’re looking at a whole host of issues: Does this person have a current will, do they have the right insurance, how well set up are they for retirement?”

How they caught our eye: Newly minted CFPs associated with the Garrett Planning Network, Girsky and Golub used their volunteer experience in their community to build a practice around the financial needs of women. Career path: Girsky began her finance career in 1987 working for Paine Webber in institutional sales after receiving an MBA from Columbia. She moved to retail sales in 1997 at Paine Webber until 2001. Golub started at Goldman Sachs, where she worked for 15 years after receiving an MBA from Columbia. Both passed the CFP exam in April 2009.

Personal: Laurie Girsky, 47, married, on the board of the UJA-Federation of New York, a trustee and on the fundraising committee of the Mamaroneck Public Library and sits on the Larchmont Mamaroneck Parent Teacher Council. Cindy Golub, 54, married, on the board of the UJA-Federation of New York and Wharton Undergraduate. Favorite funds: iShares Russell Midcap Value Index IWS and iShares Barclays Treasury Inflation Protected Securities Bond fund TIP.

After that, they will make specific recommendations, if that’s what the client wants. Girsky and Golub follow the same approach to investing as they do to financial planning: Keep it simple. Rather than constructing portfolios of top-flight managers, the pair likes to use exchange-traded funds that help keep fees low and get their clients easy access to multiple asset classes. They prefer a conservative approach that stresses capital preservation to one of potential high risk in exchange for potential high reward. Among the ETFs they use are iShares Russell Midcap Value Index IWS and iShares Barclays TIPS Bond TIP. “There’s a great opportunity right now to talk about asset allocation and capital preservation,” Girsky explains. “People are more aware of risk, whereas before they were only aware of wanting returns.” At the end of the day, G Squared’s unusual client focus is what makes the firm stand out, and Girsky and Golub aren’t shying from the challenge. “We are willing to put in the time to make women feel more secure,” Girsky says. K
Ilana Polyak is a New York-based freelance writer.

Partners in Planning

Even before Girsky and Golub met, they had a lot of similarities: Both had acquired MBAs at Columbia University (though at different times) and each had spent 15 years on Wall Street working in institutional sales (also at different times). Golub was in fixed-income institutional sales at Goldman Sachs, and Girsky held the same job on the equity side at Paine Webber. And they were both taking time off from their careers to raise families when they met through volunteer work in social service organizations. Together, they took the coursework at New York University’s certified financial planning program. They studied for the CFP designating exam together and then sat for it together. Both passed in April 2009. But being newly minted CFPs has its challenges. G Squared is not yet registered

with the state of New York, so they are not allowed to bill for the work they do (they must have three years of work experience in the field before they can be registered). They do pro-bono work to build up their practice. They believe, however, that some clients will stick with them even when they begin to charge. Right away, Girsky and Golub noticed how different financial planning is from institutional sales. They relish the emotional aspect of the profession. “When you’re doing institutional sales, your clients are people whose job it is to do business with you,” Golub explains. “In this business, we’re dealing with things a lot of people would rather not look at.”
The Investments

Investing is perhaps the last thing a client

MorningstarAdvisor.com 19


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Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010

Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010
Contents
New On MorningstarAdvisor.com
Contributors
Letter from the Editor
Our Job: Building Better Investors
What’s Your Biggest Long-term Concern for the Economy?
An Early Start
Women’s Work
Investment Briefs
Markowitz 2.0
Asset Allocation Is King
A Decade of Riskier Assets ...
... but with plenty of Silver Linings
Be Prepared
Facing up to the Economy’s Problems
Levelheaded
Surviving on Conviction
Four Picks for the Present
Pharmaceutical Firms Get the Urge to Merge
Funds That Look Cheaper Than the Market
Finding Dividend Leaders
Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
50 Most Popular ETFs
Undervalued Stocks with Wide Moats
VAs: Assets Rise as New Sales Slip
New at Morningstar
When You Wish Upon a Star
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Cover2
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 1
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 2
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Contents
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 4
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 5
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - New On MorningstarAdvisor.com
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 7
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Contributors
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Letter from the Editor
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 10
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Our Job: Building Better Investors
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 12
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 13
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - What’s Your Biggest Long-term Concern for the Economy?
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 15
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - An Early Start
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 17
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Women’s Work
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 19
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Investment Briefs
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 21
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Markowitz 2.0
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 23
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 24
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 25
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 26
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 27
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Asset Allocation Is King
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 29
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 30
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 31
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 32
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 33
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - A Decade of Riskier Assets ...
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - ... but with plenty of Silver Linings
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 36
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Be Prepared
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 38
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 39
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 40
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 41
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 42
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 43
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Facing up to the Economy’s Problems
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 45
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 46
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 47
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 48
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 49
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Levelheaded
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 51
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 52
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 53
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Surviving on Conviction
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 55
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 56
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 57
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Four Picks for the Present
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 59
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 60
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Pharmaceutical Firms Get the Urge to Merge
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 62
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 63
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Funds That Look Cheaper Than the Market
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 65
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Finding Dividend Leaders
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 67
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 69
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 70
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 71
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 50 Most Popular ETFs
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 73
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Undervalued Stocks with Wide Moats
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 75
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - VAs: Assets Rise as New Sales Slip
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 77
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 78
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - New at Morningstar
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - When You Wish Upon a Star
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Cover3
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Cover4
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