Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs)


CFAs have a unique perspective, because they often manage other peoples money but are too busy to plan or manage their own finances. Also, there can be numerous constraints placed on their time and investment options, requiring an objective, professional third party perspective to help them achieve their financial goals and manage risk.

Our unique value proposition provides CFAs help only the areas they need financial help (financial planning, estate planning, risk management, etc.). We then design the plan, develop the action steps for the plan, and can help execute the plan if the CFA® is too busy to do it themselves.

Don Duncan, the founder of D3 Financial Counselors, became a Chartered Financial Analyst® in 1992. D3 Financial Counselors’ experience includes managing institutional assets (mutual funds, collective trusts, separate accounts) at Northern Trust Company. We know first hand the time and investment constraints, and we know how to help CFAs with their financial planning needs.


Examples of Services Provided to Clients

Stock Options, RSUs and Deferred Compensation

Don CFA® had equity-linked compensation that requires special knowledge of the risk component and tax consequences. D3 has the skill sets necessary to help Don maximize his family’s after-tax income and wealth. Helping Don analyze his concentrated risk position resulted in lower taxes and lower overall risk in his portfolio.

Investment Limitations & Compliance Related Issues

Mary CFA® had limitations on her investment options due to compliance issues. Additionally, Mary did not allocate the appropriate amount of time to manage her own finances. D3 helped Mary analyze the risk characteristic for her personal portfolio on an hourly basis.

Several years later Mary decided to hire D3 Financial Counselors on a percentage of assets basis. D3 aligned her investments to meet her financial planning goals, monitors her investments daily, and provides her with CFA® compliant performance reports semi-annually.

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Retirement Cash Flow Projections

Kathy CFA® wanted to know if she could afford a vacation home, and retire early comfortably.  We ran several retirement cash flow projections, and helped her determine that she would have to maintain a part time consulting job during retirement. This helped her lower her risk in retirement because she did not have to rely solely on investment income to maintain her lifestyle.
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College Savings Analysis & Planning

Bob and Wendy, both CFAs, had just started a family and were wondering which college savings plan would be appropriate for their children.  They also wanted to know how much money they should be contributing, on an annual basis, to their children’s accounts. We designed an investment plan, and developed specific investment recommendations that save them hundreds of dollars in state taxes.
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Clarifying Tax Issues

Sue was seeking advice on how to invest a substantial inheritance, which included ownership in the stock of a small company.  We recognized a step up in the basis price of the stock from her inheritance that saved her over $150,000 in capital gains taxes.
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Liquidity Events

Chris CFA® had a successful firm and he was ready to sell his business. Many successful people experience liquidity events because eventually they sell part or all of their business. How it is done can significantly affect their after-tax wealth. We helped Chris structure the transaction as a sale of intellectual property which significantly increased his after-tax wealth.
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Related News & Articles

Don Duncan and David Blanchett Present “How to Maximize Your After Tax Wealth” to the CFA Society of Chicago

Don Duncan and Morningstar Head of Retirement Research David Blanchett presented “How to Maximize Your After Tax Wealth” through the CFA Society of Chicago in recognition of Money Smart Week 2014. The presentation focused on strategies you can implement to maximize your after tax wealth; including asset location, dedication and diversification. Those who attended left with a better understanding…Continue Reading

Don Duncan met journalist Jim Grant at the December 2014 CFA Society of Chicago Distinguished Speaker Presentation

Don Duncan is pictured above having Jim Grant autograph his book “The Forgotten Depression, 1921: the Crash that Cured Itself” on December 2nd, 2014 at the CFA Society of Chicago Distinguished Speaker Presentation. The presentation provided a historic perspective on how governmental entities, particularly the Federal Reserve, can affect economic cycles.  Employees at D3 Financial Counselors…Continue Reading

Don Attended 2014 CFA Society Distinguished Speaker Series with Rob Arnott and Brian Singer

Don Duncan attended the CFA Chicago distinguished speaker series with Rob Arnott, CEO of Research Affiliates and Brian Singer, CIO of Singer Partners, LLC. Mr. Arnott is best known for pioneering several unconventional portfolio strategies that are now being widely applied including tactical asset allocation, global tactical asset allocation, tax advantaged equity management and the…Continue Reading

Don Attended 2014 CFA Chicago Annual Conference

Don Duncan attended the 2014 CFA Chicago Annual Conference. The topic of concentration for this year was Adapting Investment Strategies to a Changing World featuring Ian Bremmer and Brian Singer, CFA. This presentation delved into the effects of high frequency trading (HFT) on the integrity of equity market trading. During the conference, this issue was discussed by panelists…Continue Reading

Don Attended the CFA Society of Chicago’s Distinguished Speaker Series with David Rosenberg

Don Duncan attended the CFA Society of Chicago’s Distinguished Speaker Series with David Rosenberg – Chief Economist and Strategist at Gluskin Sheff and Associates. Mr. Rosenberg was the Chief north American Economist at Merrill Lynch in New York for seven years. He was the only economist recognized for his accurate economic predictions in Fotune Magazine’s…Continue Reading

Don Attended the CFA Society of Chicago’s Economic Update Conference

Don Duncan attended the CFA Chicago 2014 Economic and Capital Markets Forecast on January 9th, 2014.  The key note speaker was Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors and member of the cabinet.  Goolsbee and a panel of leading strategists in economics, equities, and fixed income shared their insights and…Continue Reading

D3 Co-Sponsored the CFA Society Chicago 2013 Annual Dinner

For the second consecutive year, D3 Financial Counselors co-sponsored the CFA Society Chicago annual dinner. Don has been actively involved in the CFA Society Chicago for several years.  He is currently on the communications committee and has helped sponsor several events (golf outings, dinners, etc). Don earned his CFA designation in September of 1992 during his…Continue Reading

Don Duncan Attends the CFA Society of Chicago conference on “Rethinking Financial Theories and Models

Numerous, famous economic and investment professional thought leaders presented. We summarize their presentations below: Laksham Achuthan, Co-Founder of ECRI, Business Cycle Forecasting: Because GDP growth is so subdued (1.6% per year since 2000), the likelihood of more frequent but less severe recessions is higher. Until the velocity of money expands from historically low levels, economic…Continue Reading

D3 Financial Counselors Co-Sponsored the CFA Chicago Annual Dinner

D3 Financial Counselors co-sponsored the CFA Society of Chicago 2012 Annual Dinner which brings together almost 800 of Chicago’s leading investment professionals and key decision-makers. Don listened to a speech by Erskine Bowles on national debt reduction, Click Here to read the report. D3 Financial Counselors is known as the CFP® for CFA’s because they…Continue Reading