We are planning enthusiasts. We are excellent listeners.
We are a renegade bunch of list-makers, financial gurus, and math geeks.
Because you want to be prepared when life’s transitions hit.

Here are our stories.

Jeremy Levinn, CFP®


B.A. Government, Wesleyan University

I was 10 and piano lessons were going well. My parents were inspired to find me a better piano and we visited a woman selling her six-foot Yamaha grand for $8,000. My dad offered $7,000, but she wouldn’t budge. Feeling the opportunity slipping away, I piped in and offered to add all the money I had to my name: $200. How could she say no to a 10-year-old? That piano is still the centerpiece of my parents’ living room.

It took a long time to save that $200 and it felt strange to spend it all at once. But this experience planted the idea that money is a means of realizing goals and reflecting values, not an end itself. Until that point, I had thought about how to acquire and hold on to money, not about the best ways to use it. At the end of the day, how you use it is what matters.

That’s ultimately what drew me to Financial Life Planning: the integration of money with personal values, life goals, and a sense of meaning and purpose. It’s a process of defining what’s important—and what is not. It results in making financial decisions with clarity and confidence.

I feel very fortunate to have found a team of like-minded people at Financial Life Focus who are so passionate about the work we do.

Joseph Kuo, CFP®

Partner / Advisor

B.A. Economics, U.C. Berkeley

M.B.A., Yale School of Management

I was born in Taiwan and grew up watching my father run a successful family business. Although our family was well off financially, he had little time to spend with us.

That all came to a screeching halt when his company went bankrupt during the Great Recession. Just like that, the 40 years my dad had poured into his dream was gone.

To help take care of the family, I dove headfirst into my own career, unaware that I was treading down the same path as my father. While my roles and responsibilities advanced rapidly, I did not enjoy working and as a result, other parts of my life suffered accordingly.

My father taught me that I needed to work hard to build a future for myself and my own family. Yet nobody seemed to really know what success looked and felt like. As my children grew up, I realized that I wanted a different life for them.

After a great deal of reflection, I gave up my successful career in corporate finance to start over with something I really felt passionate about—guiding others towards financial success and well-being.

While money is important, our lives are even more important. Achieving life’s goals requires more than just entering numbers into a financial plan. It’s a process of exploring what we want in life, creating and implementing a plan, and continually adapting that plan as our lives change.

Today, I love helping my clients find happiness and well-being through financial and life planning. The ups and downs of my relationship with money have given me some hard-earned perspectives. However, the lessons that I’ve learned have made me a better financial life planner for my clients. I look forward to working with you.

Michael Kay, CFP®

Founder / Advisor

B.B.A. Accounting, Adelphi University

How you grow up factors into your life and financial decisions in a big way. My dad was a Depression baby, and worked two jobs as a teacher and a musician. He saved every nickel. My mom was a child prodigy violinist and had no problem spending. Discussions about money were generally “forte”. So, my money mindset eventually resolved toward a balance between thrift and spending. It was not a straight line.

I started working toward my true calling from an unlikely place. After deciding that a career as a trumpet player wasn’t in the cards, I earned my CPA and worked in public accounting for 10 years. It was my background in accounting and my passion for working directly with families that led me to Financial Life Planning.

Listening to your story and planning for the life you want makes my job energizing, rewarding, and well…awesome.

I founded Financial Life Focus because I wanted to work with people who put your success at the forefront of everything they do; people who understand that finding balance is a journey. We built a team whose expertise and working styles complement each other. We’re people first, and advisors second.

We all have pre-conceived notions about money, but you can build money habits that support your values. You can shape your own money mindset—although getting where you want to be may not be a straight line. Appreciate where you are; value where you’ve been. Let’s plan for your next.

Mollie Sebak, CFP®


B.S. The Ohio State University, Columbus

Consumer and Family Financial Services

I was lucky to have an inspiring high school personal finance teacher who opened my eyes to how making smart money decisions at a young age could transform your life. I decided then to make financial planning my career.

But the emotional aspect of money didn’t really sink in until my junior year in college. My father was diagnosed with cancer and passed within six months. Since he handled all the family finances, my mother was confronted with having to make a lot of critical decisions she felt unprepared for.

