Brian K. SchiessCFP®, EA
Principal & Senior Financial Advisor
Brian’s role involves working with clients to formulate planning goals, developing and implementing wealth management strategies and monitoring clients’ progress in working towards their financial and investment goals.
What sparked your interest in financial planning? What fuels you every day in your work?
From a young age I watched some of my loved ones struggle with money, including my parents. Finances were often a source of stress. On the other hand, my grandparents were much more financially stable, and I looked to them for good examples to follow. My grandfather, Fred, taught me the value of savings and the power of earning interest on that savings. Born a year before the start of the Great Depression, my grandfather was adverse to stock market investing and put his money mostly in Bank CDs. As I entered into my teenage years we would search in the newspaper (and later online) for the most competitive CD rates together. Though not a very sophisticated investment strategy, banking with my grandfather helped to develop my passion for investing and financial planning.
At college, I was introduced to comprehensive financial planning as a formal discipline. I discovered that it requires strong research and analytical skills, as well as effective interpersonal communication skills. My day-to-day work throughout my career has continually proven to be invigorating and refreshing as I put pen to paper, analyze complex situations and develop sophisticated strategies.
What do you value most in your client relationships?
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, I serve as an advisor to my clients in many ways beyond the financial – also as confidant and many times a friend. Being able to provide a listening ear or a supportive shoulder is such a good feeling because I know that I am making a difference. Together we share in both their challenges and triumphs financially, professionally, and personally. Seeing my clients through all their ups and downs is what makes my work particularly rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about working at Modera?
The collaborative, collegial, and conscientious work culture. It is refreshing to work with so many colleagues that exude confident humility. At Modera, everyone is knowledgeable and willing to help each other, and their clients reach success.
How do you do good in your community?
I am a member of the Oradell-Emerson Rotary club helping to organize and sponsor many civic events, such as food and clothing drives, that allow us to give back to the community and those that may be in need.
I am also passionate about helping students prepare for their professional careers. I volunteer as a mentor with the Pesce Family Mentoring Institute at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. I’m proud to give back to my alma mater and guide others in their journey to a career in finance.
I volunteer my voice at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Ridgefield Park as a cantor and member of the choir.