I have always been interested in personal finance and enjoyed sharing what I know with others. I studied economics at Dartmouth College where I did an independent study in behavioral finance and, in my senior seminar, learned about things like the underperformance of most actively managed mutual funds. I told all my friends they should buy low-cost index funds…they told me I was boring! Later, I went to business school at NYU, where I specialized in finance and accounting, and for one semester I was President of the Student Investment Fund (we managed a portion of NYU’s endowment). While I was there, I created and gave presentations to the Stern Women In Business and the Graduate Finance clubs called “Who is Roth and What is He Doing with My IRA?” so other students could learn about the tax incentives Congress created to encourage saving for retirement.
For most of my career I’ve worked in economic consulting, providing support to expert witnesses for litigation in securities and finance (and I’ve testified myself a few times). I’ve also worked briefly in equity research, investment banking, corporate finance, and as the CFO of a natural foods grocery store. I have served as an arbitrator in a FINRA arbitration, and am also a CFA charterholder (a self-guided 3-year program of study relating to investment management). I’ve been a member of the CFA Institute since 2004 and of the CFA Society of New York since 2007.
Along the way, friends and colleagues have often asked me for help with questions about taxes and personal finance. Over six tax seasons, in three different cities, I’ve volunteered through the IRS VITA program to prepare taxes for low income people. This work and countless conversations with friends and co-workers, taught me that many people would benefit from some DIY-financial education, and I started this business to make my own contribution in this area.
This business, Levinson Lee Consulting LLC, donates all profits to charities like RIP Medical Debt. They buy medical debt for pennies on the dollar and forgive the debt, and Ollie the dog approves!