Helping her navigate through that experience while studying financial planning made me realize that money can be very emotional—and the more we understand about our personal goals and relationship with money, the better choices we make.

Money is simply a tool that gives you flexibility when you may need it or want it the most. That’s why I practice financial life planning: so I can help turn aspirations into reality—preferably sooner rather than later.

Hugues Rivard, CFP®

B.A. Mathematical Economics, Colgate University
M.B.A. Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University

I’m a hockey player and a complete math geek. I was studying with pre-med students at college (which is the level between high school and university in my home province of Quebec) and I was on the ice with my hockey team seven days a week. At the year-end banquet, I won Best Student Athlete—a prize that came with a trophy, $500, and a huge sense of accomplishment.

That experience stuck with me (I still have the boom box I bought with the prize money in my attic)—discipline, hard work and striving for balance do pay off.

I left Quebec to play hockey and study in New York at Colgate, later joining Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst. A couple of years on Wall Street and I was off to Chicago, pursuing my M.B.A. at Northwestern University.

It was my final stint in investment banking at CIBC Wood Gundy that convinced me: I needed to do work that was about the financial future of people, not companies.

I found my business soul mate in Michael Kay in 2006. We have mirroring philosophies on investments and personal finance, and agree that the goal in financial planning is overall satisfaction with life. Which is why today I coach my son’s hockey team—The Rockets.

Olga Raykhelson, CFP®

B.A. Economics, City University of New York
M.B.A. Corporate Finance, Baruch College (CUNY)

I spent most of my formative years in Communist Russia, where you just didn’t talk about money. I only began to think about it when I was twelve and my entire family moved to the United States. We had two months to untether from the group that sponsored our arrival. My parents each had earned PhD’s, but none of us spoke English when we all secured whatever work we could to become—and remain—financially independent.

That experience taught me that we each have the power within us to get where we want to go.

Transitions happen (whether we want them or not), but you can use them as fuel to create the life you want. I will work through your finances with you until we uncover a way to meet your life goals—I’m tireless that way. You can’t necessarily plan for everything, but knowledge is powerful.

I’ve been in investment finance for over 20 years, and a devout New Yorker for almost 35.

I was one of the first advisors at Financial Life Focus in 1997. I’m fluent in Russian, English, and finance.

Johnny Roland, CFP®

B.S. Social Welfare and Japanese, University of California, Berkeley
M.B.A. International Business, San Francisco State University

My Japanese mother and American father met in Japan during the Korean War—so I grew up in two cultures. Much later in life, I realized that I got diametrically opposed lessons about money from each of them.

But it wasn’t until October 1991 that I really solidified my own opinions about money. My wife and four month old daughter were at home while I was experimenting by attending a new church. During the service, they passed out a “40 Days Of Thankful Living” exercise (the idea was to practice gratitude for each day until Thanksgiving). On that day, the task was to write the top five things I’m grateful for. The list I scribbled in church that day had entries like my wife, daughter, friends and health.

As we left the church, we saw smoke in the nearby hills and I learned there was fire right near my house. While I raced back home, my wife and baby were rescued by a neighbor. We lost our house and everything in it to the Oakland Hills fire.

While I was sad to lose some deeply memorable possessions, I still had that list in my hand. I quickly realized that I’d lost none of the top “things” that mattered most to me (and I had fire insurance for the rest).

I learned that I already intuitively knew what brought me joy and satisfaction. That’s what I try to do as a financial life planner—to help clients find their own personal answers.

Kathy Molinaro

Client Service

My father taught me that good deeds don’t go unnoticed. While my mom was sick when I was 10, I took over running the household until she recovered. To show me that he appreciated what I’d done, my dad bought me a green radio shaped like a ball—it was all the rage at the time. I loved that radio, but feeling that what I did mattered to my dad meant more.
He passed away too soon afterward, but I will always remember his gesture of gratitude. It instilled in me the philosophy that if you put people first, you’re always rich.
I try to live and work by that.
I spent 10 years supporting the business development staff at Nabisco and then worked part-time and as a stay-at-home-mom for six years so I could raise my three boys.
When they started school in 2005, I joined the team at Financial Life Focus. I love nurturing and inspiring my two “families”—it makes me feel connected to everyone, and rich indeed.