Louis Kokernak

Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
“Louis Kokernak, Owner of Haven Financial Advisors, is an experienced investment advisor and financial planner who has been helping individuals for nearly two decades.”

Haven Financial Advisors

Job Title:



Louis (Lou) Kokernak has been serving the investment community for nearly 30 years, after obtaining an MBA from The University of Texas. He founded Haven Financial Advisors as a fee only advisor in 2002. His goal was to deliver unbiased advice to clients. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Bloomberg News among many other media outlets. Lou has taught courses to CFP candidates at The University of Texas, St. Edwards Univerisity, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Haven Financial Advisors is committed to their clients' future. They have been a fee only financial advisor since 2002. The first step in the relationship is getting to know clients and what their goals are. It's a two way communications process that requires the engagement of both parties. Lou and his team develop a financial plan that includes a diversified asset allocation tailored to every clients personal situation. Experience tells them that the key value proposition of the plan is the comfort level it delivers to the client - that clients are taking concrete steps to achieve realistic financial goals.

​Lou has lived in Austin since 1990. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and is a member of the National Association of Personal Financail Advisors (NAPFA). His charitable interests include public health and secondary education.


MBA, The University of Texas
BSCS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Assets Under Management:

$50 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


  • Mission Statement of Haven Financial Advisors
  • Haven Financial Advisors explains the evolution of the HSA
  • Haven Financial Advisors Discusses the Benefits of Foreign Stocks
  • How to invest your Health Savings Account (HSA)
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June 2017
    ETFs, International / Global, Investing
March 2017
    Retirement Savings, Social Security
January 2017
    Insurance, Taxes
March 2017
    College Tuition, Financial Planning
last month
    Investing, Stocks

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    Investing, Stocks
What index should I be checking to make sure my portfolio is performing in line with the market?
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Not sure how your portfolio is invested. For the purposes of discussion, we'll assume that it is comprised of a balanced mix of stocks and bonds. Of the major stock indices you cited, the S&P 500 correlates best with movements in US stocks, primarily because its 500 members comprise the most of the market cap weighting of that market. You might also consider the somewhat lesser known Russell 3000 to gage equity performance. The Russell measure basically subsumes all relevant US stocks.

The bond piece is a little more complex because there is no outstanding index well known to the public. I will suggest the US Aggregate Bond index. It is generally considered to be one of the best recognized benchmarks in the American fixed income space. According to eVestment, about $663 billion of institutional assets is invested in 270 U.S. core fixed-income portfolios, 75% of which are benchmarked against the Barclays aggregate bond index. For more details on bond indexing, take a look at my recent article on the topic.

These benchmarks are good, but they have their shortfalls. The equity indices discussed here do NOT include foreign stocks. To the extent your portfolio has them, there will be some divergence. In the last seven years, US stocks have substantially outperformed overseas markets. Similarly, the Aggregate Bond Index does not include Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPs) nor Municipal Bonds.

You can use ETFs like SPY (S&P 500) and AGG (Aggregate Bond Index) to compare actual investment results of indexed portfolios to the calculated performance of your own investment accounts. If you have a 60/40 mix of stocks and bonds, you should be performing somewhere between SPY and AGG. If not, you need to understand why not. Is it because your asset allocation lies outside the bounds of the index or are your fund managers making bets within those bounds?

December 2016
    401(k), Taxes
Can I use 401(k) funds to pay off back taxes?
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December 2016
    Retirement Savings, Asset Allocation, Taxes
How should I allocate contributions between pre-tax and post-tax retirement savings?
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January 2017
What stock funds mirror the S&P 500?
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January 2017
    Retirement, Asset Allocation
Should I change the date of my target-date funds because I am cautious of the market?
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January 2017